Opinions for heating shop

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Hi all.
Well, froze me socks of yesterday, so its time to look into heating for my shop.
Details:
- Outdoor, above ground shop, ~75' from my house (read closest NG supply). - ~16x18 feet. 8 foot ceilings *except* the center portion (lets say about 16x6 feet thats open straight up (for a skylight). - All walls are insulated with R12 pink. - Portions of the ceiling are R20 where i could, other is R12 - Floor is _not_ insulated (ill do this next year if i need to), wont be easy since drywall sits on top of plywood floor, and i cant get underneath from outside.
My dilema:
I only have 40amps out here. God knows im kicking myself for cheaping out on wire when i buried it, but thats all ive got. So any serious electric heat means the strongest power tool i can use is a hand saw.
What i've got right now:
An "industrial" electirc fan heater. It draws 20 amps at 220v iirc. It outputs ~16,000 BTU's. Hooked it up yesterday, I cant see it providing enough heat. Plus it eats up a good chunk of power.
What Im considering:
- One of those free standing radiant propane heaters - ie "http://www.propaneshop.com/mall/more.asp " - which is rated at 8-42k btu. Question: Any comments?
- A forced air propane heater - ie http://www.heatershop.com/propane_forced_air_30_fas.html Question: Comments? AND I worried about risk of explosion since it would be pulling in duty shop air. Valid?
OR do you have any other comments or suggestions on what avenue I might go for heating?
One approach I considered was wall a hung radiant propane heater for ~1000.00 with plenty of heat (like 70k btu) - however this bad boy required a dedicated propane tank installed outside beside my shop. Since my shop is in my backyard, surrouned by hedges and nowhere close to the driveway for refilling the tank, this isnt really an option (nor is getting getting it past my wife, she would consider that an "eyesore"). Plus im not really up on spending 1000 bucks on a heating system Running NG from the house is another possibily, but my guess is the cost of that would be up there given the need for professionals to do some of the instal, etc etc.
Much thanks for your comments!
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Regarding one of the radiant heaters...correct me if I'm wrong (as if that doesn't happen *automatically* on this newsgroup...), but I think one of the byproducts of the radiant propane heaters is water vapor.
It's one of the reasons campers won't use them in small tents because they cause condensation to form and everything gets wet.
Now, given your shop air is not currently being "treated," this is probably no big deal.
But could this possibly aggravate a rust problem on tool steel?
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wood snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Water vapor is a byproduct of burning *any* hydrocarbon fuel, in *any* type of burner. This includes propane, butane, natural gas, kerosene, gasoline, heating oil, vegetable oil, corn cobs, alcohol, and wood, to mention a few.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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But with a vented system, most goes up the flue. With the system he's talking about, it stays in the shop.
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Point is, it doesn't matter what he's burning, or what he's burning it *in*, there's gonna be water vapor produced. Some of it will wind up in the shop. More winds up in the shop if it's unvented, true, but *any* combustion heater will put some water vapor in the shop.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
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this quarters issue of fine woodworking magazine has an article on this very subject. gives the pro's and cons of the different types of heating systems.go though your local bookstore and read it.
Len
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Wood burning stove. If you're like most woodworkers, your scraps will keep you warm and keep the shop clean.
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Duke of Burl wrote:

