Reply by Robinson

  • Advertise with us

Posted on Heating/Conditioning the Shop year round?

View Robinson's profile


52 posts in 3574 days

#1 posted 08-29-2017 10:21 AM

I’ve gotten pretty spoiled with heat and AC over recent years. I’m 75 and for most of my life I never had a “decent” woodshop that could be heated and cooled enough to be comfortable. Some were barely shops. I’m in Central Indiana where we can have both hot and cold extremes. We complain but no one listens.
About 5 or so years ago I decided to move the woodshop part of my shop into the basement. For many years it was squeezed into my farm shop in a converted old barn near the house. That old 36’’ x 50’ barn has served me well as a farm shop and still does but in the winter you couldn’t get it warm if you sat it on fire. It is prone to be “usable” in hot weather with a few fans but you still tend to drip sweat on tools and projects.
Every type of woodshop will have its pro’s and con’s and it is often kind of a balancing act.
This basement shop has a lot of pro’s going for it including the fact that it was here and I didn’t have to build it. It was wasted space, stored full of “stuff” that didn’t belong there. A huge pro is that it is nearly automatically heated and cooled by being in the ground and having a heated and cooled house on top of it. This is a slightly tired old farm house that has been remodeled a time or two and has also been added to a couple of times. It is pretty well insulated. There was a small “cellar” under a part of the old house that was built on about 1900 but when the 36’ x 40’ east wing was added about 1970 it was put over a full basement. That 36’ x 40’ is my woodshop. It is 3 rooms, a 24’ x 40’ where anything that makes sawdust resides, the rest is a “strong room” about 12’ x 12’ in the S-W corner and the rest is for shop stuff that doesn’t make dust and some lumber storage. The stairs are also in that last part. The main shop room and that room with the stairs are separated by a 4’ high solid wall with clear vinyl from there up to confine sawdust.
Since the primary heat source is in the basement I just don’t have an extra heat cost. If there is a problem with heat it is that winter house temps are really a little too warm for heavy working. I get around that problem mostly by not doing a lot of heavy work… :-)
Likewise I don’t really have any added cooling cost either.
Con’s? A couple. I find that I get sloppy with space and that “stuff” sneaks in at night and fills up most of the flat spots. I am also extremely claustrophobic and the basement is the kind without any windows. It also didn’t have a very convenient access without coming through the house. Thanks to a son with pretty much unlimited access to excavating equipment I have a wide walk-out door (with a window). I can back my truck right up to the door for loading /unloading. Having a window lets me look out and makes the whole shop seem a lot more open.
If there is an extra heating / cooling cost for the shop it is buying high quality furnace filters and changing them more often. That isn’t much $$$.
A huge pro is being able to walk downstairs any time I feel like it (like if I can’t sleep at night) and putter in the shop for any amount of time I want to. I don’t have to plan heating and cooling ahead or wrap up like an Eskimo.

-- Francis Robinson, Central Indiana, USA - - Shopsmith fanatic

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics