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Suggestions for staying warm in da Shop?

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middle.road

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#1
OK, I'd like to start a thread on staying warm, and also getting the shop warm enough to function in.
Short of battery powered socks and such, I would appreciate any input.
I'm living in East TN now - which granted is not 1/10th as difficult as a few clicks further north. I swear your blood thins out over time...
I'm having trouble keeping my feet and fingers from getting so chilled they hurt. I wear gloves when I can but when I get near moving machinery they come off.
Add to that my choice of foot wear is limited due to a messed up left foot. What I wouldn't give for my old snowmobiling boots & gloves :)
I've been using a propane heater to get the temp up and then the 240V ceiling mounted heater to try to keep it bearable. ~55°-60°
I setup a small 6" server box fan to move the air around and that's helped a bit along with tarps inside of the overhead doors.
The previous owner insulated the devil out of the ceiling but did not put anything in the walls at all.
Wish I had the little mini coal stove my dad had in our house in Illinois. Toss a lump a coal in there overnight and all was fine.

Thanks!
 

34_40

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#2
To help my feet, I've bought some of the interlocking matting that's really soft or spongy.
I love the way it keep me insulated from the floor and it also makes life easier on my feet.
The cold machines? I haven't got a clue.
 

Technical Ted

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#3
My workshop is in the basement of my house and even without heat the coolest I can remember it being down there is ~54 degrees F and that's in western NY state. Even so, I have a nice wood stove down there and always start a fire if I'm going to be down there for more than a couple minutes! :) I get wood really cheap or for close to free, but if I didn't I think coal might be better.

Ted
 

cjtoombs

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#4
I tried one of those little propane heaters that looks (and sounds) like a jet engine. It put off so much fumes that I could barely stand to have it on. I finaly put in a forced air space heater from Northern Tool. It works great, but it's a project in itself to put in. One of those catalytic heaters might work well for you.
 

FOMOGO

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#5
I would suggest a direct vent propane wall furnace. Easy to install, can run on a T-stat, sealed combustion, and most have a built in blower. Not sure about Tenn, but here I see them on Craigs list for free or cheap. Willams or Empire are good brands. They tend to come in 35k and 60k btu. As with most things bigger is better. Mike
 

woodchucker

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#6
What I wouldn't give for my old snowmobiling boots & gloves :)
Same here. My snowmobiling boots were felt bootie inside a rubber lower and heavy nylon upper. They were warm and comfortable. I never see those anymore.
 

woodchucker

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#7
OK, I'd like to start a thread on staying warm, and also getting the shop warm enough to function in.
Short of battery powered socks and such, I would appreciate any input.
I'm living in East TN now - which granted is not 1/10th as difficult as a few clicks further north. I swear your blood thins out over time...
I'm having trouble keeping my feet and fingers from getting so chilled they hurt. I wear gloves when I can but when I get near moving machinery they come off.
Add to that my choice of foot wear is limited due to a messed up left foot. What I wouldn't give for my old snowmobiling boots & gloves :)
I've been using a propane heater to get the temp up and then the 240V ceiling mounted heater to try to keep it bearable. ~55°-60°
I setup a small 6" server box fan to move the air around and that's helped a bit along with tarps inside of the overhead doors.
The previous owner insulated the devil out of the ceiling but did not put anything in the walls at all.
Wish I had the little mini coal stove my dad had in our house in Illinois. Toss a lump a coal in there overnight and all was fine.

Thanks!
Sounds like a garage shop. So if you have the means, insulate the walls since they weren't done. If you can close off the overheads with something more than a tarp to prevent air from passing then you are mostly there. Once you stop the air from freely coming in and out, you can heat it and keep it heated with a reasonable heater. If not, then you will need a big unit and much $$.

I have 2 heaters for my garage, a torpedo and a contractor's milk can. With my leaky garage they will warm it. But my main shop is in the basement where it is 56 degrees. I run a small oil filled radiator and close the door to the shop to keep the heat at 68, so the tools don't rust. When it's cold and you touch it, they rust from the instant condensation.
 

