Warming Cabinet

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Project by topcat posted 12-05-2011 11:24 PM 2111 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, it’s not exactly wood, but it is for all of my finishes and glues. Winter is coming and till I get some heat in the garage, I can’t just have the stuff freeze. So, one of the (ahem) metal cabinets was fitted with some 1” polyisocyanurate rigid insulation. This gives me just about R-7 and the reflective surface helps matters that much more. The heat source is a 125W infrared lamp on an old thermostat from a torpedo heater. I added the temp guage because I had one left over from a job. For some reason, they sent one out in deg. C. Kinda useless here in America, but I can use it. It looks fancier, anyway. It seems to be working. It’s been in the 30’s and 40’s and I’m recording 15-18 deg. C, or 64.4 deg F. inside the cabinet. The lamp cycles on and off about once an hour and stays lit for about 15 min. at a time. That’s 6 hrs. a day of on time, or about $.27 per day. Not too bad. I am expecting a longer on time in January. This cabinet will eventually have doors and this will help keep the cold out, as well . . . and I promise to build them out of wood!

P.S. The last picture shows the thermometer and the copper “T” that’s holding it from the back side.

-- Tom - As you get older, you learn to hide your mistakes better

9 comments so far

View JasonC73's profile


49 posts in 2566 days

#1 posted 12-06-2011 01:29 AM

Very clever sir. I am dreading having to make the 40 trips from my garage to my basement to avoid losing all my finishes to old man winter.

View MasterSergeant's profile


1364 posts in 2710 days

#2 posted 12-06-2011 01:35 AM

I did kind-of the same thing when we were building our house in the winter.

I created the “Paint Vault” out of 2” rigid foam board. Worked great and save $’s!!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2855 days

#3 posted 12-06-2011 01:58 AM

Problem solved! Very nice thermometer :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Shawn K.'s profile

Shawn K.

56 posts in 2688 days

#4 posted 12-06-2011 02:18 AM

Brilliant. My wife is gonna bury my corpse once the ground thaws if I don’t get my finishes and glues off her kitchen counter. This may have just saved my hide.

-- -- Never entrust power to those who desire it.

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2421 days

#5 posted 12-06-2011 02:31 AM

Great idea topcat. I did a similar thing for an outdoor ferrel cat placing a light bulb under an insulated hut. This worked fine but a friend set me on to replacing the light bulb with pipe heating tape which was a bit safer. You might want to look into this idea also.. Thanks for the post

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View ChrisK's profile


1972 posts in 3104 days

#6 posted 12-06-2011 03:46 PM

Good Idea. I am glad I live further south now, I used to live in Milwaukee. I would need a flame thrower to keep stuff from freezing.

-- Chris K

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10117 posts in 4074 days

#7 posted 12-06-2011 09:04 PM

That’s a very good idea… I never was worried about paint & stuff like that… I wonder if ever does get that cold in our garage?

Isn’t 0 (Zero) Centigrade Freezing? and 100C Boiling water?

Nice going!

Just thought… if someone were to save scraps of all the Packing Material such as molded sections, etc., they could cut’em & trim’em to help build REALLY GOOD insulated panel sections that could be put to good use! Even for maybe some vegetables, etc.! YES.. NO… ???

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View topcat's profile


43 posts in 2451 days

#8 posted 12-07-2011 04:41 AM

Thanks guys. I like the pipe heater idea. It would take up less space than the lamp. Joe, insulation works because it has air pockets. Even the stuff I used has teeny weeny little air bubbles in it, so I suppose as long as you can trap layers of air in the packaging material, you can use it as insulation. Oh yeah, reflective surfaces help. Heat registers on the infra red wavelength and if you can reflect that back to the warm side, your golden :)

-- Tom - As you get older, you learn to hide your mistakes better

View ArtMann's profile


950 posts in 838 days

#9 posted 10-09-2017 02:31 PM

You are betting a lot on the old thermostat remaining functional. If it fails, it is going to get extremely hot in there and the box contains highly flammable materials. I would be tempted to install another thermostat in series with that one as a fail-safe mechanism.

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