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Thread: Shop Heater

  1. #1
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    Default Shop Heater

    So I've wanted one of these for a while. Finally got it. WOW! wish I had gotten it years ago. VAL6 diesel/kero heater. Inferred. The large part of my shop is 24 X 36 with 16 foot ceilings. Just tired of feeding the woodstove . These heaters are almost zero emissions , 100% fuel to heat conversion. No smell like the old diesel heaters. I don't mind the diesel as long as I don't have to deal with the smell now. If your looking for a heater to heat up a space in 10 minutes this is it. Best investment in my shop since the new bandsaw. IMG_5080.jpgIMG_5082.jpg
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    My kero torpedo heater is stinky for sure. The propane one is better, but the water vapor accumulation is an issue. Where does one get one of these & are they expensive?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Their hard to find , yes, Napa auto parts I think has them. Theirs a few videos out there for them. They come in different sizes. http://www.val6heat.com/heaters.html
    Yes their craze expensive, that's why I didn't get one for so long. Mine is the medium size $2,100 but compared to stacking 5 cords of wood for the winter. I'm fine with filling up the diesel cans every week or so. Mine is the KBE5L two step. I run it for half an hour or so then turn it off for a while. Depending on how warm I need the shop. I've had people in the shop and they can't believe it's a diesel and no smell.
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Ouch! Not cheap indeed. Appreciate the reply. Using 5 cords for the house - I know prezactly what you mean.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Actually, My wife sort of bought it for me. I think she was tired of listening to me complain about keeping warm and cutting and stacking firewood for the shop.
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    A warm shop is a happy one. While the advertising talks big about "nearly 100% efficiency" the heater is still burning petroleum products in an un-vented space, there are very few free lunches. I'll be curious to see your review at the end of the heating season, especially in regards to soot-like residue deposits. I'd hang a CO detector out there too...they call me "Mr. Safety" for a reason.
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Steve , lots of open fresh air spaces in my shop. I would always leave a window cracked anyway. I'll let you know how the winter goes with a review.
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Following with interest! My shop is a (big) tin shed pole barn and when moisture evaporates off the metal it's like a swamp cooler. A woodstove is nice and I'll keep mine for days when we want one, but I need something that'll heat the space quickly.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    I'll keep the wood stove. It's a nice even heat when I'm gluing something up on the workbench . Or I just need a little heat. This puts out A LOT of heat quickly. I've only been using it for a month now , but so far very happy.
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Just curious........is there any need to be concerned about an explosion from too much sawdust in the air?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    In some settings, yes. Combustible dust/deflagration is definitely a potential hazard in wood shops, but I'd guess it's mostly only present in commercial environments.

    Some detail with references to further reading: https://www.woodworkingnetwork.com/b...t-requirements

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Boatbum View Post
    Just curious........is there any need to be concerned about an explosion from too much sawdust in the air?
    Have to be pretty aggressive with the sander to kick up that much dust I think, but I suppose it could happen....

    More likely scenario would be an accident with some solvent like acetone or lacquer thinner, both of which easily approach explosive vapor concentrations in an enclosed space. Even a spark from static discharge or an electric plug being pulled provides a source of ignition under those conditions so I'd be very careful indeed using flammable solvents of any kind with a fuel-burning heater running in the same space.

    Besides, it's simply a good habit not allowing such a collection of sawdust to accumulate in a workspace.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Maybe it’s just me but I’d not burn fossil fuels in an uninsulated building. It would basically be heating the outside world. And in an insulated building that kind of heat output would be unnecessary.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Maybe it’s just me but I’d not burn fossil fuels in an uninsulated building.
    S'truth.

    I used a small propane 'torpedo' style heater when I was insulating then drywalling my garage a few years ago. Overhead door cracked an inch, back door open w/storm window leaving screen uncovered maybe 1/3. Enough to take the chill off while I was wrestling with fiberglass batts dressed in a Tyvek suit.

    Once the ceiling & walls were taped & painted I hung a 50,000 BTU garage heater from the ceiling, exhaust ducted through the roof. Used propane the first year, then ran extension from house furnace for NG before next winter to save trips to refill 20lb cylinders.

    This space was 26' x 25' & no insulation under slab or on hollow 16' garage door which leaks enough make-up air for the heater. You can get 'em with outside air supplies but those were more than I wanted to spend for an 'occasional use' space.

    Had this place been in the country I'd prolly have opted for a wood stove. Being in a city (even if on the very edge) left that option with little appeal.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    The subject of air-sealing and insulating shops is a worthy subject.



