Working in a cold garage

I've just kitted out my garage with a workbench and realised that it's not the most comfortable place to stand for hours when it's chilly. So I'm thinking about a heater - more specifically one of those 1kW Halogen near-infra-red heaters which I understand might heat me (and my otherwise frozen fingers) better than a fan heater trying to add heat to limitless amounts of cold air. I've seen such heaters for around 20. Drawbacks on this direct radiant heat approach?
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Adrian C

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A popular solution here is to use one of those 300/500 watt floodlights. They put out a fierce radiant heat and decent working light.
Kills two birds with one stone and reasonably cheap.
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If you're going to spend a long time and use the garage seriously, then it would be far better to insulate the garage. You could then use a couple of kW of heat of any form and be comfortable.
A small directed heater will only provide very local warming and you will feel cold as you move from place to place.
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.andy

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White plates, no red glow ? I've got 500W of that directly over the workbench. It's enough, but I wish it was 1kW.
--
Smert' spamionam

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wrote:

I also find it helps to have one's feet off the cold floor. Duckboards or even pallets can help with this in the bench area.
Pete
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Yes, a pair of 'ski boots' also helps.
The real problem I have with working in the garage is that everything that has to be touched or picked up is icy cold, with the inevitable effect on the fingertips. Gloves help of course, but can be too clumsy for some jobs.
--
Tony Williams.

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Tony Williams wrote:

that's exactly what I was about to post.
there's no substitute for insulation and I've often wondered how hard it would be to run some well insulated feed and return hep20 type tube down to the garage and install a radiator.
RT
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wrote:

It's very cold today and Spouse keeps coming in to warm his hands. He says tht the very thin ply he's working with seems to be sucking the heat from his fingers. Gloves would be impossible for the job he's doing - or most of them because he's usually making very small items.
He stands on boards and mats, is wearing thick shoes and socks and I've told him to keep the door closed and put on the fan heater. He - anyone - needs to be comfortable in such circumstances. If you're not you don't do a good job.
We'd like to know if there's anything more efficient in fuel use and heating than the fan heater though. He won't use a gas heater because of wood dust and flammble materials. An electric convector heater takes a long time to warm the space.
He's not a wuss (and it's silly and offensive to accuse anyone of that).
Mary

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"Mary Fisher" wrote | We'd like to know if there's anything more efficient in fuel use and | heating than the fan heater though. He won't use a gas heater because | of wood dust and flammble materials. An electric convector heater | takes a long time to warm the space.
You can get industrial electric fan heaters for wiring in, that have more oomph than the 3kW max from a 13A socket. No more/less efficient/expensive than any other electric heater.
Any electric fan heater except those designed for dusty environment would be susceptible to dust build up inside. Better would probably be a fan-assisted radiator (unit heater) eg "Myson" off a wet central heating system.
If the workshop is some way from the house and only has electricity then what about a small microwave and some of those microwaveable bean-bag handwarmers. At least he could then have a constant supply of warm handwarmers in his pockets.
Owain
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I'd wondered about a radiator coming from the house system but a) it would take time to warm up and b) (more significant) where would it be sited? There's no wall space!

Oh come on, Owain! You don't really expect the Fishers to have a microwave do you :-)))))
Mary
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On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 21:27:54 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

These things are no larger than a fan heater, Mary, and about a quarter of the price to run.

What about your air conditioner that works by leaving the fridge door open?
--

.andy

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I only said I'd wondered! It went no further :-)

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Mary Fisher wrote:

Get hot water fan blown hot air curtain then.
Simply ideal fr this application. Fast to warm up as well. As used in shops. Blows hot air down to floor level.
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On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 11:19:12 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

Long infra-red - the white ceramic heating elements without the glow. This wavelength is absorbed by people, but not the air, so a wall-mounted heater can keep _you_ warm over a large area of workshop, even if the ambient isn't changing by much.
Machine Mart have 2kW heaters, and eBay has them cheaper (tools/industrial - plenty of them). My own is a little 500W jobbie made with surplus heater elements. I wish it were bigger - it's fine for working at the bench, but not the whole shed.
Or take up smithing. That's a good winter occupation 8-)
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Smert' spamionam

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wrote:

Thanks, I'll look further into that and tell him.

Of course, but you can't make the things he's making at the moment on an anvil. I suspect he's saving smithing jobs for when winter really sets in!
Mary

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snipped-for-privacy@zetnet.co.uk says...

