Designated Dirty Space - Next Steps


Hi hackers,

One of the interesting projects to come out of the Space Layout meeting was the creation of a Designated Dirty Space. The notion is that airbrushing, spray painting, dust making or other kinds of messy and possible smelly work could be done in this enclosed space.

The area we’re talking about is the carpeted office space in the main part of the work area:

The next steps for this room as I understand them:

  • move the servers in the current large rack to the newly purchased Dell half rack (it’s on wheels!)
  • relocate the server rack to a new spot (last I heard that was where the Arcade machine is currently standing @TyIsI @Rob_MacKenzie)
  • empty the room completely
  • tear out the carpeting
  • replace the flooring (probably with the donated laminate flooring like what we have upstairs)
  • install one of the orange pallet racks in the room
  • build a ventilation system to filter the air and keep the room ventilated
  • possibly add a large industrial sink (preferably with a plaster trap to avoid clogs)
  • install counter space

We’re currently at the server rack move stage. Can stakeholders look at transferring the servers to the new half rack and settle on its new home?

Also, since this is going to be a “messy”, does it still make sense to put in the nice laminate flooring? Should we just use a layer of plywood?



Thanks for keeping this going. I think having this as a dedicated area is awesome and will help to save other surfaces in the space. Even tho this is a dedicated paint/glue/etc area I’d like to propose a couple of things to avoid trashing this space. i.e. Rule Zero still applies even though this is an area for dirty work.

  • no permanent storage of supplies in this area, which avoids the problem of it becoming a personal studio
  • intent that flooring will not destroyed (i.e. no painting on the floor people)
  • designated areas for work (i.e. painting here near fume extraction, drying rack there, gluing area over here)…i.e. no flex space, which again avoids the personal studio issue
  • don’t spray paint or glue the top of VHS property (the landlord’s large white table has already been partially trashed in the main part of the space)
  • from that, and past VHS work, we already know that asking people to put down paper does not seem to work (maybe we could lay down permanent plywood on top of folding legs that can be removed if people mess it up)
  • also no painting walls etc to test your spray paint.
  • some kind of guide to paint disposal cause I’m not unclogging the bathroom sinks again. :smiley:


Clarification, the server rack is intended to go into the boiler room. (Room immediately under the stairs)


We’ll need ventilation ducting, vent openings for heat run-off and some sort of exhaust fan for the boiler room.


Replace the door with one made entirely out of computer fans?


Just blowing air in is not going to alleviate a buildup of warm air. There needs to be an air intake as well as something get the air out. I’m currently thinking that we can build an extraction channel at the back of the rack and then run a duct to the front and extract at ceiling level in the washroom hallway. Then having a grated door might be enough. I’ll make a plan with @Rob_MacKenzie.


Update: components for the orange racking section that is going in the Designated Dirty Space is currently being stored in the woodshop racking. It is labelled like so:

The uprights are wired to the end of the racking setup in the woodshop area:


Looking good. Just a friendly reminder that those rack’s are the LL’s property so no painting of them please. (i.e. please don’t spray-paint the actual metal etc). Thanks!


I can’t see it on the various pictures, but shouldn’t all racking also be bolted down?


I don’t want to be pedantic, but here I am asking this :wink:… do we think it is wise to settle on a final name of ‘Designated Dirty Space’? My concern is that it implies that the space should not be kept cleaner than you found it.



@TyIsI in a marathon effort moved all the server blades to the new server rack! Excellent job!

@Jarrett and I cleaned up the old server rack so that it can be sold. It contained an interesting experiment where expanding foam was used as a sound suppressor:

All of this was cleaned up, and the server rack has been taken out of the office:

Note: Are these all the power bars and network jacks from the server rack? Are there any others? @TyIsI @Rob_MacKenzie @Jarrett


Next steps:

What should be done with the materials on the wooden desk?


@mike That’s just a name I picked. Feel free to suggest something else!



Wow nice job! That’s a ton of work. Well done all of you.


How about “The Clean Room” because it’s not dusty or full of crap.


Ideally (but probably not realistically) this room would be the “anything dirty/smelly that isn’t being done int he wood shop”. If at all possible it’d be good to have some sort of positive airflow into the wood shop to keep dust in there.

But if we’re just talking naming, then yah I don’t think it’d be too confusing to call it the “clean room”, it still gives the same feeling of a hermetically sealed area, with a dash of irony.



@Billiam and @xquared did a great job of removing all the carpet!

Next Steps:

  • it turns out we don’t have enough donated laminate flooring to replace the carpet. The room is about 120 square feet. Thoughts on what we should use instead?

Also, I’d like to post this neat instructable that describes a recirculating air spray booth:


Speaking of recirculating air, my sister asked if we have need for fans, or anything. She’s been in HVAC since, well, I guess the early 90’s. Her husband owns an HVAC installation company. (She just happens to have a bunch of spiral ducting kicking around the house :slight_smile: )


@Billiam I think the Laser Cutter Committee is looking for ways to improve flow rates through the filtration system. Perhaps @lukecyca or @kleenpwr could follow up?


I can offer my services running flow simulations in Solidworks, but @kleenpwr likely has access to similar tools.


We need to be careful. Exhasting gasses takes caution. Im not an expert in tbis field, but im fairly sure it all must be grounded. Im sure there are some guidelines that we could look into.