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Keeping Warm in the work shop

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tekno.mage

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My workshop is part of a large draughty barn :-( It has a very high roof and various damp areas. However, some Xmas present jobs have been promised so turning in the cold is a necessity.

I have a 50 year old large two bar electric fire, which although being too expensive to leave on the "full power" setting for long, has a really useful "half-bar" setting (500Watts) I have this immediately behind me when standing at the lathe. It's a tall box shape with glass front so it suitable to park gouges etc on top of to warm them up before use. It can also be sat on to warm the turner from beneath when required. The glass front also protects the hot innards from shavings ingress!

My partner has made a "lathe warmer" for the small lathe from some sheet metal and several large power resistors. This slides under the bed bars of the lathe and generates around 200Watts of heat to warm up all the metal work before starting work. I have an angle-poise lamp fitted on to of the headstock - in summer it takes a low energy bulb - in winter a 60 Watt tungsten bulb to generate heat and light over the work. We have also fitted one of those old bar-shaped greenhouse heaters under the bed bars of our larger lathe.

I have cheap interlocking Axminster workshop matting on the floor and wrap up really warm before going out there. In really cold weather I wear thick trousers, long wool ski socks, a long sleeved cotton teeshirt with a really thick hoody over the top (the kind made of thick sweat-shirt material) and a woolly hat. When it's really cold, I wear the hood up over the hat, when it's less cold the hood can be sort of rolled up to keep the back of the neck warm. On my feet I wear short Crocs wellies which really do work in keeping the feet warm and the shavings away from the socks.

Keeping the hands warm is hard. I do admit to wearing lined leather gloves some of the time when turning, but they have to come off for delicate work and sanding. They stay on for roughing or any other types of turning where my hands don't need to touch the spinning wood. It really does help to warm up those cold metal parts (gouges, toolrests, chucks etc) before starting work - cold metal soon sucks the warm out of your hands.

I also have plenty of nice hots drinks when working in the cold - and will run indoors for a quick half hour warm-up in front of the fire if things get too bad!
 

Melinda_dd

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And I thought I had it bad!!!

I was out there today and was no too bad at all. My feet stayed warm for quite a while, but I think they may have been a little too warm and then went freezing... thinking maybe sweat? (steel toe cap boots and hiking socks)

Still no heating in there tho.

OldWood":1uc1mvpm said:
Just out of interest how large are your workshops ? Melinda's we know is tiny and an oil filled radiator will warm it up quickly, particularly if she does something about insulation - no point in heating the outside world.

Its definately 4ft wide, and I think 6ft long. It feels a lot smaller tho!
I won't be insulating it as it's not our shed (rented house) and I think i'm pushing it with the shelves i've put up in there now.
 

OldWood

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Melinda - I see your problem. Had you thought of doing the greenhouse thing and using bubble wrap as insulation? It's not expensive and several layers should make a considerable difference in adding insulation and keeping down the draughts. It shouldn't upset your landlord as it is totally removable.

Kym - had you thought of doing something the same - a light wooden cage with bubble wrap as the walls ?

The other thing I have, but now never use (I have a new workshop that is super insulated! :) ), is one of those parabolic radiant heaters, which I did use quite a bit in the old workshop until me and the environment came to terms. It heated me with radiant heat but didn't do much for the rest of the workshop.

Edited to say that floor insulation makes an awful lot of difference; old carpet tiles, these interlocking tiles we've talked about and so on. Just standing on something soft to the feet is sooooo much more pleasant.

Rob
 

Melinda_dd

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The bubble wrap is a great idea. And could just put it up with drawing pins.
Would i be wrong to cover the ventilation at the top up (gap were the rafter joins the shed walls all tghe way round) that seems to be a bit pointless to me in a shed that small?
 

OldWood

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Melinda_dd":wmlv5zb3 said:
The bubble wrap is a great idea. And could just put it up with drawing pins.
Would i be wrong to cover the ventilation at the top up (gap were the rafter joins the shed walls all tghe way round) that seems to be a bit pointless to me in a shed that small?

I would on the grounds that if you do run into a condensation problem, it will be pretty obvious and the ventilation easily restored. Interestingly enough I was concerned about humidity in my new workshop and fitted a fan with a humidistat on it, and I've never in 2 years gone into the workshop and found it functioning; there must be some way in which I could find out if it has been working. Just make sure that there is enough good air in there for you !!!!!! -- and that you don't fumigate yourself with solvents from a finish.

