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For those of you not aware, our Toolmonger offices are located in Texas. And that means that right now we’re experiencing our month-long “spring” — essentially San Diego climate or about 75 degree (F) days and 55 degree nights. As far as we’re concerned, that’s just about the perfect weather and the best excuse ever to get the hell out of the office and take care of all those projects languishing around the previously-cold-ass shop.

But where are you? And what’s your perfect shop weather? We hear that this magic time comes a little later for you northeasterners. And I suppose if you’re loaded enough to have a home and a shop in California, maybe this is a year-round thing for you.

Anyway, educate me in comments if you’d be so kind. In the meantime, I’ll be in the shop. It’ll be over a hundred here soon enough, so I’m gonna get some work done before then.

(Thanks, jessicafm, for the great CC-licensed photo.)

 

20 Responses to Reader Question: What’s “Good” Shop Weather?

  1. bajajoaquin says:

    I think your criteria is right on the money. Of course, since I live in San Diego, it means I have perfect shop weather year round.

  2. DaveD says:

    I’m in Ohio and perfect for me is long-sleeve up to t-shirt weather. Not too hot, not too cold but temperate. I don’t wanna freeze or sweat while I’m working on stuff….

  3. paganwonder says:

    Along the Front Range here in Colorado April-June is great shop weather even though we go back and forth between winter and spring for another month or so. But the weather allows opening up the doors and shirt sleeves, by July I will once again speculate about AC out there…

  4. Patrick says:

    Not dark. That’s the best weather for me. Any day in the shop is a good ‘un.

  5. loaks111 says:

    here in indiana, as i work to reclaim my garage it is about the best time starts about 55- 60 when i get up for work (3:30 in the morning) and by the time i get off it is about 75 – 80. no if i could just get more time off to build my shed to house my mowers and such……………

  6. Flabby Boohoo says:

    Chicago burbs up by Wiskey. The garage is my shop, so Nov through March is out. Just cleaned out today, ready for the projects.

  7. Pete_jud says:

    My shop is a 12×66 ft moble office trailer, it came with central heat and air, It looks ugly, but I live in the country here in the PNW where we got snow this morning, I also added a wood stove to help on the cold days. It seems that I only need to turn the air on a couple days a year, Use it year around but heating it costs me about a hundred bucks a month in t he wintertime, matter of fact that’s where I typing this now.

  8. Jasony says:

    man, I hate Austin in the summer. 6 months of 90-100 degrees. Get me outta here.

  9. Cameron Watt says:

    I work out of a lean-to near Ladysmith, British Columbia a.k.a. The Canadian Riviera.

    Things are moderate enough that I’m fine as long as there’s a breeze blowing in the summer and no breeze in the winter.

    It has never dipped below 16 Fahrenheit since I moved here a few years ago and that was considered a bad cold snap. What makes it awful is that it still manages to be damp! -40 can give you frostbite but is dry as a bone while you’ll feel 16 with a high dew point right down to your bones.

    I’m not being defensive about the hard time other Canadians give folks on the West coast about our mild weather, honest!

    What about humidity? It depends on what work you do but it can be Hell for trades like joiners and painters. Thankfully for me, as a welder, the only issues with humidity are my personal comfort and how I store my low hydrogen electrodes.

  10. DrunkenMessiah says:

    “As far as we’re concerned, that’s just about the perfect weather and the best excuse ever to get the hell out of the office and take care of all those projects languishing around the previously-cold-ass shop.”

    Cold-ass shop? You sir, live in Texas. You know nothing of cold-ass shops. I spent this past winter in central Indiana stripping my old Mercedes 300D for parts in an un-insulated garage with only a little 45,000 BTU heater to keep my fingers from falling off. How cold does it get down there? Like 45 degrees? OoOoOo, chilly, better bundle up tight!

    As soon as it breaks 40 degrees around here shop weather has officially begun. I’ve been re-building my Chrysler Turbo and mucking about at my plot in the community garden for nearly a month now.

