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What do you do about dust in the workshop?
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Nebraska, United States
Member Since: April 09, 2005
entire network: 99 Posts
KitMaker Network: 0 Posts
Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 07:33 AM UTC
I have a pretty decent workshop setup in the basement of our rather aged house, but am encountering a problem that I suspect I am not alone in experiencing. The basement has a substantial problem with dust accumulation, which is a real pain when I leave my projects alone for a few days or weeks. I change the furnace filters regularly, but don't know what else to do--any recommendations from others with the same problem? Anyone use any special air purifiers, or the like? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: December 15, 2007
entire network: 63 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 07:43 AM UTC
Maybe put a filter on the heating duct opening into the room, so it'll pick up any dust that the furnace filter doesn't catch. If you want to spend some coin, you could get one of those ionic air purifiers as well to grab dust out of the air. If you go that route though, do a lot of research because there are a lot of scam units out there that don't do much of anything.

You also say it's in the basement of an older house. Is the room finished, in that there's drywall on all the walls and such? If not, and ceiling is bare, you may be getting a lot of dust filtering through from above. If that's the case, putting up some insulation and then the vapor barrier will stop a lot of dust from above.
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Connecticut, United States
Member Since: December 31, 2007
entire network: 47 Posts
KitMaker Network: 7 Posts
Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 08:38 AM UTC
You may try getting one of the 3M air purifiers which utilise a removable filter element, set it in an area near your workbench and let it filter the air in the basement.

Beyond that, the previous poster's recommendation too.
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Nebraska, United States
Member Since: April 09, 2005
entire network: 99 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 08:38 AM UTC
Thanks for the ideas. The room in the basement where the workshop is located is semi-finished--the ceiling is enclosed with acoustic tiles and there is drywall on the walls. Our washer and dryer is also in the room, and the outlet of the dryer enters an enclosed duct in the wall and empties....I know not where. I have no idea where the dryer vents to, for all I know there is 2 feet of dryer lint in the attic. I cannot locate a vent to the outside.
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New York, United States
Member Since: February 28, 2002
entire network: 5,957 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 09:19 AM UTC
I think you have an Awnser............ The moisture isn;t a good thing for the Attic!!!!
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Colorado, United States
Member Since: December 25, 2004
entire network: 3,770 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 10:36 AM UTC
Something similar to this would be invaluable:

It can be set on a bench or hung from the ceiling. It's my intent to get this one or one similar down the road once I've determined where my "kitting" area will be.


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Wisconsin, United States
Member Since: September 20, 2006
entire network: 319 Posts
KitMaker Network: 184 Posts
Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 01:07 PM UTC
Well there are several things you can do.

Clean the area often, vacuum and dust frequently.

If your work area is unpainted, paint the walls and ceiling. This will seal any holes and openings that will collect dust which will drop as you walk on the floors upstairs.

Make sure you have somewhere between 40-50% humidity in the basement.

You also might want to build or get yourself some enclosed storage cabinets to keep your projects in as well as your tools and paints.

An air purifier will help, but it too can stir any particulates that may be hanging around. A little breeze can send a whole lot of debris onto a freshly painted surface.

Think of your workshop as a operating room, clean and sterile, well not exactly but sterile but clean. I clean my workshop frequently, about once every week to ten days. Its amazing how much crap I vacuum up each time. Painting creates a great deal of dust in itself. The more I paint the more I need to vacuum and dust. Even with an exhaust system and air purifier running there is still dust.

In the winter with the drier air stuff sticks to ones shoes more, thus you track in stuff easier. I try to keep a pair of slippers outside my workshop door, that I wear in the shop and no where else. This keeps the wife happy...I don't risk the chance of tracking paint or other sticky stuff through the rest of the house. Yes, it is important to wear something on your feet, not only to keep them warm but to also protect.

Ever step on a piece of PE fret? I did. Never felt a thing until I noticed a wet spot in my sock after I had walked from one end of the house to the other. I was bleeding! A rather large piece of PE fret sliced into my foot...deep! OUCH! Thank goodness I had a good pair of tweezers! Anyway that's a little off topic but important that doing this keep you from bringing stuff into the workshop as well.
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Rhode Island, United States
Member Since: November 28, 2007
entire network: 23 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 01:31 PM UTC
As a real cheap filtration system that works quite well. Go buy, unless you already have one, a three speed box fan. Then get a furnace filter that is about the same size and duct tape the filter to the intake side of the fan. Change the filters when needed. You may need to leave it running for a while initially or do an exceptional cleaning job of your work area first. Once you have the dust pretty much under control the fan should take care of things from then on. If you forget to use it once though you will end up back at square one.
hope this helps.
Take care.
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Member Since: December 13, 2004
entire network: 2,192 Posts
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 03:32 PM UTC
I don't have this problem, as I run British motorcycles, so the leaking oil keeps the dust down!
Seriously though, the easiest/cheapest method is paint the walls & ceiling with masonry paint, this stops muck falling from the ceiling, & dust from the walls. If you use white it will brighten the old place up too! There's really no substitute for regular cleaning if you want the area dust free in my book.
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Western Australia, Australia
Member Since: June 05, 2007
entire network: 2,166 Posts
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Posted: Monday, January 07, 2008 - 12:15 AM UTC

I have quiet a problem with dust and grot while modelling in the shed. I simply turn on the old desk fan while I am modelling so that dust does not settle in the wet paint/sculpt. I leave it on for a few hours until drying time is complete.