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Forum topic by Matt Przybylski posted 555 days ago 1043 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Matt Przybylski

433 posts in 982 days


555 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: heating garage shop storage heated storage finishes glues

Hey everyone,
I live in the suburbs of Chicago and obviously our winters get pretty dang cold (8 degrees today). My shop is my attached garage and I’ve been looking for solutions to store my glues/finishes in there without any issue because i hate having to come inside, take off my dusty clothes, go downstairs through the house to the laundry room just to get a bit of glue for a small piece every time.

I’ve seen on the web people posting pictures (although not very many) of heated cabinets where they took a thermostat and a light bulb and set it up. The issue I’m having is there really isn’t a step by step and exactly what you need type of post anywhere and I’m not fully confident in my electrical skills or knowledge to be able to rig something up without worry.

So, if any of you have made one of these, can you give a bit more detail and shed some light on what I should be purchasing and how to rig it up? I’d really appreciate the help.

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com


16 replies so far

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

2857 posts in 1091 days


#1 posted 555 days ago

When I lived in North Dakota I just used an old refrigerator and the existing 25W appliance bulb. I just disconnected the compressor and anything that didn’t have to do with the light.

I also disconnected the the switch on the door that makes the little light go out, supposedly! (how do you know the light is off when the door is closed?).

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View tenontim's profile

tenontim

2131 posts in 2348 days


#2 posted 555 days ago

I like Dallas’ idea. When I lived in Maine,I used a wooden cabinet, with just a light fixture and a 150 watt bulb, in it, before I got a heater installed. Not necessary to have a thermostat. When it’s below freezing in your shop, the light will never turn off.

View David's profile

David

195 posts in 1267 days


#3 posted 555 days ago

Actually controlling the temperature is probably overkill. I have a fridge in the garage that has trouble controlling the temperature when it gets cold out, so I use a Johnson Controls A419 temp controller% hooked up to an appliance light bulb in a cheap fixture. Since you would care less about specific temperature you could get by with just a bulb. Careful though, as they tend to get hot. If the fixture says max 100W for example, I’d use a 40 or 60W bulb to be on the safe side.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey http://davidwahl.org/category/woodworking/

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pintodeluxe

3279 posts in 1417 days


#4 posted 555 days ago

Maybe you could bring the glue bottles in the house. A utility room or laundry room that is already heated?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1471 posts in 876 days


#5 posted 555 days ago

Matt,

Here’s the link to fellow LJ, Barb Siddiqui, http://lumberjocks.com/BarbS, who was kind enough to share her solution to our problems of the shop not being continually heated.

http://barbsid.blogspot.com/2012/02/necessary-storage-unit.html

Programmable Thermostat;

http://www.amazon.com/Lux-Heating-Cooling-Programmable-Thermostat/dp/B000E7NYY8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1354031087&sr=8-2&keywords=thermostat+controlled+outlet

Thanks again Barb.

Hope this helps you on your way to your solution.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View oluf's profile

oluf

256 posts in 1643 days


#6 posted 555 days ago

I would reccomend just using the heat from a light bulb with no thermostat. Not those new light bulbs. Do not use one light bulb. I would use two 40 watt which will give you 80 watts of heat. If one bulb burns out you will still have heat in your storage cabinet. Hopefully you wil open the cabinet and see the burned out bulb before they both burn out. Two 25 watt might also give you enough heat.

-- Nils, So. Central MI. Wood is honest.Take the effort to understand what it has to tell you before you try to change it.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

433 posts in 982 days


#7 posted 555 days ago

Exactly what I was looking for GrandpaLen, thanks a million!

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1471 posts in 876 days


#8 posted 554 days ago

Matt,

You are more than welcome.

As a side note, you may want to consider Nils insite in his post #7 above and install 2 bulb fixtures for his reasoning.

Best Regards. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2689 days


#9 posted 554 days ago

Thanks Len, for the mention. Two bulbs is a good safety backup; I installed only one, and our temps have been below 20º for three weeks straight, so I’ve checked the cabinet for that one light bulb Every Day to prevent freezing all I have stored there. Matt wrote and asked a few questions, I’ll answer here.

I actually didn’t make it close air-tight; there is a small gap at the hinge side, very small, and I can see the light without even opening the door. The cabinet has been a consistent 55º (shown by an independent thermometer inside) as set by the thermostat, for three months now, so it works well. My insulation was as cheap as I could find: foam poster board from WalMart, cut to fit the spaces and glued, then corner tacked, in place. The tacks were necessary because I made my cabinet last year in the cold, and my adhesives were not securing it to the cold plywood. I didn’t want the chance of the foam-board falling in contact with the (protected) bulb at all, so I tacked it on to be sure.

