Damage to woodshop if it freezes

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What is the harm if my wood shop freezes from time to time? My wood shop is a 20x20 separate building with a concrete floor. The walls are insulated and covered. The roof is 9 feet and has a pitch of 4 because of the low snow fall in the area. The roof is still open but doesn't have a ridge vent so it will hold it somewhat. I have glue and wood finishing products stored in the shop along with my tools. I use a propane heater to get the shop heated up in the morning and turn it off at night. It got down to 17 last night and does get below freezing from time to time.
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Hey Keith,
As a rule, any products that are water-base, such as glue, stains, paint, etc. are usually destroyed once they freeze. The thawing process prevents them from recombining back to their original state. Plus, I'm sure heating up and cooling down any wood you have in your shop is reeking havoc with the moisture content of it.
Ed Boston Accent Furniture
Tired of working for the man? Turn your woodworking into a full-time income and fire your boss! Find out how right here: http://bostonaccentfurniture.com/apprentice
size=2>...</FONT></DIV><FONT size=2>&gt; What is the harm if my wood =shop freezes from time to time?<BR>&gt; My wood shop is a 20x20 separate building with a concrete floor. The walls are<BR>&gt; insulated and covered. The roof is 9 feet and has a pitch of 4 because of the<BR>&gt; low snow fall in the area. The roof is still open but doesn't have a ridge vent<BR>&gt; so it will hold it somewhat.&nbsp; I have glue and wood finishing products stored in<BR>&gt; the shop along with my tools. I use a propane heater to get the shop heated up<BR>&gt; in the morning and turn it off at night. It got down to 17 last night and does<BR>&gt; get below freezing from time to time.<BR>&gt;</FONT></BODY></HTML> ------=
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Hey Keith,
As a rule, any products that are water-base, such as glue, stains, paint, etc. are usually destroyed once they freeze. The thawing process prevents them from recombining back to their original state. Plus, I'm sure heating up and cooling down any wood you have in your shop is reeking havoc with the moisture content of it.
Won't hurt the wood. Transition times between extremes are short, and wood can't catch up. Frozen wood won't dry, though.
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Sheetrock can loosen and cracks form in the mud with temperature extremes.
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It will ruin the glue (some can take a freeze cycle or two) and most any water based products. I store all my finishing stuff in the house. I keep any cordless tool batteries in the house.
Machines are not bothered. I've not had any problems with wood. I tend not to do any fancy stuff from January to at least mid March though. While I'm not aware of any wood related problems, I am aware of how I don't like working in the very cold.
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Ed
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A trick my father-in-law uses in his shop. Put all of you glues, etc.. into a small cabinet, also mount a light bulb in the cabinet and leave the light on. As long as it doesn't get into the negative temps you should be good to go, at the very least it should keep everything above freezing. The key here is small cabinet, a light bulb does give off heat but not enough to heat some the size of a refrigerator. If you have a lot of stuff to protect either make two small cabinets or go to multiple light bulbs. Remember to raise everything up off the floor of the cabinet to allow air flow.
John C

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That's a good idea that I've used to prevent instrument senders freezing. Use 2 bulbs though. That way when one blows, you are still protected.
John
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Keith wrote:

