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  • Shop Smells

    Hi all.
    I am looking at having to seriously downsize my shop. We are in the process of moving and I am going to have to give up a 24 foot by 36 foot shop. My present shop is separate from the house and there in lays my problem. My new shop is going to be in a basement and unfortunately considerably smaller, may be 12x16 if I am lucky.
    My wife is quite concerned about the oily smells created when machining. You know, cutting oil, hot WD40, grinding and other hot metal issues.
    So my question to you guys with basement shops, how do you keep your wife happy? Is a simple exhaust fan sufficient, or do you employ a different measures to accomplish, blissful happiness, with a spouse, who has the nose of a Blood hound?

    No !! Trade in the spouse is not an option I am willing to consider…..

    Thanks …..Bert

  • #2
    Bert,I sometimes have to leave my overalls hang outside because the smell bothers my wife so I cannot imagine having a shop in the basement of the house.
    Air purifier?
    Candles?

    Comment


    • #3
      You install ventilation fan and exhaust fan. You may want to get fumes, I guess.
      if you can't take criticism, do the right thing.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have a similar to yours in my basement.
        External venting is necessary. Fortunately, I have two windows in different walls, so I can get some cross ventilation. It helps, but is not perfect.

        My next shop project is to make a set of venting and dust collecting widgets. I hope to use my shop vac to provide the air-movement, make a shroud to fit over one of my windows, with hose connections so I can hook the shroud to the shop vac exhaust (preventing the exhaust from wafting back in), and then a bunch of purpose-built stands/collectors/etc for the relevant tools.

        I also try to arrange work so that my better half is not around when I'm making the worst smells/etc

        Frank

        Comment


        • #5
          Send your address & I'll be over to load up & carry off all those smelly old tools & equip. Probably save your marriage!:rolleyes No thanks needed, glad to do it!
          "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
          world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
          country, in easy stages."
          ~ James Madison

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi all.
            Thanks for all the response so far, I am all ears.
            Don’t let the size of my existing shop mislead you, work in my shop is solely on a hobby scale. So as a consequence, we’re dealing with small scale smells.
            One idea that I had was to build an overhead much like a range hood, and include an exhaust fan as well as some fluorescent lighting and place one each above the lathe and the milling machine. If I do that I will solve two problems, adequate lighting, and exhaust for the smoke and smells that will invariably will come from the machines.

            Flyo! I must say, I am truly overwhelmed by your unselfish generosity toward a complete stranger. The world needs more people such as you. As generous as your offer appears, I must respectfully decline.

            Regards bert

            Comment


            • #7
              I've been in the basement my entire life. You obviously cannot do really big projects, welding is out, and you learn to live with your limitations. I am fortunate to have other facilities available to me for welding, sandblasting, and larger work holding equipment. I have seen amazing work come from a "closet workshop" with mini lathes and mills. The skills are the same, maybe better. In the end, it all depends on what you want. Bob.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by mygrizzly1022 View Post
                My new shop is going to be in a basement and unfortunately considerably smaller, may be 12x16 if I am lucky.
                ...how do you keep your wife happy?
                I love my basement shop. Near perfect HVAC... Never have to walk in the snow to get there... Simply machine without smoking cutting oil, dumping WD40 all over, etc. Some simple long division will show that the cost of either building a new separate shop or divorce lawyers will pay for itself in increased carbide insert lifetime in only 31542351 years of active hobby work. So don't be penny wise and pound foolish by making a $3 insert last twice as long at a mere cost of $150K. None the less, I have a clothes dryer nearby and its quite trivial to flip it into "air dry" mode sucking air outta the basement. It turns out that if you do that while clothes are in the dryer, then the clothes will stink, which is most unfortunate. Also there are innumerable ways to rig a fan up in a basement window, although now we're right back to the penny wise pound foolish thing where an extra $25 of heating/cooling costs plus $5 of coolant might double the life of a $2 insert, so...

                Another strategy is to take up stinkier hobbies then in great graciousness to she who must be obeyed, give up the stinkier hobbies making it very clear to her that the lathe is much less stinky. I used to brew and under ideal conditions that stinks of a bread factory gone wild and under non-ideal conditions if a batch goes bad you really don't want to know. Also I've occasionally butchered some wood aka wanna be carpentry and a nice poly finish can be so profoundly stinky that nothing I could so with my metalworking lathe and mill could possibly compare. I suppose there's taxidermy or venison butchering/sausage making.

                I've had some success with kicking her out of the house, honey you look like you need to go to that scrapbooking class ...

                Three pieces of advice, use every vertical inch, convert a large walk in closet into a shop such that the door can be closed and no one's the wiser (well, easy with sherline sized lathe not so much with a gunsmithing sized lathe) and finally don't store anything on the floor (as soon as you put your most valuable "whatever" on the floor, it guarantees a rain water leak or sump failure or sewer backup)

                I greatly enjoy being 10 feet from a 200 amp service panel, although I don't have the space to utilize such a power source to its full extent.

                I generally try to do anything involving solvents or paints outside or in the unattached garage, even if supposedly fire resistant/proof, although in the winter I'm stuck indoors.

                This is also one of the rare occasions where its advantageous that I married a woman who generally uses the smoke alarm in place of the oven's countdown timer. After a bacon grease fire, or deep fat fried fish stink, skillet cooked steak without a hood, or burnt oven hot pads, there's not much I can do with the mill that can compare.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You could offer to get her an apartment.

