Cold weather garage tips

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Cold weather garage tips

Postby pfarber » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:54 pm

Well my Jeep Zj busted a brake line (hells yes to dual circuit brake systems) so I had to make a line when the temps were in the 30's. So that meant a few hours in the garage bending/fitting/flaring the line, bleeding the system etc.

Well, here are some tips that I use to keep me warm and working comfortably.

First, long johns. I tried before to work in a thermal suit or even a jacket but it restricts arm movement way to much. I usually have on thermals, jeans, sweatshirt, thermal socks, thermal boots, and a beeine cap. I tried to work in mechanics gloves but never really got used to them... so I usually work bare handed unless I need gloves for a specific purpose. The key is LAYERS and keep your head and feet warm. Once your feet get cold, you're gonna have a bad time.

Second, NEVER LAY DIRECTLY ON THE GROUND. Concrete is usually 50-100F colder than the air (kidding... but it does suck the heat out of you) so I either use a crawler (under a truck) or a 2x4 sheet of OSB that I have laying around. Even cardboard will work. A sheet/cloth is not a good idea as it will move around and get nasty.... plus its just not that great an insulator.

Lastly, MAKE SOME HEAT. I have a 55 gallon wood burner stove and I crank that up and use a fan to blow the warm air around. It helps A LOT. My garage is un-insulated so its not like it gets into the 60's, but honestly I can get a 10ft area into the 50's when its below freezing... and the rest of the garage can get to the 40's. It helps A LOT. Plus playing with fire is fun. I also have a propane powered torpedo heater that I shoot under a car or on my if I am to far away from the wood stove. My last heater is a 1500w IR heater on a pedestal. I use that for spot heating when at my workbench. It does a great job of heating a 3-5 foot area (plus I use it to cure plasticol ink when I print t-shirts).

I've done some major winter project with this setup and while not the same as a nice cool spring day, it get the job done and I usually survive the ordeal. I'd love to insulate the garage but it would cost over $2k to do it, plus I'd have to cover it over. I think at some point I'll get some foam in a can and do some of the corrigated holes, but since heating with wood is, for the most part, a working solution, I can't see dumping the money into insulating the entire garage.
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