Garage working space

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    Antonio Santos

    Hi all.
    I will soon be changing workspace, and will be working in a garage with space for 1 car, without windows.
    In terms of ventilation, it has only the entrance gate.
    The garage has no humidity.

    Until now I’ve always been working inside the house, in one room, sheltered from heat, cold and humidity.

    It will be the first time I will work in these conditions, and I would like to know what extra precautions I should take when working with wood, since I will need to have the garage door open when I am working, and the wood will always absorb some heat in the summer and cold (maybe some humidity) in the winter while the door is open.
    With the tools I don’t think I should have any problems, as the garage has no humidity.

    Does anyone work in the same conditions?

    Do I have to take any extra care?
    Is it possible to work in this way?

    Thank you.


    I have a garage simmler to that that. I have a bench in and I sometimes take my bench out and put it under a tree.. The only thing that I really find different than working in the house is that the glue has a tendency to cure or set up a lot faster so you kind of be watching that when you glue up a big piece.

    Antonio Santos

    I’m sorry but I don’t understand.
    The glue tends to cure faster outside, is that it? The glue open time is shorter?
    And in relation to wood movement, any noticeable difference?


    Yes the glue has different property’s when it gets hotter or a breeze blows.
    A lot of times I have single digit humidity. Which really changes glue property’s. It will skin over while spreading it on a set of dovetails at times. You just have to plan a little. I don’t notice wood movement much.

    Larry Geib

    The main consideration, I think, will be change in humidity. THis depends on how much you have to heat or cool your house and what the climate offers seasonally.. unless you live in a desert, there will be seasonal humidity swings and they will probably be different than in conditioned space.

    Or instance, I used to live n Maryland, USA and the summers were hot and very humid, while the winters were often below freezing and dry.
    I ran a dehumidifier in my basement shop which kept the humidity in my shop fairly constant. The house tended to be lower humidity than outdoors in winter because o of the furnace drying out the house, and the air conditioning also kept things indoors drier in Summer.
    If my shop were in an unheated garage the humidity swing would have been from 30% to 95% seasonally. The commercial shops I worked in were less well controlled, nearing the sort of situation you describe.

    I now live in Oregon, where the summers are dry and the winters are wet, but without a huge temperature swing. So wood movement would be reversed seasonally if I didn’t run a dehumidifier year round here also to regulate humidity.

    The main concern is what the differential between where you build stuff and where it ultimately lives it could move a bit after you bring a piece indoors, so you have to account for that in the design.

    And you should aclimate your wood to the shop so it doesn’t move during the build. Also, don’t prep your wood and then let it sit. By the time you get back to it, it may move in an unconditioned shop.

    With these things in mind, you should be fine. Most of the shops I worked in over the years were barely in the comfort zone at both ends of the spectrum and finished pieces did fine in conditioned houses.

    And the glues and finishes you use still have to be within the manufacturers recommendations for temperature and humidity. Glues don’t work well below certain temperatures, and clear finished can get cloudy in very humid climes.

    Colin Scowen

    My workshop is a small garage, on the side of the house. I live in central EUrope, so it can get high 20’s/ low 30’s in the summer, and drop to -10 in the winter. The wood movement with changes in temp and humidity can affect you (I had a box lid that was perfectly flat in the workshop, but bring it inside and you could serve tea in it, it had cupped so much. Took it back out, cup disappeared). You may want to think about a small toolbox for some of your tools, so that you can close it and put silica gel packets inside in case you don’t go to the workshop for a while. You may also want to build a small tote for your finish and glue (there are storage conditions for these things, as well as use conditions), so that they are easy to bring inside should the temperature fall below 5 degrees. I have a small electric oil heater for the winter here, to keep the workshop at a balmy 8 degrees.

    Colin, Czech Rep.

    Antonio Santos

    Thanks for the tips.
    I never took any special care to air condition the wood, because I never needed to.
    How should I acclimatize the wood, what options are there for doing so?

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