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  • #61
    Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
    My main concern is keeping condensation at bay and I'm on the fence between a forced air unit heater (mr heater style), or an overhead radiant tube style.
    I have reduced the problem of condensation in several ways.

    1) For the big iron I use 15 W and 25 W incandescent light bulbs, a timer, and cheap quilts from the used/recycle store. The lights are in little cans to help provide stand off, with magnets to make them easy to attach. The lights go under the ends of the BP table, in the column, under the quill. They go under the head of the lathe, under the chuck, and under the tailstock. Then the quilts are draped so that they capture the warmed air but don't touch the lights. The timer turns the lights on at about 9 PM and stay on until 9 AM. I figure I'm using about 100+ W for half the day so at our local electric rate that is about 20 cents US...

    2) Back to the big iron again... When I'm putting it away for the night or a few days I wipe the exposed bare metal with a thick gel I make using petroleum jelly, honey oil, and turpentine. Just a thin layer... a little less than a half of a mm thick. From 5 C to 10 C the stuff has the consistency of thick grease. Unlike WD-40 the petroleum jelly and honey oil don't ever evaporate so I don't have to worry about that. Before I use the tool I just wipe it off with a paper towel leaving just a thin layer of protection.

    3) For littler stuff I store my best tools in a refrigerator that has several open trays of dessicant in it. A hygrometer tells me when the air is starting to get more than 20% RH, at which point I bake the dessicant again. I use a refrigerator because it has good magnetic/rubber seals and keeps the inside well isolated from the outside.

    4) Zip lock bags (Press to close). I bought a bunch of large sized 8 mil thick zip lock bags from McMaster. You can get bags that are 1 to 2 feet wide and correspondingly deep for about $1 to $2 each. I bought a bunch of 1 ounce dessicant bags on eBay for cheap. Those can be reheated and redried if you do it carefully.


    If I had the pennies to heat the whole shop, I'd look into using a smart thermostat. All you need to do is keep the machines warmer than the dew point for that air. That can be done in two ways ... 1) keeping the metal warm 2) dehumidifying the air. A simple processor such as an Arduino could monitor temperature, time of day, and RH and predict the likely temperature in a couple of hours, and then determine if that would be below the dew point. In that case it could turn on the heater and the dehumidifier. Warm the air (and thus the machines) and reduce the RH until it senses that it's not likely to be at risk for condensation. It would be a fun programming project.


    • #62
      I prefer the oil filled radiant heaters, they work in dirty environments and are simple and cheap.


      • #63
        Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
        I've thought about the 5000 watt electric construction heaters before but never had room in the panel for another 2pole (due to baseboard heat) But adding the furnace last year freed up a lot of room as they're no longer needed. It would, ironically be the path of least resistance (ha ha) as my panel is on the other side of the wall, and I'd only have to buy wire..... They are significantly cheaper too. I could get one up on the wall for probably less than $200.

        We also talked about finding an old house furnace to hang up there as I've got the room for it, but unless I got one free or cheap it's the same $$ or more as the other dead dino burning options. My buddy said he'd keep an eye out for one but my phone never rang so....He's also pretty busy right now so getting him out to install a propane tube might take a while.

        I might have a browse on kijiji for a 2nd hand electric and give that a go for now and wait for a good deal to come up for a propane unit.

        You could hang this from your ceiling next to the wall where the panel is located on the other side and run direct wiring from the heater through a hole in the wall and down to your panel. I wish I had a panel close by for something like this.

        The total cost is probably around $200 installed and you could use all of that money you save for electricity for many seasons
        Last edited by edbannister; 11-27-2019, 11:35 AM.


        • #64
          As long as all he needs is 17,060 Btu's and any exposed wiring in a garage must be in some sort of conduit.
          Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router


          • #65
            Originally posted by edbannister

            Ed whats the point?

            Retired - Journeyman Refrigeration Pipefitter - Master Electrician - Fine Line Automation CNC 4x4 Router


            • #66
              My dad installed our old furnace in the garage when we updated to a more energy efficient one in the house. 80k btu furnace for a 25x40 garage makes it nice and warm fairly quickly, the garage is well insulated, but I only turn the furnace on when I working in it. It would really suck working in there if it didn't have heat, here in Edmonton, Alberta....


              • #67
                Still no progress. Worked 55hr last week and was gone all weekend. On track for another 50+hr week this week, so it leaves very little shop time. The way my schedule looks I probably won't get to do anything out there till the Christmas holidays.


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Franz© View Post

                  Just after the Carter energy shortages Building Regulators across the country went nuts with cellar insulation requirements. That boiled down to a hanging blanket inside the wall that was not only thermally stupid here, but caused frost to cave in cellar walls. I laughed a lot when that happened. Even after wall collapse people wouldn't be convinced to insulate outside the wall with foam and use the wall as a thermal battery. "Nobody does that" is an entrenched mentality, and y name is Nobody.
                  I'll even argue insulation under a ground level concrete floor is of far less value than a 2 foot deep frost fence here. Frost is frost and it works the same way year after year until AlGore's warming changes the Laws of Physics.
                  The energy shortages in the 70's had little to do with Carter except that he happened to be president at the time of the Arab oil embargo. Of course nowadays we would just bomb them to smithereens instead of letting them set prices for THEIR oil. Pardon me but your political bent is showing.

                  It is also worth mentioning that you can insulate the walls all you want which I think is a good idea but it won't keep the ground around your structure from freezing and heaving so the cellar walls will still get heaved from frost. In fact the insulation will let the ground around the structure freeze even faster and probably lead to more heaving of the walls.
                  OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                  THINK HARDER