BtoVin83

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#8
When I worked for my dad in the new shop before heat I would fire up the lathe and run off abut 80 pounds of chips. Then I would rake those out on the floor and stand on them to keep my feet warm.
 

Bob Korves

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#9
Same here. My snowmobiling boots were felt bootie inside a rubber lower and heavy nylon upper. They were warm and comfortable. I never see those anymore.
The ones with the felt liners are called Pac boots.
 

7milesup

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#10
It was -17F here the other day without the windchill. Got my shop up to 84F (30x32 size) and had to open the door for a while to let the heat out, otherwise I feel like taking a nap. Gotta love wood heat. :)
 

pdentrem

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#11
Insulated walls, separate your feet from concrete floor by rubber mat or even sheet of plywood. My small shop is insulated and with a large 3/4” piece of conveyor belt on the concrete plus Insulated steel garage door. As for heat an infrared heater mounted near the ceiling facing straight down over my usual position heats the machine and me. It has two settings - one tube or both tubes. 400 watt or 800 watt. During this cold spell the 400 watt has been running all the time but usually I have it on a timer. One hour on, one hour off. When I go there I may or not turn on one or both if required.
 

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#13

mikey

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#14
Hey, you guys could always move to Hawaii. Think about it - 81 degrees right now, everything is blue or green and all you have to do is dodge the occasional hurricane or two. I remember working on an aircraft in a Kansas winter; -40 degrees and we had to stick our hands in a heater hose to get the tools to let go without losing skin. Nope, not for me, I'm staying right here!
 

dlane

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#15
Wood Stove & work is what Ied do , wood heat rules
 
Last edited:

whitmore

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#16
The plain-surfaced (not glowing tube) IR heat panels are recommended for an
infrequently used space; you can turn 'em on and get instant sunlight-like heating
on your hands, even without heating the walls, floor, tools, and air.
Some look like paintings, hung on the wall, but for a shop you want ceiling
mount (and maybe dedicated wiring).
https://www.amazon.com/Marley-CP372...15385235&sr=8-4&keywords=radiant+heater+panel

Prices are all over the map, maybe an architect or HVAC shop will have useful info.

The unvented burners are the worst. Even if the propane burns clean, it emits
water vapor, and when you turn it off and leave, that will condense on... everything.
 

markba633csi

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#17
Finger in light socket will warm you up real quick:cool:
 

middle.road

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#18
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, saw a couple of types I'd not known about. Budget is too tight currently to upgrade to anything decent. I've got to get a DRO on the mill - I had to suck 'scrapage' on 30 pcs a couple of weeks ago.

In hindsight I should have described the garage shop better. It's detached, 25x25x8 Ceilings. Wood siding exterior, 1/2" wafer board interior.
Ceiling is totally covered. So much so that I had to cut a section out to access the attic when there was a leak.
They put 6" of insulation up there, but as I found out when I re-wired the panel there's nothing in the walls.
Floor we've got covered. My Better-Half has snagged a bunch of decent (various) kinds of floor covers.
I've got it so packed now that I can't re-do the walls. A friend offered me a 3t heatpump that was on his 30x50 pole barn that he replaced with a 5t unit but I haven't gotten around to grabbing it. I also don't know how to install it properly. I would need to find some empty wall space and then the electric is a whole 'nother matter.
I had the 'jet engine' propane going when I made the post and when I went out to the shop the tank had emptied and the shop stank from that smell you get when you empty a bottle. I had a 100 pounder that an acquaintance 'borrowed' when his furnace crapped and never returned and I'm making do with 20 pounders.
I've got the 240v heater mounted 3' from the ceiling and it does a decent job when it's in the 30's - 40's. (Picture at end of post)
The thing that is getting me is that I can't keep my outer fingers and feet from getting chilled and going numb.
My father had some sort of difficulty with the same issue but alas I didn't pay attention when I should have.
And of course all that metal just loves to soak up the cold. So that gets to you hands and then if it gets too warm it starts to condensate.
I'm frustrated, trying to make some extra cash and I can't handle the cold as I could when I was a tad younger.
Same here. My snowmobiling boots were felt bootie inside a rubber lower and heavy nylon upper. They were warm and comfortable. I never see those anymore.
The ones with the felt liners are called Pac boots.
EXACTLY! can't find them anywhere. Some of those 'UGG' boots look doable with the flat soles for my bad foot, but all I've seen in the stores are for the gals.

