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Home studio set-up suggestions


#1

I am setting up my home jewelry studio in my finished basement and
need advice on 2 issues:

  1. Setting up my oxy-acetylene torch where there is a carpeted
    floor.

What is a good material for covering the carpet to reduce
flammability? Could I use something like galvanized metal or another
type of flooring that I could purchase inexpensively at my local
hardware store and lay over the top of the carpet? Taking the carpet
out is not(unfortunately) an option.

  1. Building a ventilation system

What type of systems do other metalsmiths and jewelers have? What is
adequate for one jewelry designer making a small amount of work
every day? How did you install the ventilation systems?

Thanks in advance.


#2
Setting up my oxy-acetylene torch where there is a carpeted floor.
What is a good material for covering the carpet to reduce
flammability?

My work area is carpeted but I’m not overly concerned about the
carpet and use the plastic chair mats sold if office supply stores.
I’ve yet to have a hot piece of metal melt through. For further
protection you could first put down tile backing concrete sheeting (I
think dura-rock is a brand name or commonly used name). This stuff
is sold at the home centers in 2’x 5’ sheets for backing tile along
bathtubs and also as an underlayment for ceramic floor tile. Use
duct tape around the edges to keep from flaking and tape the seams
together with duct tape or better yet carpet tape. Then cover this
with 1/4" plywood underlayment. You could use some double sided
carpet tape or construction adhesive (Liquid Nails) to bond plywood
and wallboard together. Then cover the plywood with a scrap piece of
linoleum or peel and stick tiles.

Building a ventilation system What type of systems do other
metalsmiths and jewelers have?

Fortunately I have a window close by and use the type of fan that
fits in the window frame and exhaust the air out. I’ve seen exhaust
kitchen hoods used but they must be ducted to the outside. I don’t
know if either of these suggestions would pass an OSHA inspection for
air quality so your mileage may vary…

Rick Copeland – Silversmith
rick.copeland@Covad.net
home.covad.net/~rcopeland
Colorado Springs, Colorado


#3
Building a ventilation system What type of systems do other
metalsmiths and jewelers have? 

I really like my set-up. Fortunately, I already had an opening to
vent through to the outside. I bought a “squirrel-cage” blower
(enclosed except for intake and outflow ports, with flanges to
attach hoses) from American Science and Surplus, for $15. I used
hose clamps, duct tape, and vent materials (made for dryers and AC
and furnaces) from the local Home Depot to make an intake that is a
box that sits directly behind my work area on my desk, uh, bench. It
can be moved around easily, because of the flexible dryer duct. It
is extremely effective, drawing fumes directly from their source,
and away from me. My only complaint is that it draws so much air
that the sound of rushing air is a bit annoying, and it can suck the
heat out of my studio pretty fast, here in frigid Chicago-area, so I
turn it off when I’m not actually using it. This was very easy to
construct, and cost about $30 all together. --Noel


#4

Noel, To avoid drawing the heat from your studio you can set up a
two-stage system using an outside air intake. This makes things more
complicated, and requires partitioning the area where the fumes are
produced. The best example is a high-draft “hood” used for working
with toxic chemicals and such. It can get as complex as having a set
of rubber-gloves for your arms (like a small sand-blasting cabinet).
It definitely takes much more work, but it will preserve the heat in
your workspace, while allowing you to exhaust any chemical fumes or
particulates.

Jim Small
Small Wonders