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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 10-30-2019, 01:50 PM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: North Dakota
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My Ride: '04 325ci
Keeping warm while working.

Just thought I'd ask a quick question. How do you guys stay warm while you're working? It's been below freezing here for a while now and it's only going to get colder. I've just been wearing a couple jackets, and the cold really makes it tough to take my time and think clearly about what I'm doing. I've gotta run in to the house a lot to keep my hands from getting stiff, because my big insulated work gloves don't fit in a lot of places in the engine bay, and really hinder manual dexterity too much. I've got a couple little electric heaters in the shop, but they don't really do much. Considering lighting my forge while I work and just running back and forth to keep warm, but it takes some real effort to tend the fire (coal forge, crank blower), which would take my attention off the car. Plus that'd mean burning a lot of coal without actually forging anything, which kinda seems like a waste when it's a 4 hour drive to get another bag. I know we've got propane heaters buried in the back room of the shop somewhere, but I dunno how comfortable I'd be running one of those things right next to the engine bay. Plus it'd mean breaking down the big propane torch cart that provides the flame to light the forge, as well as burning even more fuel that's generally reserved for blacksmithing. Any ideas? Wear another extra layer? Move to the South? Shift the Earth's orbit closer to the sun???
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Old 10-30-2019, 02:09 PM   #2
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I've got a couple of electric heaters as well. Having insulated garage walls makes a world of difference. I've been on the fence about buying one of these:
Mark D.

(Previous user name mjdehlin)
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:05 AM   #3
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Old 11-02-2019, 01:14 AM   #4
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Started snowing pretty hard today, and the wind really picked up. Since my garage can't actually fit a car in it, I'm stuck out in my driveway. Threw a tarp over the car, and then got some pieces of 1/4" steel square bar about 6' long out of the shop and pounded them into the ground, and made a little tent over the engine bay. staked the corners down with some more little pieces of scrap steel, propped the hood on a big wooden dowel for safety in case the tarp fell on the open hood and it tried to slam down on me, and I've gotta say it worked remarkably well. Kept the snow out of the engine bay, kept the wind off me, and made it significantly more bearable to work outside. probably felt about 20F warmer without the wind. Makes me consider putting up a carport even more than I already was.
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Old 11-02-2019, 06:21 AM   #5
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I use a kerosene heater in the winter. It puts out some serious heat if you point it at you. I work in my garage and typically use it to heat the garage to a comfortable level before I start working but it also useful outside pointing directly at me.

Be careful not to get frostbite working outside in freezing temperatures with no heat source!

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Old 11-17-2019, 09:34 PM   #6
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Just did all wheel bearings at all four corners outside in the gravel driveway... Not all that fun when the temps are low 30's high 20's...
99 323i autotragic. 300,000+ miles.
Hey, its a $500 beater. Stand by for questions!
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Old 11-17-2019, 11:28 PM   #7
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I've got a quartz radiant tower heater. It does not heat the whole garage just heats objects it's pointed at - like me. Works really well for most things since when it's on you , you really get warmed up and then if you need to move around a bit you stay warm for a good bit. I also have a propane heater that I put a fan on to put heat over a larger area and see no problem working around an engine so long as you do not have any gasoline spills or exposure. However for most things the quartz heater is fine and simpler. I think mine is over 30 years old and going strong. Anyway working in a garage is a piece of cake compared to working on the flight line on the engines of a B52 bomber in North Dakota at 20 below with a 25mph wind ! Don't ask about snowmobile repairs out on the trail or in the parking lot -- beer is out of the question when the vodka turns to slush!
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Old Today, 02:00 AM   #8
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Live in California.
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