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New Workshop - Ideal climate?

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Digizz

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Just read a few posts about temp and relative humidity etc.

I'm planning on building my new 4x4m 'log cabin' style workshop in the garden in the next couple of months. Going to fully damp proof and insulate it as well.

I was thinking about keeping a heater on a very low setting for frost protection etc. If I'm storing wood in there, what's the ideal climate (I guess it's as close to inside conditions i.e. warm and pretty dry in a modern C/H house?) - that is, if I'm making household furniture rather than garden furniture.

Do I really need to worry about humidity too much in this kind of building or should it be OK given the level of insulation and damp proofing?
 

Steve

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Hi Digizz,

I just completed my workshop at the end of last year, and like you I went for full insulation. Over the past couple of months - that has really paid off. One thing that most people overlook however is the flow of air through the workshop - and that has a huge bearing on humidity. What you shouldn't do is 'seal' the workshop altogether - something a lot of people do. Air must be allowed to circulate at all times - the workshop must be able to 'breathe', as it were.
Temperature doesn't really have that much effect - it's the moisture content that counts. In a sealed environment, the moisture has nowhere to go. Your breath, moisture escaping from wood - all of it stays inside the workshop and will do its damage wherever it can.
I have built a roof with a small opening its entire length either side of the apex, and left gaps in the insulation so that the air can get out and take the moisture with it. Since it was finished at the end of the summer, we've had all kinds of weather and the workshop has remained dry and warm. My timber is stable and settling at about 12%.
The trick is to let the roof breathe, but to seal and insulate the floor.
Another mistake people make is to heat with a calor-type gas heater. This is a no-no for a variety of reasons, but especially moisture. Gas heaters create it by the pint! Use warm air, either a stove or a fan blower. I've also fitted a fan at one end which I run now and then to take air and especially dust out of the workshop.
This trick is to ensure that the air circulates and changes.

Hope this helps,

Steve
 

mhannah

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This could be an interesting point.

I imagine that most folk who have an outdoor workshop only heat it when they are actually working in it. So, it will be normally sitting at a temperature quite close to the outdoor temperature....then you come along and fire up your heaters etc.

Won't this sudden temperature change have an effect on the accuracy of the fence and table of your saw/planer etc.?

Mark.
 
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