Setting up new shop #6: The tragic tale of why woodworking and alcohol don't mix.

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by WoodenSoldier posted 12-11-2011 10:58 AM 2347 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: New House, new shop Part 6 of Setting up new shop series no next part

It’s worse than you might think…
Not really. I do usually like to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer while I work in the shop. Never more than one. This evening I was working on a table I’m making and I was sanding the aprons with the ROS. I had a glass of wine in a tumbler nearby that I was sipping from.
I don’t know about you, but when I’m sanding for hours, I have my headphones on and I tend to zone out. I didn’t notice my glass of wine was slowly vibrating off the piece of wood I was sanding until I heard it fall over… and spill straight down into my new cabinet saw. Arrrghhh!
So I cleaned up as best I good and wiped it down but it went down into it so I’m sure there is some left inside it somewhere. Wine is very acidic but hopefully it won’t cause any problems.

On the subject of my new table saw, I bought a Grizzly 690 a few weeks ago. I was really excited about it of course and I rushed home early the day that UPS Freight delivered it.
I assembled it right away of course and didn’t find any issues other than one missing knob for keeping the motor cabinet closed.
As soon as I had it all assembled, I tried to plug it into the 220V plug where the dryer used to be plugged into. Nothing happened. Hmm.
I bought this house in August and it came with a gas operated dryer that only uses 120V so the 220V plug next to it had been abandoned at some point. I assumed that it worked but I guess not. I checked the subpanel and realized that they must have disconnected it and used it for something else.
My house is currently running only 100amps which is far too little for all my tools. I got a few quotes on upgrading to 200amp service but they’re all much higher than I want to pay. Plus, I had to beg my wife for the saw in the first place, but she’ll kill me if I have to tell her that I need to spend another $2500 just to get it working. So I’ve decided I’m going to do some of the work myself, then hire an electrician to do the last part of it that I’m not comfortable with (changing out the service lines).
Today I started by tearing out the old peg board where I plan to put the new 200 amp panel. Then I went to home depot and picked up a new 200amp panel, 200 amp meter plug, weatherhead, and 2” conduit.
I wish I could do the whole job myself because I really don’t want to pay and arm and a leg to do it. Does anybody else have any advice or tips for doing a 200 amp upgrade? Especially in California where you have to deal with PG&E?



-- Create something everyday.

6 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3640 days

#1 posted 12-11-2011 01:19 PM

Yes I feel for you a little here. I killed my digital calipers a couple of weeks ago by knocking an open bottle of White Spirit (Mineralised Spirit) over them. They were ten years old. Strangely their replacement looks just the same (Chinese I assume).

Seriously I’d keep the alcohol and shop separate if I were you. Beer is responsible for one of the many small scars on my right index finger.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View ellen35's profile


2746 posts in 4036 days

#2 posted 12-11-2011 01:55 PM

Whether it is alcohol or blood… same thing… keep it off the wood and the tools ;-)

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View ajosephg's profile


1881 posts in 4165 days

#3 posted 12-11-2011 02:32 PM

Ellen is spot on.

My rule is: No liquids of any kind on my tools, be it a table saw, router table, drill press, etc..

-- Joe

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3573 days

#4 posted 12-11-2011 02:46 PM

Could’ve been worse. What if you knocked over a glass of 20 year old single malt. That would have been a tragedy.

View EEngineer's profile


1120 posts in 4217 days

#5 posted 12-11-2011 03:30 PM

I really question whether you need 200 A service for a one man shop. 100A service at 220 is 20 kW. Maybe 1kW for lighting if you like a well-lit shop (I do), that still leaves a lot of reserve for tools. One man shops are a different animal – you won’t be running every single tool at once. I took advantage of this to run one entire wall of tools off of one 20A circuit.

Check your local code, too. Mine required that the sub-panel for the garage (detached) be located by the side entrance door of the garage. I think the reasoning was to allow access to the subpanel breakers even if the main garage door was disabled.

As long as you have that wall open (it looks like an outside wall) I would insulate that section before closing it back up.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3668 days

#6 posted 12-11-2011 03:58 PM

I feel for you. I don’t have any tips for you. I know things are alot more expensice I california than where I live. When I needed to upgrade my panel. Because I needed more 220 spots. I decided to upgrade to a 200 amp box. I went and bought the box which was set up for 40 breakers. I found out that all I needed to is get the new box. The wire to the house here runs under ground and that the meter was a 200 amp meter. The person that built the house was pretty cheap with somethings. The electritian that did it for me anly charged me $400.00 to do it. I didn’t kmow that htere was that much of a difference between here and california. I know realestate there is but not that.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

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