Thursday, January 9, 2014

Cold-Lets talk about it.

  I expect that many of my readers are from warm parts of the world and so they need not read on.  This blog is about a hidden danger (almost hidden) danger connected to being a garage workshop guy.

 Recently many of us looked out the window and saw this...


  and since it was the Christmas holidays we shovelled some snow and settled into our workshops to play with our new tools and maybe knock off a couple of projects that had been hanging around.

  Now that my shop is in the basement it is easy to just slip down stairs and putter around for an hour or so.  In our previous house half my shop tools were in our unheated garage.  I thought it was an okay arrangement because the garage door was insulated and I had a pretty good little heater.

Heater, Mr. Heater Propane Top Heater 05532930

  I would fire the heater up in the morning before breakfast, aim it at a medal locker in the work area and in an hour or so the frost was off the pumpkin and I could run my table saw, planer and other mess creating tools.  If I had a couple of days free to work I could get the garage sweater and bare hands comfortable for work.  

   Another reason I liked that  heater was that didn't tie up any of the limited electrical outlets in the garage either.  Re-wiring the garage to get more power was in the plan, it just turned out to be a better idea to move and start from scratch than do all the things that we wanted in the old house.

  The cautionary part of the tale is this:

  Once the garage gets cold enough that you need a heater you run the serious risk of condensation collecting on your tools.  I guess a couple of days of activity filled the air in the garage with moisture which settled on the tools as they cooled down.  Once I went back to work in the spring I found rust on many of my tools.(planes and chisels).  It was a huge amount of work cleaning them up.

  Once I realized that this could happen I didn't leave any quality tools in the garage and had no more trouble.  Just beware.

cheers, ianw

Jumping into the New Year.

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