    Hard tell exactly what David has going in his space. I know my two shop spaces have been a better place for my tools to live since insulating them. (I have a small wood shop and a corresponding metal working area that are in different rooms separated by a fire rated door). I suspect a one man operation would be hard pressed to kick up enough dust for the VAL6 to be hazardous. A lot more expensive than your average torpedo heater for certain but it is nice that they've got the technology to a point where you aren't asphyxiating your crew while trying to keep them warm.

    Of the three fires I saw in shops over my career building theatrical scenery, one was caused by plumbers, one was a fellow welding too close to some fabric covered flats and the last was when I was welding some bracing onto a hydraulic elevator we were using to lift a piano out of the trap room. Oil soaked kitty littler is very very flammable. These days most of the fires we respond to are from overheated electrical wiring or oily rags that spontaneously combust. Though there was the guy who went after a spider with a lighter and some hairspray...
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    The photo is of my woodworking area. All of my saws and sanders with dust collection are at the far end of the shop. The heater is located by a large sliding door for ventilation and safety. Not to much dust gets near it. I was also worried about that before I bought it. I have a totally separate paint/varnish room with baseboard heat and insulated. I keep all chemicals and paint in there. The building is old cinder block with a shingled roof. It's a leftover section of an old dairy farm/barn.
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Hi All -

    Long time reader, first time posting.

    I have used these heaters in our manufacturing plant for over ten years. They first came to the US over ten years ago with a tiny distribution network. Spare parts were a real challenge, but as mentioned by others they are now available at NAPA. They make two different sized units, the large one is around 140,000 btu/hr IIRC. I use the smaller one in my home shop, I believe it is around 90,000 btu/hr(check w/Dr. Google)

    If you burn kero, not diesel, it is almost entirely odorless, but as mentioned previously unvented combustion is not a safe way to work. The primary wear part is the nozzle which is just a home oil burner part available at your local plumb shop for about $5. Otherwise, just run it - not the sort of thing one will ever accomplish with the typical torpedo. They are a high first cost tool, but unlike a torpedo they just run and run.

    I have no fiscal interest in these, but I am a satisfied customer.

    Now, back to building the Marsh Cat.



    Scott

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Scott with unvented, petroleum-fueled heaters used that much do you have anything to add about combustion byproducts contaminating the stuff you work on, either at your plant or at home? I've heard that propane and kero/diesel types can leave byproducts that inhibit epoxy bonding but I have no first-hand experience to back that up.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Well, some conjecture here but I think you're correct that the oil fired units might cause some issues. I believe the odor from the torpedo units is due to incomplete combustion and those byproducts are probably not helpful for bonding.

    I am doing a fair amount of epoxy laminating right now, my heat is from an infra-red propane unit and I have had no issues with bonding. I only fire up my Val6 when it is really cold, say single digits. At that point I wouldn't do any finish work like paint or varnish.

    BTW my Val6 "Daystar" is only 53,000 btu.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    The one I have is 100,000BTU on low and 118,000BTU on high. I did some glass cloth and epoxy on an old duck boat last week and it was great for drying. I don't use to much epoxy in my shop. With the weather outside in the twenties in the morning it's great to come in and just push a button. I don't run it all day just every couple of hours. So far still VERY happy with it, no smell, soot , and very little noise , you can talk over it.
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    I would be very tempted to look at the hot air heaters intended for use in boat interiors and running on diesel.The exhaust goes out of the wall and only hot air gets into the workspace.The Chinese versions are incredibly inexpensive and are said to be a drop in where the much more expensive previous heaters used to live.Those that were made by the rogues who were fined rather a lot for colluding to force boaters to pay way over the odds for their hardware.....

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Have not wanted to step on this thread about David's heater which sounds very good. When I got my shop going a couple years ago, after having looking at just plain old wood stoves, pellet stoves and hydronic, I installed a Rinnai Direct vent wall heater. It has one hole for the fitting to both bring in combustion air and vent the exhaust. Very nice controls, and it modulates from 13K BTU's to 38K BTUs, so very efficient, and in conjunction with the 6' diameter fan in the ceiling running 24/7, there is no noticeable difference top to bottom in temperature.

    Shop is a pole barn 26' wide x 34' deep and 16' at the eaves. It has the R7 white faced insulation, both for brightening shop and keeping the drips away. I set it for 50 degrees(You can go down to 36), and can bring it up to 60 quickly for epoxy or finishes. I am in the Pacific NW, so temps are moderate, but probably burn 60 gals of propane a month from November to March. The wall mount takes up very little precious shop floor space.