Picked it up for $25 at an estate sale.
1515385173717.png
 

Bob Korves

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#19
Thanks everyone for the suggestions, saw a couple of types I'd not known about. Budget is too tight currently to upgrade to anything decent. I've got to get a DRO on the mill - I had to suck 'scrapage' on 30 pcs a couple of weeks ago.

In hindsight I should have described the garage shop better. It's detached, 25x25x8 Ceilings. Wood siding exterior, 1/2" wafer board interior.
Ceiling is totally covered. So much so that I had to cut a section out to access the attic when there was a leak.
They put 6" of insulation up there, but as I found out when I re-wired the panel there's nothing in the walls.
Floor we've got covered. My Better-Half has snagged a bunch of decent (various) kinds of floor covers.
I've got it so packed now that I can't re-do the walls. A friend offered me a 3t heatpump that was on his 30x50 pole barn that he replaced with a 5t unit but I haven't gotten around to grabbing it. I also don't know how to install it properly. I would need to find some empty wall space and then the electric is a whole 'nother matter.
I had the 'jet engine' propane going when I made the post and when I went out to the shop the tank had emptied and the shop stank from that smell you get when you empty a bottle. I had a 100 pounder that an acquaintance 'borrowed' when his furnace crapped and never returned and I'm making do with 20 pounders.
I've got the 240v heater mounted 3' from the ceiling and it does a decent job when it's in the 30's - 40's. (Picture at end of post)
The thing that is getting me is that I can't keep my outer fingers and feet from getting chilled and going numb.
My father had some sort of difficulty with the same issue but alas I didn't pay attention when I should have.
And of course all that metal just loves to soak up the cold. So that gets to you hands and then if it gets too warm it starts to condensate.
I'm frustrated, trying to make some extra cash and I can't handle the cold as I could when I was a tad younger.


EXACTLY! can't find them anywhere. Some of those 'UGG' boots look doable with the flat soles for my bad foot, but all I've seen in the stores are for the gals.

Picked it up for $25 at an estate sale.
View attachment 253353
Un-vented heaters leave water vapor in the building as the main byproduct of combustion. Every thing in your shop will be rusting with that kind of heater. I recommend you get something where the combustion gases are vented to the outdoors, or to electric heat, or a heat pump.
 

middle.road

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#20
Un-vented heaters leave water vapor in the building as the main byproduct of combustion. Every thing in your shop will be rusting with that kind of heater. I recommend you get something where the combustion gases are vented to the outdoors, or to electric heat, or a heat pump.
Heck everything in the shops rusts anyway. :grin:
Seriously though, I've been using it the last couple of weeks to get the temp above 50° and then I let the electric unit try to handle it.
It's just that when it drops into the 30's with lows around 12° it's tough.
It's like right now at the computer with the house @66°, there's chill enough that my ring & pinky fingers go numb and start hurting.
Just before your reply I went and ran them under warm water... :-(
 

Bob Korves

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#21
It's just that when it drops into the 30's with lows around 12° it's tough.
Rain is forecast for tonight and tomorrow here. Forecast is for 46F for the low tonight and 54F for the high tomorrow. I am originally from Minnesota, good place to be from, FAR FROM, especially this time of year. I tell my friends that we had two seasons in Minnesota, shovel and swat.
 

spumco

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#22
I'm in NE Ohio and it's currently in the single digits. So here's my suggestion for a tight budget.

Get a kerosene heater (not the forced air torpedo) and a decent 12" oscillating fan. Dyna-Glo & Dura Heat make nice ones. This is the cheapest "temporary" heater to run I can find. They aren't really expensive, are very clean-burning, and maintenance is minimal. Replacement wicks are cheap and usually available at Wally-world.

The fan is used to stir the heat off the ceiling. Aim it up and let it do it's thing and the room will heat heat up faster.

