The Shed In Cold Weather

The shed is where it all happens – at least the good parts. The parts where you actually build things instead of just consume them. If course it could also be argued that the office or draughting room is also where the intellectual part is, but that is splitting hairs. A good organisation has the office and draughting room attached to the workshop and people run in and out all day.

For me, the detached shed is a mixed blessing – I live in Western Australia and experience a pretty wide variation in temperature throughout the year…though to be sure it is on the upper part of the thermometer. This isn’t northern Canada or Russia. The range of temps in the place have gone from 4º to 52º – neither number makes for comfortable work.

Nor does it make for successful modelling, leatherwork, or household maintenance tasks. Scale model airbrush painting is a surprisingly sensitive business and can be affected by temperature, humidity, and air currents. I avoid it in very cold, hot, or windy conditions – which means there is sometimes a backlog of work needing to be done as i wait for reasonable conditions. Very frustrating, it must be, if one were a serial modeller -fortunately I am now a parallel worker and can switch to the next task on another model while I wait.

Big jobs in household maintenance also flag in bad conditions – However, they can sometimes be harnessed to serve. An example is our front door – it is a panelled thing with wood that sees raw sunlight at some part of the day. As a result, one panel has dried, flaked, and started to split. I am planning to wait until the summer and to pick a day that will have a hight temperature.

I’ll gird my old loins, demount the door, and take it into the shed. The outside surface will get the finish stripped off with a power sander and wire disks and then a stain and varnish finish – as well as some mechanical filling for the cracks. But I do not want the door off longer than one day, so it needs to be a day that will give very fast drying for the finishes. If need be, I’ll strip one day, remount to door overnight, and then start to finish early next day. I anticipate sweat and bad language, but it is far better than the price of a new door.

As for the modelling – I have adopted the practice of retreating into my air-conditioned computer and photography room when the temp climbs or dips too much. I’ve got a secondary work position in here that is useful for anything but spray painting or welding.


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