Dehumidifier in Shop - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-13-2010, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Dehumidifier in Shop

Hi All,

I have a basement wood shop. As it's a basement, I have usually had a dehumidifier running there. A couple years ago, when one of my several in a long line of dehumidifiers quit, I tried recirculating the house air through the basement, figuring the central air would handle the humidity. That didn't work all that well.

I just bought another dehumidifier (4th in 20 years!) and the new unit has a digital readout to set the humidity, starting at 30 or 40% (I forget which).

What would be a good humidity setting so that stored wood is reasonably stable when it's made into projects and moved elsewhere?

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post #2 of 6 Old 10-14-2010, 12:05 AM
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I also run a dehumidifier in the summer

I keep it at 40% or so. That's also what my home is right now. In the winter here it gets to be about 20%, forced air furnace and a woodburner. I do add humidity in the winter with units in the bedrooms. I think relative humidity and moisture content are related by not necessarily linear. Basements can be especially damp if not conditioned. By circulating the shop air into the duct work you may have increased the airborn dust level and put additional dust into the filters. I wouldn't mix the shop air and house air and keep the shop well sealed off. I ran an exhaust fan in my basement shop when sawing or welding...oops. That probably wasn't good. I cracked an opposite window to keep from sucking air from the house. JMO bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 10-14-2010 at 11:50 AM.
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-14-2010, 11:42 AM
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I would strongly consider putting some heating into the workshop and trying to get your hands on a small hobby kiln (Arrowsmith is a good make).

I've had loads of broken, expensive dehumidifiers... Nightmare!

good luck,

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post #4 of 6 Old 10-14-2010, 11:56 AM
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Depending on the temp of your basement 40% is about right (like Bill already said) to keep wood under 8%. Here is a calculator/chart for that.

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post #5 of 6 Old 10-14-2010, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys. The DH is now set at 40%.

Anselm - The house has forced hot air heat with a heat pump in the basement. A lot of the duct-work goes across the ceiling of the basement so the temperature down there is always pretty reasonable.

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post #6 of 6 Old 10-14-2010, 11:18 PM
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One cheap but tedious way to help keep RH down (and save heat and cooling costs and wear on your dehumidifier) is to slow down the infiltration of outdoor air into your home & shop. A couple good places to start are air sealing your rim joist, and your attic.

((Or in my case, also in Pennsylvania, to replace the rotted out wood coal bin wall in the basement, where its just winter air under the porch on the other side of the wall.))
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