Best heat source

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Forum topic by Jim posted 10-29-2011 02:03 AM 2308 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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32 posts in 3153 days

10-29-2011 02:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question rustic

Greetings! I have freestanding shed that I insulated and it has plywood floors. 250 sq ft. I keep all the finishes and stains stored up on shelves. I live in the mountians of NC. It gets kinda cold here. My question is…what is the best source of heat for my workshop? I don’t have room for a wood burning stove. I don’t feel comfortable heating it while I’m not using it.
I’m also uncertain as how to store things like wood glue and water based stains and poly’s. Can I store them in a cooler?

Thank you.

-- All who wander are not lost.

10 replies so far

View TechRedneck's profile


770 posts in 3127 days

#1 posted 10-29-2011 02:19 AM


I would worry a bit about the freeze/thaw cycle on those finishes. If it is insulated, perhaps a ceramic electric heater on low may keep the temps above freezing

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View oicurn2it2's profile


146 posts in 4108 days

#2 posted 10-29-2011 02:25 AM

hey Jim,

you are going to have to heat the shop to about 45 -50 degrees to keep everything form freezing ,and storing them in a cooler wont work with out a source of heat, insulation just get as cold as the environment ,

a reasonable option is

the only other thing i could think of is throwing a heating pad in the cooler

-- "when you think youre going to slow, slow down just a little bit more" .... Pop's

View Bernie's profile


422 posts in 3107 days

#3 posted 10-29-2011 05:25 AM

Jim, I live in NH and it does get rather seasonal around here, even in the winter. My source of heat had to eliminate a chimney because had I added a chimney onto my barn, it would have increased my taxes considerably (the price of a “tax free” state). So I chose a wall mounted gas space heater that has a vent through the wall. I set the temp at 50’ and up to 60 when I’m in it. Gas works for me.

But I don’t understand why you can’t store your freezables in a cooler. But then I’m not knowledgeable about those things. I do know that as a Scoutmaster for 20 years, we often went camping in the middle of winter and slept in igloos. We would use coolers to store our eggs and liquids overnight and would bury the cooler in snow when we expected the temps to be below freezing.

Try this experiment and cast your doubts away. Keep a cooler in your house and at night time, place this cooler in your unheated work shop with a thermometer in it. In the morning, check the temp. Let me know the result… thanks!

-- Bernie: It never gets hot or cold in New Hampshire, just seasonal!

View Jim's profile


32 posts in 3153 days

#4 posted 10-29-2011 01:18 PM

Thanks guys.
I like the ceramic heater idea, I’ll try to find one with a thermistat.
I have a small dorm type refer that I’ll unplug and test for storing my glues.

-- All who wander are not lost.

View ScottN's profile


261 posts in 2950 days

#5 posted 10-29-2011 02:14 PM

I have a friend that does a little woodworking. He took an old refrigerator and installed a 100 watt light bulb with a thermostat on the inside.Works great.

-- New Auburn,WI

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5308 posts in 2764 days

#6 posted 10-29-2011 02:53 PM

I just leave my solvent based finishes (varnishes and lacquers) set in the barn though the winter. In fact I put them in the house basement in the summer to keep them a little cooler and then move them back to the barn for the winter…the cold does not hurt them at all. Anything water based is a different story. I keep them in my shop (heated to 50° through the winter) and they can be ruined when frozen…the frig (or small insulated box) with a small bulb idea is what I would do.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 3136 days

#7 posted 10-31-2011 06:28 PM

I thought about using a light bulb on a thermostat to keep a small cabinet above freezing in my shop in the winter.

I’m competent, but no electrician by any means. How do you hook up a thermostat to a 110V circuit? Most thermostats are much lower voltage. Do you need a transformer to make it work? Is there a 110V thermostat that I can use instead?

If anybody has any knowledge of this, I would appreciate some ideas. It is getting cold in the foothills of CO, and freezing temps in the shop are coming fast.

View Murdock's profile


131 posts in 2754 days

#8 posted 10-31-2011 08:18 PM

On the question of thermostats, I once used one of these to control a space heater:

Another more advanced plug in type that gives you a lot of flexibility for temp:

I am no expert but regular thermostats are intended to connect to some sort of controller board or relay that then turns the heat on and off.

-- "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new." - Albert Einstein

View Lumber2Sawdust's profile


139 posts in 3136 days

#9 posted 11-01-2011 06:01 AM

Thanks for the links Murdock. I’ll have to order one of those and give it a try.

View Jim's profile


32 posts in 3153 days

#10 posted 11-01-2011 02:32 PM

Thanks again guys, I just ordered the plug in thermostat. Looks like good solution!

-- All who wander are not lost.

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