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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Working in the summer heat

One of the downsides of my new home workshop is that it has no ventilation, unless I open the garage door. Although this is usually not a problem, I keep seeing little chipmunks scampering across the door opening, and have an occasional visiting wasp. I use a wall mounted fan to get some air flow, which helps a little. I'd love to start work by 7AM to take advantage of the early morning coolness, but I'm in a cul-de-sac of a condo, and 8AM is about the earliest I can start.

If any of you have dealt with a similar situation and have come up with some solutions, I'd love to hear them. Meanwhile, it's still better than working in air conditioned comfort in a noisy shop with poorly maintained tools.


  1. Carole; I live in Tucson AZ and work in my garage as well. One thing that I did that really helped was to insulate my garage door. It's a foam product comes in sheet 1 1/2" thickness and it installs very easy. The door use to feel like a fry pan now it's cool to the touch. But after about 2:00 pm I have to give up. I also do some word carving so I don't have any equipment putting out heat when I carve. But the winters are really great as it stays cool all day. The insulation also cuts down on any noise.

    I don't know what kind of door you have but if you can open the door about a foot and install a framed screen across the openning that could keep out the rodents and wasps. Before I insulated I did that to keep out the lizsrds. Bees never were a problem.


  2. Carole, I do understand. My shop here in Hawaii is all open on the front 20' wide X 20'. We don't many problems with bugs, but I have birds that fly into the shop looking for left over dog food for my shop dogs. For coolness, I have a box fan on the floor pointing out (this also helps the dogs on very hot days, an I have a stand up fan to help cool myself. I have a couple box fans in the windows that blow out and these seem to help. I am getting ready to double the size of my shop and will add more windows...but then I don't have to worry about neighbors hearing the noise...nearest one is 1/2 mile away.

  3. Thanks, Doug and Larry, for your suggestions. At least I don't have to worry about lizards. And I'll have to look into keeping the garage door open a bit. We have no windows in the garage, but we do have a wall-mounted fan that's part of the heater we intend to use in the winter, and that helps a bit.

  4. Try a swamp cooler or evaporative cooler. I live in Louisiana. Current temperature is around a 100. With my swamp cooler, shop temp is about 85.

    Looking forward to your new book.

    Thanks, James

  5. I ment to add that I love your wooden bowls book. I won a copy of it at the Texas Scroll Saw Picnic. Before that I had not considered making a bowl with my scroll saw. Now I'm trying to work my way through the book.

    Thanks, Jim