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johnsoncrystal7

Pottery Studio in same basement as Treadmill/home gym

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We are moving and in my old home the temperature was warm enough year round to keep my pottery studio in the garage. We purchased a new home in a colder state and I have been really excited that this home has an unfinished basement because it gets very cold in the winter here. The basement is about 900 sq ft and is one large unfinished room. I am going to have to keep my treadmill/home gym equipment in this basement which I use daily and I just started to realize that the combination of clay dust and a home gym in the same room is probably a terrible idea (even if the gym is on one end and the studio on the other). It's going to be a while before I can finish the basement and close off separate rooms. I keep my studio pretty clean and mop when I am done. Would you be worried enough about sucking in silica on your daily runs to move your studio to a freezing cold garage instead? 

The other problem is that the furnace/HVAC system is in the basement and it is not currently in a separate room because it is unfinished. Should I be concerned with the silica getting spread through the air of the house?

I really don't want silicosis, any suggestions are helpful thanks!

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You're not going to get silicosis, especially since you are so worried about it.  It is rare and there are way worse things for your health you'll experience while having a home studio. 

My studio is in an unheated shed in Seattle, it will be in the 20s this week.  I cope by using a crock pot as a throwing water dish, and firing up the buddy heater for a while before I sit down to work.  It's not that bad, but I am not a picky person.

I'd rather have my studio unattached to my living space if at all possible, just because it's a mess even when it's clean, the moisture, the oxides and carbonates we use, etc.  I once got a smidge of licorice glaze (high RIO) on my Crocs and tracked a dot of it into the house, and I swear to God I still hear about it almost every time I walk in the door.  So yeah, I try to keep all of that outside.  It also keeps my kids out of it.

 

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Ya know a quick 2x4 framing and some Sheetrock is really not that hard to toss up and you can deal with the float/tape, baseboards and painting later. Just stay 18" on center and use a cheap pre-hung  door from home depot. It can be as little as a half day project and probably cost a couple hundred bucks, maybe just take a 10x10 bite out of one corner so you just need 2 walls and the door. Even adding in a window so it doesn't feel like a closet isn't hard. just a thought. Otherwise just toss a blanket or plastic over the equipment when not in use. Not sure it will hurt it though. We have had a flat screen TV mounted on the wall in the studio for years and it hasn't bothered it as far as I can tell. Used to keep the remotes in clear plastic bags but even stopped doing that a few years ago.

As far as the studio dangers I think wiping down and regular mopping is about all you can do but as Liam said you don't hear about home potters getting the bad stuff and some spend a lot of time in their studios. 

Edited by Stephen

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1 minute ago, oldlady said:

stephen, i believe the building code calls for 16 inches on center for walls.   nearly everything is standard 4 foot  measurements, plywood, drywall so the 16 inch  fits.

whoops, you are of course right. Non load bearing can be 24" but 18" would be goofy, thanks for pointing that out! Measuring some cuts this morning of a foot and a foot and a half so 12" and 18" are on my mind. 

OP If you do it I would highly recommend spending some time on YouTube. There are a lot of folks who take the time to walk you through the process and talk about code. The windows and doors have a framing routine to add strength. It really is a pretty simple project and since non load bearing you can't really mess much up. Just make sure the walls are anchored to studs My projects in the NW had wood floors and your basement may be concrete so there is that as far as anchoring the bottom studs but very doable.

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I think the stuff tends up in glazes is worse than silica.  Just keep the dust down, dust with a wet cloth, and never sweep just mop.

When I moved to VA I worked out of my basement with thick plastic hung up for my drying room and my wheel room for 4 months.  I had the same company build my house and my pottery at the same time.  The house was done first due to the wife.

1/2 dry wall is cheaper than MDF paneling.  Think about long term layout before you begin.  It's better to add walls later than to try to move walls.

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I think hanging a heavy weight piece of plastic would give your equipment enough protection,   I also have a television in my studio for eleven years and haven't had any problems with the dust affecting it.   They make a canvas for painters that has  vinyl on one side,  I guess it all depends on what you can find.  Are you firing in your basement?  Many potters have had a basement studio including me so if you have any questions you will get a lot of help.    Denice

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Hi 7!

So nice to park the cars inside. That said, some insulation and a small gas heater+flue might make your garage a studio option.

Your basement hvac unit should be pulling from and pushing back to the living space; the air it consumes, if a gas burner, should be for combustion and therefore has to pull air from somewhere to make up for what goes up the flue; my guess, if it's dusty enough down there to be a problem for the hvac, it's much too dusty.

Corralling clay and glaze - before it dries - with sponges, mop, etc. is working fairly well for me. I've lots of shelving now; watching the accumulation of dust after a thorough wipedown seems like a good way to monitor how much dust is being generated, which helps motivate me to stay on the cleanup program.

Clothes and shoes for the studio that stay there is the other part o' strategy I'll mention; it's a pain, but not so bad once established as a habit. Put in a studio bathroom if you can, heh.

Edited by Hulk
two o in too

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Denice

I used bagged clay for 4 moths and just stock piled my work.  I wanted plenty of work ready for testing the new kilns and to have Items to sell once me moved into the pottery.

 

There are safe ways to put a kiln in your basement.  I would look at what it takes to build a 2 hour fire proof walls for the kiln room, talk to the building department for needed permits, and talk to your insurance company.  I would hate to see something like a kiln issue causing damage and not being covered due to the kiln.  It might be better to get a small shed for the kiln as it would keep your liability down and not heat up your house during the summer.

At my pottery my kiln room (LP) is set off the building by a 10' covered walkway.  My insurance company and my fire department like the gap between the 2 buildings. 

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OP, why not put the running machine in the garage, since it helps you create your own heat?

I think your HVAC should be sealed off enough not to be sending clay dust into the rest of the house , but you could have it inspected to be sure. 

 

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I am a basement dweller, although I do have walls. I’m not sure how it would work with one big open room, but I think if you aren’t able to frame and hang drywall, even just hanging some plastic sheets to designate your studio area could be a thing. 
 

I second what everyone said about keeping everything clean, and want to add that having a strict “studio shoes” policy keeps the dust out of the rest of the house. Your studio shoes don’t ever leave the studio, and you don’t ever go into the studio without putting them on first. Even to get your phone charger! I know this can be difficult, especially because I have to haul my pots outside to the kiln. But it’s important. 

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