Keeping warm in the shop

Well, I know my shop can't be as cold as some of yours (I live in Northern California), but I really find that I avoid doing anything during the "hard" winter months here - Dec - March. So I like to change that.
I have a small ceramic heater that I know is puny, but if I close the shop doors (it's insulated and a single stall wide), it should do fine. I was thinking of my feet on the concrete slab and wondering if anyone had experience using foot heaters - the kind you use for hunting, hiking?
Do they work? What other things do you do to stay warm in your unheated shop? Extra socks? Thermal underwear?
MJ
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Insulated boots used by hunters come to mind. Rugged. Comfortable.
Also a thick throw run in front of the workbench will help tremendously.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I live in Buffalo, NY and worked outdoors for over 10 years. The HotHands foot warmers work well with insulated footware. The boots I wore had 1000 grams of Thinsulate. The HorHands last for about 6 hours and kept my feet warm in sub-zero temperatures as long as your feet stay dry.
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Get something between your feet and that concrete. Either get some wood down there or some kind of rubber mat.
If your feet get cold, they deserve some kind of special footwear. My wife has a couple pair of foam insulated boots. They are lightweight, if a little bulky, but super warm. She swears by them. I use the old hikers trick. A thin sock inside of a thick sock. This was to help prevent blisters. But it keeps your feet warmer too.
I am a big believer in protective footwear. My work boots have a steel toe. They saved my toes a few times. (Not that I ever drop anything on them. cough, cough)
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I don't know what type of shop you have barn, garage, basement, shed.
But I like an oil heated radiator over the ceramic. They hold the heat longer and just feel more comfortable.
As far as the floor, like everyone else said. Also look into the OSB with rubber or plastic bubbles underneath . They are made for concrete underlayment for a wood floor. They do two things protect your tools and the bubbles get you off the concrete and protect the wood.
Wish I had done mine like that. I put down commercial vinyl tiles. Those OSB tiles weren't around then.
On 11/30/2010 7:13 PM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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wrote in message

1) A lot of heat is lost via the head in cold weather, so a knitted cap is a good idea. 2) Rubber floor matts keep your boots off that cold concrete. 3) An insulated vest helps a lot without restricting the arms as a jacket can. 4) A thermos of hot tea or coffee. 5) I've tried fingerless gloves to help keep my hands warm, but I only use them for tasks where fine dexterity is not required, like steering a ROS around.
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glegroups.com...
The knitted cap is probably the biggest bang for the buck. Quartz radiant heaters work really well too, like Upscale mentioned. I find that radiant heat is best for my fingers as I can't stand anything on my hands when I manipulate tools. I should add that radiant quartz heaters should be used in pairs as they cast a shadow of cold and don't really heat the air much at all. http://tinyurl.com/23btcwq
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http://tinyurl.com/23btcwq
This thread reminds me of a (machine) shop that I was in a couple of years ago. I was looking for a job and they seemed to be pretty excited to get me to work there. Nice machinery, nice tooling and nice work. One big downside. It was in an unheated tin building. In addition to no heat, there was a large bay door that stayed open most all the time. This in Washington state. Freeze during the winter and bake during the summer. No thanks. Not the worst I've seen though. Was in one once that had a tin roof. That's it. Just a roof. There were times when the guys had to dig their machines out of a snow drift in the morning.
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On Tue, 30 Nov 2010 16:13:54 -0800 (PST), " snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com"

I agree with keeping your feet off the concrete. I have some if the inexpensive Harbor Freight interlocking tiles in front of the bench. Warmer in winter and better for standing on year round.
John
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wrote:

Heating, like lighting can be task specific. Shops have a lot of volume, and it is sometimes very wasteful to try to heat or cool the entire shop. Sometimes it is just plain impossible. Specifically placed heaters work better. I like those long ones like they have at Costco, and am looking into buying one, but I wonder how much fuel they use. As for comfort for the feet, yes, anything insulated and softer than concrete will be good for you in the long run.
Steve
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I was at the Toronto woodworking show this past Saturday. There were a number of outfits selling radiant heaters similar to the Lee Valley heater in the link below. Anyway, I could feel the directed heat from them every time I passed one even though I was a good eight feet away. I'd suggest that such a heater would be very useful when one wants to warm just one area and not the whole shop.
http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?pD590&cat=1,43456,43465,44590
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On Tue, 30 Nov 2010 16:13:54 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I just wear insulated socks, but I have a wood floor. Some of those rubber floor mats should help isolate the cold concrete.
--
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw

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wrote:

After 25-30 years of buying and smelling Kerosene for a kerosene heater I switched to a very economical alternate.
I purchased a natural gas version of a radiant wall heater from a local Propane dealer. It is a 25,000 btu version and cost about $225 during a year-end clearance. When we built the house a couple of years ago I had the plumber leave me a stub and valve in the basement just beneath the planned garage location. A couple of weeks ago I bought about $100 worth of plumbing pipe and valves and plumbed it in. Works like a charm and the Kerosene and cans were delivered to our son for his garage.
Our neighbor has a similar unit in his separated garage but did not want to plumb natural gas from the house. He has a propane tank, provided by the local LPG company, sitting outside of his shop. They ran the line through the wall directly to the heater.
RonB
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Those work good. Just remember they put out various materials. e.g. don't seal up so tight you breathe in the exhaust.
Also, get a RH meter - a cheap one is fine. Watch the water factor so it won't rain at night when it gets cold. One way is to flush out the shop when leaving.
Actually it can be rain or a dew. Some of that is good - when the RH% is very low in the winter time.
Martin
On 12/5/2010 10:29 AM, RonB wrote:

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wrote:

Followup - Mine is one of the un-vented versions that shuts itself down if oxygen level starts to drop. With two garage doors and some open area around attic door I haven't had to worry much about air exchange, at least so far.
I read a lot of comments about infrared radiant heaters only heating things. This one does a pretty good job of heating the entire space which is slightly over 1,000 SF with an 11 foot ceiling. Yesterday was a 20 degree morning and the garage temp was down to about 48 degrees (garage is attached to house and shares a 30' wall). within one hour the temp was up to 56 and eventually rose to about 65 before I turned the thermostat back. These temps were registered on a thermometer that is on the same wall as the heater an about 6-8 feet away, so the heater isn't pointed at it.
No concerns with water yet as I do not run it at night. But I have been watching windows for condensation and so far none. Admittedly, I have very little history with the heater so far but will be using it often for the next few months.
RonB
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Actually keeping it warm will keep it from raining I would think.
When you allow it to get cold is when the condensation would drop, just like it does every night.
Keep enough heat there every night and your tools should stay rust free, all it to cool and watch out.
On 12/7/2010 10:45 AM, RonB wrote:

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Want to thank everyone who sent in suggestions about working in the "cold". I realize our daytime low of 55, is awfully "wimpy" compared to many other places, but it is relative, right?
I am now in the hunt for insulated boots. I do have pads I can use to get my feet off the concrete. And Santa's been told (or Mrs. Santa) that I need a down vest. A good suggestion!
A heater, hmm. well that will just have to wait. I might get by on my small ceramic heater for the now, looking to beef that up later.
Thanks again!
MJ
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Yes, it's 28F here in central IN today, you'll get "relatively" no sympathy from me. I wouldn't even say it's cold outside yet!
Bill

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On 12/5/2010 4:37 PM, Bill wrote:

9F this morning. I think I placed a curse on central Indiana! ; )
As far as woodworking, just read and design when it's too cold and be ready to take advantage of when its not!
Bill
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