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Thread: Finish Room - size?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Midlands of South Carolina

    Finish Room - size?

    Hope this is the right place to post this question...

    I am working on the layout of the shop I am building, and a finish room was suggested. Need suggestions on sizing. I know bigger is usually better, but there are probably some guidelines on a reasonable, comfortable workspace.

    Not planning to use any unusual finishes, and hope to build stuff like furniture and cabinets - as well as turning bowls, Hollow Forms, etc.

    With no experience with a finish room to draw from, I am wondering about things like:

    Should I keep the finish materials cabinet in the finish room?
    Is special venting needed? (Can the DC be incorporated?)
    Should the interior walls be a particular material?
    Any special jigs/fixtures helpful other than a sturdy table?

  2. #2
    Usually a finishing room is used only for that so you wouldn't need plumb for a DC.

    As for ventilation, you need a source of clean air in and a source for the dirty air out. You could do both via an a exterior wall. As long as you're not spraying flammable material you don't need a special fan (ie water based is fine)

    As for size I would think you'd want a table that's 3' x 6' so you can place whatever you need on that.Iif you put the table against a exterior wall (6' side against the wall) you could probably get away with a room that's 12'x 12'. Tha should provide plenty of wiggle room for bringing peices in and out.You could make your table (or bench) with cabinets underneath to store your materials. A lazy susan is very usefull.

    Your wall's can be made form whatever you like. OSB is always the cheap and cheerful option.
    daiku woodworking

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    I am not sure if anyone has directed you to Marty's "Birth of a Shop" thread over at SMC ( ) or its continuation and conclusion here called "Birth of a Shop - Final Trimester" ( ), but it is the king of all shop building threads and chock full of all answers to all questions you have asked and have not even thought of asking.

    Moderators, we should really create a sticky for this thread in the Shop section and a link to the start at SMC.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Midlands of South Carolina
    Thanks for the link Bill.

    Yes, the thread has been referenced before, and I have been reading thru it.
    *Also, the attachments no longer work on the SMC threads, so I don't see any layouts or dimensions.

    A sticky would be good too.

    Lots of good info, but so loooong - I may not get all the way thru before I have to make decisions.
    Last edited by Rick Prosser; 10-23-2009 at 05:39 PM. Reason: *Added SMC attachment note.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    I run a furniture restoration business and thus do a lot of finishing and yes bigger is better. If you are finishing a large piece you need enough room to walk around it, think about spraying a 6 foot long table or a 5 foot high dresser. So idealy you need at least a 10 fot x 10 foot area. Then for small pieces it is nice to have a table. I would think that a 10 x 20 space with a table that you can walk around in on end would work.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Delton, Michigan
    well rick, my choice is bigger the better to a point.. i have been in marty's finish room and many others.. mine is 12 x16 and i wish it was 16 by16.. i have put a few projects threw it that have had some size to can chk my threads.. the last one i used a old stool for the head board to be able to spint it around to get at all sides easily.. also the table should also be able to have full movemnt around it as well for anything big. i also have a its gonna happen thread that will show you some of my ideas and where it ended is important and natural light is great if yu can get it..i run a presurred system meaning i blow in clean airt and push out dirty air.. i need a larger fan like marty has to get my dirty ait our better..right now its going threw the window.. which works but having a bottom exhaust is better to get the fumes out rather in your chest.. also look into a hood for sprayun if yu can find one that your willing to pay the price.. the more yu keep out of your lungs the better off you wil be.. i have went for a long time without one but wont anyomre unless i am a real hurry and only using rattle cans..feel free to pm me if yu have more questions and i willgot and see if i can make martys thread sticky..
    If in Doubt, Build it Stout!
    One hand washes the other!
    Don't put off today till tomorrow!

  7. #7
    I've outgrown my finishing room, but you seem to be heading in the right direction for size, lighting, etc. I will reinforce the clean air recommendation, although my first concern was to minimize the dust particles on my brushed-on finishes, figuring that taking care of that would also take care of the breathing issues. When I built my small space I built into it an intake "window" that accepts a standard size furnace filter...and another exit opening in which I installed a fan. So mine is the opposite of Larry's, in that my exit fan pulls clean air in through the filter. I don't do any spraying, so don't need to be concerned about the fan getting gunked up. If you're going to spray I'd think that Larry's solution is the better one. Anyway, my point is that I was amazed at how little dust fell on my brushed-on finishes (almost none) compared to the problem I had before the "clean room" scenario. So that aspect of your design deserves attention. Efficient movement of air to keep a flow of clean, filtered air coming in is probably related to room dimensions and maybe to shape, but I'm not an HVAC guy.

    Good luck. Would like to see your design when you get it worked out.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan
    You are getting some great suggestions Rick. Lots of Sq Ft is good, as much as you feel you can give to it. Positive pressure also good. I am finishing my kitchen cabs in my shop, no dedicated finishing room. My shop is 13 x 23 with 2 small side rooms of which 1 is full of wood storage. I have found it very tough to finish a full kitchen in there. I am constantly moving boxes from 1 place to another, from the shop to the main basement (yes my shop is a basement shop). I am hand staining with gel stain and that is OK but I am going to spray a clear lacquer final coat and am going to have to rig up a makeshift spray area, that will be more of a pain in the neck. I guess size will depend on what you will be building. Smaller projects will not require as much room then large expanded projects. Good luck on your build and I know I am enjoying following your build

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    If you are going to be storing youe finishes in ther then you migth as well figure atleast two feet off one wall will be lots for storage. Then atleast two feet around each side of the bench. Drying racks? These eat up more room. 16'x16 would be the smallest I would go if you plan on doing any large projects or plan on working on more then one at a time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    finishing like most aspects of a "shop" is very subjective...

    what is the largest piece you plan on building?

    the smallest?

    how about the materials you plan to use in the finishing process?

    95% of kitchens can be sprayed in a 8'x10' area but then you need room to cure out.
    most household furniture can be sprayed in an 8'x8' area....again one piece at a time.

    do you need a dust free enviornment to cure? you will if you`re planning on using most polys...

    more information would be nice
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

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