HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
 
Thread Tools
Old Nov 29, 2005, 06:11 PM
Kevin Steele
Guest
n/a Posts
Workshop Heating

My workshop is in a detached brick built double garage 20' square with
a pitched roof. The two up & over doors are blocked off (one is
sealed with foam sealer and the other has a polystyrene lined
hardboard skinned pannel in front of it). Most of the walls are
polystyrene/chipboard lined. At the moment the temperature is about 5
degrees (just to cold for comfortable working). When I want to work
in there I use a small fan heater to lift the temperature a few
degrees -8 degrees seems OK to work in. I run a dehumidyfer, but at
these low temperatures it is obviously of little use.

Given the size of the workshop, would one of the small "greenhouse"
type of electric heater have any impact. It would be nice to keep it
a couple of degrees warmer -so it takes less time to get to a working
temperature, and to minimise condensation risks (not that I have a
problem at the moment, but I do have nightmares about damp!). If I
were to use one of these what size would it need to be to have an
impact. I'm looking at leavign this on all the time, so if it needs
to be too large a wattage it will obviously not be practical (I need
to be able to pay the electric bill!).

Regards
Kevin
Old Nov 29, 2005, 08:11 PM
mark
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

I use a paraffin space heater in mine (jet engine type) 130,000
btu........the secret is to heat it 24/7.
I have the space heater on a thermostat.....this I wired into its mains
supply..
I have it set at about 17 degrees.
I have no problem with condensation at all ...a little bit on the
windows... not much.......as all the machines ,walls and air after a
few days running equalise in temp.
I have a small vent at each apex to bleed off a tiny proportion of the
hottest air which contains nearly all the moisture.
running this way over the last two weeks (cold spell) it has used an
average of 1 gallon a day.............paraffin in bulk costs about
=A31.40 a gallon.
My workshop is about 25 by 25 with an insulated roof but solid concrete
walls and single glazing .
During the coldest days a few days ago it was on for eight Min's every
hour .
when you first turn it on for the first time,for three days you will
have bad condensation problems .but after that ...when every thing
begins to heat up ..........it's great .....no trouble.
Think doing the same with any other bought fuel would be mega
expensive.
It may put a gallon of moisture into the air with every gallon
burned....but all I can say is I've not noticed it ........I have a
humidity gauge on the wall that reads a constant 55 % moisture level .
the up and downs in temp with this set up are 15-25 degrees when run.
(thermometer is on a wall that is away from the blast)........the 25
degees quickly disperses and gets the workshop to a Nice 17 degrees
when the heater switches off.
all the best....mark

Old Nov 30, 2005, 04:11 AM
Jonathan Barnes
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating


"Kevin Steele" <kevin.newsgroups@btinternet.com> wrote in message
news:4tnpo1h9b1t20roab7q0u4kdrsvptvlq5a@4ax.com...
> My workshop is in a detached brick built double garage 20' square with
> a pitched roof. The two up & over doors are blocked off (one is
> sealed with foam sealer and the other has a polystyrene lined
> hardboard skinned pannel in front of it). Most of the walls are
> polystyrene/chipboard lined. At the moment the temperature is about 5
> degrees (just to cold for comfortable working). When I want to work
> in there I use a small fan heater to lift the temperature a few
> degrees -8 degrees seems OK to work in. I run a dehumidyfer, but at
> these low temperatures it is obviously of little use.
>
> Given the size of the workshop, would one of the small "greenhouse"
> type of electric heater have any impact. It would be nice to keep it
> a couple of degrees warmer -so it takes less time to get to a working
> temperature, and to minimise condensation risks (not that I have a
> problem at the moment, but I do have nightmares about damp!). If I
> were to use one of these what size would it need to be to have an
> impact. I'm looking at leavign this on all the time, so if it needs
> to be too large a wattage it will obviously not be practical (I need
> to be able to pay the electric bill!).
>
> Regards
> Kevin

I have a workshop / garage 20' x 40', I have a fan heater on a thermostat
set to cut in at about 0 C, this stops the pipes freezing.
I have a vent 250 x 150 mm at each end, and I have not sealed the garage
doors though I have fitted a 'skirt' to stop rain splashing in under the
bottom.
I put the thermostat up to 10 C when I'm working.
I have had no damp problems.
The way to keep damp at bay is to keep water out, this includes not running
fuel burning heaters that do not exhaust out side, and letting hot ( and
thus moisture bearing ) air out...

