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Old 06-10-2018, 09:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Summer dilemma

As temps soar past the 100 degree mark I’m faced with a tough decision to make: Do I buy an evaporative cooler for my shop so I can continue turning through the summer, or do I close down like I did last year so I can buy several new tools I’ve been wanting. First world problems, right?

Of course I could do neither and save the money, but let’s face it, that’s not really an option, is it?
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I vote for the cooler, you’ll use it every day. New tools would be nice, but would you use them every day? Maybe. But go for the comfort of having a cooler shop.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:37 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howdy Jan View Post
I vote for the cooler, youíll use it every day. New tools would be nice, but would you use them every day? Maybe. But go for the comfort of having a cooler shop.
What he^ said, plus you might make money by turning more pens.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I've started contemplating one of these "chilled water vests" to stay cool in my garage shop during the summer... haven't pulled the trigger yet as they're relatively expensive and I have no idea how well they work..
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default These really exist??

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Originally Posted by thawkins87 View Post
I've started contemplating one of these "chilled water vests" to stay cool in my garage shop during the summer... haven't pulled the trigger yet as they're relatively expensive and I have no idea how well they work..


...Wait...wha??? Do these really exist?? I'd like to know if they work too!
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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If you look for motor cycle cooling vests you'll find lots ranging from $40 to $60. Go through a safety supplier and they are 4 times or more. I wore them while working in a 30C plus machining plant. Without one after a 10 hour shift I was spent but with I was comfortable after I found them and bought my own. They work best if there is air movement so a decent fan blowing on you helps a lot if inside. I found them good for a couple summers before the water absorbing jell wasn't effective anymore. You are damp underneath but it is better than hot sweat. I don't know what they would be like to wear in a dusty shop. There are bandanas and hats that work on the same principals too.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:24 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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We have tried various versions of the vests for our guys when I worked in a steel mill.

The ones that all agreed worked the best had a 6-pack size cooler with a small battery operated pump built into the lid that would would circulate the water from ice in the cooler through the vest. The cumbersome part was the cooler. Some guys would plug into it, recycle the vest water, unplug and work for a while. Others would station the cooler where they could keep it plugged in. Varied by what you were doing.

Others preferred the vests with the water or gel tubes that you through in the freezer then inserted into sleeves in the vest. With extra tubes in the freezer to change out, this eliminated packing the cooler around but required you to stop and go to the freezer to change out tubes.

The very best were cooling suits hooked up to plant air. Except for dragging around a compressor hose.

Cost: ice vests $$, vest with cooler $$$, plant air suit $$$$


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Old 06-11-2018, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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What works in dry air climates donít all work in the humid South. Nothing evaporates at 90-100% humidity. My plan is a small oil cooler strapped to the front of my shop fan (squirrel cage style) and circulate cold water through it from a small ice chest. Iíve looked into an option for a motorcycle vest design. Tubes of material that freezes at 50-60 deg F would be idea. I was amazed at how difficult it has been to find a safe material (non flammable) with the right freezing point. Getting something that changes phase at the right temperature will keep the temperature very constant for a longer time.


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Old 06-11-2018, 01:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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I worked in a shop that had an evaporation cooler. A huge fan that you hooked a water line to. Big, noisy, uses a lot of water, drives the RH way up and requires maintenance. For a wood shop AC would be my preference.
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howdy Jan View Post
I vote for the cooler, you’ll use it every day. New tools would be nice, but would you use them every day? Maybe. But go for the comfort of having a cooler shop.
You made a great point, which is why I’m sitting here with a cigar and the new cooler blowing!

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Originally Posted by leehljp View Post
What he^ said, plus you might make money by turning more pens.
I’ve thought about that. It’s feasible that the work I’m able to do this summer with the cooler may sell well enough to make up for the cost of the unit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thawkins87 View Post
I've started contemplating one of these "chilled water vests" to stay cool in my garage shop during the summer... haven't pulled the trigger yet as they're relatively expensive and I have no idea how well they work..
The kids at the Chick Filet here that walk up to the cars to take the orders wear them. One would work, but I want to bring the ambient temp down so I can hook my ipad up to my shop stereo speakers and rock out! It gets way too hot even at 90F.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickR View Post
I worked in a shop that had an evaporation cooler. A huge fan that you hooked a water line to. Big, noisy, uses a lot of water, drives the RH way up and requires maintenance. For a wood shop AC would be my preference.
An a/c is my first choice but unfortunately it’s not doable. I have no window for a unit and I’ve never tried a portable that could get the job done, and I’ve tried a few.


Thanks for the comments/advice. Obviously I bought one today. My shop is ~450sf. This unit is rated up to 850sf. It’s currently 104F outside and a chilly 91F inside with the temp dropping every time I look at it. The unit has been running for just over 30min and it’s starting to feel pretty nice in here, relatively speaking. I can see me getting a lot done with this thing, I’m glad I took the plunge. I’m sure it will be more efficient when I’m not starting it up at the hottest time of the day too.
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Last edited by TattooedTurner; 06-11-2018 at 08:56 PM.
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