Help setting up woodshop in basement. Any electricians here?

Yamahonian

Active Member
As the title suggests, I am would like to embark on building a small woodshop in my basement. I plan to build furniture for the house as a hobby.

I plan to enroll in an online woodworking school, and need to buy the following power tools for the school.

Table Saw
Miter Saw
Jigsaw
Circular Saw
Drill and Impact Driver
Random Orbital Sander

I do not have a garage. The only area in the house that I can use for a woodshop is in the basement. The only access to the basement is from the living room of the house, and the windows do not open. So ventilation is a problem.

From what I have read, the act of sanding creates the most sawdust. So I am planning on buying a cordless sander, and do that work outside, to prevent dust from getting up into the house.

I can get a shop vacuum to attach to the table saw and miter saw to hopefully get most of the dust. The basement is sizeable, and I can lay down a large tarp on the floor to help with cleanup.

The issue I see is that the house was built in 1980, and the outlets in the basement just look old and like they have never been used. All of the power tools above can be bought cordless, except for the table saw and the miter saw (while they do come as cordless, they are very expensive). How can I test if these outlets are safe to plug a table saw or shop vacuum into?

I am obviously concerned about a basement fire, that would be devastating to the house. I am not sure if there is a simple way to test if the outlets are functioning safely to accept a table saw, or I need to have an electrician come out. I plan to sell the house later this year, so I am not looking to do any upgrades to the electric system at this time.

Aside from the possible problem with the electric outlets taking a table saw, what are the other concerns for using the basement as the woodshop? Will the sawdust be manageable with just a shop vac, considering there is no other ventilation?

I am new to all of this. I don't want to burn down the house!

If we think the basement is just a bad idea, then I will wait until I eventually live somewhere with a garage.

I also live in PA, so it gets humid in the summer. The basement is unfinished, unheated, and gets moisture in the air. I don't plan to buy more lumbar than needed for any given project. Will the tools be OK in this environment?

Thanks for reading and commenting!!!
 

fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
well you need dust collection no matter one so a dust collector is a must. maybe a air filter too. but you can also wear a mask too. since power tools are not on unless you're using them a fire should not be an issue. depending on the wood your using the longer it sits around the better so it is dry. but it depends on what woods you are using and how they are dried.
just plug a tool in and see if it works either it will or a breaker would pop. Had a plug short out last week killed my breaker box and caught on fire. but still the breaker box took care of it. shop vacs work ok as long as you get a good filter on it. this guy works fairly well https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-...-Filter-Hose-and-Accessories-HD1800/304795088
 

alphacarina

Active Member
Region
USA
well you need dust collection no matter one so a dust collector is a must. maybe a air filter too . . . .
Oh, I agree 100% - In a closed basement without opening windows, my first purchase would be a system designed for woodworking tools which collects all dust woodworking tools generate and vent it to outdoors if at all possible - If not, something that filters the air to keep you from breathing the dust would be absolutely necessary. The dust from many types of wood is very toxic to humans and other air breathing mammals

If you don't mind wearing a mask (and would actually do it) then something as simple and inexpensive as this $200 Harbor Freight unit might be all you'd need . . . . but any unit which vents to outdoors would still be better


Have an electrician check out your outlets - You may need him anyway to install a 240 volt outlet for a good table saw

Don
 

scrambler

Active Member
Find out what breaker or breakers feed your basement outlets, and see if they are 15 Amps or 20 Amps.
If you have more than one breaker feeding the basement, label the outlets, so you can distribute the load when running several machines at once.
And label the power of the breaker if 20Amps, to know which will be wired with the biggest wire.

That said, unless the house was built improperly, Wiring should match the breakers, so that if you were to pull too much power on any of them they would trip rather than burn the wire (breakers are there and sized to protect the wires).

If you will be running a high power device for long continuous periods, you may want to inspect your outlets and see if they are of the push lock type (where the wire is simply pushed into a tiny hole), or the screw type where the wire is actually screwed in.
The later is better for long sustained use, so if you will be doing long sustained high power draw, and you have push lock outlets, you may want to replace them by new screw type ones. While you are at it inspect them to see if they look in good condition.
Replace any that would have burned marks.
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
most of woodworking tools don't have long hard power draws. a shop vac would be one but they are not that many amps. a ablest only when your pushing wood through.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
What, you're building wooden ebikes?! I would think on all of the internet there would be a forum somewhere for woodworkers that might be better than this one for knowledgeable help on the subject of woodworking shops and tools. If you find it, be sure to ask them what kind of ebike you ought to buy.

aceteam.jpg

TT
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
As the title suggests, I am would like to embark on building a small woodshop in my basement. I plan to build furniture for the house as a hobby.

I plan to enroll in an online woodworking school, and need to buy the following power tools for the school.

