Bester

Heating the shop safely

17 posts in this topic

I want to start spraying laquers out in my shop. Its 12X24. I have a torpedo heater out there now but I don't know how safe that would be spraying laquers even with a good paint booth. I was wondering what you guys have found to be the safest and most economical way to heat the shop. Thanks.

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If you're spraying a lot of lures with lacquer, you really need to invest in a safe heating system, like a remote heater exchanger (forced air heater), and have a good ventilation system, too.

I don't recommend any open flame heater when you're spraying solvent based paints. Even red hot heating elements in electric heaters can be ignition points, if the fumes are heavy enough.

If you have a spray booth that vents the overspray fumes to the exterior and is really efficient (read that good air flow/no smell inside), you can get away with almost any heat source, but it's better to err on the side of caution.

Electric heating mats are another way to go, but electric heat is expensive for large areas.

A cheap start is to insulate your shop really well, and weatherstrip the doors and windows. Air movement, and exposure to cold outside surfaces, are what make heating difficult.

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Thanks Mark. The shop is very well insulated. By forced air what model or brand do you reccomend? I'm not familiar with heat mats. How mant BTUs can you get out of them?

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My shop is set up in the attached garage. Both paint booths are vented outside. I use a small kerosene heater and then when Im ready to spray I turn the heater off and open the door to the house.

Therefore when I turn the paint booth on it pulls some heat from the house. The garage stays warm and all the bad stuff is vented outside. Good luck and stay safe! MAV

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Thanks Mark. The shop is very well insulated. By forced air what model or brand do you reccomend? I'm not familiar with heat mats. How mant BTUs can you get out of them?

I like Mavrick's solution. Simple and safe.

Forced air furnaces are the heaters that are used to heat most homes. They have a heat exchange fire box, so there's never a direct contact between the combustion air, which has CO and CO2 and other nasty stuff, and the heated air that's circulated through ducts into the house.

If you have a detached shop, and want to use one for you shop, you'll need a separate closet for it, with outside combustion air supply and venting.

Talk to an HVAC contractor in you area. Have them come out and give you an estimate on what it would cost to heat your shop that way. You'll need a gas supply, and electrical. It's not cheap.

If your shop's attached to your house, you could just tap into your home heating system. Just be sure you have a really good vent cover that can be sealed when you're not using it, so fumes don't go back into the house, and you don't wind up wasting heat on the shop when you're not in it.

As far as heating mats are concerned, there is someone on this forum who sells them.

Post a question titled heating mats, and you should get a response from him.

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I'm actually putting a heater in my garage at this moment. I have a 3 car garage and opted for a Reznor 75,0000 BTU natural gas low profile heater. The key really as Mark stated is the insulation and ventilation.

Flash points from fumes can be ignited from many sources, just make sure you're vented properly, both the heater and the booth. I'm no expert but have a pipe fitter friend who helps me out with the gas lines. Some of the stories he tells confirms Darwin's theories are alive and well.

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I build custom homes in Michigan and have done all types of heating systems and air exchangers like Mark spoke of. My favorite by far is a ceiling mounted radiant heater, mine is not the tube style but an 80,000 btu panel style. My garage is eleven feet tall by 26x36 for that size unit. The nice thing with radiant is it warms the objects in the room including the floor. This helps when you open the door or do anything that allows air in. It keeps a warmer feel because everything is warm not just the air. For a spray booth to work correctly it needs make up air, I crack open my pull down staircase. They will not exhaust correctly if they are creating a negative pressure in the room. A proper booth is going to exhaust a lot of your warm air and pull in the cold air from your make up air source. The radiant is an open flame however my booth draws so well that fumes are not an issue. You can turn the heat off while spraying and the radiant will warm back up way faster, in my last home I did have forced air in the garage and I would never go back. My booth was built in Michigan by JC Metal Fab. Great guys and they brought it to my home by truck when they were going to big job near by. It has a 12 inch axial fan and moves a lot of air so I usually do not paint as much until the weather warms up some. I am spraying solvent based urethane automotive paints with this set up. I hope this is helpful. David

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FishThanks,

That is the best home setup I've seen. :worship:

That booth looks like it would suck the chrome off a trailer ball! :drool:

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Bester, I received an email showing you tried to PM me and that my message box was full. I checked it and there was only one in there and I deleted it. If it does not work now I will have to figure out how to get you my email address. The Heater is a Schwank Perfection. I bought this one used from a friend closing up a body shop. I have two Daytons for my next house that I bought from a nieghbor I built a home for that moved South. They are 35,000 BTU each and we put one in each corner of a 10x25x33 garage. The Daytons are all stainless. Radiants do not need power, just a thermostat wire and gas.

Mark, thanks for the compliment. I was using an Artograph booth that worked well, but when clearing with auto clear and bigger batches of Muskie size baits the pre filter would start to load up and I would peel a layer off when I noticed it was having trouble keeping up. I am going to take it to the next club meeting swap and sell. The big booth is built by a Michigan company and I am real happy with it. I know a pro builder that has one 48 inch wide and his front panel is 6 inches deeper for 48 deep overall and he recomended the size I had mine made (36wx36d o.a.). They make them downdraft style and with the fan on the back. The axial fan is outdoor rated so it can be mounted outside or in an attic. The noise is not bad at all but in my next home/shop in a more permanant install I will probably remote mount it. I thought the price was way less against what else is out there (560.00 plus shipping) and it is built like the big booths not just flat sheet metal panels bolted together. They are built for commercial use and OSHA approved. You and I talked before about all the dust eating from the building industry and I figured my lungs were worth it. lol. Fifteen below wind chill and over a foot of blowing snow here in our lovely state today! lol

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I would recommend radiant in-floor heat. It is the absolute best way to heat a shop, garage or basement. Too late if you already have the slab poured, but another option would be a hot water radiator or fan coil unit. You'd have a boiler that generates the hot water, and a pump that circulates the water thru fin tube radiators, or an air handler with a hot water coil in it. Add glycol to the system and you could set it up to be a make-up air system, where you bring in 100% outside air and exhaust the same amount through your paint booth exhaust system. This could get pricy, and is something that should be left to a competent HVAC contractor. I put the in-floor radiant tubing in my basement and my garage when I built, and for this exact reason.

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About ten years ago, I found an easy and fairly inexpensive way to heat a small shop several years ago. I found a company that sells radiant heating panels that are 2' x 4' and fit into a drop ceiling grid.

The panels heat the surrounding surfaces, so it's great for a workshop. I've since moved, so I can't tell you how well they held up over the long haul, but for the 5 or so years I used them they worked great.

You can install as many of the panels as you want to, and the only other thing you need for the installation (besided the wiring) is a thermostat which they also sell.

I purchased and installed them in my workshop above my garage, and then later I purchased one to put into a small bathroom that didn't have heat in a rental unit I had.

Their's no maintenance after they're installed, except for making sure you don't punchure the panel.

The company was called SSHC. I check to see if they still sell the same panels, and they do. Thier website is: Solid State Heating - Radiant Electric Heat - Radiant Electric Heaters - Radiant Electric Heating - Radiant Electric Energy.

Don't know if they still do anymore, but at the time, I was able to purchase seconds at a much cheaper cost. They were only labeled as such because the surface of the panels had some type of blemish on them (such as a tear or scratch) but that didn't hamper thier use.

Hope this helps...Chugbug5

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Has anyone used the combo A/C-heater window units? I have a small work area set up in my office in the basement. The units are around $400. I'm sure they will pull a lot of power, but since I'm not heating/cooling it 24/7 it might be a safe way to to.

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