I have a de humidifier, but it's useless below about 5C.


--
Jonathan

Barnes's theorem; for every foolproof device
there is a fool greater than the proof.

To reply remove AT


Old Nov 30, 2005, 04:11 AM
Peter A Forbes
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 23:19:35 +0000, Kevin Steele
<kevin.newsgroups@btinternet.com> wrote:

>My workshop is in a detached brick built double garage 20' square with
>a pitched roof. The two up & over doors are blocked off (one is
>sealed with foam sealer and the other has a polystyrene lined
>hardboard skinned pannel in front of it). Most of the walls are
>polystyrene/chipboard lined. At the moment the temperature is about 5
>degrees (just to cold for comfortable working). When I want to work
>in there I use a small fan heater to lift the temperature a few
>degrees -8 degrees seems OK to work in. I run a dehumidyfer, but at
>these low temperatures it is obviously of little use.
>
>Given the size of the workshop, would one of the small "greenhouse"
>type of electric heater have any impact. It would be nice to keep it
>a couple of degrees warmer -so it takes less time to get to a working
>temperature, and to minimise condensation risks (not that I have a
>problem at the moment, but I do have nightmares about damp!). If I
>were to use one of these what size would it need to be to have an
>impact. I'm looking at leavign this on all the time, so if it needs
>to be too large a wattage it will obviously not be practical (I need
>to be able to pay the electric bill!).
>
>Regards
>Kevin


Any kind of background heating is going to be lost if the insulation and heat
retention of the place are not up to scratch.

If you can reduce heat loss then almost any small electric radiator would keep
it at a low level at a small cost.

When we moved into our new factory back in 1982/3 winter, we had to have a big
gas power blower heater to keep it at all comfortable, and we used a couple of
56kg cylinders a week.

We then spent 2k on a suspended ceiling and partitioned off the stores area
from the offices, and now we have a couple of 6kW GEC wall-mounted fan heaters
that we run in the winter, probably one continuously and the other
internittently, and that keep nearly all of the 900sq ft at a nice temperature.
They are both on timers and come on at 6am so the factory is warmed up before
staff arrive. One goes off at 10am and the other stays running on cold days.

The key was the ceiling, it kept any heat down where it could be felt. We didn't
insulate the ceiling, it's just a standard micafil type ceiling board, about
1/2" thick. If we added insulation it would probably improve things even more.

I'd be inclined to get your pitched roof sealed off so you can retain heat at
your level first, that will help a lot.

Peter
--
Peter & Rita Forbes
Email: diesel@easynet.co.uk
Web: http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel
Old Nov 30, 2005, 04:11 AM
Tim Leech
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 23:19:35 +0000, Kevin Steele
<kevin.newsgroups@btinternet.com> wrote:

>My workshop is in a detached brick built double garage 20' square with
>a pitched roof. The two up & over doors are blocked off (one is
>sealed with foam sealer and the other has a polystyrene lined
>hardboard skinned pannel in front of it). Most of the walls are
>polystyrene/chipboard lined. At the moment the temperature is about 5
>degrees (just to cold for comfortable working). When I want to work
>in there I use a small fan heater to lift the temperature a few
>degrees -8 degrees seems OK to work in. I run a dehumidyfer, but at
>these low temperatures it is obviously of little use.
>
>Given the size of the workshop, would one of the small "greenhouse"
>type of electric heater have any impact. It would be nice to keep it
>a couple of degrees warmer -so it takes less time to get to a working
>temperature, and to minimise condensation risks (not that I have a
>problem at the moment, but I do have nightmares about damp!). If I
>were to use one of these what size would it need to be to have an
>impact. I'm looking at leavign this on all the time, so if it needs
>to be too large a wattage it will obviously not be practical (I need
>to be able to pay the electric bill!).
>


