Baby it’s flipping cold outside

The first polar vortex of the year brought some brisk temperatures to the Atlanta area this weekend. This morning’s low temp was probably around 21F. According to my thermostat inside the shop, it got down to around 27F, if it is accurate. I’m not sure it is, but I have no other way of being able to tell. I’d like to get a better thermostat, but it needs a history function like this one does.

That’s cold. I had to bring all my batteries in Friday night, and did the same this evening as well. It is a good use for my spare systainer. The Ryobi batteries, Bosch batteries, my BT speaker and my Zune all made the trip to warmer climes. Such is the life of a shop that does not have permanent power and is disconnected from the house.

What has helped a tremendous amount is the oil-filled heater I bought a few weeks ago. It has a range of 65-85 degrees, and three power settings. It feels much safer than using the forced air heaters I have, and hopefully more efficient. I made a little space for it under the jointer, and I think that is a good spot for it. This morning, I set the heater out a little bit in the middle of the shop and set it at 65 degrees. When I finally got out to the shop a couple hours later, it was very pleasant in the shop. I wheeled it back in it’s little spot, and kept it on. I can certainly run it while it is in it’s home, it just seems better for heating the shop in the open. However, that also makes it more dangerous to touch, so only when I don’t plan on being in the shop for a bit. I think I worked out it would cost me about $0.06 an hour to run on the low setting. All the calculators I found told me the same amount. $0.12 for the high setting. I would have to see what the power output on the eco setting is.

With the heater having a home, the jointer having a home, and the air compressor having a home, it was time to give all those homes a roof. The left side of the miter saw had a nice counter facilitated by the systainer cabinets, but I had no such support system on the right side. Everything underneath needed to have full access.

The top is just like the other side, two sheets of 3/4″ ply and 1/8″ hardboard on top. I thought I went cheap on the left side, and did the same on the right. They don’t match up if you look at the edges, but I hope to cover them anyway. I attached a triangular support to the miter saw shelf to dial in the height, and used my Woodpecker’s straight edge to line up the support on the far wall. Then I attached two of my 2×4 triangular brackets to the wall right where they were needed. It wouldn’t hold me like the other side would, but then again it won’t need to. There is only a few inches between the surface and the bottom of the wood rack. This is simply a support for the miter saw and a bit more space to hold a couple things out of the way, like the couple of cutoffs of mahogany I received.

The piece of hardboard I had isn’t long enough, but it is good enough for now. I will either fill in or replace it entirely. This was my Saturday, and it was a good half day or so in the shop. I’ll work on Sunday to get the place a bit more cleaned up and ready for the handful of projects I have on my plate, including the maple we bought for the boy’s table project.

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