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using tools in cold temps

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  • using tools in cold temps

    Hi all,

    Might be a dumb question, but since this is my first post, I'm hoping you'll cut me some slack.
    I have my shop in an unheated garage. During the winter I use a portable heater. Being in Ohio, I barely get the temp up to 50 degrees before I asphixiate myself. With that said, early this spring (temp around 40 degrees) my three year old craftsman table saw seized while ripping a board. (very smokey) It was sounding as if the bearings were on their way out for about a month or so before. I thought that maybe the cold caused condensation which caused the bearings to fail. Now I have a rigid 3650 table saw which I love but am affraid that the cold will ruin it as well. So, my question is, can I use my brand spanking new saw this winter? Is there a temperature that power tools are not to be used for fear of damage?

    thanks in advance

    boardbrain

  • #2
    Re: using tools in cold temps

    I have used my tools in sub zero conditions and they do complain on startup but work fine. There is an issue with propane heaters in that for every pound of propane you burn you also add a pound of water to the air in your shop. This combined with the low temps causes condensation on metal surfaces and will rust unprotected metal.

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    • #3
      Re: using tools in cold temps

      I agree with Wayne. I have used my 3650 for three years and my Delta for 40 years before that in a cold shop. It gets well below zero here. No problems.

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      • #4
        Re: using tools in cold temps

        Thanks for the info about propane and adding water to the air. Good to know. This year, I'm going to use my electric radiator type heater on a regular basis, and use the propane rocket heater to get things up to temp only.

        We'll see how well that works.

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        • #5
          Re: using tools in cold temps

          Thanks to all for the comebacks. Outstanding point on the propane heater. Never once did I think about that. I think another source of heat may be in order.

          Carl762, How large an area is your shop? What type of BTUs does that electric heater put out?

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          • #6
            Re: using tools in cold temps

            For a simple resistive electric heater you can figure on about 3,412 BTU / Hr. per 1,000 Watts.

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