View Full Version : home shop climate control

03-19-2004, 03:03 AM
My work shop is a three foot strip up the side of the family two car garage.This holds benches with the usual grinder/bench drill/minilathe/minimill and a solid vise.Shelves for rotary table,dividing head and the myriad stuff of machining over and under. The floor is concrete and the walls are brick. There is a ceiling insulated above with about 6 inches of fibre batts.
The problem I have is the doors.Automatic roller doors made of thin steel corrugated.
There is a gap above each door about 6 inches between roller and brick work.In summer 90 degrees in the shade with the door open or closed and on winter evenings atleast a few degrees below freezing.This generally means that useful and pleasant work is done in spring and early autumn.The rest of the time is foot ball(rugby union) or cricket.
The cars are in use often so bricking them in is out. Anyone who has a similar problem and found a solution I would be grateful for your advice.
First Post
Regards to all

Excitable Boy
03-19-2004, 03:25 AM
Park the cars outside and seal up the shop....er....garage.


Pursue Excellence and the rest will follow.

J Thornton
03-19-2004, 06:39 AM
You could make an insulated trap door the width of the gap you want to fill, fasten it to the brick with hinges and raise and lower it with a pulley system. Put triangular pieces on the outside of the door tracks to fill in the gaps at the edges of the door. As an alternative to manually raising and lowering the flap putting some wheels on the frame and use the increasing diameter of the door on the roller to raise the frame might work. Needless to say you would want something non-marking and large enough to ride over the irregularities of the door surface Perhaps you could make some large nylon wheels. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

As far as the face of the door, movable panels with foam sheet?


03-20-2004, 02:20 AM
Thank you Jesse for your post.Like the idea of a hinged door with ride over wheels. I will look at this.The doors themselves are the main conductor of heat ;in and out./I was thinking of some spray on insulation as used in piggeries..any one know of this stuff. A sort of foam I think.Thickness is a problem as there is not much space when the doors roll up.


03-20-2004, 04:04 AM
As far as the door goes, I'd be tempted to glue some styrofoam boards onto it, or into it, depending on what kind of spaces it has. Even a half inch thick board will be effective, but go as thick as you can get away with. Spray on foam will work, it might run, though. The tendency is to put it on too thick. If you use spray-foam, do it when the temperature of the door is about room temp or so. It doesn't like to foam if it's too cold.
Of course, if there's wind blowing through gaps, the insulation won't help.
Another factor for the heat is the finish on the door. They have a tendency to go dull, and that helps to soak up heat. Repainting the door an appropriate color will help keep it cooler in summer.

[This message has been edited by darryl (edited 03-20-2004).]

J Thornton
03-20-2004, 09:32 AM
Your welcome Bob

The kind of door I pictured, from your description, is made up of interlocking slats about 1 1/2" or 2" wide and it actually does wind onto the roller. I think that the problems with spray on foam might be:
Getting a uniform thickness so the door wouldn't bind when it was rolled up
Keeping it out of the joints and beveling it so that it would roll up
Abrasion ( little particles of foam floating everywhere every time you operated the door)
Fire hazard?
Some alternatives might be:
Spray on cellulose (would be easier to control the thickness and you can get fire retardant formulations) Still have to deal with the joints and possibly dust.
Self adhesive compressible foam weather striping (Time to apply & cost)
Vinyl strip curtains (might be hard on the car's paint job)

One of my dad's neighbors had one of these door that was a dealer sample. Seven or eight different colors.

Hope this gives you some more ideas.


03-20-2004, 09:42 AM
A few degrees below freezing to 90* is not that bad. Infrared heaters will warm the area and contents of a small garage in a short time. These can be ceiling mounted, or small units that attach to a propane tank are available.
In the summer, a good fan can provide plenty of cooling air.
I don't understand people who insist on wasting valuable garage space by filling it up with automobiles.

J Thornton
03-20-2004, 10:32 AM
JC Somtimes those people are wives . Definitely hard to understand sometimes. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif


03-21-2004, 02:06 AM
Thank you all for useful input. The infra red heater sounds like a good idea as we(in the Southern Hemisphere) approach winter.
I will speak with the manufacturers of these roller doors and see if they have had any work done on the problem. I will post their reaction.
The doors are single sheet steel about1/16 thick with a pressed profile of two inch and one inch spacing.The resultant corrugations are about 1/2inch deep.
Of course the local hooligans could open it with a pocket knife but whats out of sight is hopfully out of mind.
Will post again later in the week.

Paul Alciatore
03-21-2004, 11:00 PM
Garage doors of any sort I have seen are definitely not made to insulate against the extremes of temperature.

It may be possible to study the gap above them and rig some type of fixed and hinged combination that does not require seperate operation. Almost anything you can put on the steel will cut down on the temperature transfer. You should consult with the manufacturer if possible as they may have a ready made solution.

Another thought is a movable wall, partition, or curtain that would enclose the shop area. This would provide a smaller area that needs to be heated and cooled and also a second line of defense. It would not be subject to the wind that forces the outside air through the garage doors (assuming that they are closed of course).

Paul A.

03-22-2004, 12:01 PM
Not so Paul. When I converted my carport to a shop, er, garage, I had the luxury of having 10 1/2 foot ceilings. I made the garage door 10 feet wide and eight feet tall. I made two 5X8 swing doors with a 2"X4" frame, faced on both sides with 1/2" plywood and with an insulating foam core. The doors are weather stripped and have an overlapping weather stripped portion where they meet when closed. No drafts at all. The outside of the doors are faced with the same cedar siding as the rest of the house in a decorative herringbone pattern and the doors are mounted with large gate hinges. When swung open the are hooked to stay in place. I used a treated wood 2x4 as a sill with another 1/2" strip on top of it for the bottom weather strip. The doors can only be opened from the inside so I have a man door beside them.

Paul Alciatore
03-22-2004, 03:40 PM

I was talking about standard, commercial garage doors. You cheated ---- by making your own.

Sounds great.

Paul A.

03-22-2004, 04:05 PM
I live on the east coast (NJ) and the temps range from the teens to 90s. A few years ago I replaced my cheapie fiberboard garage door with an apx 1-1/2" insulated door from Home Depot. I think the better grade of door was less than $200 more - this made a huge difference on insulation. The temperature in winter is almost twenty degrees warmer. Now humidity, on the other hand, is why my machines are now in the basement - that and the fact that the wife wants to park in the garage.

03-25-2004, 01:43 AM
Thank you all for your input.
Talked with the designers today and they said that these doors were not made for insulation. I learnt that the hard way. He suggested that I replace the doors with panel doors which can be insulated with styrofoam. These consist of four of five door width panels connected by hinges,piano type I presume, and which roll up into the ceiling on a rail system. The auto mechanism is quite different to the roll up sort.
Quoted about two thousand dollars (AUD) per door to do the conversion.I guess I need a few other things for $4000.00 first.
To finalise the line I will use a padded cushion thing over the top of the doors and a ceiling mounted infra red heater over the bench. Bye for now from the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales.