How do you keep warm in the workshop?

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Forum topic by rweitz posted 1327 days ago 3912 views 1 time favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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89 posts in 1705 days

1327 days ago

It’s a mite cold these days and I was wondering how people kept the temps up to bareable levels. I don’t have a lot of spare electrical so I was thinking about one of those propane heaters we used on our driftboats. It just seems a bit dangerous to have something like that with all the wood and wood dust floating around.

So what do you do?

-- You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do. - Henry Ford

41 replies so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3314 posts in 1821 days

#1 posted 1327 days ago

When I had my shop built 8 years ago, I had a heating and air conditioning unit put it at the same time. It sits in a seperate room along with my dust collector and air compressor. It’s a 3 ton heat pump, thermostat controlled, and has 9 ceiling vents in the shop side and 6 vents on the “boat side” of the shop where I keep my boat and tow vechile. It’s a 40’ x 50’ shop, so I needed plenty of h&a…. Like a house, I just set the thermostat to whatever I need to stay warm or cool…..

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View dbhost's profile


5378 posts in 1859 days

#2 posted 1327 days ago

Oil filled electric radiator. But I live in Southern Texas… I don’t need much in the way of heat.

-- My workshop blog can be found at

View spunwood's profile


1194 posts in 1463 days

#3 posted 1327 days ago

shameless plug:

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View spunwood's profile


1194 posts in 1463 days

#4 posted 1327 days ago

No, a shameless plug is not the method of keeping warm

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View DrewM's profile


176 posts in 1626 days

#5 posted 1327 days ago

I have a tank mounted propane heater, I find it to be decently safe if you use common sense. I turn it on and off just to take the edge off the chill in the shop. I have noticed some minor moisture issues with tools inside my tool box, but everything else shows no signs of rust. I have a minor concern about the fumes it puts out but since my shop is so drafty I’m not that worried.

-- Drew, Delaware

View Maveric777's profile


2690 posts in 1703 days

#6 posted 1327 days ago

Well, it doesn’t get near as cold here in East Texas as it does get hot. The heat here isn’t what kills you (110 deg),but the 80(plus) percent humidity will flat out melt you. So I finally got my bride on board and I made an “Investment”... I killed two birds with one stone… With it being in the upper 20’s this morning reminded me of how awesome a product this it….

Here is my baby girl doing her model thing showing it off….

And here is the exhaust ports I put in the garage door.

It liked to kill me doing that to my door, but after the fact it was all worth it.

Here is the link just in case you may be interested:
EdgeStar Extreme Cool 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner & Heater

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Maveric777's profile


2690 posts in 1703 days

#7 posted 1327 days ago

Oh and BTW… The exhaust ports easily detach and I just roll it out of the way when not in use…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Dan's profile


3543 posts in 1507 days

#8 posted 1327 days ago

I gave up and built a temp work bench over some spare counter space in my house. I moved my most used hand tools and supplies inside and thats where I do the most of my work. I only run out to the cold garage shop when I need to use the power tools.. Sure I have plane shavings scattered through my house but at least I am warm.

I plan on getting a ventless propane heater for next year. I think you can get them for less then 200 dollars and don’t have to worry about venting any pipes out of the shop.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View jusfine's profile


2280 posts in 1553 days

#9 posted 1327 days ago

I have a (gas) radiant heater in my shop, keeps me toasty warm even when it is -40 degrees and the wind is howling… :)

Highly recommend it!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1654 posts in 1549 days

#10 posted 1327 days ago

I use a small electric space heater here in west Texas

-- In God We Trust

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 1610 days

#11 posted 1327 days ago

It shouldn’t hurt anything, not any different that a gas heater.
Must be heating ok Dan, she ain’t got no socks and shoes on. LOL

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View SnowyRiver's profile


51451 posts in 2107 days

#12 posted 1326 days ago

I use a natural gas Modine Hot Dawg heater. Its 3 below zero here now and its a toasty 60 in the shop. The shop is 450 sq ft and insulated, so I can turn it up to any temp I need and it works great.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

View agallant's profile


427 posts in 1513 days

#13 posted 1326 days ago

I got mine at HD for about $99. It connectes to a gas grill cilinder, heats my shop up to about 80 in 20 min. I go through a cilinder about every 1.5 months. not bad at $17.99 a fill.

View Raymond's profile


675 posts in 2354 days

#14 posted 1326 days ago

I have a pellet stove, actually it is for heating the house, but it is right next to my shop, infact it gets to hot some times and I have to open a window.

-- Ray

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 1801 days

#15 posted 1326 days ago

OhByTheWay …..

It’s also a good idea to search the forum—maybe using key words like “heater,” “winter,” “propane,” “ceramic,” “furnace,” “Modine,” etc.

The topic comes up—not surprisingly—a lot. I don’t know that everybody chimes in to answer the same question every time it’s asked (that sounds smarmy, but wasn’t meant to be).

My brother had a Modine furnace plumbed for his 3-car garage (shop is a small part of it), and has a digital thermostat, keeping it at about 50F, when NOT in use, and ramping it up (about 15min) to about 65F, when he wants to use it.

The other thing to be SURE of is that …. you’ve done pretty much everything you can to insulate it well. Pure upside.

Me ?

Basement. Shop stays pretty much 63 – 68* all through the winter, with NO added heat. Blue foam board insulation on the exterior of the foundation walls. Pure concrete walls and floor.

The downsides are pretty clear—access, clearance for in/out of big stuff, noise, and dust—but … the comfort factor, for me, is huge.

For the record, it was below zero, here, all weekend :-O Shop temps just didn’t budge.

-- -- Neil

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