Insurance costs might be higher though.
Chris
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re water byproduct. Good point - Ive heard this as well, and ive also heard that rust on tools is an issue.
re Woodworking magazine having article - will do, thanks, though im hesitant.
re Wood burning stove. Id be all over this. But honestly - an open fire in a workshop with plenty of dust flying around scares me (unless I go airtight, what I have in the house). And that aside, i just can't see my insurance company going for this, but who knows, I will look into it.
Thanks all, keep those responses coming!
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<<< But honestly - an open fire in a workshop with plenty of dust flying around scares me (unless I go airtight, what I have in the house). >>>
Are you worried about a dust explosion or a simple fire started in a nearby dust pile? If its the former, my router's brushes throw off enough sparks to be an issue, and I'm sure you have some tools that do as well.
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Im worried about the dust explosion. I dont know enough on the subject to know if those are warrented.
It makes sense to me that with plentry of dust in the air, and a open flame heater that takes in that dust filled there would be some sort of explosion hazard. Warranted?
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If there's so much dust in the shop that there's a possiblility of explosion, you'd probably suffocate before it could happen. IOW, don't worry about it.
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IMHO, I would not use an unvented heater anywhere. In addition to producing water as a byproduct of combustion, they also pump carbon dioxide into your workspace. For a shop, a good choice is a vented, ceiling-mounted tube heater. Some (but not the only) sites for info):
http://www.airmechanicalinc.com/page54.html http://www.agradiant.com /
--Jim
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I don't have much bare steel in my garage so I use a propane forced-air heater with a 50# tank (about as much as I want to carry). It's shaped like the kerosene-fueled models; cylindrical with air in one end and flame out the other. It's adjustable 30-40-50 thousand btu. No thermostat, so I must turn it off when I start sweating. It does not get very cold in north Texas, so heating the area sufficiently around me does not take long. The little fan only draws about 3 amps 110V. I don't really have any dust since I'm usually working on a vehicle. I have one of the radiant heads that sits on a propane bottle. That's a rather large red-hot piece of metal that can burn skin easily. It's quiet too, so you don't realize that it's hot until you are very close. All the heat goes straight up except for the radiant heat that is felt about 12-18 inches away.
On 28 Nov 2005 12:51:29 -0800, canadian snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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canadian snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (in snipped-for-privacy@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com) said:
| OR do you have any other comments or suggestions on what avenue I | might go for heating?
Solar heating panels on your shop's southern wall might provide much, if not all, of the heat you want.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Unless you want to run another gas line, or upgrade the electric, you need "portable" fuel. This could be wood, kero or propane. I'd suggest checking on prices to see what is most affordable and the heater to go with it. I currently heat with kero and a fireplace I salvaged from a job (which is nice....especially when it's real cold and snowy, the shop is "cozy") The torpedo kero heater gets the shop warm quickly and the fire maintains it. My plans are to replace the fireplace (they are nice, but inefficient) with a wood burner and add a propane heater (our tank is 12' from the shop) to keep things warm. In your case, kero or wood is probably the way to go. A torpedo will warm it up quickly, but they are noisy. A radiant heater, although quiet, will take longer. Keep in mind that any unvented heater will add water vapor to the air in your shop, whether it be kero or propane or natural gas etc.. Personally, my biggest problem with water vapor causing rust is in springtime when the heaters are not running, but the humidity is high. Having a wood burner would probably be the least expensive to operate, you can burn scraps, branches that fall off your trees, trash, etc... It costs me about $75 a season for wood to keep the fireplace stocked and about the same in kero for a season. Propane is expensive, and IMO unless you have a large tank, or don't heat your shop much, is a pain to have to go get a tank filled all the time. My .02... Good luck and saty warm! --dave

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Lots of good advice so far. I'll give you my 2c as well. I use a large kero heater for my 2 1/3 bay garage/shop (Just shy of 500 sq ft). Its uninsulated on 2 sides (2 sides adjoin house) garage doors are aluminum type. Mine is 30K BTU if I remember correctly. Lows sells one, I think I got mine there or at the Orange store, I don't remember. It takes a couple of hours to bring it up to a comfortable temp when its really cold (like 20deg F). It can maintain temp in garage at any experienced outside temp so far. Anyway, my kero heater is the circular type, not the bullet type. One similar is here http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId043-000079999-RMC-95C7&lpage=none In fact that may be the one I have.
OK - Another option - I have a cottage. No insulation. off ground, on piers. Built in 1887. I have an unvented comfortglow 30K BTU Blue Flame propane heater. I have a 100lb bottle that I use a service to fill up. I only use the cottage on weekends and for a week straight in summer. I do not use it after the end of October until about March. We do have some cool nights in the early spring or late fall. Anyway - This heater mounts to the wall, has a thermostat and a blower. It does a great job at heating the cottage (about 900 sq ft). I did not put one of these in my garage because my wall space is a precious commodity. http://www.comfortglow.com/blueflame/cb30t.html
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Somebody wrote:

IMHO, this job cries out for one thing:
SOLAR.
When you install the solar, scrap out the sky light.
Lew
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On Mon 28 Nov 2005 02:51:29p, canadian snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

A woodworking coworker told me he invested in the propane version of a Hot Dawg system. http://store.patiohearth.com/hotdagahehdf.html
It vents *and* takes its air from the outside. No condensation. He really likes it. Runs it 24/7 to keep the cast iron at 45 or so, turns it up about an hour before he uses the shop. We're in south central Wisconsin. I'd get it myself but he's out in the country and I'm in the city where the red tape is so bad I quit researching before I'd found out about every permit, inspection, and licensed contractor I'd need before I was done. It looks like electric is the only way for me but fortunately it also looks like I'll be okay with a 30 amp heater. (I don't really WANT to brag, but I got 60 amps in my garashop, neener, neener, neener.)
Oh, his shop is a converted two-car. Can't remember the dimensions. I know he's got lots more room than my 20x19.
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That seems like a pretty slick solution but slick will cost ya. Seems thermostaticly controlled too! Nice.

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