My workshop is a similar area to yours, well insulated apart from the
draughty double doors and the concrete floor. I run a dehumidifier
most of the time, it does contribute a small amount of warmth even
when things are too cold for it to do its main job.
I have two old 1kW industrial 'space heaters' bolted to the walls,
just a simple convector heater probably similar to a greenhouse
heater, one of these is often enough to take the chill off, the
second gets used when things get a bit colder, and for seriously cold
weather I have a portable ceramic element infra-red radiant heater
which is very good for local heating. That one didn't come out at all
last winter, I have a feeling it might do this time, though!

One of my 'space heaters' was in my un-insulated attic bedroom over 40
years ago, if I forgot to turn it off I was likely to get my pocket
money docked :-( I have to confess that these days I sometimes leave
it on all day or night if the weather is very cold, I only have myself
to answer to over the electricity bill <g>

Cheers
Tim

Dutton Dry-Dock
Traditional & Modern canal craft repairs
Vintage diesel engine service
Old Nov 30, 2005, 04:11 AM
Tony Jeffree
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 23:19:35 +0000, Kevin Steele
<kevin.newsgroups@btinternet.com> wrote:

> It would be nice to keep it
>a couple of degrees warmer -so it takes less time to get to a working
>temperature, and to minimise condensation risks (not that I have a
>problem at the moment, but I do have nightmares about damp!). If I
>were to use one of these what size would it need to be to have an
>impact. I'm looking at leavign this on all the time, so if it needs
>to be too large a wattage it will obviously not be practical (I need
>to be able to pay the electric bill!).


Setting fire to a couple of health & safety inspectors might do the
trick ;-)

Regards,
Tony
Old Nov 30, 2005, 08:08 AM
Registered User
Joined Nov 2005
28 Posts
As I understand it, you need to keep the temperature in the workshop fairly constant. It's no good if during the day you keep it warm and let it go too cold overnight because the moisture in the warm air from the day just condenses out on the cold metal overnight. Again I'm not sure but I think greenhouse paraffin heaters also promote moisture in the air but I can't remember why (byproduct of what they're combusting?). A dry heat like that coming from an electric fire or a central heating radiator are the ideal solution. If there is condensation on your machines in the morning, wipe it off with paper towel before putting the heater on. Either that or cover the machines in some old cloth or paper towels to absorb any condensation when you go in at night (and of course, keep the machine surfaces oiled).
DX-SFX is offline Find More Posts by DX-SFX
Last edited by DX-SFX; Nov 30, 2005 at 11:10 AM.
Old Nov 30, 2005, 12:11 PM
steamer
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

--Getcher self a copy of the latest edition of Fine
Woodworking; there's a comparison of various heating methods for shops.

--
"Steamboat Ed" Haas : Bummed to be living in the
Hacking the Trailing Edge! : Golden Age of Bullshit...
http://www.nmpproducts.com/intro.htm
---Decks a-wash in a sea of words---
Old Nov 30, 2005, 04:11 PM
Steve
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating


DX-SFX wrote:
> As I understand it, you need to keep the temperature in the workshop
> fairly constant. It's no good if during the day you keep it warm and
> let it go too cold overnight because the moisture in the warm air from
> the day just condenses out on the cold metal overnight. Again I'm not
> sure but I think greenhouse parafin heaters also promote moisture in
> the air but I can't remember why (byproduct of what they're
> combusting?).


Good points here. Combustion leads to water and carbon dioxide when
burning most things - gas, oil, paraffin etc. Warm air can take up a
lot more moisture than cold. And big lumps of metal take a lot more
time to warm up and cool down than air. You need to avoid warm moist
air and a cold lump of metal, cold air and warm metal is fine.

