The northern Midwest and East are experiencing some serious cold right now. My shop is positively frigid, so I think I’ll do something else today.

My shop is in an attached two-car garage. Because it shares two walls with the house, and because the third wall and door are insulated, it usually doesn’t get that cold in there. Up to now, the coldest temperatures I’ve noted are usually in the low 40s. Not terribly bad, and easy enough for the small gas heater I installed two years ago to bring things up to comfortable working conditions.

But with overnight lows of about 3 degrees, my shop was down to 35 degrees this morning, an all-time low. The one thing I really need to get done in the shop I can do a bit later. It’s a very sunny day today, and with my garage facing south that sun will beat down on the door and radiate some heat inward. That’ll bring the temp up a bit, plus once I kick on the heater (and wait a while), I’ll be able to get it up to working conditions.

Fortunately, I have plenty of nonshop work to do, so it’s not going to be a day off. In fact, I have lots of office stuff I’ve been putting off, mainly because it’s not nearly as enjoyable as being in the shop. Waiting in my office are things to do like gathering up 2012 tax stuff and setting up folders for 2013, organizing my invoice files, a ton of correspondence, and such. All stuff I’ve been procrastinating on, just as I’m sure you do.

But while none of it creates sawdust (which is why, I suspect, that it’s not fun), it really is a part of woodworking and today’s the perfect day to get it done. When the weather returns to its winter norms, I can return to my procrastinating ways while I get back to the shop for the more enjoyable part of woodworking.



  • SawdustTX says:

    A.J., I am not a professional woodworker, just a hobbyist, but must say I really enjoy your posts. Thank you for your insights.

  • Kirk Grodske says:

    If it is a sunny day, open the big door and exchange the warmer outer air with the cool air inside. Then use the heater to warm up the interior.

  • Glenn Weagle says:

    Couldn’t agree more!! My fingers don’t want to do what the mind tells them when it’s this cold. Luckily my wife has a couple of rooms that need painting. I HATE painting!! Oh well.

    Kirk has a good idea about opening the big door and letting the warm air in, but be sure there’s not to much humidity in that air. As soon as it hits that cold cast iron – – instant rust. Been there before. Didn’t take me long to figure out that I hate cleaning rust off my tools and equipment – – almost as much as I hate painting!!

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