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Author Topic: Wall off part of bus shop for working on cars in the winter?????  (Read 1813 times)
rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« on: July 26, 2011, 12:48:08 PM »

My shop for the bus is 36X56 and is wonderful for working on the bus most of the year.  The shop is double layer of wood siding and OSB/Shingles on the roof, but no insulation.  I put tubing in the floor for winter heat, but could never get the money together for solar hot water panels.  My plan for the floor heat was to try to maintain about 40* ambient in the winter.  We have a lot of sun days, so I think that would be possible - just can't afford it.

I am trying to plan for winter projects.  I should be working on the bus interior in the winter, but I am really burned out on bus projects (the bus is fully functional and any future projects are making the exterior and interior "nicer").  I have some really fun car projects that I want to work on this winter, and I am trying to figure out how to make a work area that can be heated a bit to make working in -10 degree weather a bit more pleasant.

I have tried to think of how I would build a temporary "room" in the shop (maybe 12X24X8ft).  I really do not want to build a finished room, as I move things around it the shop quite a bit.

The two main areas where I would like ideas are:  1) material for the ceiling and walls 2) structure to support the walls.  I have given some thought to making the walls out of rigid foam (pretty cheap and light) and the support out of steel tubing - maybe electrical conduit.  I was thinking along the lines of the structures you see at flea markets and automotive events where they use electrical tubing and welded tubing that the electrical tubing goes into.

Cost is always an issue.

You guys are inventive, give me your thoughts.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
bevans6
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 01:09:35 PM »

For a temporary structure I would frame using metal studs, insulate with cellulose and have some sort of heavy plastic as the "wall" vapour barrier.  Not very fire-friendly, so ideas on a good, cheap, light, potentially reusable wall surface are what I too am looking for (I need/want to do exactly this project in one of my buildings).  To work on cars I like a 10' ceiling, and around a 30' by 30' space - you need room to work on the car, and room to work on  the stuff you will take off/out of the car and put on benches, plus you need room for your tools, hoists, piles o' valuable stuff.  Higher ceiling if you spring for a car lift (I am seriously considering a lift when I get to Nova Scotia).  Heat with what's cheap, here I use oil for my car shop, other places use wood.  Solar is a great option if it's sunny, but some places daylight time makes solar in the winter tough.  Make sure you vent combustion vapour if any outside - I built a plastic tent to work in one winter, heated with a kerosene catalytic, and when spring came I found I had created three inches of water from condensation inside one of my gearboxes that was stored inside my "tent".

I heat my 30 by 30 car shop, walls insulated, ceiling just drywall, with about a tank of oil per winter, around $900.  I keep it at 35 degrees except when I am out there working when I  bring it up to 50 - 55 degrees.
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 01:12:16 PM »

Jim,

Since you already have the tubes in the slab for the heat, build you own solar panels. Here is a site that had some good designs for DIY solar panels and some neat ideas for heating. Its what Im doing for my barn.  www.builditsolar.com

jeff
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 02:21:54 PM »

Have you considered a wood stove boiler set up to use in your excisting set up?  You can build your own pertty cheap and can even put it out side.   

As for the room. If your barn structure is made so that it would allow you to hang a conduit "hallo" then cover all of it in plastic.  I have helped make temporary paint booths this way.

Eric


....whats the car projects? Grin
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bigjohnkub
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 02:55:01 PM »

Jim, most of the larger Trades Days in my area have a person selling the fittings and such for the tents . I made a Golf cart barn 14x25 with these. Even stays together in storms if tied down.

Big John
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2011, 04:14:00 PM »

 Jim, are you crazy!!!!  Smiley  Lock the doors and head to Yuma for the winter.....we will be waiting for you! Grin
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2011, 04:58:08 PM »

First of all, Ed I sure wish we could head that way.  We have enjoyed staying with you folks like you would not believe.  The big question:  why in the heck would you ever invite us back Grin?

OK guys, thanks for the good ideas so far.

Brian, I can make the room a bit smaller, as most of the work will be body work and that does not take a huge area.  When I built the shop, I put some I-beams in the floor for a hoist, but that is way out of my budget with our wonderful economy.

I had looked into some alternative to solar to heat the water, but with hydronic heating, it takes a long time to get the floor up to temperature.  That is why solar works so well - it works all day to get the water/concrete up to temperature and the concrete holds the energy for a long time.

