As I get older and the weather turns colder I once again start to consider the subject of central heating for my workshop, to use an old joke its been a pipe dream of mine for many years.
Over the years I have considered all manner of heating methods, but am put off by the costs, and the upheaval, however as I am soon to consolidate several workshops into one, the need for warmth becomes important, especially if I want glue to dry all year round. The biggest downside is that we live in the country, the house system uses fuel oil, cheap at the moment but that wont last, I could use electric but that puts quite a strain on the power supply, and to upgrade is both difficult and expensive. Heat pumps create draught which isn’t conducive to fine finish work, the last alternative is LPG which comes with all manner of problems not the least of which is I would prefer to use a renewable source.
My solution as I see it is to build my own heating system after all how difficult can it be. Last summer I built a water heater for the hot tub and I have been considering a more fuel efficient version of that using a copper boiler, similar to that found in the average steam engine. If I had something like that linked to a couple of radiators then I could heat the workshop using waste materials as the fuel source, cheap to run and no draughts. Perfect I hear you cry, with only minor reservations.
The only drawback I can see is I have never made a boiler, never really worked with copper, and know nothing about brazing joints. However I do work with tools and I did read a book about it so in my mind I’m ready. I have purchased some copper sheet, along with a pack of brazing rods. Being sensible (?) I will start slowly and make a few items first to get used to working with copper before I head for the boiler. I have a wedding anniversary coming up so I am sure my dearly beloved would like some candle sconces, I would try a copper sauce pan but that might be misunderstood, that’s up there with buying your wife an iron for her birthday, and the workshop without heating would be too cold to sleep in. It all sounds so simple but then as they say ignorance is bliss.
Wish me luck I’m going in.