Shop Heat - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-07-2019, 06:18 PM Thread Starter
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Shop Heat

Hello,
New to the forums. I've finally reached a point in life where I am building my dream shop, applied for a business license and an LLC. When the new woodshop is finished being built, I am going back and forth on what type of heat to use. I live in NE PA so it get cold for sure. My concern is Polyeurothane fumes being combustible. What type of heat do you use in your shops and how can I minimize the safety concern?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 16 Old 12-07-2019, 06:34 PM
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welcome aboard, Doug.
if you use the search feature in the upper right corner,
you will find several threads on this subject. just plow through
them and see what is suitable for your circumstances.

back in 1976, I moved into a home that had a gas hot water heater
in the garage. I was young and had never lived in a home that had had one.
it was winter and all closed up and I wanted to do a short airbrush clear coat
of lacquer on a project before going to church.
about 5 minutes of spraying, the garage was filled with atomized lacquer and fumes.
then . . . . I heard this WHOOOOOSSSSHHHHHHH from the corner. the gas hot water
heater had kicked on !!! scared the bejeemeezzee out of me !! I dashed into the house,
got the wife and kid out and across the street and told the neighbor to call the fire department
and we waited - and waited - and waited for the FD to clear the house so we could go back in.
so - ever since then, I have had this overbearing concern of fumes and open flames.
so no matter what feedback you get off the internet, I strongly suggest you use your
own self judgement as to what you are comfortable and SAFE with.
and since you are going commercial, it might be a good idea to consult with your local
fire department and definately your insurance company.
wishing you all the best in your new adventures.

.

.
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-- I am a painter. That's what I do. I paint things --
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-09-2019, 10:24 AM
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If you want a safe heat supply, check out the furnace I linked below. It's a gas (propane available also) direct vent model. The combustion chamber is sealed so you don't have to worry about flammable materials igniting. It has a two speed fan and blows the warm air out the bottom section. I have three of these in separate areas of my garages and shop. I'm in NE Ohio, so similar winters. My biggest area I heat is 28' x 36' with 15' tall cathedral ceilings. R-19 in the ceiling and R-13 in the walls. It heats that area up from dead cold to 65 degrees in less than a half hour. They are fairly effeciant also, and last but not least, pretty quiet.
Mike Hawkins

https://www.ecomfort.com/Williams-65...kaApN-EALw_wcB
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-11-2019, 03:03 PM
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I'm in northern WI. For starters, I'm happy with the 10' ceiling height in my shop. Taller than that results in heat stratification, even with ceiling fans, along with moisture stratification if your storage racks go to the ceiling.
I put in a propane fired, ceiling mounted radiant tube heater. The radiant heat just heats objects, not the air. Mostly it heats the concrete floor which stays warm right to the edges even in extreme cold. As you get older, cold feet become a serious discomfort. The heater draws in combustion air from outside, so it isn't pulling cold air in through every unsealed crack. It's easy to keep the heat tube and the reflector free of sawdust. I have 1 ceiling fan in a 1500 square foot shop, and it works quite well.
I don't know about the relative efficiency of this type of heater. We put a geothermal heat pump in the house, and it is an amazing gadget. Electricity to heat the house with it costs very little more than when I bought firewood by the truckload from a logger and spent my winters cutting, splitting, and feeding wood into an outdoor boiler.
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-13-2019, 12:10 AM
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I have a wood furnace.
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-13-2019, 03:53 PM
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That's funny Mike .....

You posted a link to a gas wall furnace that looks exactly like my electric wall furnace! Mine is only about 1/2 the BTUs but it was easier to wire up to 240 V than run pipes and vents. I use more of a way to maintain a garage temp around 40 F. since I'm not working on my trucks in the winter unless I need to.
https://www.ecomfort.com/Williams-3144030/p71195.html


For my wood shop, I also use electric heat for the same reason and I can pretty much get it up to 50F to 55F in about an hour. Too warm is not good either.

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)
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-13-2019, 04:46 PM
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Radiant floor heat would be one of my top picks for a dream shop. You would need a utility room somewhere for a boiler. My current shop has a gas furnace and wood stove. I spent a number of years freezing to death out there. That's not the case anymore....

A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains...
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-13-2019, 05:55 PM
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Anyone here have an un-insulated shop blgd.?
If you do, what are you using fr heat?

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-13-2019, 08:58 PM
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I would not use any type of heat that puts moisture into the shop. Don't forget about the summer, it will be hot and humid in a few months.

Don in Murfreesboro, TN.
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-14-2019, 08:54 AM
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Does anyone use one of those 240 volt, 5500 watt heaters that mount on the wall or hang from the ceiling? My "shop" is not insulated so it's not easy to heat. I have a Monitor kerosene heater on the other side of the garage (24x27) that helps a lot, but the wood shop side is cold, but I'm wondering i the electric heater would even out the temps in there. The shop is too crowded to want to make the room for a wood stove. Here in Maine, winters are pretty chilly but they are when I most like to work with wood so I need to bring the temp up to maybe 50-55 without spending a fortune.
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-14-2019, 12:14 PM
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long term vs short term costs ....

