Heat + Humidity=NO SHOP TIME

It’s been over a week since I posted anything.  This is a direct result of having almost no shop time.  Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age, but I just can’t handle the heat and humidity anymore.  Within just a few minutes of being in the heat and humidity I am totally miserable.  This woodworking thing is supposed to be fun and relaxing, right?  So I’m going to have to find some way of cooling the shop if I have any hope of getting anything done in the next couple of months.

Luckily, in this instance anyway, my shop is small (8ft x 12ft) and it’s very well insulated.  So my choices are window, portable or mini split AC units.  The mini split would be great but its way too expensive.  My widow is the crank out flavor, so window unit would have to be installed thru the wall.  Portable AC units need to be vented to the exterior so there is that little issue.  I’m still weighing the pros and cons but will have to make a decision soon if I have any hope of getting some shop time.

I did manage to get all the oak panels for the end table tops and shelves surfaced.  They are ready to be sized and given a final surfacing.  Then there will be staining and finishing.  I may actually be able to finish this everlasting project….eventually.  I’m also working on the next detail for the Hillbilly Tansu and hope to have that posted in the next few days.

Greg Merritt

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8 Responses to Heat + Humidity=NO SHOP TIME

  1. Brian says:

    Hey Greg i know sometimes a box fan can even work but plays havoc with dust. We did have an portable AC in a small apartment we rented, and it worked pretty well, I think it had the option to vent through a 4″ dryer vent. Trouble in a small shop is, when cooling it, everything else in the shop is room(outside) temperature, and so you have to bleed all of that heat out too. So plug it in a little earlier to make yourself comfortable. Good luck!

  2. brad says:

    Could you take the movable part of the window out, put window a/c in and make a temporary small fixed window above? You could then take it out for fall and winter and put regular window back in. A little 5000 but a/c would cool that area just fine.

  3. Diego says:

    Watch out for rapid humidity changes! Any change in temperature will also change the relative humidity a lot. If I remember correctly it exponential.
    As you already said you have a high humidity that my cause troubles.
    You don’t want your stock to do the twist on you and those nice steel planes…

  4. Eddy flynn says:

    hi greg i hope you get things sorted soon we can’t have you missing out on shop time ,we complain about the weather here in the UK but we never really get one extreme or the other here i suppose we get pretty even seasons but we still have a moan about it but them again we are British haha so its what we do .

  5. Dallas Rysavy says:

    I will be curious to hear which decision you make as I am probably a month away from having to make the same one. Good luck and stay cool.

  6. Russell says:

    Diego is right, be careful.
    The higher the air temperature the more moisture it can hold, the lower the air temperature the less moisture it can hold. So dropping the temperature can cause condensation issues, not good for the tools.
    Think about the cold pop can from the fridge outside on a summer day.

  7. gman3555 says:

    Thanks for all the comments. The biggest drawback to adding AC to the shop is dealing with humidity change, as several of you have pointed out. If I add AC to my shop it will have to be on all the time. At the minimum setting, but on all the time. That way once the shop stabilizes it stays pretty consistent. There in lies the biggest decision. Do I want the expense of cooling the shop all the time? Of course I could just move everything into the spare bedroom, which solves all of my heating and cooling issues. Then I would just have to face the new problems of alimony and child support. Decisions, decisions.


  8. Jason says:

    It’s bad in my shop too. Several years ago, my HVAC man gave me a squirrel cage blower from a furnace. I mounted it to the ceiling and point it where ever I’m working. Makes it bearable. On the other hand, sweat turns white oak black. If you were planning to fume your panels, you can save yourself the step. 😉

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