Reply
Reader
Peter_R
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-08-2010
0

Limitations to consider for a cold woodshop?

[ Edited ]

Hello,  Im trying to find some information about working in a cold woodshop for the winter months.   Im in Ontario Canada so yeah it gets fairly cold in the winter.  My shop does have a wood stove in it but I doubt it is enough to keep it heated when not consistently tended. 

 

I have been a home builder by trade for the last 10 years and am finally taking the plunge and beginning my own business.  I have an outdoor garage that is 15' wide, 25' long and 10' high to use as my shop.  Its not the largest shop in the world, but I can make it work.   I will mostly be working on site but I am going to use the shop a great deal and am wondering what challenges I need to be aware of when a shop gets cold and hot all the time.  I will be wanting to build cabinets and built-ins for clients on a small scale.  Most likely no full size kitchens with this setup for the most part, especially in winter.   I think my main concerns are wood acclimatizing, glue-ups, finishing etc??.   I have the option to use my basement as a shop but the ceilings are only 7.5' high and with the current location of the entrance to the basement, getting material and cabinets in and out would be tedious.

 

I currently do not have a lot of money to buy a furnace.  The whole garage is insulated with R10 between the 2x4 studs and R20 in the ceiling.  The garage door is a weak point that I will have to replace.  Any help pointing out problems I may encounter and also any techniques to deal with these problems would be appreciated.


Peter

Senior Advisor
fredhargis
Posts: 1,687
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Limitations to consider for a cold woodshop?

[ Edited ]

For a few years I heated my shop with a wood stove, and it had similar insulation. No doubt it doesn't get as cold around me as it will where you are, but I found if I heated the shop up during the day, it didn't fall below the mid 40's at night. I did tighten my 2 OH doors up some by arranging a clamp to hold them against the frame tightly, since the "clamp" was lagged to the walls, it was possible (but a PITA) to get the door open when needed. It won't hurt glues/finishes/whatnot to get cold, but they do need to be thoroughly warmed up before use....as does the wood being glued/finished/whatnot. Of course, they also need adequate time to dry/cure/whatever in warm temps. I never had a problem with wood movement that wasn't normal, but maybe somone else has a different opinion about that part. If you find your shop is dropping below freezing, it would be easy to put the water based stuff (the glues/finishes/whatnot) in an insulated cabinet heated by a light bulb. Don't worry about the oil type finishes, they won't be harmed by cold temps, in fact I store mine in an unheated shed in the winter. Just my 2¢.....BTW, welcome to the forums!

"I long for the days when Coke was a cola, and a joint was a bad place to be" Merle Haggard
Honored Advisor
RussBoyd
Posts: 7,640
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Limitations to consider for a cold woodshop?

Welcome from me also. I live in Spokane so maybe not as cold... but still cold. I would be sure to keep your glues etc. in the house and as far as your shop goes... insulation is the key. Insulate as well as you can. Maybe you can pick up a shop heater on craigslist or ? for a decent price that could keep you at 50 or so when you have a project that needs the warmth. I would hesitate letting cabinets freeze after they have a finish on them. Of course, there is the application of the finish to be concerned with too. Lots of things to think about that a small heater for a good price would solve. I would work on that with all you got. You could always upgrade later when you can more afford it.

"If you can't hide it...advertise it!"
Advisor
Randy@Yorktown
Posts: 1,224
Registered: ‎10-23-2009
0

Re: Limitations to consider for a cold woodshop?


RussBoyd wrote:

Welcome from me also. I live in Spokane so maybe not as cold... but still cold. I would be sure to keep your glues etc. in the house and as far as your shop goes... insulation is the key. Insulate as well as you can. Maybe you can pick up a shop heater on craigslist or ? for a decent price that could keep you at 50 or so when you have a project that needs the warmth. I would hesitate letting cabinets freeze after they have a finish on them. Of course, there is the application of the finish to be concerned with too. Lots of things to think about that a small heater for a good price would solve. I would work on that with all you got. You could always upgrade later when you can more afford it.


 

I can't add much to what has already been said.  However, you should not only keep your glues, etc. in the house ( or other warm place) when freezing could become an issue.  You also need to be aware of the chalk point of the glue that you're using.  It varies a bit from one glue to another, but it hovers around 50F, give or take.  I always make sure that I don't let the temperature drop below 55F while my glue-ups are curing.  Finishes will also be affected in various ways by cold temperatures.

 

Advisor
Rrandy
Posts: 1,626
Registered: ‎11-05-2009
0

Re: Limitations to consider for a cold woodshop?

A buddy of mine glued some thick foam insulation board to the inside of his garage door. He cut relief angles at the section joints so it would open and close and thenmade a "hinge" out of canvas and took a length of foam board and glued the hinge on it and the door above each joint...all the way across the joint. When the door was down the "hinged" piece would hang against the door covering the joint with the relief cuts on it. When he needed to put the door up the hinge would allow those covers to just hang. Pretty neat the way it worked. Now the edges of the door he tacked up pieces of that plastic foam pipe insulation on the door facing so when the door was closed it would be more than just barely touching the door... It is not as good as a wall but it did work pretty good and cut his heating bill and kept a lot of those stray drafts down.

Never do anything you don't want to explain to the EMT.

Reader
Peter_R
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-08-2010
0

Re: Limitations to consider for a cold woodshop?

Thanks for all the info guys.  Im thinking maybe a pellet stove to replace my wood stove would be easier to keep the garage warm.  I can get a used pellet stove for fairly cheap, what do you think?

 

I will definetely do everything to seal up the shop.  As much insulation as possible, more in the ceiling and poly everywhere.  Ill also deal with the garage door to keep it as tight as possible, possibly replace since its one of those real old ones

 

© Copyright 2009, Meredith Corporation. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Service.