Rob
 

tekno.mage

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OldWood":3fztivr4 said:
Kym - had you thought of doing something the same - a light wooden cage with bubble wrap as the walls ?

Wow - I'd need absolutely masses of bubble-wrap to insulate the area i use as a workshop. It's a good quarter of a large barn. The real problem is the height of the ceiling and the fact that the walls are corregated iron or single skin blockwork - both are draughty (have gaps & air vents from when animals lived in there) and some bits leak when it rains. Something I may get around to one day when time and funds allow is building a "room within a room". However, it's a rented property so I don't want to spend too much on this. Maybe one day I'll find a very large garden shed going cheap that could be sited inside :)
 

OldWood

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tekno.mage":2majs7ex said:
OldWood":2majs7ex said:
Kym - had you thought of doing something the same - a light wooden cage with bubble wrap as the walls ?

Wow - I'd need absolutely masses of bubble-wrap to insulate the area i use as a workshop. It's a good quarter of a large barn. The real problem is the height of the ceiling and the fact that the walls are corregated iron or single skin blockwork - both are draughty (have gaps & air vents from when animals lived in there) and some bits leak when it rains. Something I may get around to one day when time and funds allow is building a "room within a room". However, it's a rented property so I don't want to spend too much on this. Maybe one day I'll find a very large garden shed going cheap that could be sited inside :)

Kym - I'm sure I've sown a seed of an idea ! I would look at it this way - many of your power tools you will only be visiting for a short time; I take it you have a bandsaw, planer and circular saw somewhere, plus the lathes. On the basis that I spend most of my workshop time at a bench and lathe, I would just build a 2 x 2 framed 'tent' round those and cover it at least with polythene (and I'm sure bubble wrap is no more expensive) to eliminate the draughts. Assemble the tent with screws and it will be recycleable and not be outwith your tenancy agreement.

Rob

Rob
 

jumps

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well I've bitten the bullet and ordered a 1.5kw quartz 'patio heater', which I plan to set up for use both inside (what remains of) my 'shop for hand tool work etc (and the pillar drill I'm allowed to use in there) and outside, where I use the lathe/bandsaw/tablesaw/sander...

it will be interesting to see how it works, esp with the lather as it's the cold metal and tool steel that creates the most discomfort with that and I'm only expecting the radiant heat to make my hands 'feel warm' rather than everthing to be warm.

I feel lucky I have 2 weather proof walls and a dry roof (relative to Kym), but I'm getting tempted to fit something like clear polythene over at least one more side before the winter's out!
 

Melinda_dd

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All these ideas are certainly giving (us rented pep's) food for thought as to how to stay warm, not cost the earth, and not cause damage to the property in anyway!

If I can just finish this months entry, then I can bash on with some insulation and heat
 

Lons

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The bubblewrap works though clearly not as good as proper insulation.

I bought a large roll years ago (can't remember exactly where now or how much). it's only about 1 metre wide but I still have 1/2 a roll and I guess originally it was 100 metres? I think I bought from one of the wholesalers who supply packing materials to industry. Shouldn't be difficult to find someone local.
I wouldn't have bought it had it been too expensive as I'm a tight git :)

All I did to a small shed and a greenhouse at the time was staple to the timber frames and tape the joints with clear parcel tape. Apart from the odd accidental tear, easily repaired, it lasted for years.

I also used some in the loft, stapled to the underside of the rafters though not sure about the sense in that as it could promote condensation.

Bob
 

boysie39

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OK, so earlier on I posted a reply that was ment to be funny :oops: :oops: .
But now the pitch is not as level as I thought it was, I have for a long time now been out of my SHED and only last week was passed fit to visit in a "regulated" way by SWMBO.

My shed is constructed of very heavy gauge sheets of corragated galvanised sheets,it was here when we moved in to the house about six yrs. ago. Who ever built it must have been going to use it as a bunker if there were air raids :lol:
It could survive anything that was thrown at it. :mrgreen:

Anyway we are having very cold weather at the moment, very frosty, and going into the shed is like going into a freezer it's warmer outside than in. I cant see me being able to rebuild a new one because of one thing and another so what I really want to say is > Jacob when you put the wheels and the tail on your workshop heater Would you also put a pair of WINGS on and point it in my direction :lol: :lol:
 

gnu

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We have this woodburning stove which is very good and you can burn your shavings and offcuts built up over the warmer months. I have a small factory unit of 750 square feet and the woodburner seems to warm the place quite well. Years ago I did have a parafin heater which was alright but don't know if they still do them.
 

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