Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Relz » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 05:04:12



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 would
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 about
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 the
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 style
for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?  Is one
more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

Thanks for the advice.

Relz

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Chuck Sherwo » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 05:24:15


Quote:
>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 would
>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 about
>possible damage.  Do you all share this opinion?

I saw a machine that was stored in an unheated hanger. It was prefect
when it went in and after a few months (give or take) it had lots of rust.
A lot of this could have been prevented just by spraying the machine
surfaces with LPS-3.

I also stored a lathe in a garage covered with plastic and coated with
LPS-3 for over a year without any noticable rust. I have since learned
that a breathable fabric makes a better cover because it will let the
moisture out.

I have been told that applying a small amount of heat such as a light
bulb in the base of the machine keeps it just enough warmer than the
surrounding air to prevent moisture buildup.

Someone here stated that fans to keep the air moving help in damp
enviroments.

If the heat will not be on constantly I would do the following.
1) Forced air heat to heat the shop up reasonably quickly.
2) Radiant heat over the lathe to make a comfortable work area.
3) *** matt on the floor to isolate your feet from the cold floor.
4) Light bulb in the cabinet of the lathe to drive out moisture.
5) Coat with oil for short periods of inactivity
6) coat with LPS-3 for long periods of inactivity
7) cover the machine if exposedd to dirt or abrasive dust from
   other shop activites.
8) You might find it necessary to run the machine for a while before
   using it in the winter.

chuck

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Rex » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 05:39:55


Depending on how much time you will spend there, would it make more
sense to just heat the machines? I'm thinking magnetic block heater on
the bottom of the chip pan.

- -
Rex Burkheimer
Fort Worth TX

Quote:

> 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 would
> 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 about
> 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 the
> 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 style
> for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?  Is one
> more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

> Thanks for the advice.

> Relz

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by rigge » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 06:11:18


Although you didn't mention how large your shop is if it's about the
size of a single car garage I'd suggest the following:
Tent the lathe with heavy plastic and slip one of those thermostat
controled oil filled heaters underneath.  You should be able to keep
the lathe at any temperature you wish and the heat that excapes should
keep everything else from freezing.  If your shop is well insulated add
another heater with a timer in another area of the shop set to turn on
an hour or two before you plan on working.  If the shop isn't well
insulated adding a cealing mounted, gas fired, radiant heater will
probably give you the best coverage if you're sure you won't use a
forced air system.
Anything would be better than a customer who needed to warm-up his door
machine, threw a tarp over it, set a small fire under it, and walked
away for a moment......!!  Lucky he didn't burn the whole place down.

dennis
in nca

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by RoyJ » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 07:06:50


My old buddy (long since deceased) had his small lathe in an unheated
log cabin garage located about 2 miles from Twig Minnesota. For those of
you not in the know, this is one of theose places that vies for the
"coldest temp in the 48 states" places. A light slathering of oil, it
ran that way for years.

The big things to watch:
1) Make sure that any lubes are still working. Some greases will set up
solid at the 0 f and below range. (30 weight oil turns to a solid around
-25 F or so)
2) Make sure there is no source of moisture to cause condensation.
Uninsulated steel pole barn roofs and kerosene bullet heaters are big
culprits. I used a bullet heater extensively one winter, no problem on
the things in the area I heated, stuff in the cold corners got quite rusty.
3) Get a cloth tarp (NOT PLASTIC!) big enough to go over the machine and
touch the floor all around. Put a 40 watt bulb on the chip pan under the
headstock.
4) You won't be able to do precision work until the machine warms up to
room temp. there is enough drag and drift to mess things up.
5) If you are working on a project (eg old car), you need the forced air
to warm the entire area to something reasonable, say 50 degrees. If you
are just working at the lathe, the tube style radiant heaters are nice.
6) Stay away from the open grid radiant heaters if you are worried about
rust. The put too much moisture into the air, it condenses on any
unheated metal.

For a random use shop, I think I'd get a ceiling mount forced air unit.
Try and find a wall thermostat with good controls down to 30 degrees.
(Regular units stop at 50 degrees or so). Let the heater run, keep the
temp at 35 degrees. Just enough to keep the floor from freezing down.

