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winter battery tool storage


Batteries have no love for cold temperatures and my Montana workshop gets plenty of those.

My response has been to haul all my battery-operated tools along with their battery packs into my basement during winter months. That puts them where I don’t use them and adds a whole lot of inconvenience to their use.

This year I decided to change that. I came up with an extra thermostatically-controlled seedling heating mat from my greenhouse and built an insulated compartment in my workshop shelving unit to contain the batteries, the warmer and a beer fridge.

The mats are designed to keep pots of seeding mix at desired germination temperatures, but ought to work fine for keeping the battery compartment around 35-45 degrees while the shop can get quite chilly between my occupancies thereof.

A large accumulation of insulation scraps formed the foundational framework insulating top, back and sides of an existing shelving section.

Refrigeration units transfer heat from the insides of their insulated cabinets to the outside of them. That could help keep my batteries warm if the fridge thermostat kicked in at all. In the cold of Montana winters, odds are that the seedling heating mat will keep my batteries from being damaged by cold and my beers from being colder than I like. The fridge is unlikely to run at all.

Note that I keep my neighbor supplied with Coors while my preferred workday repast is Negra Modelo. Just the other day, I resupplied us both – which makes for a photogenic fridge. He’s worth it, as his social visits often include donations of tractor work, team-work and manual labor.

The shape and design of my battery ‘drawers’ was decided by a $2 thrift-store find of a long wire basket which, hacked up into pieces, perfectly lent itself to the pending project.

The cabinet door was an extra insulated reflective panel from my greenhouse that had to be trimmed and fitted in as an insulated cabinet door.

I am pleased with the completed project and expect a good, long service life out of it.