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Old 08-14-2017, 09:26 AM
CAMhead Legend
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 102
Default Heating shop in winter

We will be putting out new Panther in a different building than the other machines (metal cutting machines). Processing woods and plastics with a cnc router is kind of new to us so sorry if this is a dumb question. The building it is going into is a fully insulated pole building basically, 30' x 40' x 16' ceilings. I know that its summer now but trying to look ahead. We typically heated this building with a large torpedo heater fueled by diesel. With processing woods, like MDF, think we could still run it? We will have a small vac system on it for chip evacuation but wasn't sure what anyone else was running. Was worried about the air born dust might ignite. Maybe over thinking it?
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Old 08-14-2017, 11:59 AM
keithrhyde keithrhyde is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Winchester, Virginia
Posts: 290
Default Fwiw

When I built my wood shop I did much research on the subject of wood dust and you can read for days. What I found was that it takes a lot of dust to create an environment for an explosion like a coal mine, flour mill or grain silo. If you have that much dust you shouldn't be breathing it which for most wood workers is the real problem. The commercial wood shops expel the dust to large collectors outside.

With a shop the size of yours I don't think you could create enough dust for an explosion but certainly could destroy your lungs over time. You didn't state how large your shop vac or if the Panther would be the only machine creating dust. The diesel torpedo heaters are unhealthy (particulates) and use oxygen and produce carbon monoxide. I don't know your situation but there are much better ways to heat without using oxygen in the room or producing CO2. I use an air quality monitor in my shop as in the link below and it is well worth the money. I have a 3hp DC and an air cleaner with metal ducts to each machine to eliminate static.

Bottom line, do the research and decide for yourself. It is too late after your lungs are toast and you have to drag around an oxygen bottle, or you are watching the fire dept put out the fire in your shop. I had asthma later in life for about ten years and I can tell you that struggling to breath is very scary. Fortunately, I healed but now I don't push my luck. It is the dust you cannot see that gets you and the AQM let's you know. MDF is very bad and there are woods that are toxic as well. You have to make yourself smart and decide how much risk you are willing to take.
Keith Hyde, Winchester, VA
2016 Stinger 1, 1.7KW HF Spindle HSD
Performance Package Pro, Vac, lathe, Aspire 9
Former Marine and retired Seabee Master Chief.
Furniture is my hobby not my vocation.
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Old 08-16-2017, 12:55 AM
Brendt Brendt is offline
Camaster Owner
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Northeast Wisconsin
Posts: 147

We built a new home last year with an attached 38'x36' garage. It has 10' ceilings and is where my cnc and woodshop is located. We live near Green Bay, Wisconsin so winters get pretty cold. I installed a 75,000 btu Modine natural gas unit heater hanging from the ceiling. It heats the garage easily. Your space is a bit larger and has taller ceilings so you may need to step up to a little larger size but in my opinion it is a great choice. I generally keep the garage 50 degrees when I am not working in there and it takes about 15-20 minutes to warm it up to 68 degrees when I am. I have 2 ceiling fans that I run as well to help circulate the air. As mentioned in the previous post, dust collection is very important to consider. I have a 5hp Oneida Dust Gorrilla and find that it works well. A torpedo heater would definately not be my go to heating solution based off the smell and the fact that you really connot leave it on all winter. If you shut it off and the area gets cold then turn it on when you work you may get condensation forming on the HIWIN rails and other areas that could cause them to rust.
Brendt Bowen

Stinger II 48" x 48"
V Carve Pro, Corel Draw X8
1.7 kwh spindle
Performance Package
Hurricane Black Box Vac
Oneida 5hp Super Dust Gorrilla
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Old 08-16-2017, 08:10 AM
Milzie Milzie is offline
CAMaster Owner
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Barrie, ON, Canada
Posts: 85

You definitely want some sort of unit heater, forced air, or radiant system so you can maintain a minimum temperature at all times. Not sure on how good constant heating and freezing is going to be for the router. Greases will get very thick when you are not running the heater, and just because the shop is now warmed up from your torpedo, doesn't mean the machine is ready.

Get a proper heating system. Unit heaters are reasonably cheap and after a few days in the shop in the winter, you wont even question your decision to put a proper heat source in.

Camaster Cobra 510 ATC
10HP spindle, 20HP vacuum
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