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So I have had to move from my basement to the garage to prepare/finish my stair treads for installation. For years i have been finishing in the basement but the smell of the polly is too much and the boss kicked me out, lol, she was concerned about the vapors being ignited by the furnace. I moved into the garage but during the winter months it can get pretty cold in MD and makes finishing impossible. I checked the MSDS sheets of the minwax polly and they listed the polly as a flammability rating of 2. Now that i am concerned, i call the manufacturer and ask how i could safely heat my garage (while finishing) and he said that any method should work. I know many of us work in our garages, how do you guys heat your garages and should i be concerned with open flame while finishing?? Thanks in advance!!
 

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I would be. That's why in my last shop and the current one I bought gas heaters are "direct vent". They draw outside air in for combustion. The last one was a completely sealed combustion chamber, it had a small hole to access the pilot light, but the current one is electronic ignition, and it is sealed. That said, the likelihood of you generating vapors sufficient for combustion with varnish is fairly minimal. Using something like spray lacquer would be a much more serious problem. So I would agree with the manufacturer said in this instance. If you are still concerned, warm the garage up to temp, shut the heat off and proceed. The varnish will actually cure in colder temps than you might think, it's just very slow.
 

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Your problem won't be the vapors from finishing, it'll be the open flame releasing all that carbon monoxide in your garage. The vapors would never get to the point of a flash fire, but the carbon monoxide will certainly get to the point of putting you asleep without ventilation.
 

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I would be. That's why in my last shop and the current one I bought gas heaters are "direct vent". They draw outside air in for combustion. The last one was a completely sealed combustion chamber, it had a small hole to access the pilot light, but the current one is sealed.
Do you remember makes/models? This is what I would like to do.
 

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Do you remember makes/models? This is what I would like to do.
I do. The current one is a Sterling "Garage Guy". With it the direct vent kit is an optional extra. There are other ceiling hung heaters that do this as well, I think the Modine (Hot Dawg?) has the same option. The other one was a Cozy wall furnace (top row, right side). This one didn't need anything extra, but cost much more to begin with. It's sized and spec'd to install in stud cavities if you want. In both cases I bought the 45K BTU input size, and both of mine were LP models..
 

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Your boss may have saved your life. If the poly fumes had built up enough it could have ignited. Like Fred said you might heat the garage up and turn the heat off before applying the poly. You might also set the can of poly is a bowl of hot water to warm it so it brushes well.
 

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radient rube heater

The radient tube heater is something I am considering for heating my shop in the future. I don't want the blower fan in a hanging furnace, or others, circulating air in the shop, especially during finishing. The flame is sealed in the tube. However, I still need to get natural gas into the shop.

Jon
Northern Michigan
 

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My garage is insulated so it's not as bad as some. I have a propane gas heater and 2 small electric heaters. The electric heaters will keep in comfortable down to about 35* outside. When it gets really cold I fire up the propane until the garage is warmed up, then use the electric heaters to keep it usable. If it starts getting too cold, I fire up the propane heater again. This setup has worked well for me and isn't expensive. I would like to install one of the ductless heat pump systems for heating and cooling but at around $5000, I just can't justify the cost.
 

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T n G,
Check out the Williams Forceaire brand of direct vent furnaces. I have three of them that heat three separate garages. Completely sealed combustion chamber, mine are all standing pilots, but they are sealed off also. 62,500 btu input, 80+% efficiency. Two speed blower and very quiet. The largest space I heat is 36' x 28' with a cathedral ceiling 15' high at the peak. Heats up in 15-20 minutes when outside temp is around 20-25 degrees F. They are 7' tall, 14" wide and about 11" deep. Easy to install.
Mike Hawkins;)
 
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