Garage heat

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My wife and I bought a house last year and are planning on building a new garage. I figure a 24' x 24' size is close to the basic 2.5 car. Fortunately I am blessed with being married to a wonderful woman that is OK with the idea of building a garage 2x the above size 48'x24' with the 2nd 24'x24' area to be my shop. I live in the cold winter state of Wisconsin and am looking for a decent garage heater that would work great. I am considering running natural gas out to the garage and can use that or I was thinking of istalling a woodburning stove. I like the second idea (great way to get rid of scrap).
Thanks in advance for the advice.
Rick
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If it is an attached garage, the wood burner (or any solid fuel heater) is against national fire code. On a detached garage, it is just not a good idea and still may be against code. Go with the gas, put the scraps in the fireplace.
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That's not what I recall, but then I guess one of us is wrong. But he does have a good point. Check the codes before you start planning, this allows you to avoid "oops" when you go to file the building permit. I know locally a heated shop/garage would have to be built "the same" as a house, ie the concrete slab would have to be insulated from the ground, the walls insulated and drywalled, etc. Other things to consider, have a wall and door between the shop and the garage. This will help keep the wood dust off the cars. Also a 24x24 garage is not really a 2.5 car garage.That's the size of my current garage and two cars, with the storage racks, just fit. As to power, I would drop at least a 60 amp-220 service, including 220 power for either heavy woodworking equipment or welders
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I concur; however configure that wall with some big doors (maybe pocket doors?) so that the car bays can be used for extra in/out feed space for table saw or other tool. (how often do you really need to rip a 12' board?
As to heat, I think that wood as a sole source of heat is a terrible idea in Wisconsin. As a suppliment, go for it if codes will allow. You will probably want to keep the shop at am "decent" ambient temp (40? 50?) in the dead of winter so that you can go out there and work without waiting too long for everything to warm up. You can really do that with wood.
I live in Northern NY (same climate). My shop used to be in an unheated garage. The shop simply shut down at Thanksgiving. At the edges of the woodworking season it was really unpleasant to work with 35-degree tools.
-Steve
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I now longer have the particulars but you can look it up. NFPA codes coer it in two sections. Oil, gas, electric can be turned of. Solid fuels can burnfor a dayor so after they are thought to be "out". Fumes from gasoline can make the garage go "pooof".
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Open flame heat of any kind in a woodworking shop is IMHO, not a good idea. The right wood dust/air combo can be explosive, as can the vapours from solvents be hazardous. Code in my area dictates that even a natural gas heater/furnace must be in a room isolated from the work area. The air it needs for combustion has to come in from outside. An friend of mine tried the wood stove. He always ran out of scraps. He would come by and be eyeing my shipping pallets. Ask yourself if you will have enough scraps. Particle board and MDF don't burn very well. I hope to build a proper shop in the near future. As Knothead suggested, I hope to be able to afford in- floor heating (under a wooden floor on top of concrete), water, heated with natural gas, one of those really cool pulsing mini boilers (switchable to propane). Then hang either pre-made Delta or shop-made air-circulating filtration unit, which will also bring the heat down from the ceiling. My previous shop had forced air, 85000 BTU blowing shit everywhere. Cleaning filters 3- sometimes 5 times per day. Every time that Bad Boy would start, my wallet would have a spasm. Electric heat is clean but costly. And make sure you have a way to keep up the humidity. Heated winter air is dryer than a popcorn fart, and will twist your lumber into pretzels. Besides, air with some moisture feels warmer than it is.
my 2 cents
Rob
"Common sense is not common" Voltaire
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sandman wrote:

While this is true, it's difficult to get that particular dust/air ratio inside your dust collector, let alone in the shop in general. You'd pretty much have to set out deliberately to do it. A spark popping into a dustpile on the floor is more likely to be a problem.

A more significant concern.

