I’ve designed quite a few set-ups for friends. Take advantage of this opportunity and build
the thing as good as you can. First advice, proper racks, both wall racks and shape/glass racks.
May I suggest a single loft-style work area with the shaping rack right in the middle of the room.
I’m sure there are board-builders on this site who can show pictures of their set-ups.
Your shaping lights are best designed as “light shelves” so you can set your tools on them
and not get hit in the face with too much direct light. Most likely your light shelves would
be portable and usually run about waist to chest high depending upon your shaping style.
I like my shelves about 45 to 48 inches up from the floor. I have pics on my website, lurk
around there to see how my shelves are set up (actually we use double shelves, I’m talking
about the upper ones). The shape rack usually runs about 6 to 8 inches below this, depending
upon the cast of light you prefer and color of the room. I use dark blue (called Navy Wool) and
a lighter ceiling is good for sighting your decklines.
If you can, make your shape racks articulate, well worth it if you can find a metal/weld shop
nearby. Steel is the best material but woods and plastics will get the job done.
One important thing. I am a big proponent of conserving resins. I highly recommend using
“glassing trays” to catch your resin. When used properly, I get 110 boards out of a 55 gal drum.
(I make about 7 small boards out of 10). That’s lams, hots, and finning. I can PM you some
of the techniques for saving resin if interested. Also keeps the floor (and shoes!) quite clean.
Lastly, ventilation. You got to respect this one. Two vents. One for moving air/bringing
fresh air in (a wall-mounted propellor-type fan is good) the work area is important. The second
one is used to collect dust- woodworkers use dust collectors which will work fairly well, they
run a couple-hundred bucks for a decent one. A vac for the planer is also important to consider.
As for glassing, if you are in a dense neighborhood, you may run into problems. There are some
charcoal filters you can place over your large wall fan to filtrate before exhausting. The other
way, I was told by Gordon Clark, is to run a high-velocity exhaust tube or stack (like 10" diameter)
that mixes the styrene fumes when they exit. This quickly gets rid of the smell outdoors.
CAREFUL: I know a lot of homebuilders who shut down their rooms during glassing and tough it out
with a respirator on- this is dangerous, ketones and styrenes will absorb into the skin and eyes at
these high concentrations very easily. (I always use a full-face mask for resin/epoxy work, one that
supplies filtered air to your eyes as well). Even if remotely possible, please consider moving the
air out while you glass.
Hope this helps,