Heated Shop Cabinet

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Project by BarbS posted 02-26-2012 05:34 PM 2797 views 11 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve completed a new shop cabinet to contain and protect my finishes and glues from the freezing cold. I know, I know, it’s almost March. We still have many cold nights on us (down to 21ºF forecast for tonight) and I’m tired of carrying bottles into the house and back out to the garage every time I want to work on something. This idea came from Scott Landis’ The Workshop Book, where he illustrated a smaller box in B/W with a light bulb in one corner and a thermostat in the upper corner to turn it off and on. My George helped me wire the two in series, so I can set the temperature at about 55º and count on it keeping things from freezing. I’m gonna’ love this. It’s tall and skinny (60” x 15”w x 10” deep) to fit a space available. Access isn’t great (behind the big lathe) but I can get to what I need well enough. Changing that light bulb on the bottom may prove a challenge, though. Nothing’s perfect.
To see the complete build, go to my blog at Might As Well Dance


35 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2995 days

#1 posted 02-26-2012 05:45 PM

Great idea Barb ,if you have room left over may be you could incubate some chicks too LOL
Very nice work,that should save you all that toting back and forth.

-- Custom furniture

View papadan's profile


1166 posts in 2786 days

#2 posted 02-26-2012 05:45 PM

Nice job Barb. I built one similar that I keep finishes and my welding rods in to prevent them from absorbing moisture.

-- Carpenter assembles with hands, Designer builds with brains, Artist creates with heart!

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2759 days

#3 posted 02-26-2012 05:55 PM

great idea barbs
i see lots of conversions to this idea
simple and effective

if you run out of finishes
you can keep some chickens in there

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Martyroc's profile


2711 posts in 1724 days

#4 posted 02-26-2012 06:08 PM

Excellent idea, and nice cabinet to boot.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Vicki's profile


1040 posts in 2762 days

#5 posted 02-26-2012 06:28 PM

Fabulous! That’s a great idea and will be so handy.

-- Vicki on the Eastern Shore of MD

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6819 posts in 3398 days

#6 posted 02-26-2012 07:39 PM

That’s a great idea.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 3442 days

#7 posted 02-26-2012 08:28 PM

Great idea. Need one in my shop in Western MA. Any more detail on the thermostat and light wireing? Thanks for posting

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View peteg's profile


3804 posts in 2241 days

#8 posted 02-26-2012 08:40 PM

Nice one Barb, save a lot of mucking around :))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View PhiltheLuthier's profile


57 posts in 2187 days

#9 posted 02-26-2012 08:40 PM

Nice idea, but I’d be worried about arcing across the relay terminals in the thermometer blowing my shop sky high. I would try to find a way to use a remote temperature probe, so the sparks could be “mounted” outside the cabinet. Or is it a mercury tilt switch with no relays?

View Dave's profile


11394 posts in 2258 days

#10 posted 02-26-2012 10:27 PM

I like it. I have been keeping an electric heater going in mine. That gets costly.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

View quartrsawn's profile


144 posts in 2631 days

#11 posted 02-26-2012 11:13 PM

I would put some (1 in.?) vent holes in the shelves for air circulation and an eveness in temperature.

-- Nat - West Sayville,L.I., NY

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 3503 days

#12 posted 02-27-2012 01:36 AM

Thanks everybody. Ken, I hesitate to give electrical advice over the internet, but basically, you run the hot wire up to the single pole thermostat and back down to the light bulb so they operate in series. The neutral goes only from the light bulb out to the wall plug. I’d strongly suggest getting someone to do this for you, who knows electricity.
Phil, I don’t know if this household thermostat is a mercury tilt switch or not. I won’t be putting thinner, acetone and turpentine inside the cabinet. I’ll use it to keep adhesives, liquid wax and oils from freezing.


View Billinmich's profile


238 posts in 3149 days

#13 posted 02-27-2012 02:16 AM

Nice job,I did they same thing for my 5 gallon water bottles,no thermostat but just a 40 watt light bulb.your thermostat must be a 110 volt ,not very common in homes

-- Bill in Mich

View mmh's profile


3664 posts in 3140 days

#14 posted 02-27-2012 02:23 AM

Nice job and practical at that! If you run out of jars you can always use it to proof your homemade bread!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View janice's profile


1097 posts in 2843 days

#15 posted 02-27-2012 02:38 AM

Okay, this is one of those things for someone who has everything! Great idea Barb.

-- Janice

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