    And, similiar money budget...

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    I too got a Rinnai - though the smaller one as my shop is smaller. Really like it. Pretty easy install (3 hours*) & tucks out of the way nicely. I was able to grab a new one from an auction for about 40% off. Had to convert it from natural gas to propane, but that was a $15US kit & took 10-15 minutes to install. Note that you can only get the conversion kit from a dealer here in the US & you have to be a certified installer. I got mine out of Canada - 4 days shipping time & only added $4US.

    * the 3 hours included cutting for & installing a 6"x6" pad in the clapboard siding for the exhaust/intake. The Multi-tool comes into play again!
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Those Rinnai heaters do look nice
    David Satter www.sattersrestoration.com
    "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten" Ben Franklin

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    When I was an apprentice on Lake Union in the early 70’s we were building a 65’ Garden motoryacht, double diagonal from keel to chine. Glue was Resorcinol so we covered the whole thing with visqueen every night and put a diesel salamander heater to keep the temp at 70 degrees. The night we had completed the first layer of Alaska Cedar the diesel heater
    lost it’s mind and had spewed diesel soot over the entire bottom.
    So the foreman handed me the massive Black and Decker 7” grinder with the resin impregnated backer disc and a supplied air hood and told me to sand it all off, that was a long day even as a young buck.
    Probably would not last 10’ today.

    Edited to add: The reason this story came to mind was hearing about this new and improved diesel heater that does not stink or make jet aircraft noises.
    Last edited by Paul Schweiss; 12-22-2021 at 02:15 PM.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    You could buy about 10 of those little Chinese vented diesel heaters for the price of a Rinnai or a Val6.

    A friend has one hooked up to an old shipping container he uses as a paint locker. Says it’s been great for a few years now.

    https://www.amazon.com/Happybuy-Muff...80929032&psc=1

    or

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MZJ9YGF...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    You could buy about 10 of those little Chinese vented diesel heaters for the price of a Rinnai or a Val6.

    A friend has one hooked up to an old shipping container he uses as a paint locker. Says it’s been great for a few years now.

    https://www.amazon.com/Happybuy-Muff...80929032&psc=1

    or

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MZJ9YGF...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==
    Wow - I had no idea those heaters were so cheap! But 2 & keep one as a spare. The question for me (watch out, I'm gonna bring up the "B" word!) is 1) how to get the exhaust safely through a wood hull & where do you put it on a boat with a long counter stern?
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Shop Heater



    I like the idea of a diesel heater in the van, but where do you put the tank on an air-cooled bay window bus?
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    Wow - I had no idea those heaters were so cheap! But 2 & keep one as a spare. The question for me (watch out, I'm gonna bring up the "B" word!) is 1) how to get the exhaust safely through a wood hull & where do you put it on a boat with a long counter stern?

    I heard a story about a local fellow who asked the yard where he kept his boat to fit such a heater.They retorted that the heaters couldn't be an good at that price,so he told them to fit two so the other one was available if one went down.I never did hear whether the spare was called upon to function.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    My shop is part of the house, at the far side of the garage. The house has a hot water boiler for zones of heat and hot water.
    The shop is heated as another zone of that system. It has a hot water space heater hung from the ceiling. It’s noisier than I like, but effective, reliable and economical. Radiant heat piping under the floor would have been quieter and steadier, but more costly.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    I have to admit I love the radiant heat in my shop. Not expensive if you put it in when you first pour the concrete. I ran it for almost 20 years on a natural gas fired water heater. When that conked out I put in a high efficiency modulating condensing gas boiler. I got a good deal on it from a plumber I know from work and installed it myself. It’s a 15-55 thousand BTU unit. It changes its output based on the outside temperature.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    I wish Id done that.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    What color is jealousy again? My shop is big​ but it's a metal pole barn with a concrete floor...cold in winter and a sweatbox in summer.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    At $2100 you're 2/3 away from a heat pump, efficient, no fossil fuels, no fumes. But as said, if not insulated you're heating the outdoors. I keep it set at 50 during the winter, it's off during the day when I'm working and using the wood stove.
    Steve B
    Sjogin IIIa
    PAYTON 13' Pea Pod

    RIVUS 16' Melonseed


    "If a man must be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most." E. B. White

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Shop Heater

    Wow, Steve- Heat pump works OK in winter in Blue Hill? (for those from away- Blue Hill is halfway up the Maine, USA, coast, a coldish place in Winter)

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