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  • #16
    Well I’m an Arizona boy who moved to Alaska 13 years ago.


    AZ there were 4 months where working time daytime temps seldom were under 100f, 116f-118f norm and 120s at times. Used swamp coolers on the shop roof and roll around swamp coolers blowing right on you outside. Never work in the sun, in ten minuets of sunshine dirt/concrete/blacktop could be too hot to touch let alone lay on to work under equipment.


    Alaska my shop is in the basement, well heated by natural gas, a pleasure to work in. Outside I use a 200Kbtu forced air oil burner I call the V-2 rocket to blow hot air at me. I have a little shelf on it to put tools to keep worm so I can work without gloves and they don’t freeze to my hands. For working under stuff I keep 2” insulation foam to lay on so I don’t freez my Carharts to the ice.


    Both places suck to work outside in, just in different ways but other than moving snow the cold is a bit easer to work around. I try to just stay inside and look at the pretty snow through the window as much as I can!
    Anybody that thinks they know it all doesn’t even know enough to understand they know nothing!
    Andy

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    • #17
      Well, my shop's in the basement so it's been nice and toasty in there. OTOH, the wife has horses and it's been royal fun breaking the ice on the trough every morning when it's -15F outside and blowing 20 mph. Nothing to wake you up like chopping through 2-3" of ice then shoveling it out as the wet shovel ices up every time it comes out of the water. Fun times were had!!

      This was the first week in a long time that I've had to prime the ATV before it would start! That Honda motor normally fires right up no matter how cold it is.

      Lyndon

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      • #18
        Hi Everyone,

        It seem's I've been through all of what has been mentioned.

        I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and had my first shop a bit north of there in our basement. It worked out well - until I had to move it all back up the stairs. I split an old cherry tree using it as an anchor to pull my B-port & 16 inch South Bend out. Vowed never to do that again w/o a ground level entrance.

        Next shop up there was difficult to heat & I took to wearing gloves with the finger tips cutoff so I could still use my sense of touch.

        We moved to a mountainside in West Virginia and the first shop I had there had extreme gound moisture (condensation) problems in spring and fall. To the point of everything metal looked like it had been hosed down with a fire hose. I had to 'paint' everything with the used oil from our vehicles to keep it from rusting. The machines still have a black tint to them, but it was all I could afford at the time.

        Moved next to Casa Grande, Arizona which is part of what they refer to out here as the desert floor so I learned about the heat. They say it's a dry heat - well so is an oven which is also a pretty accurate description.



        The first 2 years I had good results using a swamp cooler but for the rest of the nine years we were there I was fighting rust problems at least as bad as the mountain shop I mentioned. The constant evaporation would eventually turn the water in the reservoir so alkaline that the exiting air would rust steel & iron even more quickly than if you sprayed plain water on it.

        I tried water conditioners, anodes & changing the pads often. The best luck I had was using a second purge pump in the cooler that had a built in timer. It would cycle every 8 hours IIRC and empty the reservoir. This would reduce the formation of minerals (salts) but of course used an awful lot of water.

        We now live in northeast Arizona and at 5000 feet elevation it is more temperate. It cools off at night in the summer - CG didn't (unless you think 80 - 90 degrees F is cool) so I open the shop at night and run fans to bring in the night air.

        In the morning I close it up and it stays cool all day. All the iron & steel is a great heat/cold sink so it helps maintain the temperature if you keep up with it. Let it go for 2 days and it takes longer to get the temperature down again.

        Now, if only I can control the dust, which is extra fine sand!

        Last edited by jhe.1973; 01-13-2014, 12:16 PM.
        Best wishes to ya’ll.

        Sincerely,

        Jim

        "To invent you need a good imagination and a pile of junk" - Thomas Edison

        "I've always wanted to get a job as a procrastinator but I keep putting off going out to find one so I guess I'll never realize my life's dream. Frustrating!" - Me

        Location: Bustling N.E. Arizona

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        • #19
          my garage is not heated or cooled, so I just wear more or less clothes depending on the weather. At the cold end, I stop working when metal starts sticking to my fingers or I can't feel my fingers or toes anymore. At the warm end, I stop working when I'm either naked or I have heat stroke. Simple

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          • #20
            Originally posted by lwalker View Post
            the wife has horses and it's been royal fun breaking the ice on the trough every morning when it's -15F outside and blowing 20 mph.
            We chipped ice for the chickens until I got a long extension cord and a heater. But at -15F a heater may not be able to keep up!

