My wife and I bought a house last year and are planning on building a
new garage. I figure a 24' x 24' size is close to the basic 2.5 car.
Fortunately I am blessed with being married to a wonderful woman that is
OK with the idea of building a garage 2x the above size 48'x24' with the
2nd 24'x24' area to be my shop. I live in the cold winter state of
Wisconsin and am looking for a decent garage heater that would work
great. I am considering running natural gas out to the garage and can
use that or I was thinking of istalling a woodburning stove. I like the
second idea (great way to get rid of scrap).
Thanks in advance for the advice.
If it is an attached garage, the wood burner (or any solid fuel heater) is
against national fire code. On a detached garage, it is just not a good
idea and still may be against code. Go with the gas, put the scraps in the
That's not what I recall, but then I guess one of us is wrong. But he
does have a good point. Check the codes before you start planning, this
allows you to avoid "oops" when you go to file the building permit. I
know locally a heated shop/garage would have to be built "the same" as a
house, ie the concrete slab would have to be insulated from the ground,
the walls insulated and drywalled, etc.
Other things to consider, have a wall and door between the shop and
the garage. This will help keep the wood dust off the cars. Also a 24x24
garage is not really a 2.5 car garage.That's the size of my current
garage and two cars, with the storage racks, just fit. As to power, I
would drop at least a 60 amp-220 service, including 220 power for either
heavy woodworking equipment or welders
Personal e-mail is the n7bsn but at amsat.org
I concur; however configure that wall with some big doors (maybe pocket
doors?) so that the car bays can be used for extra in/out feed space for
table saw or other tool. (how often do you really need to rip a 12' board?
As to heat, I think that wood as a sole source of heat is a terrible idea in
Wisconsin. As a suppliment, go for it if codes will allow. You will probably
want to keep the shop at am "decent" ambient temp (40? 50?) in the dead of
winter so that you can go out there and work without waiting too long for
everything to warm up. You can really do that with wood.
I live in Northern NY (same climate). My shop used to be in an unheated
garage. The shop simply shut down at Thanksgiving. At the edges of the
woodworking season it was really unpleasant to work with 35-degree tools.
I now longer have the particulars but you can look it up. NFPA codes coer
it in two sections. Oil, gas, electric can be turned of. Solid fuels can
burnfor a dayor so after they are thought to be "out". Fumes from gasoline
can make the garage go "pooof".
Open flame heat of any kind in a woodworking shop is IMHO, not a good
idea. The right wood dust/air combo can be explosive, as can the vapours
from solvents be hazardous. Code in my area dictates that even a natural
gas heater/furnace must be in a room isolated from the work area. The
air it needs for combustion has to come in from outside.
An friend of mine tried the wood stove. He always ran out of scraps.
He would come by and be eyeing my shipping pallets.
Ask yourself if you will have enough scraps.
Particle board and MDF don't burn very well.
I hope to build a proper shop in the near future. As Knothead suggested,
I hope to be able to afford in- floor heating (under a wooden floor on
top of concrete), water, heated with natural gas, one of those really
cool pulsing mini boilers (switchable to propane). Then hang either
pre-made Delta or shop-made air-circulating filtration unit, which will
also bring the heat down from the ceiling.
My previous shop had forced air, 85000 BTU blowing shit everywhere.
Cleaning filters 3- sometimes 5 times per day. Every time that Bad Boy
would start, my wallet would have a spasm.
Electric heat is clean but costly.
And make sure you have a way to keep up the humidity. Heated winter air
is dryer than a popcorn fart, and will twist your lumber into pretzels.
Besides, air with some moisture feels warmer than it is.
my 2 cents
"Common sense is not common"
While this is true, it's difficult to get that particular dust/air ratio
inside your dust collector, let alone in the shop in general. You'd pretty
much have to set out deliberately to do it. A spark popping into a
dustpile on the floor is more likely to be a problem.
A more significant concern.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
Well hello from a fellow Badger!
If you haven't built yet then I recommend radiant floor heat. At least get
the tubes into the concrete and you can add on later to finish. I do the
one, two punch. Radiant floor heat and a small wood stove to burn scraps to
bring the temp up quickly. The woodstove generally only gets lit when the
Packers are playing and the homebrew is flowing. My shop doubles as a local
watering hole for several of my woodworking buds. About Thankgiving I turn
on the radiant for the winter and keep the water temp about 80 degrees which
equates to the concrete being about 50 (ie ambient room temp 55) and just
leave it like that till well past the damp days of spring. I like that
working temp and have absolutley no issues with rusting equipment. I live in
the country so I'm running propane.. last two winters have been really mild
so I have not gone through one refill on a 300 gallon tank I can't give you
much of an idea of annual cost beyond that. Shop floor footprint I'm heating
is 26x32 with 12' ceilings. I also highly recommend having it super
insulated with spray in foam. I have r30 walls and about r60 in the ceiling.
