Yet another garage heat question

It's not a workshop yet, just a garage ... when it's a workshop it'll have underfloor heating, we just aren't likely to get there for another year or so.
So I'm looking for a temporary solution to keep me from freezing out there in the meantime while we're working on the house (it's 6 deg F outside today). I've read the various posts re: propane vs. kerosene vs. electric, and while lots of folks asked about dust, I didn't see anything about more volatile substances. One of things I need to do is paint, with oil-based paints (and the requisite cleanup, of course, which is probably the dangerous part). Are any of these heaters safe to use in a painting environment?
Extra moisture's my other concern as I do have my tools out there. There is a dehumidifier out there which pretty much sits idle this time of year, but as the tools have only moved from the utility room (heated) to the garage recently it's too early to say if rust might be a problem - however, I think not as none of the cast iron & steel stuff that has been in the garage these last two years is exhibiting rust.
I don't have gas at the house, and I can't stand kerosene (I'm one of those folks who can really smell it), so I'd likely be looking at either propane off a BBQ tank or electric. The garage is 500 sq ft. of poorly insulated space, and I'd rather not punch a hole through it for ventilation since this is only supposed to be temporary (yes, I know, remember to ask me how temporary it really was in 10 years ...)
Thanks!
-- Chris ________*________ Chris Barnabo, snipped-for-privacy@spagnet.com ____________ \_______________/ http://www.spagnet.com \__________/ / / __\ \_______/ /__ "The heck with the Prime Directive, \_______________/(- let's destroy something!"
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I have an 80,000 BTU propane heater. It get's the shop heated up amazingly fast - one day it went from about 35 deg. F to about 75 deg. F in about 20 minutes. The shop side of the two car garage (there's a wall in between) IS insulated, which I'm sure makes a difference. Still, lot's of windows and even 3 skylights, so there's plenty of places for heat to be lost.
As for volatiles - I just used oil-based primer and paint on a chest of drawers. All I did was to make some space on the kitty corner side of the garage from the heater. I let the shop get nice and warm (more to let the materials get warmed up than anything else) and then cut the gas flow to about 50%. As long as you don't get a really high concentration of organic fumes almost in direct contact with the flame, you're really in no danger. Make sure you wear a good respirator, but that's of more concern, IMO, than the flammability. I shut the heater off when I'm done and the shop will stay above 50 deg. F at about 4-5 hours post the turn off (that's in about 20 deg. F outside temp). Still takes a full day to really be ready for subsequent coats, but it get's the job done.
Mike

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I went through this whole decision-making process for my garage/shop a few months ago. The cheapest option I found was to get a 220V, 30amp outlet installed in my garage and to buy a heater similar to this one:
http://www.shop.store.yahoo.com/air-n-water/dal4elshgahe.html (the one I purchased looks the same but is by a different manufacturer and only cost me about $140).
Total cost ran me less than $300, and the electric route seems much cheaper here in Denver because of utility prices. Short of my "cheap solution" I was going to go with a vented, natural gas unit, which with installation was going to cost around $2000! This is not my ultimate shop and I'm not necessarily made of that kind of money. The little heater I got in my shop warms the whole place up in about 15 minutes if it's about zero degrees outside. It also has a thermostat so that it turns on/off as needed. For me this was the best solution.
I have no concerns about paint/solvent fume ignition with this solution and, after considerable research, am not worried about wood dust explosions.
PJ
P.S. I tried one of those "Reddy Heaters" that hooked up to my grill's propane tank, but I simply couldn't stand the fumes.
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Gots to put my oar in here . . . especially after Joanne was just elected 'Fleet Surgeon' at the Club.
Depending on the design & BTU's {vertical 'tube' about 22,000 BTU} they were going for about $125.oo several years ago . . . remember that 'energy crisis' thing ?
Anyhow, at that time we had an older {less efficient} natural gas / forced air heater. We had the heat at about 65 and were huddled under blankets every evening to watch TV. Forget reading . . hands were to cold to hold a book. The heater was still cycling all the time and the got really ridiculous. Some people were attempting to heat their homes with open ovens, and kerosene heaters . . . and EVERY evening the local news carried some horror story about fires. Of course, the follow-up usually indicated some 'terminally stupid' actions {using gasoline instead of Kero, taking the 'chimney' off and using the open flame, filling a lighted heater, etc.}were the cause.
I 'did my home work' and we got a small one. Took the chill off, nicely. The next year we got a larger, 22,000 BTU unit {later were given another large unit}. With a small 'whisper fan' it heated the entire house . . . and you couldn't tell it was going !! Very simple steps . . called 'follow the instructions, stupid !!' . . . start it outside, turn it off outside {this is when you have the 'smell'}. Keep the wick clean by 'burning it off' regularly . . . very infrequently if you use quality Kero. At about $1.oo per gallon, a 5 gallon can lasted a week plus.
The bottom line is I have some experience. When we got an up to date gas heater / central air unit, the Kero heaters were available for 'shop use'. Up to then I had been using the 'little one' as a hand warmer & chill chaser. With the bigger units all I had to do was start it outside, put it near the 'front', about 3 feet from the garage door, raise the door about 6 inches to a foot, and in about 30 minutes the place was 'sweat shirt comfortable'. The metal top was a once place to warm some old 25-pound 'weight plates' which made nice 'hold downs' for epoxy work. Having two, I could use them 'on & off' - if one started to burn low in the middle of a job, I would simply move it outside to 'burn off' and light up the second. I stopped using them because of a simple chemical fact . . . one of the by-products of burning kerosene {and other hydro-carbons} is . . . WATER. Just take a look at your car's tailpipe when it is warming up. Until the Catalytic Converter gets hot, that stuff dripping out is water. The kero heater puts that moisture into the shop environment. Increasing the possibility of rust on ferrous metal surfaces, and in my case . . . curing epoxy surfaces & joints.
I set up a small wood stove I had for a lot of years. Not as effective as the Kero, but a lot more 'cozy'. I just don't do 'large jobs' during the colder months . . . the cutting & milling is done there, but the assembly is done where it's warmer.
If you can get good FRESH AIR circulation & venting . . . there is no problem with using kerosene heating. Just keep an eye on your tools & joints . . . having a couple of hygrometers handy {one in the shop, one outside} would let you keep an eye on the difference in humidity.
Regards & Good Luck, Ron Magen Backyard Boatshop
----- Original Message -----
Newsgroups: rec.woodworking Sent: Friday, January 09, 2004 06:46 Subject: Re: ANOTHER Shop Heat Question

