Shop & Tool Growing Pains #10: Shed some light on the plan

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Blog entry by pendledad posted 12-19-2012 02:48 PM 1657 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Electrical progress & quality time Part 10 of Shop & Tool Growing Pains series Part 11: G1023RL Table Saw, Preparation & Arrival »

Shop Progress
So I successfully wired up my first circuit ever. It was so much easier than I thought, I can’t believe I’ve been so afraid of electrical work before. Anyways, I have 3 lights wired to a switch, and even down to 30 degree weather, they flick on instantly. If it gets really cold, the lights will still turn on, but it will take a minute or two for them to warm up and get super bright. I bought 0 degree fixtures because I knew it would get cold during the winter. With the lights in place, I can now actually see in the shop. I am going to put up 3 more lights over the other half of the garage to get the entire garage lit evenly. But I decided that I would instead focus on getting the wall outlets wired before doing any more lights. I put these first lights where my big power tools are going to be used.

I’ve been practicing with different wiring methods to see what works the best. I found that regardless of what I do, I have 4 ground wires that need to be connected in each box. I put a loop in the infeed ground wire and have it go around the box ground screw. I leave enough after the loop so I can attach the outfeed ground and the two grounds from the receptacles using a red wire nut rated for 4 #12s.

The pigtail method for the hot and neutral seem to be the easiest option for me. I have one pigtail from one receptacle that I wire nut to the infeed/outfeed matching wires. Then a small jumper to connect the other receptacle. It seems to be the least amount of wire I can stuff in the box, so the install is quicker and cleaner.

Here are some pictures of the lights on, and the outlet boxes going up. The pictures don’t show the lighting very well.

And just a recap on my final plan:
110v—10 double gang boxes, 2 boxes per circuit, five 20amp circuits, 12awg wire.
110v—2 wall light switch, 3 lights (currently), single 15amp circuit, 14awg wire.
220v—2 single outlet boxes, single 20amp 220v circuit, 12awg wire.

I actually don’t know where I am going to put my 220 boxes yet. I might buy my equipment first to see what layouts will work the best. Or I can just put them in a couple general areas and just make small extension cords if needed.

Edit 12/26/2012
I finished my 110v wall outlet wiring. 10 wall boxes, each set of 2 on their own circuit so I always have a most 4’ between a new 20amp breaker. Here are the final pictures of the wiring in place:

Panel with my wiring at the bottom. I’m trying to keep things organized. Left side of panel controls things on that side of the garage. I’m also working from the bottom up so I can organize if I add any non-shop outlets I can keep those near the top instead.

Note the baby monitor as most of my shop time comes from my wife taking my 3yr old son out shopping and I babysit my 1yr old daughter during nap.

This is going to be the power hungry corner. It would have been much easier to just connect all four of these boxes to the same circuit. But I figured this is where I am going to be using my wood working bench and possibly have multiple tools running at once. I don’t want to trip a breaker, and with two different 20amp circuits I shouldn’t run into this problem.

A bad picture, but here you can see the last two outlets on the left of the window. That will be my garage bench area to hold all the non woodworking tools. My drill press will be located between the window and the right outlet box.

This is the result of using armored MC cable. It kinda gets a little “spider webby”. But, I saved myself a ton of money by doing this myself, and I get the satisfaction knowing exactly how all of these are wired.

I still need to run my 220 lines, but I’m holding off until my saws get delivered and setup.

Tool Progress
My next blog post will be with my tool purchase. I have it narrowed to a few options:

G1023RL + G0452P + G0555LX (with riser)
G1023RL + G0513X2
G1023RL + G0452P + DW735 Dewalt Planer

The similarities between the G1023RL and the G0690 are so close that I’ve decided on the G1023RL because it is $100 less in price and $50 less in freight. That $150 can go into another tool. Also the dust collection port on the back of the 1023 is better for me because I can put storage on the right side of the cabinet if I need too.

These options are all roughly the same cost. The heavy duty BS and TS are attractive because they are big beefy machines that I would not be disappointed with and leave me wanting more power. I fear the problem I’ll have is no matter what package I decide on, I’ll end up not having the one tool I need for a project.

I’ve always used S4S in my projects, so I’ve never used a jointer or planer. I know first hand the importance of a solid TS, and I’ve experienced the sheer fun of a BS. But I know I’ll be limited in my projects with only those two tools….

2 comments so far

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5906 posts in 4691 days

#1 posted 12-19-2012 03:42 PM

Just curious. No conduit protecting the wire? I am no expert, but I do not believe that is up to code…

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190 posts in 3548 days

#2 posted 12-19-2012 03:50 PM

This is an alternative to conduit. It is called MC armored cable. It is basically very small flexible metal conduit with the wires already inside of it. This ended up being a cheaper option for me and less time consuming. Rather than buying individual wire and conduit, I can just run this armored cable where I need it.

I got 250’ of 12/2 armored cable for under $150.

250’ of ground, netural, and hot THHN wire at home depot would have been ~$100. Then I would need to use EMT conduit at a cost of $.38/ft. So another ~$80. Then a conduit bender, ~$30. So I would have been well over $200 and be spending a lot more time in the garage.

The downside is I need a new run for every circuit out of the panel. I can’t combine wires inside a large conduit like you can with EMT or PVC.

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