10 gallons of kero is about $30-$35 bucks, and with a 2 gallon tank that gives me 60 hours of run time. Around $0.50/hour for something that doesn't require installation or electricity, doesn't cause lots of water vapor, and can be used inside the house in case of power failure with no CO issues.

way, WAY cheaper than propane. If you have NG pipe to the garage, then one of the wall-mounted heaters is nice. Problem with those is that they cause a lot of moisture in the air and stuff will rust if you get a non-vented model.
 

Nogoingback

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#23
Dan, I ride motorcycles and for years I've ridden with either an electric vest or more recently a heated jacket when the weather's cold. There are
now battery powered vests that you might consider. My wife spends time outside in a barn during the winter and I bought one for her: can't get
the thing away from her. My gear is made by Gerbing, though there are other brands:

https://www.thewarmingstore.com/hea...MIm53pjPvH2AIVirjACh3DIgjwEAAYASAAEgJwM_D_BwE

If I remember correctly, her's lasts about 4 hours on low, though she has the smaller of 2 available batteries.
 

rcaffin

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#24
It is interesting to consider the effect of the cold. A micrometer or caliper is made of steel, and is usually calibrated at +20 C. Steel has a coeff of thermal expansion around 12 ppm/C. Take that to -20 C and you have a shift of 40 C. 40 * 12 ppm = 480 ppm or ~0.05 %. This can be significant.

Anyhow, stop wingeing. It was ~45 Centgrade here yesterday. The galvo roof under the sun was way over that.

Cheers
Roger in Oz
 

dlane

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#25
Pellet stove ( less work ) or a wood stove, nice dry heat
 

Richard White (richardsrelics)

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#26
I have a natural gas ventless wall heater in my 3rd garage stall, built an uninsulated 2X6 wall covered on the outside only, room is 21X13 and with a ceiling fan I can get it to well over 80 in there with temps outside in the single digits. Me personally I like it about 64-66 degrees. The ceiling fan moves the warm air from the ceiling to the floor, the fan was $30 at Walmart
 

Ray C

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#27
Hey guys, keep safety in mind... Keep a carbon monoxide and smoke detector in the garage/shop. Also, be careful about bulky clothing, especially on your left arm if you're operating lathes.

-Public safety message from Ray...
 

Richard White (richardsrelics)

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#28
Yup sleeves are for nerds...LOL I have a detector as well....Now who got my comment, and what show did I reference?
 

hermetic

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#29
Slightly off topic, but here is a tip for all of you with torpedo type forced air heaters that run on kerosene or diesel. when they get to be a couple of years old the air pump loses efficiency, the fuel pick up pressure drops, and they start to burn cold, and become smelly and smoky. I had this problem with mine, and fitting new vanes to the air pump did not cure it. In the back of the heater where the air intake filter is, you will see a small plug which is the test point for the air pump. If you remove this plug and connect a low pressure regulated air line to this point, you can adjust the air pressure to obtain the perfect smell and smoke free burn. Beware! they only need between 5 and 9psi, and you can tell when the burn is correct by looking at the hot end, the outer part of the hot dome should be red hot, the centre should be slightly cooler and darker, if the centre is red hot, too much pressure, turn it down! My Master brand Torpedo heater has been running like this since about 1978, and with an annual strip and clean, has required no spare parts, and still runs clean and hot. the pressure air pump is definitely the weak link on these heaters, and looking at a manual for these heaters a few moments ago, they have not really altered the design. If you have one in the back of your shop collecting dust, whilst you shiver, get it out and try this mod, it works! also, do not fail to clean out the fuel pick up filter as this also causes problems, sometimes fitted inside the pick up pipe.
 

Tozguy

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#30
You have to heat the whole shop to keep people, machines and materials happy and compatible. Investing in insulation and sealing drafts will probably be the least expensive option in the long run, PLUS, it will be more comfortable and pleasant for you. There are cost effective ways to do it. Otherwise you will be heating the outdoors!

Grab that heat pump! Thermopumps are not that expensive to install and will give you A/C in the summer (?). When concentrating on doing good work, I don't like to be at the mercy of the elements. And it becomes more important as I get older.
 
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