So a constant temperature sounds good, that keeps metal and air both
warm - so you might not get condensation on the tools even using a
combustion heater. But if you let everything go cold overnight, then
warm up the air with a combustion source, then the cold metal on your
tools can condense water out - just the same way your glasses mist up
when you walk into a warm pub on a cold night. So if you are going to
let things go cold overnight, then use a dry heat to warm the air when
you are in there - e.g. from a radiator or electrical. If its a very
small shed your own breath may still make the humidity go up enough to
cause some condensation - as will your kettle.

24 hour heat also means unattended heating - so it had better be super
safe.

On the other hand using cold tools make you feel chilly too, and 24
hour heating does at least keep them warm-ish.

I think dry background heat 24hrs to keep the chill off, and electrical
warm air or radiant heater if you feel its still too nippy when you are
in there. I don't like the idea of an unattended combustion heater in
my workshop.

Old Nov 30, 2005, 05:29 PM
Registered User
Joined Nov 2005
28 Posts
Quote:
then the cold metal on your
tools can condense water out - just the same way your glasses mist up
when you walk into a warm pub on a cold night.
Exactly. I believe most of the oxidation (rust) happens as the water evaporates off which is why drying the machine with a paper towel is preferable to letting the hot air do it when you first put the heater on. It's also why you shouldn't put away a wet car in a warm garage. Keeping the lathe's temperature above the dew point of the atmosphere at all times is the ideal scenario.
DX-SFX is offline Find More Posts by DX-SFX
Old Nov 30, 2005, 06:11 PM
Kevin Steele
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

Sorry, I should have been more specific. When I said "greenhouse
heaters" I meant something like this

http://www.leisureheating.co.uk/shop...&cat=25&page=1

Not the parafin ones. Due to the problems already mentioned by others
I wouldn't use any form of combustion heating in the workshop.

Regards

Kevin
Old Dec 01, 2005, 04:11 AM
Adrian Godwin
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

DX-SFX <DX-SFX.1zc48c@rcgroups.com> wrote:
>
> Exactly. I believe most of the oxidation (rust) happens as the water
> evaporates off which is why drying the machine with a paper towel is
> preferable to letting the hot air do it when you first put the heater
> on. It's also why you shouldn't put away a wet car in a warm garage.
> Keeping the lathe's temperature above the dew point of the atmosphere
> at all times is the ideal scenario.
>


Does that mean that the best strategy is to heat the machines
directly (with heating tape, sump heaters, whatever) rather than
trying to keep all the air in the workshop warm and dry ?

-adrian

Old Dec 01, 2005, 05:45 AM
Registered User
Surrey Hills
Joined Aug 2004
54 Posts
Adrian,

I read somewhere (on this forum?) that leaving a low wattage lamp on in the bottom of the lathe/mill stand was a way to keep the tool moisture free. I've not tried it myself, though.

Roy
elj221c is offline Find More Posts by elj221c
Old Dec 01, 2005, 06:11 AM
ticktock
Guest
n/a Posts
Re: Workshop Heating

DX-SFX wrote:
> As I understand it, you need to keep the temperature in the workshop
> fairly constant. It's no good if during the day you keep it warm and
> let it go too cold overnight because the moisture in the warm air from
> the day just condenses out on the cold metal overnight. Again I'm not
> sure but I think greenhouse parafin heaters also promote moisture in
> the air but I can't remember why (byproduct of what they're
> combusting?).


..=2E. Because paraffin produces copious amounts of water vapour as a
byproduct of combustion... far more than other fuels. Paraffin is the
'last' thing you want to use to heat a workshop.


But all of this is like dejavue to me.... I have been 'off-line' from
the model engineering groups for some time (about 2-3 years) until
fairly recently ... and one of the last threads I recall (from the then
group I subscribed to) was exactly on this perennial subject.