The comfort level is noticeable but if your dealing with neighbors the sound
control from that insulation is excellent.
The replies I have seen have all been very helpful. Thanks a great
much. I like the idea of adding the radiant floor heat but will place
on top of the concrete with a floor over that (standing on concrete can
be hard on the joints and I alreay have bad knees). This is still in
the planning stage with a build date at the earliest being late summer
05. I do plan on heavily insulating the whole building. There will be
a wall separating the garage from the shop with the possibility of
putting a garage door in the middle in case I need extra space for large
projects (SWMBO isn't aware of that plan hehe). The more I think about
it, with dust problems and all, I am leaning more to a regular furnace
placed on the garage side with vents running to the shop side. That way
the dust won't clog up the filters as quickly and both sides can be
heated. As far as electricity, I plan on running min 60 amp with a 220.
I also will be running water and a connection to my home LAN so I can
look up tips and such without having to run to the house (detached
garage in case you didn't get that by now) to look things up. I will
create a dust free box to protect my laptop.
I will hire a contractor to do the slab and shell of the garage and do
the electric, gas, LAN, phone, insulating (min R38), and drywalling myself.
If you put the furnace in the garage and vent warm air to heat the shop
and the garage, the shop air MUST be returned to the furnace. Seems that
the dust that isn't deposited on the filters WILL be deposited on the
cars and the storage items in the garage. More likely you will duct
directly back from the shop to an enclosed furnace. Perhaps you won't
provide any heat to the garage. You will still have the dust returning
from the shop to the furnace filters. (From a heating engineer in my
Make some kind of access provision if you can figure out a good way to do
it. Friend of mine lives in a very nice house that her father (an
architect) built. Used to have in-floor radiant heat, in the slab. The
pipe broke a while back and it cost less to put in a new warm air system
than it would to fix the leak, so no more in-floor heat.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
I have in my garage just what the Dr. ordered.
40,000 BTU Gasmac infra red heater. There is no explosion concern because the whole thing is a closed circuit gas plasma heater mounted about 9 feet above the floor. It warms up whatever is beneath it and can get my double car garage from the mid teens to a toasty 70 degrees in 10 minutes.
I do not know about Wis. but up here any heaters must be at least 18 inches off the floor to avoid fume ignition.
Any type of forced air will certainly move your dust all over the place.
If the garage is attached, you will possibly need a fire retarding door to the house.
Best bet for hydro is to drop a sub panel in the garage which will permit adding circuits as needed. Additionally, this will allow for an easy way to add an emergency generator for when the hydro goes out. I found this to be just the ticket for me.
| My wife and I bought a house last year and are planning on building a
| new garage. I figure a 24' x 24' size is close to the basic 2.5 car.
| Fortunately I am blessed with being married to a wonderful woman that is
| OK with the idea of building a garage 2x the above size 48'x24' with the
| 2nd 24'x24' area to be my shop. I live in the cold winter state of
| Wisconsin and am looking for a decent garage heater that would work
| great. I am considering running natural gas out to the garage and can
| use that or I was thinking of istalling a woodburning stove. I like the
| second idea (great way to get rid of scrap).
| Thanks in advance for the advice.
Best bet for hydro is to drop a sub panel in the garage which will permit
adding circuits as needed. Additionally, this will allow for an easy way to
add an emergency generator for when the hydro goes out. I found this to be
just the ticket for me.
Just in case someone thinks PDQ is referring to water:
I checked his headers, PDQ in in Canada (sympatico.ca) Hydro is short
Hydro-Quebec, which is Quebec-speak for "electricity".
I would plumb in gas and look at installing a gas heater well above the
floor. One option many use is a second hand, or salvage residential
furnace. These can be bought reasonably from construction salvage
operations, heating contractors or via want-ads. If you have overhead
space, mount the base of the furnace a couple of feet off of the floor -
this gets it above a lot of the fumes that settle. In a smaller garage, you
might not need much in the way of ducting. I purchased a good forced air
furnace several years ago for $25 but most are $100 or more. If you buy it
from a contractor it should be inspected.
