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Workshop temperature - cold

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JA29/11/2020 15:31:14
1345 forum posts
80 photos

I used to find a workshop air temperature of 10 degrees C acceptable but now I am driven out when it is lower than 12 degrees.

I am curious to known at what temperature others cease to use their workshops.


Edited By JA on 29/11/2020 15:31:52

Phil Whitley29/11/2020 15:41:46
1438 forum posts
147 photos

I wear extra clothing till it becomes cumbersome, then light my woodburning warm air system, which blows warm air at 70 to 80f all round the shop, and it's bliss! I really cant work in the cold!


Phil Whitley29/11/2020 15:43:08
1438 forum posts
147 photos

Long thermal underwear is a revelation too!

Henry Brown29/11/2020 15:46:35
548 forum posts
117 photos

Depends on what I'm doing, knocking seven bells out of a bit of steel any temp will do, if I'm standing around watching a machine I like it to be about 10 degrees or above. I have a desiccant air conditioner that goes on for an hour or two when I go in at this time of year, that helps quite a bit and it keeps the humidity down as well. If all else fails I switch the halogen heater on...


Edit, just saw the above post about clothing, I wear two pairs of fleecy jogging bottoms and thick soled trainers as I find my top half is warm but my feet and lower legs can get quite cold.

Edited By Henry Brown on 29/11/2020 15:51:51

Pete Rimmer29/11/2020 16:18:31
1219 forum posts
63 photos

The temperature is pretty stable in my workshop so I have a 2kw infra-red heater on the ceiling that I use for 20 mins to warm it up a bit then my own body heat is usually enough. Whilst I'm waiting for the heater to do it's stuff I might run the twin-motor shop vac around the floor and chip trays which is also a pretty good heater plus it pushes the air about.

Thor 🇳🇴29/11/2020 16:20:38
1602 forum posts
45 photos

I too would leave my workshop if the temperature dropped to 12 deg.C. As Henry says, depends on what you are doing, if hacksawing a large piece of steel 15 deg. would be warm enough, but usually a bit higher. I can open the door to the outside if necessary.


David Colwill29/11/2020 16:27:26
774 forum posts
40 photos

Last year my workshop went down to 3 degrees C and I certainly didn't want to hang about in that. I often have to move between office and workshop so if I don't have much to do, I can nip in and out without putting heating on.

As far as being comfortable goes I think I am still at the 10 degrees C myself but 12 or 13 is much nicer.

Thermals don't seem to work for me sad.

I have invested in rubber mats and they really help but once the cold has soaked in productivity slows!


Dave Halford29/11/2020 16:29:31
2007 forum posts
23 photos
Posted by Henry Brown on 29/11/2020 15:46:35:

Edit, just saw the above post about clothing, I wear two pairs of fleecy jogging bottoms and thick soled trainers as I find my top half is warm but my feet and lower legs can get quite cold.

Edited By Henry Brown on 29/11/2020 15:51:51

I've found the furry rigger safety boots quite warm

Swarf, Mostly!29/11/2020 16:39:48
645 forum posts
70 photos

Hi there, all,

Thermal comfort is a complex subject. Even if the air temperature is warm, you can still feel cold if the walls are cold. The body is sensitive to transfer of radiant heat as well as to conducted heat.

Fortunately, it isn't necessary for ALL the walls to be warm - you just need enough warm wall area for the radiant gain to balance or exceed the radiant loss. That's why those infrared bathroom heaters with the spiral element inside a quartz tube (preferably backed by a gold-plated reflector) were effective.

I guess it helps if there is some warm surface both aft as well as fore - otherwise you could be warm in front but chilly behind! (Am I allowed to write 'behind'?? ) Thinking a bit more about that, I guess a radiant heat source will raise the temperature of the other walls faster than will heat conveyed by the warm air?

And I guess the radiant heat source doesn't have to be wall - one of those free-standing oil-filled radiators works for me.

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

Edited By Swarf, Mostly! on 29/11/2020 16:41:49

Martin Kyte29/11/2020 16:57:00
2725 forum posts
48 photos

Not sure really, I tend to like it a bit warmer than I used to if I'm in there all day. I am at the moment as I'm working from home so the radiator is on every day all day. I have noticed a distinct drop off in workshop related posts as the weather has turned colder. Many more 'what gets my goat is. . .' rather than 'look what I made today. . .' and 'how do you go about turning whatever . . .' Could it be we are going soft?

regards Martin

Ady129/11/2020 17:07:54
5066 forum posts
734 photos

Fleece jacket, fleece hat, double socks with hillwalking boots, been below 5C for a couple of days with a concrete floor. I stand on wood if I can't move about, and work gloves, I can't do without them, too much cold steel

