I'd like to get a band saw and drill press but I don't have room in my garage so I'd like to put it in my basement. The problem is I don't have any ventilation to remove sawdust so would having it in my basement be impractical / unhealthy?

  • 1
    What type of CNC machine?
    – Tester101
    Jul 14, 2011 at 16:22
  • 1
    What are you cutting with it? wood, or metal? You may be able to get by with a simple dust-collector system (or even a shop-vac). Jul 14, 2011 at 16:34

3 Answers 3


My grandfather was a carpenter and when he retired he moved most of his tools into his basement. This included a drill press, bandsaw, and a very heavy full size table saw. It is definitely doable.

Drill presses and bandsaws don't generally create as much dust as sanders and routers. You can probably remove most of the dust they'd create with a well placed shop-vac. The bandsaw should have a dust collection outlet that you can hook the shop-vac up to. The drill press probably doesn't. You can also invest in a dust collection system to collect the dust and clean the air in the basement.

Depending on your particular basement, there are other things to watch out for.

Make sure you have a sufficient electric supply. You don't want to overload a circuit that was originally meant to power only a few light bulbs.

Make sure that you have room to move around tools, and to get out of the way if something goes wrong. Make sure there's room for your work too - raw materials and finished pieces. think about your ceiling height too, and imagine carrying and positioning an eight foot or longer board. You may have trouble getting full sheets of plywood down basement steps. You may have trouble getting finished furniture up those steps. I wouldn't recommend building a boat in a basement.

If your basement has moisture problems, that can lead to premature rust as well as moisture issues with wood working.

  • 4
    dust in the basement can also lead to dust in the whole house, if for example you have a forced air heating system.
    – Tester101
    Jul 14, 2011 at 19:23

I have my entire woodworking workshop in my basement. Plenty of people have basement workshops. Just get a portable dust collector like this one:

enter image description here

Get good filter bags that filter down to at least 5 microns, smaller is better. And a remote controlled air filtration system like this one to hang from the ceiling.

enter image description here

Drill presses make very little dust. Bandsaws make more. Tablesaws, routing and sanding make significantly more. Get a good dust mask. Those flimsy paper ones with the rubber band strap are useless for the real dangerous tiny particles.

  • Practical answer from own experience is priceless. nice equipment
    – Piotr Kula
    Jul 15, 2011 at 16:24
  • 1
    You can make a very effective air filtration system with a 20x20" box fan with a couple layers of 20x20 furnace filters bungeed to the back. With that setup running I can do lots of MDF cutting (with DC on the table saw) with no dust buildup in the air. Without that fan every surface in the garage is coated with MDF dust. Jul 16, 2011 at 0:10

Yes it will be unhealthy... if you dont have any ventilation

enter image description here

1- MLA / MLZ external grille

2- Filters (hepa/etc)(not required in your situation)

3- a reliable higher quilaity not el-cheapo air fan

4- sensors (not needed here)

5- heater/cooler (not needed here)

6- Grilles

9 - AVM Backflow preventer (important)

10 - AS shutter

7,8 - Switches (not needed here)

It is a good idea to wear and dust mask when machines in operation aswell.

enter image description here

Its not safe unless..

You have enough space around the machines. about 1metre for easy arm movement and backstepping

Lighting above each machine or incandescent tube lighting the while basement very well.. you need to see what you are doing and it saves your eyesight from strain.. so you wont feel that tired after an hour.

Each machine should have an emergency stop button and obviously properly wired and earthed.

I am not saying your basement must look like this.. but you can get a good idea of the space needed around a machine governed by industrial health and safety (for idiots)

enter image description here

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.