When you have not been in the shop for a bit, in this case - three
months - things smell funny.
Some of this is about the desiccated squirrel that is found beneath
the plywood roll-around.
Most of it is about the dead air of an enclosed space - unused and
uncared for - for too long a time.
There is incipient rust - not quite rust, but a lacking of smoothens
on the cast iron surfaces. No color of rust but the essence of rust
ready to hand.
There is a remarkable lack of dust, as though the winter air was too
thin to carry the burden of solids that the more fecund seasons have
in abundance. Still, there is staleness.
About a third of the shop lights have gone out.
I'll be after them soon.
Spring - the season is come and the work is to be done.
I'll open the doors and let the winter musk away.
tjwatson1ATcomcastDOTnet (real email)
It will almost spoil the mood, as I add, in my decidedly inelegant prose:
A couple of things I learned this winter..
The big iron in my unheated shop does not fare well in the damp,
rollercoaster-temperature winters in Ohio. Condensation is a constant
companion. This year I fought back on two inexpensive fronts:
First, I procured several magnetically-attached engine block heaters
from the nearest Tractor Supply Co., and affixed two to the largeish
milling machine, and one to the metal lathe. (Those with real cabinet
saws and jointers would place them there, as well.) Kept them on all winter,
at 200W each. My hope was that they would make those machines
"not the coldest thing in the room" and would keep them from being
the recipient of all the condensing moisture. That has seemed to work,
and the applied heat seems to have no ill effect on the machines.
(They fared just as well or better than the Boeshield-covered items.)
The second, and non-seasonal condensation combatant is a fan.
I have found that leaving a small fan on all the time keeps the air
moving, and the condensation down. My shop is way too leaky
to start to smell musty; several air changes an hour must take place!
The only squirrels in the shop this winter were a pair of live ones.
Humane transplantation was the temporary solution. The hardware cloth
patches will be, I hope, the permanent one.
Next winter I'll have heat.
(I actually have an 80,000 BTU garage heater now, but since I don't
have nat gas out there, it remains uninstalled. It is, however, available
in the Central Ohio area if anyone has the need and the cash/trade.)
Sorry for that small commercial...
The nice thing is, we've done several small projects out there already
this spring. Off to a good start.
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