Client's workshop set up

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I have a client who wants us to finish and outfit his workshop for him with benches, shelves, cabinets, slat wall, etc. My concern however is that the shop will be in a space with no HVAC. We will insulate it for him and he will use a space heater when he is in there. My concern is going to be the humidity. The shop is located in the Northern Virginia area, summers of 90 degrees and 90% humidity. I have no experience working with a shop that is not climate controlled. I do recall browsing over posts here that mention that airflow is a big factor in keeping tools from rusting away in a humid environment. Does that preclude the use of cabinets for storage? I for one prefer cabinets over open shelves for storage, but will obviously recommend what will be best for his situation. The shop has two windows in the wall opposite the door so he will get some cross flow air movement, at least when it is open.
Thanks,
SteveP
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Highland Pairos wrote:

Northern Virginia surely can't have more heat and humidity than central Mississippi. My shop is climate controled only by a heater in winter and then only when I am out there. I've never had any significant problems with rust, and I don't do anything special as far as ventilation to avoid it.
DonkeyHody "Every man is my superior in that I can learn from him." - Thomas Carlyle
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wrote:

Or North Florida (Daytona Beach area, and I'm about three miles from the ocean). I've had my tools out in the shop (garage) for about three years now, with varying episodes of all-closed-up-for-weeks, to garage-door-open-for-six-or-so-hours-per-day. I have big iron and little toys. Some (little toys) are in roll around tool chests, some are in plastic cases, some are just, er, around.
I have zero conditioning of any kind--heat or cool--in the shop. The worst rust I have ever had was the odd occasions of not wearing my sweat band and having rust spots appear from where sweat dripped off me. I don't have any persistent overall rust issues.
--
LRod

Master Woodbutcher and seasoned termite
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I'm with you there. I just don't do any woodworking in the summer. The grass always needs cutting, or it's just too stinkin' hot. I'm sort of anal about rust spots on my cast iron machine tops, and those drops of sweat will rust pretty quick. Besides, I just can't get serious about precision when my glasses fog up and there's sweat dripping off my nose.
I agree that rust is caused by sudden temperature changes that leave cool steel exposed to warmer moist air. I reasonable weatherproofing should slow down the temperature changes and prevent it.
DonkeyHody "Even an old blind hog finds an acorn every now and then."
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My son has one of the heat pump window units that both heats and cools. If he can afford to have his shop set up, he can afford one of those! I think it would be a good recommendation, since I don't think he will enjoy the summer work much without it. WL

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That's a good suggestion. I will bring that up.
SteveP.

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I second your idea to put tools in cabinets.
I keep most of mine in wood cabinets and have a lot less rust problems with those so stored compared to those hung on the wall or the bench. Something about the wood seems to even out the humidity changes.
I'm in Minnesota and my shop is (barely) heated in the winter and cooled by opening the door in summer. We don't have Virginia humidity, but we do have some.
Old Guy Confined from the shop due to 12 degree temperatures

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I hear ya, Old Guy. I'm in Minnesota too, and that worked pretty well for me . . . until I got my Man Garage. It's got minimal heating, yeah, so it stays (barely) above freezing in the winter, but I recently put in a window air conditioner and it helps keep everything dry all summer, so NO rusting. I don't run it very often, but I AM very careful not to leave doors open when it's humid outside. If it gets too humid inside, I run it until the humidity (and heat) drops and everything is fine. I'd guess that something like that would work in Virginia too . . . .
(What part of MN, OG? I'm near Rochester in the SE corner.)
-Don
--
"What do *you* care what other people think?" --Arline Feynman

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Don Fearn (in snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com) said:
| || I second your idea to put tools in cabinets. || || I keep most of mine in wood cabinets and have a lot less rust || problems with those so stored compared to those hung on the wall || or the bench. Something about the wood seems to even out the || humidity changes. || || I'm in Minnesota and my shop is (barely) heated in the winter and || cooled by opening the door in summer. We don't have Virginia || humidity, but we do have some. | | I hear ya, Old Guy. I'm in Minnesota too, and that worked pretty | well for me . . . until I got my Man Garage. It's got minimal | heating, yeah, so it stays (barely) above freezing in the winter, | but I recently put in a window air conditioner and it helps keep | everything dry all summer, so NO rusting. I don't run it very | often, but I AM very careful not to leave doors open when it's | humid outside. If it gets too humid inside, I run it until the | humidity (and heat) drops and everything is fine. I'd guess that | something like that would work in Virginia too . . . . | | (What part of MN, OG? I'm near Rochester in the SE corner.)
Before moving to sunny, tropical Iowa I lived in the suburbs of the micropolis of Cherry Grove (pop. ~45, 30+ miles south of Rochester). I solar heated my 24' x 32' shop and found it necessary to prop the door open to keep afternoon temperatures below 90F on sunny winter days.
Perhaps you guys should consider building some solar heating panels. There's a link in my sig to a few drawings that might provide some food for thought.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/SC_Types.html
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On Sat, 02 Dec 2006 23:32:40 GMT, "Highland Pairos"

