I AM 28 AMD JUST GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT WOODWORKING.K TO MY QUESTION I RECENTLY SET UP MY 2 CAR GARAGE AS A WORKSHOP BUT IT HAS NO HEAT AND ITS COLD WHAT TYPE OF HEATER WOULD YOU RECOMMEND. I AM STUCK USEING A PORTABLE HEATER RIGHT NOW
Nothing with an open flame. So kero heaters are out. Electric is cleanest and easiest to install. No vent needed. Also is (usually) the most expensive to run.
You'll also have condensation problems due to temperature cycling. As the shop cools the air can't hold the moisture and you'll get condensation on your gear. Cast iron tops especially are prone to rust under these conditions. Solutions? Two. First keep a good coat of Johnson's paste wax on the saw top at all times. Second try running the heat at some minimal level (say 50°) to keep the temp cycles from getting too extreme.
Mark's advice is right on....the dangers of open flame in a wood shop are serious. About the only solutions are "direct vent" or resistence (electric). Several direct vent heaters fired by gas (either natural or propane) are available. As near as I can tell they seem to run between $700 and $1000. I wound up with a propane fueled Cozy furnace for about $950. I wanted the forced air, you can get similiar unit without blowers that are very good also. Of course, you could probably put in electric and save a big bundle on installation, only to give it to the power co. later. Good luck with your decision, and work safely.
Might I suggest: setup your garage with an old radiator from the junk yards and pipe it with a small water heater equipped with a small 1/6th hp pump. I am a retired plumber and we used to use these small pumps to circulate hot water so you did not have to wait and waste cold water in the lines.
I use a little 80,000 Btu propane convection heater to heat my 25x30 garage/woodshop. Its not insulated but heats it to 50-55 degrees when its below zero out. Plus its not loud at all. And they cost less than 100 bucks. And with the previous theory about dust and open flames of any kind, the amount of dust it would take to cause a fire hazzard wouldn't allow you to breathe in there. I'm also a career firefighter. Hope this helps.
I have a propane heater and they don't come any more opened flamed than this thing. It shoots like a 15" X 8" column of blue fire when the tank is full. Just for the record, I believe it to be a potential fire hazard (especially that time that the power went out while it was running and I was in the house so the fan was off and I had no way to get into the garage).
That having been said, my experience has been to the contrary in that nothing can cause this thing to create a problem in 3 winters worth of use almost every day. I've had large piles of dust/chips fall in it and the force of air just blows em' out like a house fan. I put a urethane finish on my 12x7 entertainment unit with it running and had no problems (and the garage is only 15x25).
Think about it this way; If you're doing something that could turn your shop into a potentially explosive environment, wouldn't you rather have the big flame there the whole time to burn it (like a pilot on the stove) rather than find out when you light a cigarette or cause a spark opening the garage door?
I am very interested in your idea using a water heater for shop heat. Several years ago I was told that the "recovery rate for a water heater would not suffice for support of a heater.
My shop is a 23x24 Morton building shop with a poured concrete floor and a trussed metal roof. I am now using a combination of a torpedo heater and kerosene heater to keep from freezing to death, problem is the fumes are probably going to get me first.
I was thinking of using a water heater connected to perimeter baseboard and possibly using a water/glycol mix to enhance the heating ability.
What size water heater/pump combination would be appropriate to use?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.