Opinions for heating shop

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You've had a bunch of great suggestions, I'll add another. When I lived in Kodiak Alaska, we used a waste oil heater in our boat barn. It will run off of just about anything petroleum based including used motor oil. Locals would bring oil to us and we heated the shop very cheaply. When no used oil was available we'd burn whatever was cheapest (usually heating oil or diesel) at the time. Just a suggestion.
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Rich Harris :1986 CJ7, Detroits F/R, 4:10's, 33"BFGMT's, Mopar F/I, 4.0L
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canadian snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I used one of those 20 amp construction heaters in a 12 x 20 shed. R12 walls, R20 ceiling, R0 floor. It was home for a few years while I built the big shed.
http://www.mts.net/~lmlod/Cabinfront6.jpg
I ate and slept in the small shed when outside temps. dropped below -40 deg. (Manitoba) No problem. Takes about half an hour to warm the place up to a comfortable temp.
The heater doesn't run continuously. It cycles on and off. Even with the heater running you still have enough power for most tools, one at a time. If you need more power unplug the heater. Once the place is warm your good to work 15 - 20 min. at the coldest temp without heat.
You could always run a #10/2 out there just for the heater. 75' may be a bit too far for #12.
But what the hey. Why buy a $60 heater that may out last you when you can blow a grand or two on a heating system thats worth more than the shed. :) :)
An old friend used to say "Sometimes you think so hard you out smart yourself".
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Very interesting D'Bonnie, thank you - what youre saying verifies what I already decided to do. (Your old shop sounds identical to mine (which I thought was nice, albiet before i saw the pic of your new shop - any shots of the inside? :) ).)
Anyway, after messing around outside last night I'm not so worried.
With the heater running I could still run my 3 1/4 HP router and my mitre saw at the same time without tripping a breaker. As you note, as long as I can run one machine with the heater on I should be fine. I dont have a DC yet, but the small scale ones im looking at only draw a couple amps, so no big deal there.
Though based on calculations, im still suprised that a 16k BTU heater would be able to warm up and maintain the sq2 footage we are talking about - but then maybe its becasue we are Canadians - warm to us is differnt to warm for a southern america (ie didnt someone earlier say they fliped on the heater when the temp his 60f outside?) :)
So, my current plan is: A forced air Kerosen (possibly propane, im going to research price here), prob ~50k BTU. Ill flip that beast on first thing to warm the place up quick and thats it. Ill leave the electric heater on to keep the chill off and I think ill be good.
Final Question: People arm of water vapour with unvented heaters. Makes sense. Im planning on bringing the de-humidifer from the basement out to the shop for the winter - not likes its needed inside during that time anyway. Any reason why this wouldnt work?
Thanks for responses everyone, all interesting.
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(snip)

Well... label on my shop dehumidifier sez only use at temps 60 degrees and higher. Coil freezes up otherwise. I suppose you could aim the heater at the coil, enough to melt the ice but not to warm it up enough so that it doesn't work. But then, all you're doing is evaporating the water back into the air. As I think and write... you may be able to put the back of the dehumidifier sticking outside, with a heater on it... nahhh... too geeky.
With respect to large hunks of cast iron, though, I grabbed a couple of magnetic engine block heaters that I'm going to be sticking to the large hunks this winter. They're about 100 watts or so, but left on all the time, they should keep the cast iron warm enough to avoid condensation on the "cold night/damp morning" transitions. My shop is not heated full-time, but I did just pick up an 80000BTU reznor shop heater (really too big for my space, but the price was right) that might find a home in there -- as soon as I plumb for gas. And lots of it.
"Chip" in Columbus
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On Tue 29 Nov 2005 08:29:31a, canadian snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote in

I have my doubts but can't quote anything to support my theory that a dehumidifier would not take the water out of the air fast enough so it wouldnt affect the cast iron.
The other side of the coin is, what the heck could it hurt? Certainly couldn't make things worse, and the worst case is, you have to sand some rust off some cast iron. Certainly that will get old pretty fast but it don't do it no real harm.
I think the idea of a propane heater with an electric helper isn't a bad way to go. The only way we learn about this stuff is ask questions, take our best guess with what we hope won't make things worse, and then go do it and see what happens.
Maybe placing the dehumidifier as close to the heater as possible would make a difference. Probably not right in front of the flame, though.
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canadian snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I may have a humidity problem this winter. I have about 5000 brd. ft. of lumber drying in my garage/shop. Finding room to move is a challenge at the moment.
Your humidity problems will likely be the result of temperature changes. De-humidifiers work well, until they freeze solid. Their efficiency tends to drop a tad after that.
Give this a think.
http://groups.google.com/groups?q=rust+prevention+on+tools&qt_s=Search
I use TopCote. Seem to be working.
As for the inside of the big shed, imagine lots of drywall thats about half way done priming, and a whole lot of empty. The empty part is what the wood pile is all about.
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latecomer to this thread. Your planned approach (Forced air kero heater for the "heavy lifting" and an electric unit to keep the edge off) makes sense. There was alot of concern about moisture as a byproduct of combustion.
Curious what you did.. The Salamander (what we call the kero topredo 'round here) is a sound choice for periodic use (as opposed to maintaining constant temp). The shop is an out-building with an uninsulated floor, then theres more moisture coming thru the floor (concrete?) than a kero or propane heater will throw i bet.
So What Did you go with and how is it working?
MikeD
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Way late on this thread but this might help someone. There are "basement" dehumidifiers that specifically address the colder ambient temperatures. Interesting sidelight is that they'll generate heat for the area as well. Got mine at Graingers. Best if you run the drain through a hose to the outside instead of worrying about emptying the tank.
TomNie
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I have a 24 by 32 foot shop with 10 foot ceiling in Delaware. I heat it with a Hot Dawg 45,000 BTU propane heater hanging from the ceiling. It operates on a 15 amp circuit and does a great job. Go to this site to look at them. http://www.qcsupply.net/hdmodineng.html
Frank

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