There is another thing you can do to help with keeping rust off the
machinery.
Make them some 'cosies' ...
..=2E.(as in the old tea-cosy ... seriously).

We had a small division of the company I used to own which made
industrial covers for machinery. We supplied them with moisture trap
pockets inside (basically a number of small bags sewn on the inside
which contained a kilo or three of Silica Gel). Originally these were
developed for temporary external storage covers for sensitive or
delicate items (where for whatever reason the item couldn't be got
under cover for a week or two). I had some of our covers made for my
own workshop equipment and they performed brilliantly. We used to
bespoke make them for folks, but haven't done for some time. We also
made large versions for Caravan storage.
If you want to make them up yourself all you need is a nice new (cheap)
tarpaulin large enough to completely cover your lathe/miller etc (with
spare space), a set of measurements for your machine, a
wife/friend/colleague/Mum with a robust sewing machine (the old Singer
Treadles are perfect as they will stitch just about anything ), 2 or 3
kilos of Silica Gel (probably the hardest thing to get in this quantity
as it tends to come in industrial quantitites of at least 50kgs), some
of the ripstop nylon netting they make Koi/Tropical fish nets from, and
a bit of nylon rope to use as a 'drawstring'.
Make the pattern ... cut out your tarpaulin fabric ... 'double' stitch
it together ... have the bottom hemmed to incorporate the 'drawstring'
..=2E. stitch the net bags inside regularly spaced (best if they don't
actually touch the 'sensitive' bedways but are held just above)... then
cover the machine immediately you have finished using it and whilst it
is still warm, tuck it all in nicely to keep it 'cosy' and drawup your
drawstring. Make sure the Cosy reaches to the floor or within an inch
or so of it.
It won't completely kill the need for trace heating in all
circumstances, but my old Harrison has been wearing it's cosy for 6
years now in an unheated workshop and the beds are exactly as they were
when I started. Not a sign of rust and that included an 18 month period
of zero use whilst I concentrated on the fine work with the watchmakers
lathe.
By comparison I bought a Bridgeport 2 years ago and put it in the same
workshop and (for lack of time in having a proper cosy made) simply
covered it with an old bit of carpet and a sheet ... BIG mistake...
within weeks I had severe rust on the table. Should have taken my own
advice ... but got lazy.

You need to take the Silica and dry it out every now and again... But
if the machine isn't being used (as in my case for 18 months) the
Silica will continue to work for months/years(?) Whenever you start to
see pink or blue spots appearing (depending upon which type of Silica
you get ... look in Yellow Pages for Chemical Supplies ... if anyone
gets stuck I might be able to help with supplying some).
By covering up the machine whilst warm with a non-porous material you
are effectively creating it's own little micro-climate... reducing the
temperature gradient, as the ret of the workshop cools, and the Silica
draws moisture from the atmoshere reducing the humidity inside the
cover. Both elements reduce the likelihood of condensate forming on the
machine itself. Someone will say that it isn't foolproof... (which I
don't claim it to be) ... but it does help greatly. Cost ? ... about
=A340 all in for something the size to cover a lathe the size of the
Harrison, or about =A350 for a Bridgeport, or if you have to pay soeone
to make it for you about double that price would be fair (there's some
heavy sewing involved... be prepared to bribe 'SWMBO').


Hope this gives some 'food for thought'
=20

Ian

Old Dec 01, 2005, 10:29 AM
Registered User
Joined Nov 2005
28 Posts
Even putting a simple plastic cover over your lathe makes a big difference. It acts as an insulating layer against temperature extremes. Coldness won't hurt machinery per se. The damage is done by moisture condensing out of warm wet (or cold wet) air onto cold machinery. You either have to stop the moisture condensing out through temperature, in which case you need to see that the machinery is kept relatively warm, or use a dehumidifier. If you want to use your machinery over the winter comfortably, the only completely safe and ideal solution is to constantly heat the room that they're in.
DX-SFX is offline Find More Posts by DX-SFX
 


Thread Tools