                  My wife told me recently she would like to move to her mom's condo. I told her that's fine, but we can't do it unless I can have a real shop again AND another Haas CNC milling machine.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nothing wrong with a basement shop as posted above, it has numerous benefits.

                    Smells can be exhausted by a few methods that would work.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Small exhaust fan + change your cutting oils. the rapidtap cutting oil I use smells rather nice when it vaporises. Just a light oil smell like sniffing a freshly opened bottle of motor oil. Not like sniffing exhaust of an oil burner.

                      Could consider bacon lard :P Smells great! If she complains just start whining every time she cooks something. :P

                      Only thing that sucks is lard goes rancid and can make any accident cuts get badly infected
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mygrizzly1022 View Post
                        Hi all.
                        I am looking at having to seriously downsize my shop. We are in the process of moving and I am going to have to give up a 24 foot by 36 foot shop. My present shop is separate from the house and there in lays my problem. My new shop is going to be in a basement and unfortunately considerably smaller, may be 12x16 if I am lucky.
                        My wife is quite concerned about the oily smells created when machining. You know, cutting oil, hot WD40, grinding and other hot metal issues.
                        So my question to you guys with basement shops, how do you keep your wife happy? Is a simple exhaust fan sufficient, or do you employ a different measures to accomplish, blissful happiness, with a spouse, who has the nose of a Blood hound?

                        No !! Trade in the spouse is not an option I am willing to consider…..

                        Thanks …..Bert
                        A very topical subject and not one that a lot of people want to face up to - but its going to happen to a lot of us - often at short notice.

                        In the case of the OP he is going to have to give up a relatively large shop (24 x 36 = 864 sq. feet) for a smaller one (12 x 16 = 192 sq. feet) which (if he is lucky) will be 192/864 = 22% of his current shop.

                        Even putting the basement problems aside there is going to be a lot of soul-searching and heart-ache to achieve the necessary compromises and "useability" in his new shop.

                        I guess that a lot of "must have" and "can't part with" stuff might have to "go" and some smaller stuff (if it can be fitted in) bought in.

                        I went through this - sort of - about 15 years ago when we demolished the larger shop and had a new one built.

                        My shop is now 36 x 22 (792 sq. feet) with a 24 x 22 (528 sq.feet) attached car-port - a total of 1320 sq. feet) for grinding, welding and other "fresh air" stuff. There is a 5" slab throughout and I have a good gravel drive-way as well. The car and trailer get moved out of the car-port when needed. The car-port is seperated from the shop with/by a 19 x 7 foot roller door.

                        I made a conscious decision that all machinery would be 230v single phase and that most would fit onto steel island benches for ease of installation and removal.

                        The shop is pretty well full now and any new machine will require an existing one to be removed and disposed of.

                        I stuck to those limits rigidly and it has worked very well.

                        The shop is at least 50 feet from the house and has ample fresh air and cross ventilation.

                        We are in a temperate weather zone and the weather is quite mild most of the year with only a relatively few really hot or cold days (and no snow or flooding).

                        Here are some old pics of the new shop and car-port:

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a.../Shed-ext1.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...ne_Covers1.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a.../Shed-ext2.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a.../Shed-ext3.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...hop_tools4.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...hop_tools6.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...hop_tools5.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...hop_tools3.jpg

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...hop_tools2.jpg

                        And here are some of my "Fukung" (Chinese) spanners that I bought in the Far East about about 54 years ago - and they have given excellent service -so if you want to see what a real Fuk*ing chinese spanner looks like - here it is.

                        http://i200.photobucket.com/albums/a...hop_tools1.jpg

                        When I neither can nor want to use the shop and its contents it will be able to be cleared and removed by a contractor is less than 2 days -possibly less.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It might be helpful to seal the basement from the rest of the house. Use caulk and Great Stuff foam to seal all the penetrations through the floor. Use mastic to seal all the duct work joints. Use foam weatherstripping around the door to the basement.

                          Keep the basement air in the basement.

                          Steve

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            At or near the top of the list of smells we all like but spouses not so much is machining lube. I used to use #1 Gold for turning, tapping under power, and so forth. Good stuff for what it was designed to do, but at the tool/work interface it would burn and smoke, and the smell was pervasive and lingering. After investigation, I replaced it with AnchorLube G-771, an all purpose metalworking compound from Anchor Chemical Company in Ohio. I like it. Virtually no odor, and no detectable burning. It is the consistency of mayonnaise, staying where you put it without dripping. On your next order to MMC, you can for just a few bucks get a small (4 oz) bottle of it if you think you might want to give it a try.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              downsize time

                              Hi Bert

                              I hope to go in the opposite direction this year. I am re-grading the back lot to improve drainage and managed to convince SWMBO that a small workshop would be valuable to both our sanities.

                              In your case the ventilation sounds like it will be necessary, and along that line I would suggest an air to air heat exchanger.

                              see:
                              http://makeprojects.com/Project/Heat+Exchanger/279/1

                              The ventilation would be very expensive if your have to throw all the heat out with the smells.
                              I have everything in the basement at present and during the summer I air condition that space as well. Our house is small, 1240 SqFt, and to protect the tools and equipment from rust in our high humidity summers I have found that compared to a dehumidifier the A/C is cheaper... not to mention much more comfortable. The air to air system is still a good idea in the summer.

                              paul
                              Last edited by ironmonger; 02-19-2013, 08:34 PM.
                              paul
                              ARS W9PCS

                              Esto Vigilans

                              Remember, just because you can doesn't mean you should...
                              but you may have to

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