Have had great answers in past..let's see on this one.
Want to take one section of garage shelving (2x4 with brackets to hold
cross pieces, 3/4" MDF for shelves, 24" front to back, 6' in length)
and insualte it to hold paints/varnishes/glues/etc. Would merely
staple foam insualtion to existing "box" (inside surfaces of shelving
section), then put in cheap electic heater at lowest setting, cover
off with 3/4" plywood panel (door) with perimeter seal (no insulation
on door itself). Area to heat would 6'x 2' by 26".
Would this setup cause problems with the MDF?
Do I need ventilation holes in the door to let moisture escape?
Any other gotchas or just go for it?
Ouside temp is not bad but cold enough to have ruined some finishes
before - don't want to repeat and don't want to cart the cans into
This one goes in the "cheap and dirty" approach.
Buy some throwaway styrofoam coolers.
Store them on shelves off the ground.
String a 10W light bulb inside each container.
An alternate is to get a defective refrigerator before it gets the
Rewire the light switch to keep the light on sll the time.
If there any welders on the list, they will recognize the reffer trick
as one they use for welding rods.
I suspect an electric heater is overkill. I'd start with a light
If you can find a cheap thermostat, then you have the temperature
under control. Otherwise I'd put some sort of thermometer where I
could see what was happening as far as temperature inside the cabinet.
Unless it was sealed up pretty tight with a gasketed door, I would
figure that normal cracks and gaps would take care of any ventilation
Tell us what you did after you do it!!!
Or a couple--light bulbs burn out, using one for heat can be a recipe
for disaster (says the guy who had to replace the water pump after the
bulb burned out on a particularly cold night).
If you check with pet stores that do any kind of business in reptiles
you'll find that they have 60, 100, and 150 watt screw in ceramic
heaters (directly replace a light bulb) that are more reliable. Cost
more up front but cheaper in the long run, especially if by not
burning out at an inopportune moment they save the contents of the
Can you still get the simple old fashioned bimetal type with mercury
switch at Home Despot?
My shop sees temps that are ~ -25 to
-30. When I'm not there, it's not
heated. I have a small cabinet that I've
lined with SM styrofoam, and running
around the inside perimeter of the
cabinet is (for lack of a better term)
heat tape. It's not a tape per se, but
it looks like an extension cord. It's
used to attach to copper plumbing to
prevent it from freezing.
There is a thermostat in the plug and
the thing kicks in at some temp around
freezing. The cabinet stores my glues,
finishes and water stones.
I can't speak to your MDF issue but the
tape causes no damage to the SM, and
keeps things warm enough to prevent
freezing. BTW, this thing never gets
hot. It's warm to the touch when it's
on, and you could wrap it round your arm
and not get burned.
I'd use a light bulb for heat, cheap (electric heater + flammables = no work
shop). Seriously, I trust no small electric heater I can't see. In an
enclosed space it's gonna overheat it might just kick a breaker or it could
catch fire all to easily.
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