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Well hello from a fellow Badger! If you haven't built yet then I recommend radiant floor heat. At least get the tubes into the concrete and you can add on later to finish. I do the one, two punch. Radiant floor heat and a small wood stove to burn scraps to bring the temp up quickly. The woodstove generally only gets lit when the Packers are playing and the homebrew is flowing. My shop doubles as a local watering hole for several of my woodworking buds. About Thankgiving I turn on the radiant for the winter and keep the water temp about 80 degrees which equates to the concrete being about 50 (ie ambient room temp 55) and just leave it like that till well past the damp days of spring. I like that working temp and have absolutley no issues with rusting equipment. I live in the country so I'm running propane.. last two winters have been really mild so I have not gone through one refill on a 300 gallon tank I can't give you much of an idea of annual cost beyond that. Shop floor footprint I'm heating is 26x32 with 12' ceilings. I also highly recommend having it super insulated with spray in foam. I have r30 walls and about r60 in the ceiling. The comfort level is noticeable but if your dealing with neighbors the sound control from that insulation is excellent.
Knothead
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Knothead wrote:

much. I like the idea of adding the radiant floor heat but will place on top of the concrete with a floor over that (standing on concrete can be hard on the joints and I alreay have bad knees). This is still in the planning stage with a build date at the earliest being late summer 05. I do plan on heavily insulating the whole building. There will be a wall separating the garage from the shop with the possibility of putting a garage door in the middle in case I need extra space for large projects (SWMBO isn't aware of that plan hehe). The more I think about it, with dust problems and all, I am leaning more to a regular furnace placed on the garage side with vents running to the shop side. That way the dust won't clog up the filters as quickly and both sides can be heated. As far as electricity, I plan on running min 60 amp with a 220. I also will be running water and a connection to my home LAN so I can look up tips and such without having to run to the house (detached garage in case you didn't get that by now) to look things up. I will create a dust free box to protect my laptop.
I will hire a contractor to do the slab and shell of the garage and do the electric, gas, LAN, phone, insulating (min R38), and drywalling myself.
Thanks Again, Rick
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Rick;
If you put the furnace in the garage and vent warm air to heat the shop and the garage, the shop air MUST be returned to the furnace. Seems that the dust that isn't deposited on the filters WILL be deposited on the cars and the storage items in the garage. More likely you will duct directly back from the shop to an enclosed furnace. Perhaps you won't provide any heat to the garage. You will still have the dust returning from the shop to the furnace filters. (From a heating engineer in my past life).
Brian
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Rick wrote:

Make some kind of access provision if you can figure out a good way to do it. Friend of mine lives in a very nice house that her father (an architect) built. Used to have in-floor radiant heat, in the slab. The pipe broke a while back and it cost less to put in a new warm air system than it would to fix the leak, so no more in-floor heat.

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I have in my garage just what the Dr. ordered.
40,000 BTU Gasmac infra red heater. There is no explosion concern because the whole thing is a closed circuit gas plasma heater mounted about 9 feet above the floor. It warms up whatever is beneath it and can get my double car garage from the mid teens to a toasty 70 degrees in 10 minutes.
I do not know about Wis. but up here any heaters must be at least 18 inches off the floor to avoid fume ignition.
Any type of forced air will certainly move your dust all over the place.
If the garage is attached, you will possibly need a fire retarding door to the house.
Best bet for hydro is to drop a sub panel in the garage which will permit adding circuits as needed. Additionally, this will allow for an easy way to add an emergency generator for when the hydro goes out. I found this to be just the ticket for me.
--
PDQ --
| My wife and I bought a house last year and are planning on building a | new garage. I figure a 24' x 24' size is close to the basic 2.5 car. | Fortunately I am blessed with being married to a wonderful woman that is | OK with the idea of building a garage 2x the above size 48'x24' with the | 2nd 24'x24' area to be my shop. I live in the cold winter state of | Wisconsin and am looking for a decent garage heater that would work | great. I am considering running natural gas out to the garage and can | use that or I was thinking of istalling a woodburning stove. I like the | second idea (great way to get rid of scrap). | | Thanks in advance for the advice. | | Rick
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Best bet for hydro is to drop a sub panel in the garage which will permit adding circuits as needed. Additionally, this will allow for an easy way to add an emergency generator for when the hydro goes out. I found this to be just the ticket for me. - PDQ
Just in case someone thinks PDQ is referring to water:
I checked his headers, PDQ in in Canada (sympatico.ca) Hydro is short Hydro-Quebec, which is Quebec-speak for "electricity".
Steve
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I would plumb in gas and look at installing a gas heater well above the floor. One option many use is a second hand, or salvage residential furnace. These can be bought reasonably from construction salvage operations, heating contractors or via want-ads. If you have overhead space, mount the base of the furnace a couple of feet off of the floor - this gets it above a lot of the fumes that settle. In a smaller garage, you might not need much in the way of ducting. I purchased a good forced air furnace several years ago for $25 but most are $100 or more. If you buy it from a contractor it should be inspected.
Another, higher cost, option is an overhead gas furnace like that seen in a lot of auto and wood shops. BTW, if you have South exposure don't forget windows - solar gain is cheap, cheap, cheap.
Might run this past the local fire department but I believe it will be ok. I agree with others that wood is not your best approach.
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I play with... and restore... cars as a hobby in addition to creating a lot of sawdust...
A 24x24 building is honestly barely large enough for 2 cars
That said... I have 2 garages a 24x40 which I normally do not heat but with 2 4 post lifts so I can park cars on top of one another and a single 2 post lift so I can work on the cars...
The second is a 24x24 2 story building that I have to use to store 2 cars ...so my woodshop is very inconviently on the second floor..(ya gotta do what ya gotta do)
But I heat that building with a gas furnace (116000 BTU) that my son converted to propane since I am nowhere close to a natural gas line...
As I type I see the tempature outside is 29 degrees (weather bug) the thermostat (it is upstairs in the woodshop) in the garage shop is set at 48 degrees... I know I can walk out ther now and set the temp to 70 and the shop will be heated up to 70 within a half hour..
GO GAS...... I keep a 55 gal drum behind the building for burning scrap ... I gave up using a woodstove 30 years ago in my shop... not because it was unsafe (it most likely was) but it took forever to heat the shop up...but even more problematic I had to worry about the stove long after I left the shop at night...
Lots of luck... As another poster noted radiant heat in the floor would be absolutely great...I spend way too many an evening laying under a car on cold concrete floor .. And like another poster suggested I would have a wall either solid or made from a roll down tarp down the center of your building to seperate the shop from the garage...both for heat and dust...
Bob Griffiths
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Bob G. wrote:

