Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + #4: Power! for Woodworking Tools in Garage

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by CaptainKlutz posted 12-09-2019 09:11 AM 925 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Adding Wood Storage to Garage! Part 4 of Converting a Garage into a Wood Shop + series Part 5: Still trying to clear space in shop for room to work »

Was able to partially remove one task from shop to do list this past week: Power Upgrade!

This blog covers the details.

Currently garage has ONE 120v outlet. It is GFCI outlet that shared by both bathrooms, and (2) outside outlets for things like Christmas lights. Have already popped the breaker when I attempted to use circular saw, while wife had curling iron on inside. Lack of power stinks, and must be fixed.

My list of shop tools needing 240v power includes: 3HP Unisaw, 3HP planer, 2HP bandsaw, and a 30a mig welder. Also desire dedicated 120v circuits for 1.5HP air compressor and 1.5HP dust collector, plus 2 circuits for running 1.5HP jointer, hand power tools, and/or charging batteries at same time.

Now some bad news. After this grumpy Klutz had a long protracted discussion with the god of shop power. Learned attic access to the area above the power panel requires a skinny midget who can pull wire. Not knowing any strong skinny midgets, being a 6’ tall 250lb old man, this forces me to install needed power in one 20’ long wall adjacent to the breaker panel where I can access.
Solution is not optimal, but will have to do, until I find a someone willing to climb through 2-3ft high attic space to pull wires to other side walls.

First task is game of musical chairs with all equipment in garage. Had to make room to access outside wall at the back to breaker panel. Look past the jointer for where I will be running wires. :-)

It’s not as crammed as it looks, there is 6 wide isle behind that pile of stuff in front.

Completed all the inside wiring work in one afternoon. Had to whack a couple access holes in drywall after boring bit got hung up. Depressing, but easy to fix.

Was forced to wait a couple days for time with empty house, where I could shut down main breaker and not offend the family; but I managed to get everything operational eventually. After I patched the access holes, it looks a little better, even if it needs paint. Made a temporary plywood cover for the main access hole, praying a midget electrician or well trained monkey appears into my life.
It’s on my Christmas list! :-)

After several weeks of planning, buying parts, and maybe 6 hours of actual work; have (4) 120V circuits with 5 duplex GFCI receptacles, (1) 240V 20A duplex receptacle, (1) 240v 30A twist lock installed, using 6 shiny new breakers. Have enough power to work wood and run the welder, with minimal switching of power cords.

Since I used to TS and dust collector to size the plywood panel.
Yeah me, I worked wood today!
And it was only 6 weeks after moving into a new home! :-)

FWIW: Here is the current task list for ‘shop setup’:

- Hang shop several 4’ LED shop lights

Have several task(s) required to clear more floor space:

- Unpack stack of boxes with all shop liquids into my metal storage cabinet. Had to wait for this. Lost several shelf brackets in move, and the mfg, Edsal mfg, was kind enough to send me replacements free via UPS. :-)

- Sell a solid core door work bench I made in 1987 (standing on end in 1st pic). Also likely get rid of a butcher block top rolling storage assembly bench I made (not shown), that is too low and small to use TS out feed table.

- Buy/build a better solution for usable ‘scrap’ wood storage.
Half dozen 5 gal buckets and totes take up too much floor space. Need to go vertical in a smaller foot print:

- Refurbish a 1954 Unisaw with RI bullet motor (65 years old!), and sell it.

- Decide if going to part out, sell, or refurb and sell a 70’s built 3HP 3PH Unisaw I picked up cheap for spare parts on the other saw.

Why more floor space?
Have a Delta 47-140 11×36 lathe sitting out on back porch that I want to move into shop.

Thanks for reading.
Have a Great Day!

-- If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all, Doom, despair, agony on me… - Albert King - Born Under a Bad Sign released 1967

2 comments so far

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

7167 posts in 4360 days

#1 posted 12-09-2019 03:08 PM

Capt. Klutz,

Things look like they are shaping up nicely around the new casa…..It will eventually all come together to form the basis for a new shop…From everything you’ve done, and everything you’re gonna do, you’ll be up and running in no time at all….!! Just keep on trucking, and you’ll get there…...!! Remember…..patience is a virtue….so they tell me…!!

-- " There's a better way.....find it"...... Thomas Edison.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4500 days

#2 posted 12-15-2019 01:14 PM

Good progress.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics