Summer time and the livin’ is easy… but hot!

4 Jul

As the full swing of summer has kicked in here, I have become aware of the problem of a sweltering shop. Lucky for me I was out and about and noticed an air conditioner on a curb close to my neighbourhood this weekend. The owner of the air conditioner was  moving house and was eager for me to whisk it away and assured me that it worked perfectly. I love getting free stuff! I cleaned it out thoroughly, tested it and then brought it over to my shop.

This turns out to be the best window to set my air conditioner into- the other two windows are such that I would have to remove all of the panes to fit the air conditioner, leaving a lot of space around it to fill in. Frankly I was too worried about how easy it would be to break into the shop with such a set up.

As it happens this air conditioner must have been fitted into a similar window set up in it’s previous home because there were metal tracks that mated perfectly with the window tracks.

I inserted a filler strip of wood into the space between the mating tracks to keep the air conditioner from from rocking front to back.

I then added filler strips to keep the air conditioner from sliding laterally in the window track. I trapped the wood in the tracks by lifting the window and inserting the wood strips, then bringing the window back down.

And finally I wedged two pieces of wood in the window track to keep the window locked down over the air conditioner so that it won’t budge.

All that was left was to seal the perimeter with duct tape. The closest outlet is a few feet to the left of the door, while this isn’t ideal, I’ve heard that air conditioners are best plugged directly into the wall. So I’d rather not run and extension cord along the more convenient wall to the right of the door. I lift the cord over my head to get in and out, which isn’t often, so I’m willing to deal with a minor inconvenience for a cool shop.

And there it is! Now I won’t see a hot summer’s day as a deterrent to heading over to the shop!

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6 Responses to “Summer time and the livin’ is easy… but hot!”

  1. Greg July 5, 2012 at 7:50 am #

    Small world: I just did exactly the same thing. Except I bought my air conditioner – not that I didn’t look for a free or cheap one on craigslist. Same thing – I put mine in the window of the man-door of my garage. I went and bought a short, heavy duty extension cord so now the cord and plug do not get hot to the touch. I also bought a new-work box and an outlet so that I can put a proper outlet where it needs to be (since there’s a light switch by the door).

    It’s so nice to have it cool in there so I can work without sweating like a horse. The very first thing I did was sharpen a saw. But that’s another story.

    • Warped Boards July 5, 2012 at 9:06 am #

      Hmmm there’s also a light switch by my door also… a new outlet may be in the future for my shop too!

  2. Dyami July 5, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Well done. After this weekend, I’m seriously considering adding an AC to my shop.

    Do you leave it on all the time? I’m wondering what impact intermittent AC will have on my tools & wood.

    • Warped Boards July 5, 2012 at 10:10 am #

      First Fong points out the extra weight on the door hinges and now you also make an excellent point! Clearly the heat got to me. I do plan to use the a/c intermittently because I can’t get to the shop often and it would be a high electricity bill… but I might reconsider if I notice ill effects on the wood in the shop. For now I’m living on the edge.

      • Dyami July 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

        I asked the Wood Talk OnLine guys about this issue tonight on their thoughts were that the wood will probably be fine, but be careful about causing condensation on your cast iron.

        I hope you have good luck with it and please let us know how it goes. Until then, stay cool.

      • Warped Boards July 6, 2012 at 12:34 am #

        That’s great news, I’m pretty sure I won’t have it on long enough to cause condensation so I think I’ll be good on all fronts- what a relief!

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