Brisbane humidity

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Fisherman
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Brisbane humidity

Post by Fisherman » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:15 pm

Hi brains trust....

I'm hoping to get some ideas for humidity control /dry room options for a pretty small workshop space. I see there have been a few discussions in the past but I'm still a bit foggy on how they work in practice or would work in my workspace. Some photos would be wonderful!

- Is a glueing space (like a cupboard sized space....) for glueing the critical steps until closing the box/storing the work as I go an option? That would allow me to do the grunt or detail work in a nicer space....
-Or should I try to shield the whole workshop from Brisbane's 70% usual humidity? The hygrometer seems to never dip below about 65% at present....

We moved to Brisbane recently and I'm just now getting the tools unpacked. I didn't have to worry too much about humidity control in Canberra.... Apart from introducing a bit of moisture when it got a bit too dry.

The workspace for our new house is the basement - about 5.5m by 3m , but I will lose about 2sqm shortly when I build an internal wall/door to stop dust heading up the staircase. I have a future option to expand into the carport at about the same size again but that would be a longer term project and quite a lot of work to complete that space
Last edited by Fisherman on Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fisherman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by Fisherman » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:21 pm

If U can imagine it without the clutter..... Here's the workspace
IMG_20200907_171619.jpg
IMG_20200907_171635.jpg
IMG_20200907_171733.jpg

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TallDad71
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by TallDad71 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 11:40 pm

13 m squared for a workshop is ample, same as my place. It leads you wanting more for sure but only for things like spray rooms wood sheds.
The RH in UK is around 80% in the winter in my garden workshop. A cheap dehumidifier works well to get the RH down to around 55% which matches the house perfectly.
Alan

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Allen
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by Allen » Tue Sep 08, 2020 6:07 am

My workshop is in Cairns and is 9x6m metal shed with insulation under the roofing metal. I work with 2 large bay doors open to my back yard. Inside when we purchased this place there was a slightly smaller than 3x3m room that I further insulated and sealed with plastic then lined with plywood. This is my dry room where I run a dehumidifier 24/7.

I store all timber that I will be using in the foreseeable 6 months of building as well as the parts / instruments that I'm currently working on in there.

I do all glue ups steps in this room. Use to have a Go-Bar deck but now I use vacuum press for those steps requiring that type of clamping.

All prep of parts, sanding, scraping etc. is done in the main part of the workshop.
Allen R. McFarlen
https://www.brguitars.com
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lamanoditrento
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by lamanoditrento » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:08 am

Looks like a great space. If it were me I would be attempting to humidity control that whole area. A little airconditioning unit/dehumidifier would would well in that space. You'll want a/c in there come summer anyway. And here in Brisbane, summer is only about 3 weeks away
Trent

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ozziebluesman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by ozziebluesman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:34 am

Townsville has an average of 60% humidity. I use a dry box big enough to fit a solera with guitar builds at different stages fitted to it and guitar bodies in moulds with necks attached. The box uses a 100 watt globe located at the bottom of the box with an intake hole at the bottom and an exhaust at the top of the box with a computer fan attached to suck out hot air. I think that is unnecessary but it sound good when I fitted it. There needs to be a natural shift of air through the box. I have a shelf about 20cm from the bottom of the box and the guitar parts, moulds and solera sit there. The globe has a fader fitted so I can decrease or increase the heat inside the box. My shop is the size of a single car garage and I have a large old style aircon fitted in the wall. It works fine I take the humidity level down with the aircon, take out my projects to work on and then replace back in the box. An old fridge or a single old style wardrobe works good with a globe mounted down the bottom. Just trial and error with the globe wattage to get it right. The only problem up here is in the dry season I have to bring the room down to 16 degrees sometimes to achieve the right humidity level and 16 degrees is bloody freezing for us.
Good luck
Cheers Alan
"Play to express, not to impress"

Alan Hamley

http://www.hamleyfineguitars.com/

Fisherman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by Fisherman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:15 pm

Thanks guys for the advice, sounds like there are a few workable options. It may come down to what materials are available on gumtree at a reasonable price etc. Looks like I can get some quite large (2.7m high...) freezer panels etc at a good price, which may open up the idea of converting the carport into a dry area. There's also an ensuite that joins onto the room, which could be a suitable space if I remove the shower and make some alterations as per Allen's solution, although removing an extra bathroom may be less popular domestically...

Alan... 16 degs in Townsville! Could almost keep polar bears comfortable ;). Are U able to share a picture of your dry box solution..?

Trent... How do you control for humidity (sounds like you are also in Brisbane....)?

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lamanoditrento
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by lamanoditrento » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:00 pm

Actually I don't have my own workshop, I operate out of Andrew Armstrong's Brisbane Guitar Making School workshop. The school is quite a large workshop with multiple benches, machine room and a wood storage/glue up room. That room is perhaps 2/3 of your space and has a little dehumidifier and aircon in it. Very occasionally we have to bring out the humidifier too. If you're ever in Sumner park, feel free to come by and say hi
Trent

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ozziebluesman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by ozziebluesman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 5:05 pm

Here you go. Simple and easy.
Cheers
Alan
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"Play to express, not to impress"

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Fisherman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by Fisherman » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:24 pm

Thanks Alan, that's a neat solution.

Trent - Google tells me that is only 9 minutes from my house ... Would be great to visit someday!