I use a diesel fuelled blow heater. Very slightly smelly but ir warms up the place very quickly and then only needs to be used in bursts to maintain a comfortable level of warmth.
--
Paul Mc Cann

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On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 11:19:12 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

The best investment that you could make, Mary, would be to insulate and draughtproof the place.
Before doing that, to reach a reasonable temperature of say 18 degrees to do work comfortably would need 3 x 3kW fan heaters and at this time of year wouldn't make that temperature. Pretty expensive too.
Afterwards it takes 3kW at the most. This would be OK with one fan heater, although I have done it using a separate circuit from the central heating boiler. Very comfortable and very cheap to run.
--

.andy

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wrote:

You must either be joking or have an unusual garage/workshop.
Our hasn't had a car in it for many years. The walls, when they're not concealed by large and heavy machinery or benches, are covered with shelves and cupboards. It would be nigh on impossible to get all that stuff out to insulate - although when we built it we used blocks with a good insulating integrity. When the door is shut there are no draughts. It's not an old, falling apart wooden garage, rotting in the corners. It's solid with double glazed windows (which have shelves across them) and the solid, thick wooden roof is clad internally and felted externally.
But when you're working with no heat from say 9 to 7, with a break for lunch (which is what he likes to do) in today's temperature it gets cold. Worse, the materials and tools he works with are cold.

That's far higher than he'd need.
I like the other Andy's suggestion and shall put it to Spouse over dinner tonight, when he's well fed, wined and warmed.
Mary
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On Sat, 13 Nov 2004 18:10:49 -0000, "Mary Fisher"

Not at all. It's a single leaf brick built large garage with pitched roof, felted and tiled.
I decided that if I was going to use the space properly then it needed to be dry, raised to a reasonable temperature for comfortable working. Costed out in terms of running costs, I reckoned that I could recover the cost of the materials in about three years. It looks on track to achieve that. Plus I don't have issues with extreme variations in temperature and humidity, so it makes dealing with materials easier as well.

I simply bit the bullet, threw out a load of stuff that was unneeded anyway and stacked the rest. It was worth the effort.

That's not too bad, probably. You could quite easily reduce the heat loss by a half to two thirds.

I think that that's the point. It's a miserable experience having to do that and demotivating into the bargain.

It depends on what you want and what you're doing. I don't really want to dress up in anoraks and thick woolies because they get in the way.

I guess that you have to look at what your needs are. Personally, I don't want to be restricted to just keeping warm in one place. I want to be able to easily use the whole space and have a low running cost to do so.

--

.andy

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Yes, but what does it contain?

Oh, so it's fairly new. After ten or more years, when you've built up a comprehensive range of machinery, tools, materials and other necessaries you might remember this conversation :-)

You can't throw out things you use - I'm not talking about stuff saved 'against the day'. All that was skipped when the garage/workshop was built. I'm talking about welding equipment, a forge, a milling/lathe machine, a sander, a planer ... I could go on (I usually do!) but I shan't.

I doubt it, without rebuilding and we're too old for that.

When the temperature isn't as low as it has been today he's fine. I'm the one who's concerned. He's not miserable and he's well motivated. When he's not he comes inside - he doesn't HAVE to do what he does, when it stops being fun he stops.
As I do.
In fact in the past, when conditions have been bad, he's done things in the house. One Christmas day the dining room was converted to a welding shed, another Christmas a friend brought round a car engine and put it on the dining table for stripping. I learned to accept this sort of situation the first time he brought his motor bike through the front door and into the sitting room - it couldn't get round the corner into the dining room. That was more than thirty years ago. We'd always done push bike maintenance in the house when it was cold. We don't believe in suffering.
It's all part of Life's Rich Tapestry ...

He's tough. We don't have 18 degrees in the house.

LOL! I can't remember when we last had an anorak in the house and then it belonged to a teenage son. The youngest is now 36 ...
Thick woollies aren't necessary. But you need bare hands for the delicate work Spouse sometimes does and that's where the problem is. Metal especially but even wood can draw out the heat from fingers.

Quite.
Hmm. You're demonstrating again that you either have a large workshop or it hasn't yet been filled with the necessary equipment for the diverse jobs you do. The working space in Spouse's workshop/garage is very small so he stays in one place all the time..
I told him about Andy Dingley's suggestions, he's going to look into it.
Mary
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