Temporary Heat


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Hello all,

If this has been covered, please point me in the right direction. I searched but couldn't find what I was looking for.

Does anyone have experience with propane or kerosene as a heat source in their shop?

Hopefully next year I'll be able to run has to my shop and use natural gas to hear. Until I can make that happen, I need something to take the chill out of the shop during the winter up in NW Illinois.

My shop is an insulated 24 x 16 detached garage (384 sq ft). I don't want to spend much more than $150 for initial purchase (not concerned about refueling costs). I spend some time on the weekends and that's about it so no a ton of use.

Are these safe options?

I've looked at the Mr Heater Big Buddy propane heater and the typical kerosene heaters (Dyna Glo) from the big box stores. I don't want to have bug safety concerns and be worried about cracking a door. My shop doesn't have windows so I can't just crack a window.

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The down side to propane is the amount of moisture they create.  Kerosene creates nearly as much smoot that gets all over everything.

 

With that said, they are both better alternatives to temps so low that you can't work in your shop.  

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Another downside to propane aside from the moisture (and possibly any other direct vent heater) is that it will react terribly to several different types of other fumes which are common in woodworking. WD-40, offgassing oil based finishes, etc. It will smell terrible and can make you very ill. I had a recent run in with oil based poly and my LP salamander. The fumes triggered a bout of tinnitus that lasted a solid week. Be careful!!

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Another downside to propane aside from the moisture (and possibly any other direct vent heater) is that it will react terribly to several different types of other fumes which are common in woodworking. WD-40, offgassing oil based finishes, etc. It will smell terrible and can make you very ill. I had a recent run in with oil based poly and my LP salamander. The fumes triggered a bout of tinnitus that lasted a solid week. Be careful!!

Good point. I take it that your salamander was running while using the poly?

I think as a precaution that I would shut off whatever heat source I get while doing anything too extensive with finishes. Would this be a good idea?

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Quick update - I ended up picking up a Mr Heater Big Buddy propane heater. The shop is not air tight, so I decided to give jt a shot since it's not used on a regular basis. They are indicated as safe for indoor use.

Menards had them on sale - bonus!

Used it for a couple of hours the other day, and it seemed to work well. Keep it in the general area that you are working in, and it gets plenty warm.

Plus - it's a good backup source of emergency heat....

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Good point. I take it that your salamander was running while using the poly?

I think as a precaution that I would shut off whatever heat source I get while doing anything too extensive with finishes. Would this be a good idea?

 

No, it was only running before and after to maintain temperature... I have a very drafty garage and I made sure that the finish had completely flashed over before starting the heat. Regardless, the offgassing finish STILL reacts with the burning LP and stinks, stinks, stinks!!

 

I will only run ventless heat again if I am using water based finishes.

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