Another, higher cost, option is an overhead gas furnace like that seen in a
lot of auto and wood shops. BTW, if you have South exposure don't forget
windows - solar gain is cheap, cheap, cheap.
Might run this past the local fire department but I believe it will be ok.
I agree with others that wood is not your best approach.
I play with... and restore... cars as a hobby in addition to creating
a lot of sawdust...
A 24x24 building is honestly barely large enough for 2 cars
I have 2 garages a 24x40 which I normally do not heat but with 2 4
post lifts so I can park cars on top of one another and a single 2
post lift so I can work on the cars...
The second is a 24x24 2 story building that I have to use to store 2
cars ...so my woodshop is very inconviently on the second floor..(ya
gotta do what ya gotta do)
But I heat that building with a gas furnace (116000 BTU) that my son
converted to propane since I am nowhere close to a natural gas line...
As I type I see the tempature outside is 29 degrees (weather bug) the
thermostat (it is upstairs in the woodshop) in the garage shop is set
at 48 degrees... I know I can walk out ther now and set the temp to 70
and the shop will be heated up to 70 within a half hour..
GO GAS...... I keep a 55 gal drum behind the building for burning
scrap ... I gave up using a woodstove 30 years ago in my shop...
not because it was unsafe (it most likely was) but it took forever to
heat the shop up...but even more problematic I had to worry about the
stove long after I left the shop at night...
Lots of luck...
As another poster noted radiant heat in the floor would be absolutely
great...I spend way too many an evening laying under a car on cold
concrete floor .. And like another poster suggested I would have a
wall either solid or made from a roll down tarp down the center of
your building to seperate the shop from the garage...both for heat and
2 garages, nice. Unfortunately, I live within city limits (Waukesha,
WI) and am limited to a max of 20% of my back yard for maximum size. I
currently have a 1 car detached garage which will have to be torn down
to allow for the 24x48 one I want to build. If and when I finally
retire (30 years down the road) I would like to move out to the country
and build a pole barn for a shop, but that is way down the line. As for
the 2 story garage, I thought about that but the city code wont allow a
detached garage be higher than 15'.
After reading the replies, I am going to go with gas and let the kids
burn the scrap in the portable outdoor fireplace when they want to have
campfires. However I do turn pens also so my scraps are going to be
very small when it comes to solid woods.
Ref my previous post about reclaimed forced air furnaces. I had a forced
air furnace in a small shop years ago. The furnace came from a 1,200 sq ft
house and I was using it in a small 250 sq ft shop. When the blower came
on, the windows literally rattled. It would take the temp from 30 degrees
to 65 degrees in 15 to 20 minutes. Metal things, like table saw tops, etc
stayed cold for a while but the furnace worked well, to say the least.
And you had to put up with the smoke, cleanings, fire tending, etc.
They're a lot of hassle and the warmth goes from chilly to melting
you in a period of 15 minutes. No fires for me any more except on
a campout or beach where ladies are present. They love 'em. ;)
I've been using creepers since I was 18 and won't crawl around on the
ground again if there is -any- other choice. On gravel, one makes do
sometimes, but not on concrete or pavement. I'm on wheels every time.
No, I'd opt for a solid, insulated wall and a wide door separating the
wood half from the gasoline half. I don't want gas and oil fumes
stinking up my shop or the wood stored there, TYVM. Uh, uh!
One guy mentioned having to change filters several times a day, and
1) he didn't have a dust collector (or no .3u filters if so)
2) he used a -sander- a whole lot
if he had that much maintenance trouble.
"Most Folks Are As Happy As They Make Up Their Minds To Be"
Lots of good advice here and I'll chime in with a hearty "me too!" I
have a 45K BTU Reznor gas heater up high. I have a garage with a 24x15
shop attached on the end. There is a garage door between the garage and
the shop which I keep closed as much as possible in the winter. There
is a fire wall between the shop and the house. The best thing about
heater over stove is that I set the thermostat for about 45dF after I am
through for the day and that keeps stuff from freezing over night. I
reset to about 60dF if I am going to work out there and it stays that
way without further effort.
Run gas out there and pick up an old furnace from the local HVAC
places for pennies on the dollar. Wood stoves are for the birds
and neighbors hate them for their smog. With good filtering, the
unit could also be utilized as an air cleaner.
Make sure the ceilings are tall. I have 8-1/2" ceilings and am very
glad for that extra 6 inches when I play with plywood or other large
sheeting and longer boards.
"Most Folks Are As Happy As They Make Up Their Minds To Be"
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