Shop's Log #4: Warming Canopy

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by terryR posted 01-27-2014 05:14 PM 1269 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Warming Closet Part 4 of Shop's Log series Part 5: Sargent 3416 Restoration »

Hello everyone, more on Global Warming in this blog…

Last installment, I built a crappy warming closet for glues and finishes, and it’s working great, but now I need a warm place large enough for a tool chest to sit while the Titebond3 cures. In my head, I could picture a covered wagon sort of structure which would cover my table saw and outfeed table…add a space heater, and a tarp and we are in business!

I had seen similar builds using pex as the support for the outer tarp, so off to town I go for 1/2” pretty red pex and a heavy duty tarp that’s silver on the inside.

To connect everything to the table top, I came up with the idea of legs…about 16” tall, hole near the base for clamping. hole in the top to accept the pex. Then, I proceeded to turn 6 legs to exactness…lost the photos from a PC crash, but here’s one leg.

Kinda fancy, yeah. I’m trying to upgrade the look of my shop, so figured this was as good a starting point as any! LOL. The legs are turned from Hard Maple and finished with Danish Oil.

And here’s what everything looked like when I added my pretty red pex and the heavy a$$ tarp.

...kinda like crap, huh? I had no idea the 1/2” pex was so flimsy at these lengths. Especially under a heavy tarp. bummer.

But, the system worked…I went ahead and started on the carcase for my tool chest using a lil heater underneath the tarp. However, I had flat out over engineered the build to the point of laughing or crying…depending on your point of view. I spent nearly two days turning those fancy legs…guess they’ll make a nice table!

Back to the drawing board…something simple…lightweight…cheap…

PVC! :)

We have a ton of 1” on the property, but it felt flimsy to me, and I wanted none of that. I figured I may as well overbuild the warming canopy, so off to town for some 1.5” pvc and a few connectors…

Much better! Clamps up-side down to accept the pvc…simple! Holds the weight of the tarp without question! sweet. I even discovered I could remove one leg section, and have better access to the project since my bench is one foot behind the camera in this shot…better work flow!

Sorry for all the wood filler…hiding the countersunk screws and a few gaps before paint.

But, I tend to just leave the tarp on top of this canopy, and clamp it out of the way. Folding the tarp North, south, east or west…doesn’t matter on the rigid frame. Heck, I can still use my table saw once that chest is moved…nice!

On really cold days without sun, my steel shop is a terrible cold sink! Now, I can leave 1/2 the canopy down, and work around the outfeed table with the space heater keeping this small space comfy.

That’s a plus I hadn’t counted on! Of course, we haven’t seen the shop’s power bill since the new addition. :( But, generally, I leave the shop with the heater on a timer so that it shuts off in 6 hours. That ought to be long enough for T3 to cure?

Here’s what the canopy looks like closed and buttoned up…

OK, I’ll admit it’s sorta homely looking! LOL. But, it sure is helping this homey get some stuff built this winter. So far, temps range 55-65 inside the tarp during the heat session…love it.

Comments and suggestions are always welcomed…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

8 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15377 posts in 2671 days

#1 posted 01-27-2014 05:25 PM

Beautiful, love it!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View cajunpen's profile


14576 posts in 4118 days

#2 posted 01-27-2014 05:26 PM

Looks like a clever solution. Happy I don’t live where it gets that cold :-). Of course, when I am dealing with Hurricanes – you are probably happy that you don’t live where there are Hurricanes. Anyway it looks great.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View CFrye's profile


10281 posts in 1892 days

#3 posted 01-27-2014 05:45 PM

Way to persevere Terry! Now, what to do with that pretty red PEX and maple legs?

-- God bless, Candy

View Picklehead's profile


1041 posts in 1982 days

#4 posted 01-27-2014 06:35 PM

And it could double as a nice warm “doghouse” after your next big tool purchase! ;)

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18789 posts in 2620 days

#5 posted 01-27-2014 08:04 PM

You need to find one of the insulation blankets like concrete guys use to cover new concrete. You could probably get away with just a heat lamp.

I see some kiln possibilities in your future as well.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Slyy's profile


2840 posts in 1708 days

#6 posted 01-27-2014 09:31 PM

Great solution Terry, finding a place to get some work done in the cold can be an ballad he at times. Looks like you’ve made yourself quite a bit of room to work with now! I’d second what Don says too, some insulation for the bottom might go a long way to keeping the cold leaching its way back in!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View AnthonyReed's profile


9797 posts in 2493 days

#7 posted 01-28-2014 01:50 PM

Very nice Terry. Turned out much more adaptable than one would have expected too.

-- ~Tony

View BigRedKnothead's profile


8520 posts in 2035 days

#8 posted 01-29-2014 03:31 AM

Oh man… What a pain just get some glue to dry. Somehow I missed these shop blogs of yours. Good stuff. It’s cool to see your man cave.

-- "At the end of the day, try and make it beautiful....because the world is full of ugly." Konrad Sauer

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics