Archive for December, 2010
Since I do my woodturning in my garage and live in the south, I’m happiest in the fall and early spring when I can throw open both the doors, crank up my music and turn away the hours until my wife tells me “enough!”
The southern winters are fairly mild for this native Yankee, so a simple space heater is all I need to get through that end of the spectrum. This early winter has been pretty harsh, however, and I’ve noticed that my hands don’t respond well to cold steel for very long. I may need to spend more time at TechShop where it’s heated and truly indoors.
The endless sweltering summers are a completely different story. There’s no insulation in the walls so my garage can get pretty nasty from June through September. Even with the doors open, the humidity in North Carolina turns it into an intolerable sweatbox.
So a few years ago I invested in a portable AC unit that has been my savior. It’s about the size of a small floor-fridge, on wheels, and has an exhaust duct/hose that I feed out of the side wall. Since there’s no insulation and the unit is quite small, it simply does NOT cool the garage, no matter how long it runs. In fact, it only blows cool air about two feet in front of it and extracts about a pint of water every three hours.
Luckily, woodturning is the one kind of woodworking that keeps me standing in relatively the same exact spot for long periods, so this works out pretty well. Even in 100-degree heat and 90% humidity, i can work in relative comfort for several hours in the closed — or open — garage. Of course, stepping away for a few minutes on the grinder, bandsaw or drill press just about floors me. I keep lots of water on hand and if I feel the heat making me frustrated, I take a long break in the central-air-conditioned house.