How do you keep warm in the workshop?

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Forum topic by rweitz posted 01-04-2011 04:55 AM 8179 views 1 time favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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133 posts in 4043 days

01-04-2011 04:55 AM

It’s a mite cold these days and I was wondering how people kept the temps up to bareable levels. I don’t have a lot of spare electrical so I was thinking about one of those propane heaters we used on our driftboats. It just seems a bit dangerous to have something like that with all the wood and wood dust floating around.

So what do you do?

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

41 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7084 posts in 4159 days

#1 posted 01-04-2011 05:09 AM

When I had my shop built 8 years ago, I had a heating and air conditioning unit put it at the same time. It sits in a seperate room along with my dust collector and air compressor. It’s a 3 ton heat pump, thermostat controlled, and has 9 ceiling vents in the shop side and 6 vents on the “boat side” of the shop where I keep my boat and tow vechile. It’s a 40’ x 50’ shop, so I needed plenty of h&a…. Like a house, I just set the thermostat to whatever I need to stay warm or cool…..

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4197 days

#2 posted 01-04-2011 05:11 AM

Oil filled electric radiator. But I live in Southern Texas… I don’t need much in the way of heat.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3801 days

#3 posted 01-04-2011 05:13 AM

shameless plug:

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 3801 days

#4 posted 01-04-2011 05:14 AM

No, a shameless plug is not the method of keeping warm

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View DrewM's profile


176 posts in 3964 days

#5 posted 01-04-2011 05:16 AM

I have a tank mounted propane heater, I find it to be decently safe if you use common sense. I turn it on and off just to take the edge off the chill in the shop. I have noticed some minor moisture issues with tools inside my tool box, but everything else shows no signs of rust. I have a minor concern about the fumes it puts out but since my shop is so drafty I’m not that worried.

-- Drew, Delaware

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4042 days

#6 posted 01-04-2011 05:27 AM

Well, it doesn’t get near as cold here in East Texas as it does get hot. The heat here isn’t what kills you (110 deg),but the 80(plus) percent humidity will flat out melt you. So I finally got my bride on board and I made an “Investment”... I killed two birds with one stone… With it being in the upper 20’s this morning reminded me of how awesome a product this it….

Here is my baby girl doing her model thing showing it off….

And here is the exhaust ports I put in the garage door.

It liked to kill me doing that to my door, but after the fact it was all worth it.

Here is the link just in case you may be interested:
EdgeStar Extreme Cool 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner & Heater

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

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2694 posts in 4042 days

#7 posted 01-04-2011 05:29 AM

Oh and BTW… The exhaust ports easily detach and I just roll it out of the way when not in use…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

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3653 posts in 3845 days

#8 posted 01-04-2011 05:29 AM

I gave up and built a temp work bench over some spare counter space in my house. I moved my most used hand tools and supplies inside and thats where I do the most of my work. I only run out to the cold garage shop when I need to use the power tools.. Sure I have plane shavings scattered through my house but at least I am warm.

I plan on getting a ventless propane heater for next year. I think you can get them for less then 200 dollars and don’t have to worry about venting any pipes out of the shop.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3891 days

#9 posted 01-04-2011 05:37 AM

I have a (gas) radiant heater in my shop, keeps me toasty warm even when it is -40 degrees and the wind is howling… :)

Highly recommend it!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

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Jim Finn

2866 posts in 3887 days

#10 posted 01-04-2011 05:38 AM

I use a small electric space heater here in west Texas

-- No PHD just a DD214 Lubbock Texas

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 3948 days

#11 posted 01-04-2011 06:30 AM

It shouldn’t hurt anything, not any different that a gas heater.
Must be heating ok Dan, she ain’t got no socks and shoes on. LOL

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View SnowyRiver's profile


51458 posts in 4445 days

#12 posted 01-04-2011 04:56 PM

I use a natural gas Modine Hot Dawg heater. Its 3 below zero here now and its a toasty 60 in the shop. The shop is 450 sq ft and insulated, so I can turn it up to any temp I need and it works great.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3851 days

#13 posted 01-04-2011 04:58 PM

I got mine at HD for about $99. It connectes to a gas grill cilinder, heats my shop up to about 80 in 20 min. I go through a cilinder about every 1.5 months. not bad at $17.99 a fill.

View Raymond's profile


683 posts in 4692 days

#14 posted 01-04-2011 06:58 PM

I have a pellet stove, actually it is for heating the house, but it is right next to my shop, infact it gets to hot some times and I have to open a window.

-- Ray

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4139 days

#15 posted 01-04-2011 07:09 PM

OhByTheWay …..

It’s also a good idea to search the forum—maybe using key words like “heater,” “winter,” “propane,” “ceramic,” “furnace,” “Modine,” etc.

The topic comes up—not surprisingly—a lot. I don’t know that everybody chimes in to answer the same question every time it’s asked (that sounds smarmy, but wasn’t meant to be).

My brother had a Modine furnace plumbed for his 3-car garage (shop is a small part of it), and has a digital thermostat, keeping it at about 50F, when NOT in use, and ramping it up (about 15min) to about 65F, when he wants to use it.

The other thing to be SURE of is that …. you’ve done pretty much everything you can to insulate it well. Pure upside.

Me ?

Basement. Shop stays pretty much 63 – 68* all through the winter, with NO added heat. Blue foam board insulation on the exterior of the foundation walls. Pure concrete walls and floor.

The downsides are pretty clear—access, clearance for in/out of big stuff, noise, and dust—but … the comfort factor, for me, is huge.

For the record, it was below zero, here, all weekend :-O Shop temps just didn’t budge.

-- -- Neil

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