Humidity and environment concerns

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Forum topic by JohnTM posted 08-23-2017 12:30 PM 809 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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91 posts in 1078 days

08-23-2017 12:30 PM

Topic tags/keywords: outdoors workbench cabinet humidity environment pine

New guy here – first post.
Brand new woodworker starting to kit out the workspace via Harbor Freight and Craigslist on a retired guy’s fairly restricted budget.

My current concern has to do with limiting humidity and environmental effects as my “shop” will be outside under an 2-car carport with 2 open sides in the SE Louisiana – where God regularly “blesses us” with rain showers that provide us with “natural saunas/steam baths” in late Summer/early Fall.

My carport storage room is only about 5’ x 7’ and is already half-full so I’ll have to make do with an “always outside” workbench. I can store a toolbox, some small power tools and probably 1 mobile cart in the storage room, but have been pondering whether or not it’s reasonable to construct/use an under-the-carport workbench with cabinet doors/drawers to store a table saw, mitre saw, drill press, etc. I know – sounds like an idiotic question to even ask about.

I’m wondering if there are ways to weather/humidity proof the cabinet to minimize the effect of humidity on the metal parts – obviously, I can throw a tarp over it, but is that “enough”?

Random thoughts that have occurred to me so far.
Paint rather than stain? (function over looks? [I prefer natural wood to painted wood])
Edge molding?
Weatherstripping the cabinet doors? How would that work with drawers?

Also, wet wood is a concern when woodworking, right? So, what should I do with my “wood waiting for a project” stuff? Should it be covered with a tarp all the time or only when it’s going to rain for sure – as opposed to the daily 1-2 hour showers we get in late Summer/early Fall? (If a hurricane hits, all bets are off of course.)

All thoughts and suggestions welcome.

4 replies so far

View mudflap4869's profile


2055 posts in 2259 days

#1 posted 08-23-2017 01:11 PM

First of all, welcome to L J.
In areas where humidity is high, good air circulation is a must. Open shelves and a fan will aid in preventing condensation issues. Tightly covering them with a tarp will not allow airflow and increase the moisture buildup. Constant airflow allows wicking of the water away from wood. Hope that helps.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View JohnTM's profile


91 posts in 1078 days

#2 posted 08-24-2017 03:06 AM

Thanks mudflap.

I guess I get to test my ability to cram stuff into the too-small storage room as the tropical storm/depression/hurricane arrives this weekend.

And if it doesn’t actually arrive in my area, the outlying parts of the phenomena are forecast to bring 3-5 inches of the wet stuff——more humidity! Just what we need here.

Can you hear me already planning on putting making stuff on hold until at least Monday?

View Hannes van Niekerk's profile

Hannes van Niekerk

3 posts in 1084 days

#3 posted 08-24-2017 06:13 AM

I also work under a double car port. I have enclosed it with reinforcing mesh covered with 80% shade cloth to keep the elements ( human and natural) out. Two big swing doors provide access.

-- Hannes, Centurion South Africa

View Robert's profile


3781 posts in 2280 days

#4 posted 08-24-2017 10:21 AM

Putting it all away when done – well if your like me fat chance. ;-D

Your best bet is close in the carport and even better put an AC in. A couple large window units should work.

Even bigger problem for you will be wood movement. You simply cannot do ww’ing in an open shop in that type climate. The wood will constantly be moving with fluctuations in humidity.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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