Jeff, I had thought about making my own solar collectors.  I built the shop with the pitched roof to the south, and have a lot of real estate to put collectors on, so they do not need to be super efficient.  I will take another look at your link tonight.  It would be great to be able to keep the shop above freezing, as I can't winterize the bus.  Last year I used an electric heater in the inside (backup with Aqua-hot for bays) and it really got the old wheel on the meter spinning.  I could use diesel, but that is not cheap.

John, I have seen those as well.  I would probably build my own (can you say cheap?)

Eric, I wondered about plastic.  Not much insulation value, but it would be cheap and easy.  You asked about the cars.  My poor old '56 Chevy which was my daily driver for years really needs some sort of paint protection (I painted it in '87 and the paint has really gone bad).  My other projects are:  '72 Commando (get ready to sell), two '50 Olds (one junk yard dog and one half done) and a 47 Buick custom (I chopped the top and now need to finish body work  - in lead no less).   Also have a couple of tractors and a '59 IHC.  I have a half a$$ project page here:  http://beltguy.com/projects.htm

I have often said that I really loved working on the cars (both mechanical - 3 body off, and body work).  People think I am crazy liking to do body work, but it is therapeutic for me and is not hugely costly (until you get to the final paint).  On the other hand, I really have never enjoyed working on the bus.   It is time to go do some fun work.  Besides that, none of my cars are worth much in their present condition.  I will need to sell some when our funds run out (far sooner than I had planned a few years ago Angry)

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 05:41:16 PM »

You can always do what i have done in alaska when doing exterior remodiling on a house, etc in the winter.... make a 2x4 framework and sheet it inside and out with greenhouse plastic.. and use deck screws so you can dismantle it as needed. won't take much to heat either.
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Ed Hackenbruch
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2011, 05:50:26 PM »

Jim, having you around makes Stevi think i am normal !!  Besides, we both like Pat.  Grin Grin
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 06:43:35 PM »

Jim,

We once parked our bus in an industrial space and live there.  It had a 20 foot high, 20 foot wide rollup door.  Since that would have been a real heat loss/gain problem, we just lined the door with 4x8 sheets of 2" thick Polyiso.  Although thinner sheets are cheaper, the 2" ones don't really need much structure.  You could use a minimal tube or 2x2 frame and duct tape.  The R-value is excellent, so it would not take much to keep the room warm.  When we moved to JT, I took all of the boards with me and used it to insulate the garage to make it into a shop.  I still have one sheet left though.  Just one caution--don't lean on the walls!
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rv_safetyman
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2011, 07:42:39 PM »

Ed:   Grin Grin Grin Grin

Crap, why do I start these kinds of threads Wink?  Not much chance of sleeping tonight Smiley

Jeff, that website really got me back to thinking about getting my solar system "design" process reved up.  I downloaded several of the articles and will go over them in the next few days.  I doubt that I can gather the funds to build the panel, but the cost would offset the terrible cost of keeping the bus from freezing to some degree.  Where we live, the "solar days" are over 300 as I recall.

chev49, your comment on the greenhouse plastic sure got my attention.  I did a bit of research, and will do more.  The great thing about the clear plastic, is that it would let the existing shop type lights do quite a bit of the lighting for the room.  They talk about double layer and that might help with the heat loss since there would be some air between the sheets.

Thanks so much guys for the constructive input (exception:  Ed Grin).  I always enjoy the great thinking of this group!!

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2011, 08:16:46 PM »

cheap solar panel - construct 1x4 boxes as large as you can handle - Luan backing painted with high gloss reflective paint - suspend (about an inch and a half above the luan) 1.25" black ABS plastic pipe running back and forth using 2 90's at each end - add inlet at top and outlet at bottom - cover the top with the cheapest plexi you can find - you can daisy chain together as many as you want - add a pump to size and you have a pretty cheap system - FWIW
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 10:36:35 PM »

I dont know about where you live, but here I can leave a hose out in the sun and the water gets HOT FAST! It seems to me that "panels" are over kill........ at least in this climate. Hoses laid out in S shape on the roof with an inline pump and you're in biz!

As for a temporary structure on the cheap? There are a few ways I know of, but most involve rather thick walls and I dont think you want that. I assume that wind is not an issue either, soooo there was a guy who built a shelter with newspapers varnished... Additionally unless you want the conduit for some other project, you could use pvc pipe a lot easier as fittings are readily available in every conceivable concoction. To make it firm, you can either compact dirt inside the pipes or you could double up by putting a 3/4" inside a 1" pipe......

Good luck in whatever you do!
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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 10:44:18 AM »

Speaking of cardboard boxes... i had to cover mine with a trash bag last night cause i was getting wet when it was raining. Grin
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