Like everybody else said, don't let your glue and other freezables freeze. Titebond can take a freeze or two, but many other types of glue will turn into useless glop immediately after one freeze.
Most everything else should be fine. I haven't been bothering to take in my finishing materials, and I've had an unheated, freeze-prone shop for a number of years now. Mineral spirits based stuff will get too cold to work in freezing temperatures, but it seems to thaw out just fine. Alcohol-based stuff (ie shellac) doesn't seem to care about being frozen at all. It needs to be applied above a certain ambient temperature for the magic to happen, but it doesn't seem to object to being exposed to freezing temperatures repeatedly. It can also be applied successfully at a much lower temperature than any other finish I'm aware of, which was one of the big lures of shellac for me.
I do most of my woodworking when it's hella cold out. Better hella cold than 120 F, which is where my shop sits in any kind of sunny weather. It's even gotten into the 80s out there a couple times this winter. I really need air conditioning.
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Biggest worry would be condensation and RUST on your stationary tools
Also, many glues advise NOT to let them freeze, and I would worry about some of the finishing products as well, might be worth calling the tech support folks for the products and ask THEM about THEIR products.
But, MY major worry would be warming the AIR faster than the big hunks of IRON and getting sweating/condensation and RUST on my tools
John
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About a week or so it warmed up here to around 65 deg. The sidewalks were wet with condensation as was the garage floor as was my Unisaw table. Boeshield didn't help much. I finally had to work off the rust with a 3M maroon pad on my finishing sander. And then when it got cold again, the blade crank squeeks when I had to cut some picture frames.
Larry
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Top Saver. Incredibly good stuff.
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Many thanks for the suggestions and concerns about freezing. Guess I need to remove those items to the house or rig up a small box the heat. I'll watch for rust also on some of my new toys(Delta Table saw).

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Keith wrote:

I wouldn't watch for it, I'd try to prevent it proactively. I have an unheated shop too, and when the conditions are right for rust, rust happens fast. Overnight things go from clear and shiny to absolutely covered in rust. Literally overnight. Go out the next morning and "What the hell happened to my tools?!"
There have been thousands of posts about how to deal with rust on this newgroup. A brief summary of what works for me is: Johson's paste wax on all iron/steel surfaces, applied and maintained diligently; and a cheap box fan keeping the air circulating around. Faster moving air has some effect on the dingleflootchie manuver or something and somehow magically keeps the condensation from settling down. Not my idea, and I obviously don't quite remember how it's supposed to work, but work it does. I don't quite remember when the conditions are supposed to be ripe for this to happen either, so I just leave the thing going 24/7. Cheap insurance. I would probably cry if I woke up one morning to a rusty saw top.
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wrote:

Keep glue, paint, and finishes from freezing.
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Don't forget about battery operated tools. Freezing temps aren't great for batteries.
From the Dewalt Battery FAQ (NiCad): Does the outside temperature affect batteries? How? Yes. If the batteries are too hot (1050F or higher) or too cold (below 400F), the batteries will not take a full charge. Attempting to charge batteries outside the 400F-1050F range can result in a permanent loss of runtime. When batteries are being charged and discharged a chemical reaction is taking place, and if it is too hot or cold the chemical reaction is disturbed causing a loss of runtime.
Tim
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Tim wrote: ...

Damn!! That's my problem...I keep trying to use the darn things at room temps! :)
(I'm presuming a decimal got dropped in the translation although that would seem more precise than necessary???)
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Yep, the translation to plain text lost the decimals. It should be 105 F or higher or below 40.0 F. I guess 40.1 is okay...
Tim
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I'm thinking the degree symbol came across as a zero.
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I'm building a light box now so I'll try to make it big enough for the batteries to. I'm starting with a 100 watt bulb for now but two 40 watt bulbs may be the way to go.

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A 100 watt light bulb puts off approximately 300 BTU's. If you place it in the bottom of a closed cabinet that allows some ventilation between the shelves it is more than enough to keep most water based woodworking products from freezing.
If you cover the cabinet in one of the construction foam board materials, it will be even tastier inside. Home Depot and Lowes sell a small thermostat that plugs into an extension cord or an outlet. You can then plug a lighting fixture into it. The device will turn on around 40 degrees and off around 50 degrees F.
Some folks put a thermometer inside the cabinet so that they can verify that it is warm enough to keep their glue and water-based materials safe. Also, remember that if the power goes off, that you might have only a very short time to empty the cabinet and bring the contents to a location that is above freezing.
Two years ago, one of my friends who went through a seven-day power outage in January kept his glue and water-based finishes from freezing by rigging up a Coleman catalytic heater to keep his paint cabinet from freezing.
The small model runs about 18 hours on a small propane bottle. It did the trick.
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