WI) and am limited to a max of 20% of my back yard for maximum size. I currently have a 1 car detached garage which will have to be torn down to allow for the 24x48 one I want to build. If and when I finally retire (30 years down the road) I would like to move out to the country and build a pole barn for a shop, but that is way down the line. As for the 2 story garage, I thought about that but the city code wont allow a detached garage be higher than 15'.
After reading the replies, I am going to go with gas and let the kids burn the scrap in the portable outdoor fireplace when they want to have campfires. However I do turn pens also so my scraps are going to be very small when it comes to solid woods.
Rick
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Ref my previous post about reclaimed forced air furnaces. I had a forced air furnace in a small shop years ago. The furnace came from a 1,200 sq ft house and I was using it in a small 250 sq ft shop. When the blower came on, the windows literally rattled. It would take the temp from 30 degrees to 65 degrees in 15 to 20 minutes. Metal things, like table saw tops, etc stayed cold for a while but the furnace worked well, to say the least.
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On Thu, 16 Dec 2004 10:32:43 -0500, Bob G.

Man, heavy-duty warming unit, eh?

Great!
And you had to put up with the smoke, cleanings, fire tending, etc. They're a lot of hassle and the warmth goes from chilly to melting you in a period of 15 minutes. No fires for me any more except on a campout or beach where ladies are present. They love 'em. ;)

I've been using creepers since I was 18 and won't crawl around on the ground again if there is -any- other choice. On gravel, one makes do sometimes, but not on concrete or pavement. I'm on wheels every time.

No, I'd opt for a solid, insulated wall and a wide door separating the wood half from the gasoline half. I don't want gas and oil fumes stinking up my shop or the wood stored there, TYVM. Uh, uh!
One guy mentioned having to change filters several times a day, and I bet 1) he didn't have a dust collector (or no .3u filters if so) and 2) he used a -sander- a whole lot
if he had that much maintenance trouble.
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Rick wrote:

Lots of good advice here and I'll chime in with a hearty "me too!" I have a 45K BTU Reznor gas heater up high. I have a garage with a 24x15 shop attached on the end. There is a garage door between the garage and the shop which I keep closed as much as possible in the winter. There is a fire wall between the shop and the house. The best thing about heater over stove is that I set the thermostat for about 45dF after I am through for the day and that keeps stuff from freezing over night. I reset to about 60dF if I am going to work out there and it stays that way without further effort.     mahalo,     jo4hn
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ranted:

Run gas out there and pick up an old furnace from the local HVAC places for pennies on the dollar. Wood stoves are for the birds and neighbors hate them for their smog. With good filtering, the unit could also be utilized as an air cleaner.
Make sure the ceilings are tall. I have 8-1/2" ceilings and am very glad for that extra 6 inches when I play with plywood or other large sheeting and longer boards.
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