SNIP
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A question. If you already have the garage, how are you planning to run the pex? Are you hammering out the existing concrete or are you running it on the concrete and planning to put in a wooden floor over top? An aquantance of mine has done a few installations of in floor heating and tells me that when they install now, they insulate the floor before the lay the sand base and pour etc. They were finding that a lot of heat being produced was absobed readily into the ground and not into the garage space because the garage is at ground level and not below the frost line. Overall, a very expensive option regardless of how you do it.
I, myself, am looking at a gas fired, radiant heat tube (Infra-red) when I build my garage/shop. Same type that you see in you local Lumber supply warehouse, but smaller. Efficiency is higher than a furnace, safer and the infrared heat heats the objects in the space instead of the air. Costs about the same as a small furnace with better results. I know another individual who has one in his 24 x 26 shop and it takes all of about 10-15 minutes to heat the whole shop comfortably in really cold weather. His is a 10 foot tube if I remember correctly and is set at a 45 degree angle to the floor at the front of his shop. Only caveat for you is that it requires a single side vent but I think it is a great option since I have seen it first hand. You have too if you've gone to some local supply warehouses.
John V

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snipped-for-privacy@shaw.ca says...

Oddly, the garage slab is several inches lower than the rest of the house, so I figured we'd easily be able to run the PEX and pour over it, bringing the finished concrete flush with the rest of the house. But ...

... I'm sure there's no insulation, and given the speed at which radiant heats (slow!) and the fact that the garage isn't always going to be in use, I'm really starting to think it's not such a good idea.

I've seen those, and something that can fire fast and heat quickly is sounding like a better idea. As another poster said, I can always shut the thing down when working with volatile materials. The biggest problem is fueling the thing ... I don't have gas in the house, so I'd need an external tank (or something that could fire off our heating oil). One other poster suggested a 240V electric model, which could definitely be accomodated when I get around to rewiring (need to bump up the electrical service and add a new panel anyway if I want a decent table saw ... :-)
Thanks, everyone, for all the suggestions!
--
-- Chris
________*________ Chris Barnabo, snipped-for-privacy@spagnet.com
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Electric is expensive. These radiant heaters can also accomodate propane.
John V

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Try these,
Ray-Tec (could not find a web address)
http://www.qualitec.ca/qdihome.htm
http://www.rezspec.com/index.php?pageid 0000000007&mod_catalog[category]0000000015&SelectBrand=Reznor&mod_catalog[mode]=modlist
I will look for more information. The guy I know only paid about $400 for his but it was used. I have'nt found out how much new. The 20 footer is around $1500Cdn installed. But that is the only quote I got. The 10 foot tube heater would be far less I'm sure.
John V

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If you don't mind me jumping in here, what is this heater? Brand name, or "type" name/style? When you say "gas fired", are you talking about propane, or natural gas? (or both?) Are we talking $200 or $2,000?
I'm presuming that I won't find it at Home Depot or Lowes - maybe more like a HVAC supplier?
Thanks for your patience -
Nick

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http://www.patioheating.com
I have more links somewhere, will find them and get back on this. Cost here varies. Generally I found that regular heating contractors don't sell them but a few commercial contractors/companies do. Can take both Propane or Natural gas. I have seen very few electrical with the output that the larger ones give. Besides the electrical end up being more costly if you like being comfortable.
John V

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Found my list of links under a reno category, sorry about the wait. These are what I have. Hope all the links work. Some have excellent info. Others are product pages. I haven't followed up for a while as my garage will not get built this year. (New baby in the house). Anyhow, hope you find the info helpful. If you want me to try to find more info, just let me know.
http://www.ccithermal.com/catalog/page124.htm http://www.spaceray.com / http://www.esmagazine.com/CDA/ArticleInformation/features/BNP__Features__Item/0,2503,115672,00.html http://www.combustionresearch.com/whatir.htm http://www.electricpatiospaceheaters.com/infratube-infrared-heaters.htm http://www.spaceray.co.uk / http://www.schwank.co.uk/main.asp http://www.infrasave.com/html/tube.html http://www.nfesc.navy.mil/pub_news/tds/7337tds.htm interesting article
John V

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