Woodworking and metal working under the same roof
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  1. #1
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    Default Woodworking and metal working under the same roof

    I would have preferred having dedicated spaces for woodworking and metal working but my garage isn't big enough for that. So any tips for how to manage keeping both wood working and metal working in the same space?

    I imagine covering up materials and machines is going to be a pretty normal thing.

    I might try to partition the space using plastic, they did that at TechShop and it worked alright.

  2. #2
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    I'm just setting my shop up.. you'd think that with 2000 square feet I'd be able to separate things but nope. The biggest issues: grinding grit in the machine shop tools, or on milled lumber which makes rust streaks, and welding sparks mixing with sawdust and lumber. I currently have some large welding blankets that I use to cover the mill, lathe, table saw, and shaper when I'm grinding or welding. A good dust collection system, and mindful material storage is critical also. Keep a clean house in other words, it can be done. Further, I keep an extinguisher at arms reach everywhere.
    SD

  3. #3
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    Two main problems: #1- You work with wood and sawdust gets all over everything and into the most remote corner of the shop. You can't blow it all off because the machine surfaces are oily. 2- You work with metal and no matter how many times you brush off & wipe down the workbench, a curly lathe chip will find its way under the board you just planed or sanded. If you're lucky it leaves a divot, if you're like me you'll slide the board around on the bench before you realize what's there and leave a ragged gouge.

    I just try not to do much woodworking any more. On the other hand, if you're into the 'distressed' look you can just drop your boards on the shop floor and walk around on them for a day. Done!

  4. #4
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    As suggested above, dust collection at the source is your best bet -- for any sawing, sanding, or grinding operation.

    I use a central system for wood machines (multiple saws, routers, sanders, wood lathe, etc.) and spot collection for the sand blaster, surface grinder, and the 2 lathes/ 3 mills when machining stuff like cast iron. If it doesn't make a big chip, wood or metal, you want to collect it before it scatters.

    Welding, plasma and gas cutting are another deal. You really need to either take those outside or have a separate space. TIG you might do inside, away from flammables (happy to give you an excuse to buy a TIG rig ).

    Secondary collection with a room filter can help with the really fine stuff.

    Zillions of drawers or closed cabinets can help organize tools and supplies and keep them from collecting dust. Depending upon where you are in CA, you might want to make a small dehumidified or slightly heated space to keep precision tools from rusting.

  5. #5
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    My brother and I shared a shop for a while several years ago; his woodshop was upstairs and my machine shop downstairs. Even with very good dust collection and being on separate floors, my machines were always caked with sawdust.

    I've since moved my shop and I still find big globs of oily sawdust under sheet metal on the machines.

    I'm not sure how to prevent it - dust collection is an obvious must but there's still fine dust that tends to get everywhere, and wood dust and oily machine tools don't really mix. Covers would help, and maybe an air filtration machine.. but really the answer is separate spaces.

  6. #6
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    I use strip curtains to keep wood dust out of my machine shop - works good.

  7. #7
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    If you could use enough dividers and fans to get significant air movement from the metal side to the wood side and then outside that would be nice. Possibly expensive and hard to heat in winter. The real trick is to keep the openings stopped down so you don't lose the airflow to turbulence. eg our small kitchen has a decent extraction fan and I can completely keep bacon smell out of the house if I keep the kitchen inside door closed and the window closed so air draws around the door. The legendary Dan Gelbart's legendary basement machine shop has an inner shop with water jet, a Felder 753 woodworking centre a couple of grinders and sand blasters etc. The outer shop has CNC equipment etc. I think he has separate dust extraction for the Felder and I don't think a huge amount of wood working gets done there. Anyway there are proper weatherstripped doors and it seems to work

  8. #8
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    I just dealt with this. I built a fully enclosed 9x12 room at the back of my garage for my lathe and mill. Woodworking equipment, welder and grinders share the remaining space.

  9. #9
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    Its pretty difficult to keep both process uncontaminated without some sort of physical division like most people here mention. That said, if you do have to share the same space, the type and quality of your dust collection system makes a big difference. Using systems that incorporate HEPA filters rather than the old-school canvas/terry bag filters can reduce the amount of fine particulates in the air and on shop surfaces. If you are using a large central collection system, locating it outside under an awning will reduce the amount of fine dust re-circulated into your space, no matter what kind of filters are being used. Depending on your woodworking equipment, a small high-quality portable collector such as a Festool or Oneida unit with HEPA filter works really well for sanding and other small power tools, although it does require buying in to compatible tools.

    I do both woodworking and machining in the same space but it is very large with lots of air circulation so I do not have too many problems as long as I try to collect most fine dust at the source.

  10. #10
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    I have the same problem: small garage shop. And wood and metal so exist side by side.

    I avoid things like chips on a workbench by not using a bench for wood. I use saw horses and a couple of those combination table, vise, saw horse things. They clean up easily and I have never had a metal chip cause problems.

    As for sawdust, that is a problem. I just vacuum up after a wood project. I guess I could find a couple of old sheets for the lathe and mill, but so far, I just vacuum and wipe.

    Much of my wood is stored in a back shed, along with a lot of metal stock. I just did not have room in the garage-shop for it. So the main enemy there is ordinary dust, not saw dust or chips. Oh, and I spray paint there so things can pick up a bit of the overspray but so far that is not a big problem.

    All in all, it is not as big of a problem as you might think.

  11. #11
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    The woodworking machines will be easier to roll into various positions with rolling bases.
    The metal working machines will develop a thick coat of sludge (saw dust & oil) for year round protection.

  12. #12
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    When I am doing woodworking I have a box fan set on the floor at the edge of the woodworking area aimed TOWARD toe metal working area. The box fan has a HEPA house filter mounted to the back. It is blowing filtered air towards the metalworking area, and that same filtered air circles back to the box fan. This runs the entire time I am doing any woodworking, and several hours afterwards. In addition to this, I have a "bag" filter at whatever machine I am using. The bag is supposed to be a HEPA level filter also.

    Blowing the filtered air to the metalworking area works much better than just trying to collect the dust where produced.


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