Table Saw
Miter Saw
Jigsaw
Circular Saw
Drill and Impact Driver
Random Orbital Sander

I do not have a garage. The only area in the house that I can use for a woodshop is in the basement. The only access to the basement is from the living room of the house, and the windows do not open. So ventilation is a problem.

From what I have read, the act of sanding creates the most sawdust. So I am planning on buying a cordless sander, and do that work outside, to prevent dust from getting up into the house.

I can get a shop vacuum to attach to the table saw and miter saw to hopefully get most of the dust. The basement is sizeable, and I can lay down a large tarp on the floor to help with cleanup.

The issue I see is that the house was built in 1980, and the outlets in the basement just look old and like they have never been used. All of the power tools above can be bought cordless, except for the table saw and the miter saw (while they do come as cordless, they are very expensive). How can I test if these outlets are safe to plug a table saw or shop vacuum into?

I am obviously concerned about a basement fire, that would be devastating to the house. I am not sure if there is a simple way to test if the outlets are functioning safely to accept a table saw, or I need to have an electrician come out. I plan to sell the house later this year, so I am not looking to do any upgrades to the electric system at this time.

Aside from the possible problem with the electric outlets taking a table saw, what are the other concerns for using the basement as the woodshop? Will the sawdust be manageable with just a shop vac, considering there is no other ventilation?

I am new to all of this. I don't want to burn down the house!

If we think the basement is just a bad idea, then I will wait until I eventually live somewhere with a garage.

I also live in PA, so it gets humid in the summer. The basement is unfinished, unheated, and gets moisture in the air. I don't plan to buy more lumbar than needed for any given project. Will the tools be OK in this environment?

Thanks for reading and commenting!!!
Beyond a dust collection unit already mentioned
I sell the equipment you are asking for a living everyday, and an absolute necessity for your setup is going to be this.

Air Filtration System
There are many brands of these, just get a good one, if you have a wife your going to thank me, because when that sawdust gets into the rest of the house, you are going to hear about it, I have from customers that started a workshop in attached garage's or basement, and it gets into the rest of the house. Using a dust collector with proper CFM and Air filtration unit will get rid all your sawdust issues.
 

Marcela

Well-Known Member
I took a floor fan like you get at the local discount store and made a couple brackets and attached a 20 x 20 air filter to it. Instant air filtration system, and you have a choice of micron filtration with the multiple air filter choices at the store. Not the attachment to tool type but works good for general filtration.

I would prefer dedicated 20 amp outlets.
 

Yamahonian

Active Member
Beyond a dust collection unit already mentioned
I sell the equipment you are asking for a living everyday, and an absolute necessity for your setup is going to be this.

Air Filtration System
There are many brands of these, just get a good one, if you have a wife your going to thank me, because when that sawdust gets into the rest of the house, you are going to hear about it, I have from customers that started a workshop in attached garage's or basement, and it gets into the rest of the house. Using a dust collector with proper CFM and Air filtration unit will get rid all your sawdust issues.

Thanks a lot for your post. I've spent the afternoon learning about dust collection.

As I mentioned, my basement has absolutely no ventilation to the outdoors (no windows, and no exterior door). The only entrance is through the living room. I will add that the AC system is also in the basement, and I have a forced air AC throughout the house, though I have no idea how the AC system actually works, and if it sucks air (and potentially sawdust) from the basement.

I plan to do some hobbyist woodworking, building furniture, etc.

Do you think a 5HP shop vac:


Plus a cyclone dust collector:


Plus an air filtration system, like the one you recommended:


-or- a cheaper air filtration system like this one on Amazon


Would be sufficient for dust collection in my basement?

Maybe all this, plus a good dehumidifier, is all that I need?

I live in PA, so it gets humid.

I'll get pictures of my electric box tomorrow.

Thank you to all

@6zfshdb @Ebiker33 @J.R. @Mike TowpathTraveler
 

Ebiker33

Well-Known Member
I recommend something like this if you can afford it.
Air Scrubber
Of coarse the WEN one on Amazon is better than nothing.
What you propose for dust suction isn't bad but no 4" hose is an issue it cuts your CFM way down, forget about the posted horsepower on utility vacs; they do very creative math to get there.
[A X V = W / 746 = HP]
It's the CFM rating that matters the higher the better. Something like this is ideal for a small shop.
Dust Collector
Of coarse if you plan to run multiple tools off of it at the same time you will need and even bigger version like this
Larger Dust Collector
Note the CFM difference, yet only 1.5 HP at 1280 CFM yet that Rigid machine says it's only 110 CFM at 5HP, fuzzy math on that HP as I said.
 