            Anyway, I purchased an Amana in-window air conditioner + heat pump for my detached shop. If wintertime outside temperatures are mild, it costs 1/3 the electricity to heat in heat pump mode vs full resistive heat. The fact that it's also an air conditioner is kind of incidental.

            I do need to build a warm cabinet, though, for various shop chemicals that shouldn't freeze. I definitely don't run the heat when I'm not in the shop, I'd go broke. I've heard of guys repurposing old fridges or just using a standard cabinet with a lightbulb on the bottom and a thermostat. Just have to be careful not to burn the shop down.

            I live in an area where swamp coolers work well -- I know, because my house is cooled with one. Put it in myself. Didn't want a swamper for the shop, though -- I was worried about rusting machines with the humidity. In theory, there should be no problem, since the machines will be warmer than the cool moist air so the moisture should not condense on their surfaces... I just wasn't ready to risk it. So, it actually costs about the same to cool my little 12x30 shop with the refrigerated A/C as it does to swamp cool my whole house.

            Swamp coolers don't do much in humid climates, but I think they are the bee's knees in dry areas. The added humidity is very welcome for desert-dry skin, I save a ton of money on electricity, and I can repair and maintain it myself inexpensively.

            One thing I've thought about doing in summertime is turning on a exchange fan at night to bring in cool night air from outside and "cold soak" everything in side the shop. Hopefully, with this the shop would stay cool later into the afternoon before I have to turn the A/C on. But it would probably cause condensation -- cool night air on machines warm from the day before. So maybe not such a great idea.

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            • #21
              My shop doesn't have doors on it! It was our hay barn that is attached to the house. The walls have spaces between the boards to allow the air to circulate and keep the hay from molding. Not so great for my shop though. My plan was to put doors on it to close the entrance which is 4 meters high and 3.5 meters wide and to at least board and batton the walls. Didn't get to it this year. In summer it is great as I have lots of circulation. In winter it is not so great. It gets quite cold in there sometimes.
              Location: The Black Forest in Germany

              How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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              • #22
                Hi tylernt
                But it would probably cause condensation -- cool night air on machines warm from the day before. So maybe not such a great idea.
                Other way around, warm air on cool surfaces result in condensation.
                Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by jhe.1973 View Post
                  Now, if only I can control the dust, which is extra fine sand!

                  Yea I used to think that Arizona dust was bad . . . Then I moved to Alaska. When first here people would tell me its dusty here and I’d snicker at them and say I’m from Arizona, but they were right, extremely dusty here!


                  We have glacial silt here, the stuff is so fine you wonder where it came from but there sure isn’t any shortage of it. It kills electronics at an alarming rate, loads up fan blades in a month, and gets into everything. My house is shut tight (extremely tight because of heating cost) over 9 months of the year, the ground is ether covered with grass or snow year round but the dang stuff is not only unstoppable but can’t even be slowed down.
                  Anybody that thinks they know it all doesn’t even know enough to understand they know nothing!
                  Andy

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                  • #24
                    I have a detached four car garage of cinder block construction. The last few days haven't been very cold, today it was about
                    50F. While I was out there wiping down the machines I noticed I could see my breath in the air. It will probably be a couple of
                    months before the garage is warm enough to work in.
                    Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by RichR View Post
                      I have a detached four car garage of cinder block construction. The last few days haven't been very cold, today it was about
                      50F. While I was out there wiping down the machines I noticed I could see my breath in the air. It will probably be a couple of
                      months before the garage is warm enough to work in.
                      50F and you are whining it is too cold to work in your shop...........what a candy ass you must be! I would be happy if my shop got up to 50F.
                      Location: The Black Forest in Germany

                      How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by mike4 View Post
                        everything was hot to touch if tools or parts were left in the sun for any length of time..
                        Michael, if your tools are getting a bit to hot in the sun you need to implement some of the principles of shade tree mechanics!!!!!

                        Phil

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                        • #27
                          I painted a box side of a truck the other day in my shop. I noticed the overspray starting to build up along floor level where it was colder and started to worry about an explosion with the fire going so I opened a couple doors to evac the flammables. Not sure on the mixture needed with paint to have it light off but I didn't want to find out. I remember someone mentioning one time that it would take a mixture so heavy a guy shouldn't be able to breath.
                          Andy

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                          • #28
                            Black Forest
                            50F and you are whining it is too cold to work in your shop...........what a candy ass you must be!
                            50F was the temperature outside the garage. Inside was probably closer to 35F.
                            Location: Long Island, N.Y.

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