I put a dehumidifier in my wife's tack room. We live east of Atlanta. The tack would get moldy otherwise. Problem is the dehumidifier can make the room hot so it is set at a minimum setting. The room is small, only 12'x12' exterior dimension with 2x6 walls. R19 fiberglass batts walls and ceiling. 1/2" foamboard on the walls. A light bulb keeps it warm enough in the week of freezing temps to keep the water running. If I had clear wall I would have put in a small ac unit or a heat pump.
I think cold metal and warm moist air is a problem. A room that does not suffer extreme temp changes is probably less prone tocondensation and tool rusting. Just my theory though.
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I do remember the temperature swing issue always being pointed out as the major issue. I think I may mention one of the window unit A/C-heat pumps, (I've never heard of them but I will mention it.)
Thanks for the thoughts so far from everyone.
SteveP.
wrote:

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Hi Steve
I live in northern va for more than thirty years and had a garage shop with no HVAC and just a propane heater in the winter.I had no problem with rust on any of my tools.
Len
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Thanks, that's the kind of directly relatable experience that is helpful. One thing that I have kept in mind is that my jobsite tools stay in a job box outside pretty much year round, and things like my chisels don't rust. I just wanted to confirm the wisdom of recommending cabinets before I get this guy to spend a fair amount of money.
SteveP.

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Sat, Dec 2, 2006, 11:32pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@frontiernetnospam.net (HighlandPairos) doth sayeth: I have a client who wants us to finish and outfit his workshop for him <snip>
I'd tell him my concerns and let him make the final decision. After all, it's hard to symphasize much with a woodworker who hires someone else to set up his shop for him.
JOAT I am, therefore I think.
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I do have to laugh at that aspect of this whole job. I don't think that he is that serious a woodworker. He has a few tools, but from what I can see he has a job that only allows him to work, eat, sleep and make lots of money. This is not going to be a hardcore wood shop, probably more of a handyman kind of shop.
Steve P.
(Highland Pairos) doth sayeth: I have a client who wants us to finish and outfit his workshop for him <snip>
I'd tell him my concerns and let him make the final decision. After all, it's hard to symphasize much with a woodworker who hires someone else to set up his shop for him.
JOAT I am, therefore I think.
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Sun, Dec 3, 2006, 4:30pm (EST+5) snipped-for-privacy@frontiernetnospam.net (HighlandPairos) doth sayeth: I do have to laugh at that aspect of this whole job. I don't think that he is that serious a woodworker. He has a few tools, but from what I can see he has a job that only allows him to work, eat, sleep and make lots of money. This is not going to be a hardcore wood shop, probably more of a handyman kind of shop.
Ah. Sounds like one of those guys that buys a Hummer, with all the off-road options, then drives it to work and back, and never, ever, takes it off pavement.
I heard of a guy who had a shop loaded with about every tool made. Drawers, with places for all the small stuff, Top quality wood in all the cabinets, etc. He'd show every visitor his shop, and all his tools. He was really proud of it. But his wife said the only thing he did out there was dust and polish, he never made a thing, or even attempted to. I can't quite grasp that concept myself, I'd want to use every damn thing I had, at least once. So I'd say recommend top quality stuff to him, not necessarily the most expensive, but the stuff you'd want for yourself, if you had the loot. Then ask for first dibs on buying, when he decides he wants the room for something else.
JOAT I am, therefore I think.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J T) wrote in

different hobbies for different folks. They're not all like you or me, certainly.
Patriarch
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Steve, You are the professional. Your client is paying you to make decisions. Asking this group for advice is courting disaster. This group has professionals and amateurs. Most of the professionals are extremely talented (Robert, Robo, Leon, swing, etc. and others) and many amateurs are talented too (sorry talented amateurs, you are too numerous to list), but there are a number of folks who have an idea how things should be and give (in their mind) sage advice. Beware of these people even if they speak the loudest. I would use a bit of common sense. Do I live in this area? How do my tools and machinery react to this environment? A discussion with the client as to his expectation and requirement might be prudent. I was new to the business a long while ago and had to learn, often the hard and expensive way; are you fairly new? Regards, Hank
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Now would betetimeto add more windows. Maybe even a cheap r/c A/C unit high up on the wall. I like windows high on walls as well. Better light, better venting, more privacy. Easier to do now than later.

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We just had an oversized garage/shop built and code is specific about having windows positioned so firemen can access easily wearing their safety gear. I'd positioned them not so close to the floor for storage underneath considerations until I pondered a bit.
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