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The annual shop heat thread

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  • The annual shop heat thread

    Ok, so every year this comes up. I might as well be the one to start this year off.

    I'd like to hear from those who have the Modine Hot Dawg in shops around 1000 sq. ft. How is it working out? What would you say to someone who is thinking about going this route? THANKS!

  • #2
    No Hot Dawgs around here but I use a simple waste oil burner to dispose of used vegetable oil in my wood burner.

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    • #3
      Evan, does your shop smell like french fries?

      I just like to make stuff.


      • #4
        When I built my garage shop (attached to the house) I considered some Modine units like that. Not sure they made the Hot Dawg at the time, though. As we were doing an addition to the house at the time and needed to upgrade the boiler anyhow, I ended up just adding a zone to my house heating system for the shop and feeding it to one of these hydronic unit heaters like this one:

        Works great. I keep it set at 50 degrees when I am not out there and when I turn it up, the whole place is nice and warm in about 10 minutes.

        Not a very convenient option if your shop is not attached to the house however. But I like the fact that there is no flame and no flue to deal with.
        Not to say there are not other flames in the shop, but you know....


        • #5
          Evan, can you use motor oil in it?
          Feel free to put me on ignore....


          • #6
            Waste Oil Heater

            Evan did what i did many years ago. Drip feed waste oil (old motorcycle car oit atf hydraulic oil whatever) into our ancient wood burner in a concrete block shop. it used to GLOW RED HOT LOL. Lucky we never burnt the shop down. it was a close call once or twice. Hot and we mo\ved the stove from the wall 8 feet and put elbows in and a fan behind it to blow hot air to the work area. NOW im spoiled in floor heating working awesome. Still finishing shop trimming maple window frames and edge trim./ it is starting to look like a apartment instead of a sho LOl but it is so WARM and nice. I am glad i didnt do the roof air heater as it blows all kinds of dust and crap around.


            • #7
              I have a Reznor unit heater running on propane hanging from the ceiling. My heater is too big for the space it is in..but it was a good deal. It is a 70,000 btu unit heating a 1000 square foot space. The heating company happened to have ordered it for someone else and they didn't pick it up. So they sold it to me at cost. was about +/- $400 installed. I couldn't pass it up.

              I leave the heat set ~50-55 and then bump it to 65 when I am out in the shop. Does wonders for keeping the machines and tooling rust free...

              My Dad has one of those "hot dog" heaters in a storage building at work. It works really well. Again it is mounted from the ceiling and the space is give or take 1000 feet.

              Back in the day when I worked for my first machine shop... The owner would save his crank case oil from his pickup. He would pour a quart or so in a bucket...mix in 8 ounces of stoddard solvent...then soak it all up in sawdust. He would put that big oily dusty glob in the stove..and cover it with logs. I watched him throw a match in that every morning... Woof! Oh...the stuff we used to do in the old days...would get you skinned and fined now. Funny though.



              • #8
                a mix of 50/50 gas/oil is one of my grandpas and mine favorate safe ways to get a fire going, the oil keeps the gas from evaporating and being dangerious, while the gasoline allows the oil to be ignited reasonabley easy (You might be able to get it going holding a lighter to the oil, but probley need some newspaper or some other bigger flame to heat it up enough, thats how 'safe' it is) Thrown on a lit fire, it barly even flares up.

                Especialy my fav after my friend accidently left his fuel pump on after removing his carb (to send off to fix) on his bigblock engine.. and flooded the intake with several gallons of gasoline (and a few cylinders) turning the entire quanity of oil in his engine into a nice gas/oil mix, rich on oil.
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                • #9
                  have an outdoor wood furnace. Really happy with it. 1 fire keeps house toasty,garage plus the machine shop warm and also heats our hot water. Did i mention all with 1 fire? oh I guess I did.. Love it. Wife can even take care of it while I am traveling. No complaints from her which is rare! LOL!!


                  • #10
                    I only burn cooking oil. I tried motor oil and it stinks and smokes some. It also carbonizes on the end of the drip tube and clogs it. Veggie oils don't do that.
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                    • #11
                      Roger Welsch is the author of several very humorous books on life disguised as tractor repair books. In his shop he used a coffee can attached to the wall by his wood stove. He put a spigot on the can and ran a length of copper tubing to the wood stove. After he would get the fire going in the stove he'd turn the spigot on so used motor oil and whatnot would drip into the wood stove.

                      I think his purpose wasn't so much using oil for heat but getting rid of waste oil.

                      I know he was ill a while back. Does anyone know how he's doing? I hope he's all right. He's such a treasure.


                      • #12
                        Wood heat here. It's almost free and a fire is a pleasant companion. The shop temperature is regulated by opening a window.

                        Used oil is disposed of by utilizing as chainsaw bar oil.


                        • #13
                          in my old shop I used a drip feed and ran old motor oil in the wood stove.

                          I'd set a normal wood fire going on a bed of vermiculite or deep ashes, with a fire brick in the middle, when it got down to coals, I'd open up the drip feed Which was a 2 gallon can suspended over the stove, with a needle valve in the line feeding through a copper line into a hole directly over the center of the fire brick, so the oil dripped onto it.

                          Worked very nicely, and managed to keep an uninsulated 24x40 steel sided pole barn warm enough to work comfortably without gloves in well below freezing temps.

                          Drawback is that it was purely manual, as the oil in the tank warmed up it would flow faster and raise the heat output, and if you waited too long to refill the tank you had thick oil and temps would drop. Key was to keep the tank topped up with fresh oil so viscosity was constant.
                          Since I only ran the heat when I was in the shop, it was fine, if you want to keep the heat going all the time it may not me so good.

                          major advantage for me was that I had a part time garage service, and had a ready source of oil. Go out fire up the stove an hour or two before I planned to be out there and I was set.



                          • #14
                            I've got a Hamilton (I think) 75Kbtu heater similar to the hot dawg - the shop is just under 900sf, and that heater works great for when I have the doors into the garage open (brings the space up to 1400sf). Hardly runs the rest of the time.

                            I over sized it due to the 24" exhaust fan I run when welding. It keeps up with the air exchange with ease.


                            • #15
                              Heating the shop

                              Since retiring in 2003 and moving into a smaller home shop I just bit the bullet and installed central air/heat. Sure is nice. The old shop 40x80 was heated with a large wood stove burning 2x4 lumber that came banded on lifts of pipe and saved throughout the year. We ran an oil injection burner to dispose of oil collected throughout the year as well. I used a single 21' joint of 6 5/8 steel pipe for the flue. The top of the stove was 1/2 steel plate for the pipe to set on. The injector tube was coiled around the flue for preheating the oil. The amount of time the system ran worked out about right for the materials that we need to dispose of. On a cold day everyone that came in wanted to back up to that old heater. It sure felt good but it would get hot enough to make you rethink your standoff distance.
                              Byron Boucher
                              Burnet, TX