Has anyone experienced problems storing power tools, or other workshop
paraphernalia (varnishes etc) long term in a workshop that has no a/c
and is in a tropical humid climate?
I keep portable power tools inside, partly for security but table saws
etc are going to be too big.
I don't live where there's a lot humidity like Florida, but suggest
that you might want to do the following:
1) Get a dehumidfier for the garage.
2) Work at keeping rust at bay. Use floor wax (no silicone) on
chisels, etc. to prevent them from getting rust. I'd imagine you
will have to
this on a regular basis, like weekly.
3) Look for Boshield at a Rockler, Woodcraft (I think Lowes might carry
a rust inhibitor. Instructions on the product.
Good luck. Also do a Google search in this newsgroup for terms like
"Florida", etc. A lot of woodworkers are in Florida.
Oh, find a class or a club near by. Ask the members what they would do.
might be found by doing a Google search.
<snip good suggestions, 1) dehumidifier, 2) wax, 3) Boeshield>
I have also found that rapid changes in temperature accelerates
oxidation, so using an AC has to be a constant thing, in which case the
shop needs to be well insulated.
I too have been researching cooling my 1 car garage workshop.
For my purposes (hobbyist plus car in garage when tools not in use)
I am almost decided on the portable AC units.
My understanding is that swamp coolers (evaporative cooling) won't
work in Florida.
Has anyone used the portable AC units? They have small intake and
exhaust hoses about 5 feet long. I plan on opening the garage door a few
inches and putting the hoses there when the AC is in use. I'll put some
wood along the rest of the door to seal it a bit.
The portable units are very expensive compared to a window unit about 5-600
for 10,000 BTUs. I'd like to get the temperature down to about 80 within 45
You quickly discover how leaky a garage is when you start dumping BTUs
of cooling in there, waiting for a change. I put a fairly big window
shaker in mine (~6-7kbtu) and it didn't do squat. If you stood right
in front of it you were OK but on the other end of the garage it was
Swamp coolers don't work in a swamp. They should be called desert
I tried a portable A/C unit for a few days (3 car garashop) and it didn't do
squat even with
insulation. Way undersized, but might help in a smaller area. I ran the vent
hose into the attic
to get rid of the exhaust. Remember that these things suck in 20-25 percent
outside air as the
exchange air for dumping the heat outside. So if the thing blows 250 cubic feet
per minute, it will
suck in 50-60 cfm for the exhaust stream. They're not very efficient for that
reason. We use it in
the dog days of summer to sleep cool the bedroom. If you know someone who has
one, see if you can
borrow it for a couple of days and see how it works out.
It wouldn't cool my shop, but for detail work, you can adjust the vents to blow
on you while working
quietly at the bench. My face would sweat, but my back was comfy. Check the
window a/c web sites
for sizing assistance. I found that helpful when I was looking at window units.
GE are a couple sites I remember.
Hope this helps.
I've tried both window and portable A/C in a garage and neither did much except
spin the electric meter...
My best cooling is with a LARGE round-cage fan blowing in a window and another
big box fan blowing out the garage door... with A/C I tried working with the
door closed and it just got hotter...
In my office I use a window unit with a small oscillating fan in front of it to
spread the air... a ceiling fan would help, too.. but both would be disruptive
in a shop...
My new shop will be enclosed and have built in heat and A/C but that presents
another set of problems... keeping dust out of the unit... *sigh*
Well, not that it's really useful info, but I seperated my unit in it's own
little space in a corner of the garage. I've got the intakes in the "closet"
if you will, pretty good. I can go about 4 months before changing the filter
on the unit itself, and once a month or so on the filters on the intakes. I
buy the el cheapo blue fiberglass filters by the case for a little of
nothing. It's a 2 ton unit that serves double duty heating/cooling the
garage and shop.
I live in Mississippi (high heat, high humidity) No air in shop. No
real problems. Have to clean and wax those cast iron tables every so
often, but not a problem. Most of the rust on the tools come from me
dripping sweat on them.
I visited a couple of shops that were in the Bahamas. Comments by the
owners "if you use the stuff it doesn't have time to rust".
I had an garage shop in Kissimmee and really did not have a problem with
rust. I kept the tools waxed and ran an 18-20 inch fan constantly.
Currently I have a separate shop building in the Ocala area and have the
same results using the wax/fan.
I used a $78 window unit, and another, and another. Even with a good filter
system in a very small shop, dust is a killer on the window unit. So, for
$200 and a little digging, I got central air and heat. Life is good as
filters are 2 bucks a piece.:also with no sweat in Kentucky!
Well, I'm in a small (11x13) shop with no dust collection other than a
homemade box with fan and filters to get the really fine stuff out of
the air. Half the time I forget to run it.
I've got a window AC (maybe $98) that I've been using for about 4 years
now. It still runs fine. I cut down a furnace filter and taped it
across the intake on the outside. Every time I vacuum the floor, I run
the vacuum over the filter. So far so good.
Note that I am a hobbyist and my four years of use probably doesn't
equal one year of full time use. But still, for that price ...
Oh yea, I agree with you. I just could never remember to clean the dang
filter!!! Seemed like I was pulling the unit 3 or 4 times a year and
spraying the coils. You know what they say about age I hope, cause I forgot.
Like was said earlier, if you use it it won't rust. But if you aren't
apt to use the tools a great amount and just aim to tinker with some
projects here and there, you might check into some with cast aluminum
tables. I've a small craftsman table saw that sees very little use
(maybe twice per year) and aside from wiping the dust off of it I've
never had any problems.
Also located in humid Kentucky,
Thank you Mr. Spock....
Though true in a strictly speaking sense, your statement doesn't really
hold water for this particular discussion.
Mechanical activity doesn't "inhibit" oxidization but the use of
woodworking tools does. It helps prevent and reduce the effects of
Just so we're clear. Oxidization --- in simple terms --- rust.
I'm no scientist but I know that if I use my tools regularly they don't
rust. My uneducated guess would be the oils from your hands, sap from
boards, and abrasion created by sliding wood/materials across the metal
surfaces combine to help polish and protect them from rust.
If you take two saws and use one once or twice a week for a month and
leave the second alone for the same time frame I'll bet you that the
unused saw will show signs of rust.
I think it's the sorrow of imagined abandonment that causes unused
tools to rust. They become scared that you've forgotten about them and
their tears of sorrow and heartache cause the rust.... ;-)
Its clear you don't fall in the class of woodworkers that actually use your
tools very often. My fathers table saw NEVER received any rust preventive
for 20+ years. It's only recently I had to use some TopCote. But then
again, he is 80!
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