If you want to be cheap, I see a lot of used 80% efficient 75k BTU
furnaces that are take outs for higher effiency units. Going price is
$20 to $75 or so.

Quote:

> 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 would
> 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 about
> 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 the
> 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 style
> for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?  Is one
> more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

> Thanks for the advice.

> Relz

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by nosm » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 07:49:32


My lathe lives in an un heated garage and shares with two cars.
Both cars come in wet in the winter.
Winter temp does not fall below 32F much, but I am on the water so damp is
my main problem.

I have a 'boat' top canvas cover that snaps over the lathe. Very easy to get
on and off.
Two,  60 watt light bulbs live and are on ,24/7 on the chiptray under the
bed.
This has worked for me for the last ten years.
Lathe is used most weeks and is lightly oiled after each use and clean up.


Quote:
>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
>would 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
>about 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
> the 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
> style for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?
> Is one more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

> Thanks for the advice.

> Relz

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by mlcorso » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 07:59:05


I have the same problem in the winter but also the reverse in the
summer. My shop is 400 sq. ft and the humidity of the summer also
causes rust to form on my tools. I am looking for a heat and cool combo
unit to fit in the window. Any suggestions on that? Um yes,...I'm
cheap. Rather spend the $ on tools.
-Mike
 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Steve Smit » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 08:07:58


Lots of good advice out there.

LPS3 does a pretty good job of protecting stuff from rust. I use it a
lot. Way oil also does a good job, at least on horizontal surfaces.

I don't like the idea of leaving a light bulb or heater under a tarp
unattended. It seems like a fire hazard.

Go to your local Goodwill or equivalent and buy some used sheets.
Covering your machines with them will help a lot. They minimize air flow
(so you don't get all the condensation in the room, just that under the
sheet). They also breathe and are cheap.

Is the room you're talking about heating so large that you need a forced
air furnace? Get a convection furnace, you can always add a table top
fan if you need forced circulation.

Steve
Brownfield, Maine

Quote:

>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 would
>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 about
>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 the
>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 style
>for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?  Is one
>more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

>Thanks for the advice.

>Relz

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Don Forema » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 09:18:52




Quote:
>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 would
>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 about
>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 the
>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 style
>for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?  Is one
>more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

>Thanks for the advice.

>Relz

I have a ceiling mounted natural gas forced-air unit heater in my shop
near Minneapolis.   Been using it for years.   I like it!   It doesn't
blow dust around;  warm air velocity is pretty low by the time it
reaches work surfaces or the floor.     I also have a slow-turning fan
mounted high and aimed straight  down.   It  helps prevent
stratification with much warmer air near the ceiling (roof) rather
than down where it's needed.  

If you let your machines get cold, even down to 40,  they can get
stiff to operate.  It takes several hours for a cold  lathe or mill to
warm up.

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Jon Grim » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 09:47:16


If you are interested in heating the shop, and not just the machine, I would
recommend radinat heat.
We put in a radiant system after years of ceiling mounted forced air units.
The difference was amazing.
All of the stuff gets warm, not just the air.
Also, you don't need to keep the shop at 70 deg, just enough to either keep
above the dew point, or for your own comfort.


Quote:
>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
>would 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
>about 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
> the 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
> style for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?
> Is one more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

> Thanks for the advice.

> Relz

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Scott Henrich » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 10:51:05


I live in Wis. and stored a lathe for 4 yrs. in the two car garage. No
heat, just road salt. I wiped a little engine oil on it when I put it
out there and put some plastic over it to keep the dust of. It did not
rust whatsoever! No heat!
Quote:

> 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 would
> 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 about
> 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 the
> 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 style
> for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?  Is one
> more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

> Thanks for the advice.

> Relz

 
 
 

Which heater to keep my lathe warm?

Post by Harold and Susan Vordo » Thu, 25 Aug 2005 13:32:17



Quote:
> 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
would
> 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
about
> 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
the
> 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
style
> for over a $1000.  Does anyone know anything about either of these?  Is
one
> more efficient than the other?  Any idea on operational costs?

> Thanks for the advice.

> Relz

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.  :-(

Harold