Stationary Power Tools and Unheated Garages: An Epiphany and A Possible Solution?
Was beginning a small project out in the garage a week or so ago. I'd had the propane torpedo heater running until it was livable out there. Took the cover off the table saw and set aside the miter guide and various other jigs I keep stored atop it. Went to quickly wipe it down before getting to work and... "What the heck?!?!" The shop towel didn't want to move across the top very easily. Ran my hand across it. Damp!
That was when, after all these years, the penny finally dropped: Ice cold cast iron + warmed air = condensation on the ice cold iron = rust.
Got to thinking: If I somehow warmed those surfaces before uncovering them, perhaps I could solve much of my table tops' rusting issues.
So I grabbed a small electric space heater we have and that's what I did. I think it worked, because the next time I uncovered the TS and drill press I didn't get that problem. The time after that I detected no surface rust when I wiped them down.
So now I'm experimenting with a small, 500W, space heater. Set on the base of the DP, while it's still covered, with an ambient temperature of 32įF, it gets the table up to "not ice cold" in about 45 minutes. It's now running under the TS to see how long that takes. (Or if it can even do it for the larger, less-totally-covered area.)
The reason for the puny little 500W heater is I presume it probably doesn't get hot enough to create a fire hazard.
If this works I'll probably hunt down the timer I know I have somewhere around here and hook a pair of them up, set to run for an hour before I plan to get out there to do stuff.
I theorize the reason my potential solution should work better than simply uncovering them right away, and just letting the propane heater do it as the entire garage space warms, is the propane heater will warm the air faster than it does those cast iron surfaces.
Obviously I have to be very careful of heater placement and that nothing possibly be allowed come in contact with them while they're running. And that I don't do something stupid, like leave them out there running, get distracted by something else, and forget about them. (Thus the timer.)
"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -- John Ruskin (1819-1900)