Condensation troubles

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Forum topic by rmoore posted 01-02-2012 09:02 PM 918 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View rmoore's profile


325 posts in 2601 days

01-02-2012 09:02 PM

My shop is an uninsulated, OSB covered building. It is a little drafty and I heat with a wood stove when I work in it. The problem is, when it is cold and I build a fire to warm it up, the metal tools start getting condensation on them. Even tools that are in drawers do it. Does anyone else have problems with this and how do you fight it? Do I need to run a dehumidifier 24/7? Will insulating and making it more air tight help. I assume that keeping it heated will prevent this but I can’t afford that right now. Thanks for any input.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

6 replies so far

View anobium's profile


64 posts in 2311 days

#1 posted 01-02-2012 09:39 PM

As air gets warmer it can carry more water. if that warm wet air hits cold surface it lets go of the water and thats what you see as condensation. I know you guys don’t have the metric system over there but the graph show how the ability of air to take more water rises quickly. Stuff that has the same temperature as the the room has no problem with condensation. If you insulate and just heat up every now and then the problem is likely to re occur.
Insulation will help you to heat your shop cheaper though or maintain a certain temperature. Ever 1°c over 20°c needs 5% more energy to heat. Just a few more numbers. 20% loss of energy come from doors and windows so if you have no insulation at all I understand your heating expenses.
The dehumidifier only helps you when it gets warmer all the sudden. Solve the problem from the roots don’t fight symptoms of it. My opinion. Maybe someone else has a idea that is easier for you.
My shop usually has 14°C in the winter. warm enough to work with toboggan and sweatshirt.

-- Whoever finds mistakes can keep them. English is a foreign language to me.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3300 days

#2 posted 01-04-2012 04:53 PM

I fully agree with Anobium. I suggest you get some professional advice before insulating to make sure it is done correctly in order to avoid other technical problems that could arise from doing the job incorrectly.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View MrRon's profile


4718 posts in 3210 days

#3 posted 01-07-2012 07:26 PM

There really is no one fix-all solution. It will take insulation, heat and plugging air leaks. My shop is partially insulated (ran out of money) and has lots of places where air leaks in. I have the problem of condensation the same as you. I know what the fix is, but it costs money. You just can’t get around it. Probably the best you can do right now that won’t cost you, is to plug the air leaks. After that, start adding insulation when you can afford it. BTW, large workshops are much more expensive to insulate, heat and’or dehumidify. One possible solution would be to arrange your tools so they can be contained within as small an area as possible. You could then enclose that area within a small insulated room that would be easier and cheaper to heat.
Keeping metal surfaces like saw and jointer tables waxed will help repel moisture that condenses on the surfaces. Keep your hand tools wrapped in moisture resistant paper or oil them. Oil is messy though.

View rmoore's profile


325 posts in 2601 days

#4 posted 01-07-2012 10:06 PM

Thanks to all for the input and ideas.

-- The more I learn, the more I realize I don't know. Ron, Crossville Tn

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3300 days

#5 posted 01-08-2012 12:23 AM

Is that because you are all wet cr1?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4904 posts in 3927 days

#6 posted 01-08-2012 01:07 AM

Just don’t wrap anything in a non-porous material (like a plastic). That’s death.


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