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Forum topic by ShopWench posted 07-13-2012 03:18 AM 2683 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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71 posts in 2546 days

07-13-2012 03:18 AM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

Hi All,
I am looking at purchasing a home. A woodshop is a must have of course. I have found a ranch home that I like, but no basement. It does however have a small 2 car garage. I am wondering if having my tools etc in a place that is not climate controlled is a really bad idea. Also, I may need to put some on risers. I would like to have my car in there. I would of course be able to move it out when I am working.
So before I make the plunge, I was hoping on some feedback.


-- Nancy

13 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3883 days

#1 posted 07-13-2012 03:21 AM

it really depending on where you are at and how much you plan on doing woodworking when the climate requires controlling.

If it’s bearable and not a big deal – a detachable garage is great since non of the dust goes into the house, but if the climate is harsh (humidity,high heat, low colds/snow/freezing) then that would mean either setting up heating/cooling, or forgoing woodworking when the weather is not playing nice. will that work for you? go for it, but if it won’t- plan accordingly. this is very personal and area specific.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View bondogaposis's profile


5148 posts in 2585 days

#2 posted 07-13-2012 03:24 AM

It depends on where you live and what your climate is. Here in MT, winter is the issue, humidity not so much.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2423 days

#3 posted 07-13-2012 03:33 AM

PurpLev raises some important things to consider. If your area is frequently rainy, as is mine, your car will come in wet often and the humidity will be hard on your tools.

Many garages aren’t properly insulated with the result that temperature is hard to control, not good either for the tools or the wood you are working on.

Garage doors are frequently poorly sealed from the wind and cold so once again your local climate must be considered.

Basements can be a problem too. I have a basement shop with a dehumidifier. The dehimidifier really pays off at this time of year (summer). I empty it about every other day now but in the winter it just sits. You must keep the humidity low enough that rust on tools is not a (big) problem.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View japanesewoodworker's profile


75 posts in 3286 days

#4 posted 07-13-2012 03:46 AM

How about price ?

Is that a factor ?

How much are you willing to spend ? (Calculate price per square foot….metric system calculate pounds of GOLD
per square meter. For my friends in Japan…make sure you have EARTHQUAKE coverage, and electricity from a secondary source if Tokyo Electric is providing you power !)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18422 posts in 3910 days

#5 posted 07-13-2012 04:53 AM

Location is the first question as PurpLev said. I don’t have any problems here in Western WA in my garage, but it is attached and there is a freezer that generates a little heat. The unattached sheds has a few issues for rust ect over a long time, but nothing like the humidity issues of the Midwest and beyond.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Richard's profile


400 posts in 2926 days

#6 posted 07-13-2012 04:55 AM

Nancy, you don’t say where you are, but I’m in Minnesota and the biggest issue for me in winter is getting the garage warm enough to want to be out there. I use a simple kerosene heater in the winter. Most days my temp in the garage hovers around 60 degrees and my 90 year old garage is far from air tight.

My tools have never complained and don’t seem any worse for wear sitting in my detached garage year round.

-- "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

View knotscott's profile


8172 posts in 3610 days

#7 posted 07-13-2012 10:24 AM

My shop is less than half of our two car uninsulated garage in western NY. The tools don’t seem to mind the cold of winter or the heat of summer, but I do! Cast iron and concrete are tough to heat up when it’s near 0°F, and it forces me to rush when it’s really cold, which isn’t safe or enjoyable. A garage shop is definitely doable, but I’d go to the trouble of insulating it, and getting some modest heating and a window AC unit before moving your stuff in if possible. I treat my cast iron with a light coat of Boeshield T-9 rust preventer, then a coat of paste wax when the T-9 is dry….seems to work well for me.

For layout ideas here’s my latest. It’s currently got a lot of kid’s college stuff in it, but it could fit a car if we cleared it out.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View ShopWench's profile


71 posts in 2546 days

#8 posted 07-13-2012 10:59 AM

THanks guys,
I live in GA so I am mostly concerned about the humidity. I can be comfortable enough with a heater and fan. I also heard about a window unit that does both….not so sure the HOA will allow that. But I want to be sure I don’t mess up my tools. But as I thnk more, most basements have a little bit of humidity most of the time and reflect the weather too. I am finally getting a place of my own and I want to be sure it is just right. So are most of you finding that the biggest challenge is making it suitable for humans to be in the shop and the tools don’t mind?

-- Nancy

View jerrells's profile


918 posts in 3119 days

#9 posted 07-13-2012 12:21 PM

I live in Texas and right now I don’t get to do any scrollsaw work. It is too darn hot. There are times in the winter when I will not make it out there. So as far as the body is concerned YES it make a difference. HJowever my tools do not seem to mind.

-- Just learning the craft my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ practiced.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3195 days

#10 posted 07-13-2012 05:27 PM

In order to get the max out of the window unit, it would have to run 24/7 like a central heat/AC unit or at least have a thermostat. I lived south of Atlanta and now in SE Tennessee. Know what humidity is! Not as bad as Lousiana, though.
I would weigh the cost of renovating the garage to keeping looking. With the real estate market the way it is, you can come across a bargain. Check the local paper or realtor for bank repos.

View PurpLev's profile


8548 posts in 3883 days

#11 posted 07-13-2012 05:38 PM

Nancy – I would say that while tools made of iron/steel are subjected to some maintenance issues resulting from high humidity (rust) the main thing to concern yourself with is less about the tools and more about how comfortable you’d feel in the garage – too hot/cold/humid, and you might not want to be in there for long/any. this is of course very personal and very area specific as well. other than that – obviously the more humidity in your area, the more you’d have to maintain metal components in your machines/tools to protect them/minimize/clean rust off of them.

Good luck. and know thyself.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View KenBry's profile


484 posts in 2681 days

#12 posted 07-13-2012 05:51 PM

Just make DARN sure you have 220V and 110V 20Amp outlets all over the place. Spend well on electrical installation. If you can manage to predesign and figure out where your power tools will be located within the shop that will help you on where to put the 220V outlets.

As for AC, install a ductless system in the shop. It’s a compressor unit that will mount outside your shop on the ground and a coil/fan unit in the shop. These are very nice and not to expensive. They are all over europe, and japan. They are making there way into the US market as well. I am sure the HOA will allow it as well since it doesn’t look bad becasue it’s all hidden.

-- Ken, USAF MSgt, Ret.

View ronbuhg's profile


121 posts in 2382 days

#13 posted 07-17-2012 07:56 PM

hey there girl ! since I do live close to you(somewhat) I feel like you will only need to work on your own comforts, I think that the issues concerning tools are not a major concern. you are right to seek advice on this, but I think you will be just fine, I always think of the work shop 1st and after Im happy with it, maybe I’ll remember to ask “is there a house to go with this ??” LOL Let us know how your search goes,best of luck !!

-- the dumbest question is the one you dont ask !!

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