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joel
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by joel » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:32 pm

I'm in a similar situation. Moved to the Augustine Heights area end of last year, I have a 6 x 3m shed that I've insulated. But it's got a roller door... no hope of sealing the place up unless I do some major alterations. So I think I'll need to make myself a dry box. I've been toying with using a peltier device based dehumidifier and an inkbird humidity controller to control a dry box type arrangement.
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blackalex1952
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by blackalex1952 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:12 pm

My workshop leaks air so I have an underbench system with a Delonghi C8 dehumidifier installed. I ran a pipe through the floor to the outside of the shed for the condensed water to run, installed some curly wire in the end, like a tea strainer, to stop the mud wasps around here from building their nests in the pipe, but allows the water to pass. I then by passed the microswitch which shuts the machine off when the water container is full, as the water runs outside through the pipe instead. I ran a two pole wire from the switch, up to an easily accessible socket at the top of the machine, thus by passing the microswitch. I connected that socket to a matching plug, like the one on a Boss pedal power supply, the socket and plug purchsed from Jaycar. An ebay purchase sorted out a more accurate humidity controller, which is mounted on the wall above the bench, and two sensors, a humidity one and a temperature one, run back to the middle of the stack of tonewoods, the lower underbench shelf reserved for guitar bodies and even a fully assembled guitar if necessary. Following that, I borrowed a wet/dry thermometer from the local school's science lab and calibrated the sensor on the wall using some tables that I have attached to this post. I also purchased, ebay of course, a good hygrometer from the USA which I also recalibrated using the wet/dry thermometer and tables. I build around 45% and adjust down as low as 35%, depending upon the average yearly RH data from the weather bureau as to where the guitar will live....eg Queensland, WA desert or wherever. The last guitar that ran into problems, its owner in Queensland stored it in its case in a shipping container in the hot sun for several months whilst building a house. Of course it deconstructed itself and was destroyed!!! GRRR! After all that work, a fine hand made Dred, hide glued using Rosewood B&S, Sitka top. It was a fine sounding guitar-once!
- Ross
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Fisherman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by Fisherman » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:46 am

Thanks guys, I'm going to try to control the whole space. As I understand it an air cond unit will be needed and maybe a dehumidifier too. Do U think all walls and the ceiling will need additional insulation? If so what product is best for this?

blackalex1952
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by blackalex1952 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 11:21 am

I'll make these comments from what I know about RH. The most common dehumidifiers work like a refrigerator and use a similar amount of power, at the same time they are also heaters. So add the refrigerator power consumption to the heater power consumption and you have the total power consumption of any particular machine. This equals an addition to your power bill! The air at ambient room temperature is passed over a refrigeration element so that the air reaches dew point when cooled and the dew condenses and runs out of the dehumidifier or into a container in the machine which needs to be regularly emptied. The lower moisture content air is then re heated to room temperature, so that as the temperature is raised, the Relative Humidity is thereby lowered...because it is relative to air temperature. The higher the temperature the more water the air can contain before reaching dew point, which is the point where the air will hold no more water, and condensation will occur.
The above, relative to a room or a workshop, in this case, means that the dehumidifier has to be matched to the job, ie the size of the room, given the volume of air the room contains. The reason I modified my Delonghi, which I got from eBay for a budget price, was because the machine would not go lower than its own setting of 50% RH, so the controller I connected to it made the machine run for longer in my small underbench humidity controlled space and therefore, I could set the RH as low as 35% if I wanted to.
A stable room temperature is a good idea, ie good insulation and draught free. My workshop won't cope with the draught proofing required..it would be a lot of work. It's not even snake proof! So in the summer I have my ears open that's for sure..there are a few browns about the place!
Bear in mind that the ambient temperature outside the workshop is obviously lower at night and RH varies seasonally. So you are on the right track with contemplating insulation and draught proofing. Relative to your buildings structure? How is it constructed? Is the stabilisation of the building going to be costly? What is your budget? As for the best materials, well there's more than one way to skin a cat and it basically depends on the practicality of what you have already.
From your photos, is there a door at the top of the spiral staircase? A draught excluder at the bottom of the existing door would be a good idea. So would double glazing on the window(s) if not already done. Keep the air stable and draught proof. I you still have problems, insulate between the rafters, either by plaster and batts or using the underfloor insulation which holds itself in place..I would go the plaster and batt method myself to eliminate an overhead dust trap...workshops get dusty! Cheers!-Ross
"Everything I say on the topic is based solely upon inexperience and assumption!"

Fisherman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by Fisherman » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:44 pm

Thanks Ross for the great explanation of how dehumidifiers work. I was thinking an air conditioner as well just to keep the room cool when working.

I'm planning to wall off the staircase shortly with a sliding door at the bottom and a wall alongside it. That should stop the dust going up into the rest of the house and draughts from that source. There's only single glazing on the windows at the moment and the timber roof is the floor for the study above. There may be a few draughts to stop, but it sounds like lining all walls with insulation may not be required. I was on the fence about insulating and putting plaster on the roof as I thought the beams may be useful for hanging things... But would prefer to have a more efficient setup.

Fisherman
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by Fisherman » Sun Oct 11, 2020 4:30 pm

Getting there. Stud wall with a sliding door to stop the draughts and dust + noise reducing insulation between rafters. Now to choose a colour for the workshop... Have also purchased a portable dehumidifier. Posting now before plugging in the dehumid just in case it doesn't work as planned! On track for humidity control so far...

Before
IMG_20200907_171619.jpg
After
IMG_20201011_151726.jpg
IMG_20201011_151835~2.jpg
IMG_20201011_151811~2.jpg

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lamanoditrento
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Re: Brisbane humidity

Post by lamanoditrento » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:58 pm

Looking good Peter
Trent

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