Wood around here is cheap and available, but I don't heat my shops with it. I heat my house with propane and my shops with electric, which is quite expensive here. Last month's Edison bill was $360.00 for 2 large shops and a 2 /12 car garage keeping it at 45 F or so.
The floor heaters in the shops are 19,000 watts 240 volts and plug into 40 AMP outlets.
http://www.reviewwind.com/best-garage-heaters/

To heat the garage quickly, I use a propane Mr Heater 125,00 BTU forced air heater and a 20 or 30 lb tank,, and run it long enough to bring it up to a temp where the electric can keep up.

With the propane portable and the portable electrics there are NO installation issue or expenses, but the long term costs are greater. For an uninsulated space, I would go with the Mr. Heater unit because the electric will never be enough:
https://www.amazon.com/Mr-Heater-For...70611068&psc=1

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)
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-14-2019, 12:57 PM
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I worked in HVAC for a long time and will tell anyone the only way to heat efficiently is to insulate. Fuel sources will vary region to region as to which is cheaper. In my area gas is far cheaper to use than electric. That's not always the case everywhere. But if your trying to figure out the cheapest best way to heat a shop. start with insulation. Heating an uninsullated garage/pole barn is the next best thing to cranking a heater wide open in the outdoors. It may be necessary. It may be sufficient for the day. But in the long run no heat is cheap without insulating the building. Invest your time and money there first.
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A handful of patience is worth a bushel of brains...
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-14-2019, 09:07 PM
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It isn't easy to justify that expense to a wife who expects her in-house projects to be done before the garage. So... I've been stuck with just heating it up a little when I'm actually out there.

My wife says I never finish anyth

Ken
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post #14 of 16 Old 12-15-2019, 07:46 AM
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If you can't afford to insulate the shop, the next best thing, maybe the first best thing is to seal all air holes. plug/seal any areas where air can come in or get out. In on area of my shop, it isn't insulated. There is only 1/2 osb on the outside of the studs, but the building is very air tight and it heats very easy and maintains heat after the furnace is off. If you have air leaks, it cools off quickly.

Around my area there are many pole barn buildings which just sheet steel on the outside if the studs. Even though it may be air tight, it is almost impossible to get the area warm inside. I have a friend that has a steel pole building (24 x 30) and when he built it, he came across a big roll of Styrofoam. I was like a big roll of toilet paper. It was 3 ft wide, 4 ft tall and no more than 1/8" thick. About like a styrofoam coffee cup. He put that on the outside of the poles then the steel. Its amazing how easy and nice it gets in there at 10 deg winter days. The first 1/8 of insulation does the most good, then any more after will help but not as much as the first little bit of insulation. But keeping out any drafts and keeping it air tight is very important. Just my 2 cents.

I was at a home and garden show few year back and there was a company there pushing and selling spray in foam. They pump it in your walls through drilled holes. They boasted and bragged about only 1% shrinkage. Then someone questioned them and asked, so your saying if you have a 10' x 10' wall sprayed with foam, with 1% shrinkage, you will have a 1 inch gap on one edge. Well the seller did a lot of stumbling over his words and did some back stepping.
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-15-2019, 08:54 AM
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Visqueen the ceiling first!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kklowell View Post
Does anyone use one of those 240 volt, 5500 watt heaters that mount on the wall or hang from the ceiling? My "shop" is not insulated so it's not easy to heat. I have a Monitor kerosene heater on the other side of the garage (24x27) that helps a lot, but the wood shop side is cold, but I'm wondering i the electric heater would even out the temps in there. The shop is too crowded to want to make the room for a wood stove. Here in Maine, winters are pretty chilly but they are when I most like to work with wood so I need to bring the temp up to maybe 50-55 without spending a fortune.
Warm air rises and will gather up on the ceiling joists near the peak of the roof. If you Visqueen across all the ceiling joists or trusses the heat can't get up there and you'll be a whole lot warmer. It's cheap and easy to do with 1 1/2" small squares cut from cereal boxes as stapling pads. This is what I've done and it works great.

Garage doors are real leakers. Mine have foam insulated panels which work well, but the leaks are around the top and side seals. I wedge them tight against the seal to prevent the cold coming in. IF you can Visqueen right across the doors on the outside that will help.
Then if the doors face South, just open them up and let Solar heat into the shop during the day .... on sunny days of course.

Block walls are the worst for heat loss. Foam panels just attached with Liquid Nails in spots will make a huge difference. There's aluminum sided foam that will reflect any heat back into the shop. Even a 1" or 1/2" panel will make a big difference.

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)
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post #16 of 16 Old 12-15-2019, 10:26 AM
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The "car" side of the garage (yeah, right...I couldn't get a spare tire in there right now) does have a drywall ceiling. This winter I plan to put OSB up on the shop side so that the entire garage has a ceiling. Probably dump in some loose insulation on top of it all at some point.
I'd love to be able to do away with the doors as they are absolutely a huge heat sink. For this winter i might at least put a plastic sheet over the door on the shop side. My wife will be gone to visit her family from January through April so I'll have a lot of shop time and several projects that I've promised to have done before she comes home, so I'll want it a tad warmer than freezing in there.

My wife says I never finish anyth

Ken
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