Cold Weather Finishing

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Forum topic by pete79 posted 10-22-2009 04:42 PM 819 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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154 posts in 2559 days

10-22-2009 04:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: finishing

Hi all. I’ve recently moved my workshop from the basement to the garage for more room and so i can work in the evenings without waking the kids up. One downside of this move is that I now work in my unheated and non-insulated garage. Since I live in Michigan and use a spall spaceheater while I’m working, I’m curious what advice everyone has on applying finishes when it’s real cold out. I already know that glue up may be an issue, and I’m testing a few things with that. Now I’m wondering if I need to wait until spring to finish projects, or if it’s more a matter of how long i need to wait for finishes to cure, or what types of finishes I should use or stay away from?

-- Life is a one lap race.

5 replies so far

View thedudeabides's profile


75 posts in 2559 days

#1 posted 10-22-2009 04:49 PM

I’ve got this same problem. An unheated barn and glue and finishes that demand higher temps. Seems from what I’ve read 40-50 degrees F is the threshold : (

It’s already getting below freezing here in New England and I’m shuffling projects from the house to the barn and back again, what a pain.

View pete79's profile


154 posts in 2559 days

#2 posted 10-22-2009 04:53 PM

I’ve also considered the project shuffle – unfortunately two other resons for the move were:

1. Ventilation in basement is extremely poor at best and stinks up the whole house.
2. Basement stairway is abnormally narrow and I’ve almost gotten a couple project stuck in the basement with no way to get them out. Reverse this and you can see how I could possibly not get projects down there to finish them now.

-- Life is a one lap race.

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 2563 days

#3 posted 10-22-2009 09:50 PM

Option #1 – Use reflective sheathing to build a 3 wall house for your project and use an electric space heater to keep it at the right temp overnight (note SAFE electric, meaning it won’t ignite the insulating sheathing)
Option #2 – wait until spring

More Difficult
insulate and buy shop heaters for garage

Insanely Difficult
Invent stain or finish that won’t fisheye in temps below suggested temp

View Gary's profile


8965 posts in 2851 days

#4 posted 10-22-2009 10:27 PM

Check into barrel heaters….make your own

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View a1Jim's profile


115171 posts in 2995 days

#5 posted 10-24-2009 07:19 AM

Be very careful about letting heaters running unattended and don’t use open flame heaters with flammable finishing products.

-- Custom furniture

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