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Thread: Temporary Shop Heating

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Reno NV
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    Temporary Shop Heating

    With winter fast approaching, I'm afraid my shop time is going to become more and more limited. My shop is about 1/2 of an un-insulated/un-heated garage.

    As much as I'd like to insulate it and finish it off, I really don't see that happening.

    Last year I would use a little electric space heater and stand right next to it while I did some things, but it wasn't really enough to make spending any time out there easy or enjoyable.

    Just wondering if anyone has suggestions/advice on portable propane powered heaters that might work to quickly warm the shop up, and keep it comfortable for a few hours at a time. Not looking to permantly mount anything.

    Thanks!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  2. #2
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    Nov 2006
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    Constantine, MI
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    Just guessing - because I have no idea - that with the downturn in the construction market that there would be some of the propane heaters (I think they used to call them salamanders (sp?)) on craig's list or in the local papers. Might even try some of the rental stores. Our local rental place sold off a few of their compressors and now there is a 3 week waiting list for those who want to blow out their sprinkler lines. Might be a deal on a heater.
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  3. #3
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    we call `em torpedo`s here in the sticks rennie..and even a small one will flat run you out of a small area.....i`d look into a waffle style tent heater that`s made to mount on top of a 5gal propane bottle..

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
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    Agreed that the infrared heaters are not much good for shop work. They heat things, not air. I do have a couple that I no longer really use as I found a couple small ceramic heaters with fans to be more effective. Not great mind you but they do make the area workable. Also, bear in mind that in my part of SoCal we think 45-50* is near-death cold. On the otherhand 90* is just comfy come summer, 100* is getting warm. They tank top style that Tod shows are the bomb but, allow for a fresh air supply.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Reno NV
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    Thanks Guys!

    Glenn, In the summer, it's about the same here. With the low humidity we have, heat doesn't really bother me until it gets to the upper 90's.

    Winter is a little different. It's not like I'm in alaska, but it's definitely below freezing for long periods of time. We don't get a lot of snow (or rain) due to being in the rain shadow of the Sierras.

    The garage has soffit vents that are open to the outside, and the garage door isn't exactly a tight seal, so there is a source of fresh air. It would kind of seem to defeat the purpose to have to open a window to use the heater

    But the warning is well taken. I've got a CO meter, that I'll hang out there to keep an eye on things.

    I think Lowes and HD will be having sales on these pretty soon, if not already.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
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    my first winter here in Ohio, I used a KeroSun kerosene heater - about 30Kbtu, if I recall. It'd run about 12 hours on a bit over a gallon of kero, and it kept my shop usable, even when the outside temps got down to single digits. With the cost of Kero today, It's likely cost you about $2.00 to run it for five or six hours. Like any combustible, there's a potential CO problem, but if your garage is as 'open' as you say, it'd be little cause for concern.

    BTW, for the second, and subsequent seasons, I've now got a 35Kbtu natural gas radiant heater, and I really like it. I have it on an auto setback thermostat, and keep the (now well insulated) shop at 65° during the day, and 50° at night.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
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    Hmmm,

    I hadn't even thought about the kerosene heaters. That's actually a very good idea. Could always have a few jugs of it around. Propane always seems to run out at the worst times, at least when barbecuing.

    I remember my Mom having one of those to heat her basement at one time.

    Thanks Jim!
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Pa
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    186
    I have a kerosene 55,000 BTU bullet heater to get the shop warm fast.
    In about 20 minutes the shop gets up to about 75 to 80 degrees.

    Once warm, that heater gets shut off and then my two cheaper
    kerosene convection heaters take over.
    One heater is about about a 30,000 btu and the other about a 10,000 btu,
    they run to keep the temperature at about 65 degrees.
    That's in about a 1200 Sq foot shop 1/2 of which is insulated.

    Not Cheap to run, but if I need to put in some shop time, very effective.
    I am working this weekend to insulate the other half of the shop to help
    keep the cost down.

    My heaters are similar to the ones below. ya got to watch the CO levels
    though and have good ventilation.
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  9. #9
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    Oct 2006
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    Tokyo Japan
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    Geez Dave, the two heaters on right, sure look like the ones that are very common in Japan.

    They do stink a little bit, when they first turn on and shut down, and they certainly do need a good fresh air source.

    Good luck, stay warm!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Escondido, CA
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    Hey, Stu,

    I have one that is very similar to the one on the right. It was imported from Japan 15+ years ago.

    It quit on me about 4 years ago and needs some parts that are no longer available in this country, or so I was told by the guy I bought it from. He wanted to buy the unit from me for a pittance (of, course), he said for 'spare' parts. That offer was made after a rambling story about how much more money these were worth, since I had purchased my unit, and how much he could get for them when he could find them.

    The cynical side of me lit up with regard to the largess of his offer to buy my unit. So it is sitting on a shelf in my storage building, awaiting the source of a repair kit.

    When I get back home in December, I'll have to see if I can get the pertinent information, and perhaps you could check whether parts are available for it from your end.

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