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Old 02-15-2008, 09:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Any tips on using a Kerosene heater in your garage

Hello all, I just posted a topic about using your lathe in the house and as I thought, dust and finishing would be a problem. So, guess I will have to try out my new Kerosene heater so I can start using my lathe. Anyway, I'm sure some of you here use a kerosene heater in your garage while your working out there, is there anything I should know before using mine. I have a 23,000 BTU convection heater. and a three car garage but my tools/shop are set up in the one car portion of the garage so I don't need to heat the whole garage up, only where I will be working.

Thanks, Refueler1 (Jack)
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I'm in Indiana, and it has been cold lately. I have my shop set up in the furtherest from the house door bay of an attached three car garage. I turn for an hour or so every morning and again almost every evening. What I do about the cold is to wear an extra jacket. I'm very cautions about an open flame heater in my garage, my dust collection system is a good shop vac, and it does a pretty good job, but there is still some dust in the air.
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Old 02-15-2008, 11:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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The two things I know for sure about (modern) kerosene heaters is that they consume oxygen and they put out a great deal of heat. I bought one of the tall round units a number of years ago for back-up heat in our house. After less than an hour we had to open windows to lower the inside temp. A window or door must be slightly opened to replace oxygen use of the heater. So, do not oversize what you get. They don't have (to the best of my current knowledge) have a control. On or off, that's it. Two small ones would probably be more useful and versatile.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Not sure of all the precautions and such, but to reduce the amount of area you have to heat, you could hang a sheet of plastic up to partition off the area you want to keep warm from the part you don't. Although after what rifleman said, this will also reduce the amount of oxygen available.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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I have one of those thingies that very closely resembles a small jet engine. I keep it near the door which I keep open just a bit to allow fresh air as these device definitely deplinish the O2 levels fast when used in an enclosed space - a big NO NO.

I am far enough away from dust generating equipment and have no problem using the heater. About 20 minutes or so is all it takes to drive one from the area looking for some cool air. So far the shop has been very comfortable to work in. I might add that a small fan to help circulate the air around is also a big help. The spiders in the ceiling are all dry and quite toasty while the floor is sometimes much colder for my feet. The small fan helped remedy that problem a bit.
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I know that a kerosene heater requires kerosene to run. Stuff isn't that cheap and the unit burns alot of it. Unvented gas heaters not only eat O2 but they also pump 1 gallon of moisture into the air every hour. My dad used to have one when I was a kid and it was great in the garage for working on the car. It burned alot of kerosene though and you had to stay close to the heater to stay warm. And the answer is YES, I did sniff it! hahaha :D;)

I do not believe that you will have a dust explosion from this heater by making pens. I figure you have as good a chance at winning the lottery. You don't generate that much actual dust turning a pen, even sanding a pen. It does require a certain mix of dust to oxygen to explode. If you set the lathe up a foot away from the heater and sand a pen with the dust launching the short distance into the heater, you'll get burnt, but the garage won't burn down even then. More shops burn down and or expolode from sawdust because they have dust collectors in them than ones that don't <not a verified fact, but my suspicion>. Inside the dust collector while the collector is on, you have a nice air/dust ratio happening which is easier to ignite. That's why the dust collector needs to be grounded in the pipes or have metal pipes and even then, if you hit metal and get a spark, you should empty the bag immediately because if a spark get in the bag and it doesn't explode, it can still start a fire in the bag in up to a few days later perhaps. Dust collection is the real fire hazzard, but dust collection is a necessity at the same time for obvious health reasons. They did a show on Mythbusters about dust explosions, and created some experiments to make a shop blow up from sawdust. It took alot of work for them to get the mix right. You'll be safe in my theory, and yet unsafe at the same time since your breathing in kerosene fumes and lacking in oxygen. I say if that's all you've got, go for it. Maybe crack a window an inch.
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Old 02-15-2008, 03:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rifleman1776

The two things I know for sure about (modern) kerosene heaters is that they consume oxygen and they put out a great deal of heat. I bought one of the tall round units a number of years ago for back-up heat in our house. After less than an hour we had to open windows to lower the inside temp. A window or door must be slightly opened to replace oxygen use of the heater. So, do not oversize what you get. They don't have (to the best of my current knowledge) have a control. On or off, that's it. Two small ones would probably be more useful and versatile.

Mine has a thermostat built in. I also have a carbonmonoxide detector. I have used mine for over 15 years and have never had a problem with oxygen levels or dust igniting. I have a 115,000 BTU unit.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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If you put together most everything already posted in the thread, that's pretty much the way I do it with one tiny exception, and no problems since building the shop about four years ago. It doesn't get much below freezing often here in VA, so I purchased one of those 110v oil filled heaters. It gets plugged in at beginning of winter and pretty much stays on till spring. Once everything is nice and toasty warm, even if the temp gets down to freezing it only take 10-15 min max of the kerosene heater on to bring you down to tee-shirt level...and I normally have the door or window open..
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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what is a heater? [:p][:p]

sorry couldnt resist. shorts and polo again today.
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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We are also in Indiana unfortunately. We have a two and a half car garage/workshop. Have not had a car in it this year. [:I] Our garage door and all walls are insulated and we run two electric oil heaters 24/7 during the winter. It typically runs 70-76 most of the time and is cost effective for us as we do a lot of flat work as well as our turning. The key is having the door and the walls well insulated. As for Kerosene, we tried that years ago and found it had many problems. First is the fumes, second is the other chemicals, of which many are flammable. I would highly discourage you from the Kerosene option if at all possible. Another thing we had considered was a wall mount gas heater, but again that is open flame and is a fire hazard in a wood shop with all of the saw dust and so forth. If you use the Kerosene you need to make sure your shop is highly ventilated.

Mike & Linda
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