Luxury compared to what my dad had in birmingham in the 50s, working around cold concrete and steel without decent gear... no thankyou very much

A 1KW bar heater 50foot up in the roof space met the elf and safety requirements at the time

The solution is to have two Perth based workshops, then you never get cold

Edited By Ady1 on 29/11/2020 17:09:37

colin hawes29/11/2020 17:08:59
557 forum posts
18 photos

If I'm in my shed for more than 5 minutes I need the temperature to be 20 degrees C. I cant do precision work when it's cold so I have got my small lathe in an insulated 8x6 ft shed and only use my bigger workshop if I have to as it takes too long to get warm.. This arrangement works well for me. Colin

martin perman29/11/2020 17:14:18
2042 forum posts
86 photos

I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to the cold I seem to be able to tolerate it, today I've spent several hours in my garage, with the door shut, with an old fleece top and a very thin body warmer on but I can end up very cold without noticing it, because the NHS makes my footware I'm restricted to what I can wear on my feet so fleece working boots etc are a no no but I've got soft rubber mats that I stand on, not that I can feel the ground I stand on or temperature which I learnt quickly when I stepped into a scalding hot bath a few years ago and burnt mt feet even though I couldnt feel it. I do have a heater in the garage but it doesnt chuck out much and I tend not to turn it on.

Martin P

Samsaranda29/11/2020 18:37:08
1400 forum posts
5 photos

I keep my workshop at around 10 degrees using a small oil filled radiator, this is to reduce condensation plus the workshop has a lot of insulation. I work out there with only a fleece jacket most times although as I get older I feel the cold more, I think back to my younger days in the Air Force and one particular winter springs to mind, the winter of 1965, I remember working outside in the Suffolk countryside recovering a crashed aircraft, it took nearly 6 weeks and we regularly had to clear snow before we could start work, it was bitter cold. When I have to work in the cold now my mind goes back to those days and I think how things have changed with working conditions and the health and safety benefits that youngsters today have.
Dave W

bricky29/11/2020 20:02:40
571 forum posts
68 photos

I have never heated my workshop as I am worried about temperature fluctuations .I use a dehumidifier overnight and I have never had any rust in the 38 years since I built it .I had been used to working on building sites for 50 years and when I first started we were traveling in open backed lorries with a wooden tilt on .The furthest we traveled like this was 40 miles one certantly did not look foreward to the journey home.They don't work in the frost now,we had metal buckets tied to the handrails with deisel in the bottom and a piece of sack and ignighted and these kept the frost above the work.


duncan webster29/11/2020 20:15:11
3927 forum posts
61 photos

I find that if it gets less than 15C and I'm doing anything fiddly I keep dropping things (I seem to have very cold hands/feet). Anyway it's not a good idea for us oldies to get cold, your blood gets thicker and harder to pump

Nicholas Wheeler 129/11/2020 20:32:48
909 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by Thor on 29/11/2020 16:20:38:

I too would leave my workshop if the temperature dropped to 12 deg.C. As Henry says, depends on what you are doing, if hacksawing a large piece of steel 15 deg. would be warm enough, but usually a bit higher. I can open the door to the outside if necessary.

12°C is about the right temperature for me to switch to a long sleeved shirt when working. I try not to do any jobs that aren't actually work when the temperature approaches freezing.

I would much rather work in cooler temperatures than ones much over 20°C

CHAS LIPSCOMBE29/11/2020 21:22:26
30 forum posts
3 photos

12C is about my minimum working temperature but in this part of Australia temperatures only get that low for about two months a year and not every day is that low.Plenty of clothing covers the situation. I hate being cold (which is why I emigrated over 50 years ago) but heat and humidity don't worry me. My "stop work temperature" in summer is 42C, not so much because I am uncomfortable but because I think heat-stress could arise with dangerous consequences. Maximum temperature recorded in my workshop is 47C.

Peter Simpson 129/11/2020 21:38:56
206 forum posts
9 photos

My 12 foot by 18 foot well insulated wooden workshop has a 1 K Watt frost protection heater set to 15 deg. Never have any rust or condensation issues. In the middle of winter I would not want work in any lower temperature, Although my terrier loves to curl up on my chair and watch me make swalf. In this pandemic thank god for our workshops.

Paul Lousick29/11/2020 21:56:20
2013 forum posts
711 photos

I could not do anything in my workshop yesterday and was forced to leave when the temperature reached 42 deg C.

The heat and hot winds started bush fires near Sydney and a couple of houses were damaged. Thankfully they were put under control by firefighters on the ground and water bombing aircraft. Today is a lot cooler.


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