Advice wanted from basement dwellers!

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Forum topic by Brad_Nailor posted 02-18-2019 11:59 PM 1255 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2545 posts in 5454 days

02-18-2019 11:59 PM

Topic tags/keywords: basement shop setup basement shop

Hey strangers! Haven’t been on here in a real long time but I see a lot of the same guys from the last time I posted.

I recently sold my house and bought another, relocating my shop from a 1 car under the house garage to an unfinished basement. The main thing I am concerned about is my shop will be sharing the same space as the oil fired furnace and hot water heater. If the furnace is running it will be drawing in combustion air from its surroundings…the same air I am filling with wood dust. I have decent dust collection..a 1 1/2 hp D/C I will be rolling up to the larger machines, and a shop vac for the smaller tools. I also have a whole room hanging air filter, that will basically scrub the entire room 4-5 times an hour. Are any other guys out there set up in a similar situation? I have the usual suspects for equipment and also some good dust makers like a drum sander. I would post pics but this basement is raw and I have to run A/C and put up lights first just to see WTF I’m doing! I was thinking of just switching the furnace off while I was working, then let the dust settle and the air filter work..but that might be a problem in the winter if I’m working for long stretches.

I am excited to get my shop going again and I will have about twice as much space as I had before. I hope to be able to work by just walking up to a machine..maybe attaching a D/C, and turning it on…no more setting up and breaking down. Eventually I hope to buy a Dust Gorilla and just pipe it to every machine….but head clearance in a basement is limited at best!

Any advice on this issue and anything else anyone might have to offer about setting up shop in the basement is welcome!

Thanks in advance


10 replies so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


9699 posts in 2209 days

#1 posted 02-19-2019 01:03 AM

so your plan is to condition this space ?
if not your fine your return line should not be drawing from basement anyway :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View evilboweivel's profile


3 posts in 1229 days

#2 posted 02-19-2019 01:48 AM

I recommend building walls completely around your furnace and hot water tank.
seal the door good and install a make up air pipe from the outside that is larger than the flue.
If not wanting to do this then install the pipe from the outside and put a filter over the outside of the furnace where combustion air is drawn.

as to what I have had for the last 20 years is a 4” pipe ran straight to the return air duct for make up air
started with a 2hp 2 bag dust collector, currently running that along with a 3hp 4 bag dust collector both sucking thru a sheet metal cyclone that is ducted with 6” 30 gauge pipe to shaper, tablesaw, radial arm saw, bandsaw, jointer, planer, and wide belt sander.

just added a shop vac with a clear vue cyclone hooked to 2” sch 40 pvc to 5 ports over and around workbench and 3 more in shop. used for routers and sanders

have a used takeout furnace fan under 1/2 of the workbench with 2 24×24x12 bag filters with 2 24×24x4 fiberglass prefilters, this fan runs when I first walk into the shop and is left on overnight to a week if I have run the sander.

natural gas furnace, natural gas hot water heater are both in corner of room. no dust problem with either

furnace fan does run all the time with an electronic air cleaner due to wife’s allergies, she can walk into the shop when I am working with no problems unless I was sanding, with the shop vacuum add, only time she has a problem is if the wide belt sander is running

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5454 days

#3 posted 02-19-2019 12:00 PM

Thanks for the response. The return air for the system is drawing from upstairs, but I am concerned with the combustion air that draws from the basement space through punched holes in the metal sides of the furnace cabinet.

Evilboweivel thanks for the isn’t feasible for me to wall in the furnace and HWH. I was also thinking of taping filters over the openings in the furnace. A friend who does HVAC also said I could close up all the punched openings and pipe in combustion air from outside and connect it to the furnace.

This is only a problem in the winter because in the summer the fan will only be running not the boiler..

I am hoping that it wont be a problem..if it draws in some wood dust it will just burn it in the combustion chamber. I plan on getting the furnace cleaned every summer anyways..


View BlueRidgeDog's profile


923 posts in 1276 days

#4 posted 02-19-2019 12:21 PM

I have worked in basements for years and only make an allowance to not use finishes when the heating system is running. Good dust management as you have already established will sort out the rest. I will add that I generally don’t sand much and never with power equipment. I try and get a good finish with planes and scrapers and “if” I do need to get out a power tool to sand (I hate hate hate it) then I often go to an outside table. My wood working journey has been the elimination of sanding more or less…can stand the dust, the noise and the closed pore finish it creates on the wood.

View theart's profile


233 posts in 2051 days

#5 posted 02-19-2019 05:42 PM

A friend who does HVAC also said I could close up all the punched openings and pipe in combustion air from outside and connect it to the furnace.

This would be the ideal solution if you can do it with your furnace. Dust issues aside, you’ll get fewer drafts around your doors and windows because the furnace won’t be generating a negative air pressure.

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7232 posts in 4691 days

#6 posted 02-19-2019 06:44 PM


It’s good to hear from you again….What’s it been….a year or two..? Glad to hear you’re back on track with your woodworking….I can’t help you with the question you asked, but saying hey, and hope you’ll stick around.

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View MNgary's profile


318 posts in 3914 days

#7 posted 02-19-2019 11:00 PM

Does the combustion air get exhausted via a chimney?

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5454 days

#8 posted 02-20-2019 01:45 PM

MNgary—yes its flue’d to a conventional cinder block chimney

Rick Hey how are you? Good to hear from you…. I have been woodworking since last time I posted, but had lost interest in the site due to the high volume of political bull**. I want to give it another try..I miss seeing everyone’s work and discussing techniques and getting advice from guys that are doing the same thing I am! I will be posting some work I have been doing the last few years. My shop was in storage from Aug of 2017 till Oct 2017 while I looked for a new house and moved in ..and I’m just starting to get it set up in my new place.


View lew's profile


13547 posts in 5252 days

#9 posted 02-21-2019 12:39 AM

I’ve had my shop in the basement for 50 years. I have the same furnace/water heater setup you mentioned. Air is circulated from the living area upstairs thru return ducts to the furnace and back. Never had a problem.

As for dust control I have a WEN air cleaner for the shop atmosphere and a Delta dust collector hooked up to the power tools.

I also built a basement window exhaust fan from a furnace blower motor. This fan is the only thing I need to take precautions with. I cannot run the fan while the furnace is firing because the fan has enough force to pull furnace fumes back down the chimney.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View WoodenDreams's profile


1630 posts in 1408 days

#10 posted 02-22-2019 07:01 AM

You didn’t mention which “whole room air filter” (Air Filtration System) you are using. Was curious.

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