  11. Brau says:

    Another Pacific Northwestern Canuck here. Living on Vancouver Island, surrounded by the ocean keeps temperatures quite mild and rarely too hot or cold. That said, having rarely worked in 14ºF and in 90ºF weather, I can truly attest that pulling wires through attics is something best NOT done in hot weather. I don’t like getting all sweaty, so I prefer dry weather around 65º, as it’s cool enough to control body temp by wearing or removing a jacket or shirt etc.

  12. kyle says:

    I live in Ohio and spring and fall is pretty comfortable, however summer and winter are uncomfortable. I can stand to be a littile chlly but I hate the hot weather

  13. DrunkenMessiah wrote:

    “Cold-ass shop? You sir, live in Texas. You know nothing of cold-ass shops. I spent this past winter in central Indiana stripping my old Mercedes 300D for parts in an un-insulated garage with only a little 45,000 BTU heater to keep my fingers from falling off. ”

    Does your un-insulated garage also go uphill both ways?

  14. shotdog says:

    I guess Im lucky. I have a 24x 32 insulated shop pretty much dedicated to woodworking. It’s heated by a used house trailer oil-fired hot air furnace which uses about 70 gallons of #2 fuel a year. I use the shop most days in the winter unless the wind’s howling. In north central NY it can get to minus 25, so I avoid trying to heat the shop on those days in order to save fuel.
    All of my tools have paid for themselves 3 or 4 times over. Mrs. Dog supports my menagerie.

    Back in 2004 January dumped 10 feet of snow resulting in the collapse of my (former) dairy barn. The insurance was enough to buy a generous 3 car garage, one bay of which is dedicated to lawn and garden machines and their care and upkeep.

  15. Shalin says:

    Any condition where I can work outside or with the garage door open in jeans and a t-shirt is good shop weather to me. Generally, 60-90F. My Northern blood still is too thick for these Texas summers…which reminds me, I gotta come up with a covered pergola plan for the backyard…
    –S

  16. Gough says:

    I’m in transition between two shops. My old one is a rented former beer warehouse in town and the new on is on some rural property 30 minutes out. Good shop weather if I’m working in town is anything above freezing. If it’s that warm, the electric heaters can keep up. This winter, when it was near 0, I found that, even with the heat on, I had to move fast to stay warm. At one point, I went to kick a gallon jug of water out of my way, only to find that it was frozen solid.

    For now, a good shop day in the new shop is any sunny day. It’s a new 24×40 building with R-30 walls and R-60 attic, but no heat yet. Fortunately, it’s got a south-facing garage door with a temporary visqueen cover on the inside. Once I open the door and let the sun shine in, it gets pretty nice very quickly. I’m thinking about adding a carport for working outside/in the shade when the weather gets really warm.

  17. Pruitt says:

    @DrunkenMessiah

    Hey now, it got so cold here in Dallas that we had to run our pool filters all night long for at least four weeks this winter. ;-0

  18. Kurt says:

    My shop is about 1000 SF, insulated (including the roll up doors). With a 23000 btu kerosene heater, a 1500 watt oil radiator heater, and a couple of 1500 watt spot heaters to give it a boost in the morning, I can keep it above 60 even when it is snowing outside (I live in the California Sierra Foothills). In the summer I built a pad outside for a swamp cooler that blows through one of the roll ups, so it is fairly comfortable even when it is well above 100 outside. The same single door has a bug screen over the entire opening so that I can have it completely open at night without letting critters in. Good investment, that.

    I’d love to get a woodstove for Winter, but my city limits installations to one per property, so it is either the house or the shop. Not an easy decision…

  19. Gary says:

    My shop is in the basement, so perfect shop weather is usually the winter, or when it’s too wet or dark to do any work outside.

    Hmm. I’d get more shop time if I had a landscaping service…

  20. ambush says:

    Anything between freezing and too warm, but I’ll get out there if its -20 C if I’m motivated enough. heck -35 C if its my Daily Driver. You just have to dress really warm. Edmonton, AB

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