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Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Sorry... Not trying to rain on your parade.
But having a sealed room with no outside air exchange or ability to exhaust coupled with a Forced Air HVAC system in the same room is just asking for trouble. I don't care what filtration you put in... DUST WILL BE EVERYWHERE. Not to mention it is probably a code violation and fire hazard.
Do you have an area on your property to build a little outside workshop... If so I think that a much better, though more expensive solution.
As for the electrical... You should be ok as a home built to code in the 80s should be wired sufficiently to run a small power tools.
That said it all depends on wiring practices as the basement outlets can be tied to outlets in the rest of the home. The only way to know what you have is to shut the breaker to the basement outlets and see what else turn off with them and determine what load if any is on that circuit/circuits.
 
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Latitude

Well-Known Member
I have a wood workshop set up in my basement (Sketch attached). Although I do have an outside window in it, the dust collection is internal. Each machine is connected to a central dust collection unit (both it and the 8” jointer require 220 volt power supply). An air cleaner fan is also pretty much essential, such as the self-contained units described/shown here. In my case, I bought a barn-style ventilation fan and installed it through a wall, with a double furnace filter on the intake side. Both these units do a great job of controlling dust.
By my workbench, I have an air suction hose that can be attached to tools like sanders, router, biscuit joiner, etc. There is also a floor intake that I can sweep shavings, etc into.
I have a full range of hand power tools, most of which I have had for over 20 years. More recently, I have added many cordless tools, as they are just so much more convenient to take outside as well. Stick with the same brand to save on batteries/chargers.

150F3830-D269-404B-AE1B-1D98C168DE91.jpeg
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
I have a wood workshop set up in my basement (Sketch attached). Although I do have an outside window in it, the dust collection is internal. Each machine is connected to a central dust collection unit (both it and the 8” jointer require 220 volt power supply). An air cleaner fan is also pretty much essential, such as the self-contained units described/shown here. In my case, I bought a barn-style ventilation fan and installed it through a wall, with a double furnace filter on the intake side. Both these units do a great job of controlling dust.
By my workbench, I have an air suction hose that can be attached to tools like sanders, router, biscuit joiner, etc. There is also a floor intake that I can sweep shavings, etc into.
I have a full range of hand power tools, most of which I have had for over 20 years. More recently, I have added many cordless tools, as they are just so much more convenient to take outside as well. Stick with the same brand to save on batteries/chargers.

View attachment 84541
Nice workshop!
The exhaust fan in the furnace wall... I can't tell where it's supply air is coming from. The door?
 

Latitude

Well-Known Member
Nice workshop!
The exhaust fan in the furnace wall... I can't tell where it's supply air is coming from. The door?
Thanks, yes the air comes through the door or in warmer weather, the window. I wanted to also keep the window free to be able to bring lumber in through it.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Please move to Off Topic, there are countless websites and forums for woodworking that would be a better resource. Although I have been a woodworker for 48 years, half of those professionally, I don't need to read about this in General eBike Discussions. By the way, everything you show concerns about will become an issue (I assume you knew that since you asked). A damp basement will take constant maintenance on the cast iron machinery to prevent rust.
 

Gionnirocket

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Y. O.
Thanks, yes the air comes through the door or in warmer weather, the window. I wanted to also keep the window free to be able to bring lumber in through it.
Very well done. It seems you spared no expense as necessary.
I'm a fan of creating a negative pressure and exhausting out but I understand why you did what you did and it seems to be working.
Please move to Off Topic, there are countless websites and forums for woodworking that would be a better resource. Although I have been a woodworker for 48 years, half of those professionally, I don't need to read about this in General eBike Discussions.
I'm sure you'll be ok.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Very well done. It seems you spared no expense as necessary.
I'm a fan of creating a negative pressure and exhausting out but I understand why you did what you did and it seems to be working.

I'm sure you'll be ok.
Thanks for that BS comment. Why don’t we remove all the titles and have 1 forum to look at?
 
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fooferdoggie

Well-Known Member
Sorry... Not trying to rain on your parade.
But having a sealed room with no outside air exchange or ability to exhaust coupled with a Forced Air HVAC system in the same room is just asking for trouble. I don't care what filtration you put in... DUST WILL BE EVERYWHERE. Not to mention it is probably a code violation and fire hazard.
ya did not see that. you would need get an exceptional dc setup but it is going to be big and need plumed in. this may do it but it needs 220v https://www.oneida-air.com/dust-collectors/new-systems/supercell but every tool would need decent dust collection and not all do.
 

alphacarina

Active Member
Region
USA
Although I have been a woodworker for 48 years, half of those professionally, I don't need to read about this in General eBike Discussions.
I don't see where you have to click on any discussion you don't need to read about, no matter where on the forum it's located, but obviously you wanted to add something to this one, so you did. BTW - Not all basements are necessarily damp. I have half dozen cast iron wood working machines in my basement for the past 15 years and rust has never been a problem, even though my unheated basement is well ventilated to the outside, high humidity Mississippi Gulf Coast air. In my unprofessional, uneducated opinion, a basement is an excellent place for woodworking tools, provided it's properly ventilated - If a woodworking hobby required a separate building, there'd be far fewer of us amateurs able to participate

Don