Flood coolant and winter months

I live in Nebraska and it gets pretty cold here. In the past i have had issues with my spray coolant system on my manual Bridgeport mill. This year I will be trying one of those electrical heat tape things that activate when temps drop below a certain point. Typically, these wrap around a pipe then get a layer of foam over them- but in this case wrap it around the “jug”.

For the MR-1 it appears the flood coolant is a large plastic tote. . .does anyone have suggestions? A plug in oil pan heater for like an automobile?

if it is a plastic container…a battery heater pad placed under or on the side of the jug might do the trick

and welcome to the forum!!!

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im in rhode island. garage not attached to house. plenty of heat in the garage but dont want to heat it just for that. im looking in to this also. let me know wat you come up with.

I have seen people use heating pads for RV tanks that attach ti tank with adhesive backing and keeps them like 40-60 degrees which is plenty yo keep from freezing.

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What about coolant in the lines? That’s what would freeze first. Just throwing it out there.

Fortunately my shop is insulated and I heat it to no less than 55F during the winter.

On the coolant thing. I worked in a old school machine shop we made what we called hog wash for coolant. Water, diesel fuel, hydraulic oil, and some sort of wash powder to make them blend. I never seen that stuff freeze. Our shop is always near or below freezing in the mornings during the winter.

You have to put some sort of additive or coolant in the water. Some brands may have something in them to resist freezing

Assuming that the feed lines all empty they make titanium encased aquarium heaters.

I also can’t speak to the effect of a specific coolant on the plastics on the cord and cap in the piece above

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Wow. Great ideas and a lot of replies. Can’t say I expected so much late on a Sunday night.

So I did a little bit of looking into these great ideas and I can tell I will be needing to roll up my sleeves for a lot more digging.

Everything I can find on the flood coolant system for the MR-1 says it is a submersible pump- if so the lines should all drain back to the tank whenever it is not running. My machine is supposed to ship around Nov 7th so I should know more accurately shortly.

A battery heater or auto oil pan heater on the plus side have a 110 plug. But the warnings I am reading for the few on amazon say they try to maintain 200 degrees and the thermostat is not programable- this just seems a bit excessively high. Ideally, I would like to leave my system installed and on year-round and the system would just handle things. A work around in my mind would just be a programable or old school manual set thermostat to the outlet.

An RV tank heater on the plus side is made for plastic tanks and Amazon sells 3 packs of 12" x 18" pads for under $81. The ones I’ve looked at so far turn on when temps go below 48 and off at 68. This temperature range seems much more reasonable. The downside is these are 13.5 volts. . . so I will need to come up with a reliable power supply or keep looking until i find a 110 version.

Heating the shop. Well even if I had the whole place insulated (still a few years out), I can see this being a huge drain on my finances in the long term- 10x more so given the current world geo-political situation. The shop is ~5000sq ft (rural area - pole barn type structure). The MR-1 will be in a ~400sq room I am framing out currently. Due to the overhead gantry in this area, I cannot really isolate it much smaller than that. During assembly of the MR-1 at least thru the concrete and epoxy phases I intend to tarp off a smaller area and have an oil bath radiator in the area but i do not want that to be the norm either.

Thank you again for the warm welcome and great input!


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You can use these power supplies for the RV blankets. These are cheap and reliable as use them innsome apllications running 24/7 with hardly any failures. Really the only one that failed was one i had added some extra draw to it and overheated it but even then took months at running above specs on current draw

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you could also use a aquarium heater. cheap and keeps exact temp.

I wanted someone to suggest a sous vide haha.

The aquarium heater looks like it would be a perfect solution. 50watt heaters with a 66°F thermostat for $20 off amazon…

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I have the same situation here in New York, great ideas! Carter, I used to use this back in the day for a makeshift sous vide, it is cheap and can be programmed for any temperature. I am hoping for an additive that will act as antifreeze (I know I will forget to open the valve to break the airlock and will eventually have to replace the line and valve).https://www.amazon.com/UMLIFE-110V-220V-All-Purpose-Temperature-Controller/dp/B09ZY98N1P/?encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_w=ncokx&content-id=amzn1.sym.8cf3b8ef-6a74-45dc-9f0d-6409eb523603&pf_rd_p=8cf3b8ef-6a74-45dc-9f0d-6409eb523603&pf_rd_r=KM47W1GBXFV01QGDNVCM&pd_rd_wg=d1DBl&pd_rd_r=302c9665-ad02-4489-9b55-2e1febfb3f97&ref=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mi&th=1

Wow. The great ideas keep rolling in.

I think for a first try the aquarium heater sounds like the go-to solution. Depending how things go I may very well transplant the fluid coolant guts into a decent cooler along the line too.

I am getting pretty excited. Should be about a week or so out for shipping.

here is something to consider…
adding some insulation around the pan…I would suggest some ridged fiberglass…
putting all the heat into water with a metal pan…just a waste of heat really