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Renovation / evaluating hazards


#1

Hi all, I have been following the ventilation discussion with great
interest as I am renovating an attached garage into a new studio
space. I don’t do a great deal of fumey work but I know I will need
some basic ventilation for my soldering area. Those of you who have
installed these systems, how did you go about determining exactly how
much ventilation you needed? I guess consulting with an HVAC
professional would be the best route.

I have been reading some of Charles Lewton Brain’s writings on safety
and evaluating hazards in my workshop. I do mostly a lot of handwork
with silver and gold. The majority of my work is done with hand tools
and flex shaft. My torch set up is oxygen and acetylene with a “little
torch”. My tanks will be chained in place, of course. I am considering
tiling the wall and floor area around my soldering area with slate
tiles. I am also researching residential sprinkler systems but don’t
know yet if we will install one. I use cadmium free solders and
flouride free flux. The flux does contain boric acid and I do use a
boric acid/alchohol solution for gold. I have regular sodium bisulfate
pickle. And other than that, I don’t use much else in the way of
caustic chemicals or solvents. I do some patina applications, liver of
sulpher mostly, and green patina on copper with an ammonium hydroxide
solution on occasion. ( I usually go outside to patina copper for
fresh air) My polishing machine has an attached dust collector
cabinet.

The room we are renovating is roughly 10’ 5" by 19’ 5". It will have
several windows, a doorway to the rest of the house and a doorway to
the outside where I plan to have a screen door mounted so we can
really have the room opened up on warm days. We are putting in a
skylight for added light and leaving the ceiling open to expose the
rafters and have access to the attic for extra storage room. So far
it is looking like a well equipped small basic studio space: bench
area, soldering area, polishing area, hammering table/stump, clean-up/
finishing area with sink, and a little space for packaging finshed
work. I am also optimistically saving a little space for a mini
rolling mill when I can afford one.

All this work space is arranged over the better part of half the
room. At the other end of the 19’ expanse will be our computer area
and my husband’s drawing table and files storage. (I know, computer
and jewelry dust don’t mix. But we will at least be spaced further
apart than we are now) Important issues I am addressing first are fire
safety, ventilation, efficient layout and security.

So my other question is this: Is there anything that you wish you had
incorporated into your studio space in the beginning or anything you
would suggest adding that has made a big difference for your space?
Any safety suggestions? Thank you in advance for any thoughts shared-
Carrie Nunes metalpetals@home.com