The only thing I think I’d do differently is put stronger rare-earth magnets on the door, or use a luggage latch or something more secure. I used only four 1/4” small magnets, and had to add a hook and eye to really pull the door tight on the right side. It still gaps a bit at the bottom hinge, but I like being able to see the light there.

The wiring, I don’t want to get into, as I am not an expert, and my friend George wired it for me, “in series, through the thermostat.” I would suggest if someone does not know what that means, get someone who does know to help, or hire it done! Sorry I can’t be more helpful on that.

I of course, filled it up immediately, and have no more space to add in products. But it was built to fit a narrow wall space available. I’m sure the light bulb could function just as well if the cabinet were six inches wider to hold a bit more. I was wishing I could get a gallon of wood sealant in there, but I am toting it in and out of the house to use it. Always need more space.

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

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Matt Przybylski

433 posts in 982 days


#10 posted 552 days ago

Thank you Barb for the reply, it was very helpful. I’m still a bit unclear about how to wire this puppy up in full detail as I’m scared of blowing the house up :) If anyone can point me to direct links of items that I’d need to purchase and if I actually need to rewire anything or if its all plug and play that’d be very helpful.

Also, GrandpaLen, that thermostat was actually one I had saved on my “for future reference” wish list but my understanding is that it needs to be plugged into a wall outlet. I suppose I can run an extension cord into the box and plug it in there, is that what you were thinking?

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View BarbS's profile

BarbS

2433 posts in 2689 days


#11 posted 552 days ago

You know, there’s nothing at all wrong with using Olaf’s suggestion of just using a light bulb without any thermostat at all. When winter comes, in most places, that light is on constantly anyway. All you’d need to do is turn it off if your forecast is for a consistent 50º day and night, or just use it at night. If you’re in the shop a lot, it wouldn’t be a problem. I’ve found in the cold season, mine’s just on all the time anyway. Just sayin’.

-- http://barbsid.blogspot.com/

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1471 posts in 876 days


#12 posted 552 days ago

Matt,

Break this down as if you were applying in line with a simple table lamp.
- Heavy duty extension cord (14 guage wire) plugged into wall outlet.
- Thermostat plugged into the extension cord.
- lamp plugged into thermostat.

Now as applied to your cabinet;

Build your cabinet as outlined in Barb’s article.

- Securely fasten the light fixture in the bottum compartment (this compartment will remain vacant, no products ever stored in here, Fire Hazard).

- Securely fasten the Thermostat in the uppermost compartment of the cabinet (you may safely store products up here).

- Plug the cord from the light fixture into the Thermostat.

- Enter the lower compartment of the cabinet with the female end of your extension cord and plug your Thermostat into the extension cord.

- Position your new heated storage cabinet in such a way that your extension cord is not a Tripping Hazard and plug the extension cord into your wall outlet.

Use the recommended size bulb, as stated in Barb’s article, and check the temperature in the top compartment of the cabinet with a separate Thermometer to confirm that your Thermostat is set / and reading properly.

If you are concerned about wiring up the light fixture, ask for help where you purchase the parts, hardware store,
Home Depot, Lowes, etc. or electrical supplier.

Work Safely and have Fun.
Best Regards – Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

433 posts in 982 days


#13 posted 552 days ago

Thanks again GrandpaLen, everything you said makes perfect sense and I think I’m ready to take this on. Thanks everyone for your help!

-- Matt, Illinois, http://www.reintroducing.com

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1471 posts in 876 days


#14 posted 552 days ago

Matt you are welcome, anytime. :-)

LumberJocks , a world of advise, opinions, and experiences, all shared without judgement.

Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Rege's profile

Rege

1 post in 558 days


#15 posted 552 days ago

I have used therm-o-cubes in different applications over the years and thought it would be a good, safe and inexpensive alternative to leaving the lamp on all the time. You don’t see them often unless you are farming in cool weather areas so maybe take a look for some locally or here is a link to on Amazon I use to keep drinking water from freezing outdoors. They have them in different temp ranges.

http://www.amazon.com/Farm-Innovators-TC-3-Thermostatically-Controlled/dp/B0006U2HD2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1359057040&sr=8-1&keywords=Thermo+Cube

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