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Input On Studio Setup


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#1 g-bus

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 05:45 PM

Rather than hijack another thread about this topic I thought I'd start fresh. Been working on setting up my studio in my basement. Other option was my shop (shed) but due to lack of water and probably not enough power to handle a kiln I opted for my basement. I've had plans for a long time to make it a bit more.....appealing, and now have some additional motivation. It's unfinished and is about half crawlspace, which is open to the rest of the basement. Block walls, fairly low ceiling as well, roughly 28' x 18'. Have a plan for a sort of drop ceiling to make it a little bit nicer (less places for spiders to hang out. They really start to take over if I don't keep on them) but cant go too low due to the really low ceilings. It does get a little bit of moisture when we get some heavy rain, going to do some better grading around the foundation and thinking about using some Drylock, at least on the lower half of the walls. Maybe just a good primer and paint on the rest to brighten it up. Also plan to paint the floor. Lot of stuff down there being stored so space is limited, but I'm working on clearing some things out. Have a utility sink which I'll make a trap for, and no drain but there is a sump crock. Clay is probably not the best thing for the pump, but I doubt much will end up in there. So couple of concerns: my washer and dryer are there, right next to the sink and near where I've been working. Should I consider framing out a sort of closet for them to keep dust out of that area? Maybe some sort of temporary walls even. I don't know if people have found this to be much of an issue or not. My other concern is that my oil tank and furnace are down there. They're on the far side from where I plan to place the kiln, but wasn't sure if having these things in the same space was a big no-no. I don't really see it being so, but just wanted to be clear on that. Couldn't find any info on this. I could also wall those off if needed. Might anyways just to make it look cleaner, and more wall space would give me some more vertical storage. Going to install a downdraft vent for the kiln and probably a vent fan in the window as well. Basically just want a nasty old 1950's basement more comfortable to be in. Any thoughts on how to best deal with this and the furnace and washer/dryer thing would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!



#2 oldlady

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 08:55 PM

my first studio was in the basement of my cape cod house.  the entire house was 20x30 feet.  depth 20, stairway in the center so the studio was about 12x20.  the floor joists for the living room were 7 feet above the concrete floor.   the oil tank was built into a cheap wood panel box so it was not visible.  that took 8x3 of the room so there were 12x17 big feet available.    the 1940 oil boiler for the radiators was in the center of the 20 ft measurement and not really close to the center wall where the stairway was.  there was a heavy table built in  (of 4x4 legs and 2x6) top  3 feet wide that ran the entire long wall.  the aisle between it and the boiler was my stand up workspace.. the water heater was also there.   after freezing in the unheated space for the first winter, i added a box type wood stove using the water heater chimney.

 

did not leave much room.   this is where i learned about the need for a higher amperage electrical box.  the 1940 original fuse box was replaced with a 150 amp circuit breaker box.   with no ceiling in that area, when the humidity reached the right point and the fan was running, it would rain, water dripping from the copper pipes running to the radiators.  

 

i had a wheel and a kiln at the time.  no problems with anything in that space.  the washer and dryer were on the other side of the basement.  

 

one of the things done right by the original builder was the placement of a swale around the building itself.  this is just a wide, low trench which did not even look like a trench or ditch.  it worked during heavy rains to let water turn aside from the actual foundation about 12 feet uphill from the house.  there was no obvious slope down to the house but it was there and without a swale to redirect the water, it would have ended up against the basement walls.  a french drain is very effective if you are going to dig anyway. 

 

i do not think anything will be negatively affected by your studio setup except for dust.  just wash things often and work clean.  put a door or wall between your studio and the washer and dryer.

 

look at the studio Mea created in her basement.  really well thought out and efficient.  that post was from last year.

 

happy building. 


"putting you down does not raise me up."

#3 bciskepottery

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 09:06 PM

Are you planning to vent the kiln to the outside? You need to consider that; you don't want fumes from firings wafting up into your living spaces. Dehumidifier will help manage moisture levels and help dry floors after you have wet mopped. As to the washer/dryer, your significant other/spouse (if there is one) might appreciate that area being walled off . . . clay dust has a way of finding itself all over the place. And if you hang shirts, pants while waiting for other things to dry in the dryer, you risk getting the clean items dirty. Avoid clay in the sump; it's not the water, but the fine clay and other stuff getting lodged in the pump itself that can do damage. Before moving to the garage, I worked in our basement. Tracking clay dust up the stairs was always a problem.

#4 GEP

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Posted 26 August 2014 - 10:18 PM

look at the studio Mea created in her basement. really well thought out and efficient. that post was from last year.

Thanks oldlady ... here is my blog post about my studio renovation last year:
http://www.goodeleph...io-of-my-dreams

g-bus, my laundry machines are right next to the sink I use for the pottery studio. But these are on the opposite end of the basement from the clay work areas. I find the laundry machines do not get dusty at all. I do try to keep the studio clean, can proudly say I just thoroughly cleaned the floors. If you are the type to go years in between cleanings, then yes your laundry machines will probably show it.

Also, my boiler and water heater are in the same basement, and I've had no problem with those either. I don't have an oil tank (I have a natural gas line) so I don't know if that would create any issues, though I doubt it would.

EDIT: regarding bciske's comment about tracking dust into your living area ... I keep my studio shoes (Crocs) at the bottom of the stairs, put them on and take them off there. My cat still tracks little dusty paw prints upstairs sometimes.
Mea Rhee
Good Elephant Pottery
http://www.goodelephant.com

#5 Mark C.

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 12:48 AM

My sTudio is a short walk from the house but keeping ones clay shoes out of the house and in the mud room is key to keeping clay out of house (we live in a shoeless house as well).

Mark


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#6 clay lover

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 06:52 AM

I must not be potting hard enough.  I can't figure how you guys get your shoes that dusty.  I don't have dust and don't mop very often.  Maybe because I open both front and back doors whenever possible and often have a good breeze through? Or I walk through the grass in the yard to get to the house?



#7 g-bus

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 07:51 AM

Ok, thanks. I didn't really think having a kiln in the same room as an oil tank would be a big deal. If it was a potential fire risk I figure they wouldn't put the furnace 5 feet away from it. It will be vented to the outside. I have 2 small windows, one which has the dryer vent going through it already so I'll just pop another hole in that one, and make a hole for a small vent fan as well. Have a back door too if it gets really bad down there. Good call on the dust though. I'll get a cheap runner for the steps and a door mat or something as well. Now I just have to find something to do with all of the crap that's down there so I can make some more room.



#8 oldlady

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Posted 27 August 2014 - 10:37 PM

one more thing.  recently there was a thread about notifying your insurance company about the presence of a kiln on your property..check that out, too.


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