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Studio Air Quality

When we built my studio, we needed to use the same heating and air
conditioning as the rest of the house. We didn’t want to share the
smelly and messy aspects of a working studio with the rest of the

We routed a large vent with an opening fifteen inches square up
through the floor, ending at six feet high. We did not install a
return air vent. I have two vents thru the ceiling, one currently
connected to a hood over my soldering space. The airflow is
excellent. The second vent is for casting and kiln work. The studio
also has windows that open.

I have two vacuum systems. The original one is for the polishing
station and is seldom used since nearly all of my work is finished in
tumblers. The second vacuum is used at my bench when grinding or
sanding with my flex shaft. I use a GRS system at my bench for my
bench pin, engraving ball holder, and other stuff. We used a GRS
bench pin holder with a piece of wood with a 2-inch hole and screen
to attach to a flexible hose that feeds the bench vacuum. It has a
Plexiglas shield to keep stuff from my face. My bench pin is used for
sawing and hand filing. I replace the bench pin with the vacuum
connection when using the flex shaft. In larger studios, the bench
vacuum system is placed permanently and turns on when the flex shaft

I am allergic to all kinds of dust and these systems permit me to
work easily in my studio.

If I were casting, I would use a vacuum with a big intake in the
location where you mix investment and where you quench the flasks, in
addition to an overhead vent.

If I build another studio, the one thing I would change is to put
the vent fans on the roof rather than in the studio. I really hate
the noise.

Your air quality in your workplace is every bit as important as
lighting and ergonomics for your chair. Do not skimp.

Judy Hoch

Sounds like you’ve got it pretty well covered Judy.

If the noise of the fans are really bothersome you might try a
’Fantech’. I have a laminer flow hood for soldering, annoying fumes
from solvents, epoxies, etc… I got a model FR150 Inline centrifugal
fan connected to a variable speed control. The motor is just below
the hood; the noise level is low.


I would like to know the group’s opinion on how much ventilation a
small studio needs? (8x12) I do not always have my window open so I
am thinking I may need a vent above the soldering station. Would a
regular kitchen range hood work? I can vent it outside.


Hey Judy,

the noise. 

J Morley here. The particulates that rise when mixing or handling
investment will pass through a standard vacuum or shop vac and end
up back in your shop.