> I live in Minnesota where the winters are cold. It's not unusual to be 10
> degrees or colder for a couple weeks or more. Someone told me that it
> be a bad idea to have my lathe in an unheated shop during the winter and
> using it wouldn't be such a good idea while it's cold. I am concerned
> possible damage. Do you all share this opinion?
> I am now in the process of finishing my shop and am in need of advice on
> type of heater to use. The debate is between a normal ceiling-mounted
> natural gas blow-air-and-dust-all-over-the-place furnace or a
> ceiling-mounted tube-style radiant heater. I think I need around 60,000
> BTU/H. I can find a decent forced air for around $600 and the radiant
> for over a $1000. Does anyone know anything about either of these? Is
> more efficient than the other? Any idea on operational costs?
> Thanks for the advice.
Nothing will cause your machines to condense moisture faster than rapidly
changing the temperature in the shop. The mass of machine tools makes them
slow to warm, so the moment you raise the ambient temperature, they begin
condensing any moisture contained in the air. You'd be far better off to
keep your shop at a constant temperature, even if it's not very warm, than
to economize by heating only the machines, which won't be all that much
warmer than the surroundings without considerable heat introduced.
Regards comfort, I'd be inclined to suggest a forced air unit, but only if
you can get some duct work down around the floor. My previous shop had
nothing but overhead ducts, so the floor, and my feet, never really warmed
up. I lived in Utah at that time, where winters are severe, but nothing
like yours. I don't like cold feet, and heating the floor is most
difficult. So much so that I have hydronic heat in my current shop, which
keeps my feet warm. If they're warm, I am. Avoid electric heat if
possible, and oil. I'm stuck with it (oil) and the price has more than
doubled in the past year. Sigh! It's going to be a cool winter in the
shop, I fear. :-(