heating my shop

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Blog entry by driscie posted 10-23-2010 03:25 AM 976 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I live in New Mexico just outside of Albuquerque where the weather most of the time is awesome. In the winter the temps can go down into the high 20’s at night, my is 20×20 and well insulated. I am looking for ways to heat the shop, have considered multiple ways. I like it comfortable enough to work in a shirt. Electric is too expensive, scared of a wood stove and it does take up valuable space, ductless gas heaters do not work in a dusty environment and that leaves only ducted gas heat. Any suggestions.

6 comments so far

View cabmaker's profile


1738 posts in 2859 days

#1 posted 10-23-2010 03:50 AM

I have been heating with torpedo heaters for near thirty years. I have only burned diesel. Good bang for the buck. You ll hear woes about fumes,etc. but I have had no issues. I have downsized to 996 sq. ft. and after knocking the edge off with the 120,000 btu I will cruise with the small one witch I think is 55,000 btu s. I have no insulation other than the inherant value you get from dens-glass sheathing which is under siding and partial brick. I have no openings to the north and can work in a t-shirt in our lowest temps.(teens) Good luck,JB

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2933 days

#2 posted 10-23-2010 04:20 AM

If your shop is well insulated, you should find that it wouldn’t cost much to heat it with electricity; especially if the daytime temps are enough to keep the shop warm in the winter.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3086 days

#3 posted 10-23-2010 11:37 AM

Around here we burn witches (and warlocks).

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Jimthecarver's profile


1124 posts in 3835 days

#4 posted 10-23-2010 01:40 PM

I use a pellet fuel heater. It uses renewable fuel and keeps it oh so toastie in the shop.
Corn or pellet stoves are the most economical way to go arond here. They are self igniting and thermostaticly controlled. Propane is about three to three fifty a gallon and I would burn about twenty bucks a day…not good. A forty pound bag of pellets cost around four dallors and last 2 days….math gets very easy from there.
Good luck.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View rozzi's profile


323 posts in 3372 days

#5 posted 10-23-2010 01:41 PM

I bought a little Heat Surge Electrc Fireplace type heater from what they advertise as Amish made. My shop is 12×24 but temps in my area are alot colder. Pretty efficient for electric and it works good for me without spending alot of money.

-- Duane, Iowa

View Aaron Taylor's profile

Aaron Taylor

37 posts in 3199 days

#6 posted 10-23-2010 06:12 PM

I also live in New Mexico and had the same questions about a year ago. I finally put aside my fears of using wood heat and installed a wood stove in my shop. Granted it was the cheapest option for me since I had a good King airtight just taking up space in storage, and I use wood to exclusively heat my home as well. I have found that the only drawback is that it takes up more room in my shop then I wanted to give up. In the summer it isn’t a problem since it doubles as an area to store things on, and in the summer I get an excess of scrap buildup since I want to save it for the winter to burn. I have to make sure that I keep the top cleaned off during the winter, but I haven’t even had any close calls as far as burning down the shop or explosions go. After talking with several people who have a lot of knowledge in explosives and the effects of different types of explosions (researchers at Emertech here in NM) I found that the conditions have to be just right for sawdust to explode; humidity, air volume and particle distribution just to name a few. Considering the fact that most power tools create a spark large enough to cause an explosion under those perfect conditions I felt reassured in using a wood stove for my heating, and maybe just a thought of moving into the hand tool realm :D I am in my shop 5 out of 7 days and it works great for me.

Just my thoughts and experience.


-- "Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."--Cary Grant from the movie Arsenic and Old Lace

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