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220V question: sharing an outlet

by Elizabeth
posted 04-02-2013 05:52 PM


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61 replies

61 replies so far

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Grandpa

3264 posts in 3758 days


#1 posted 04-02-2013 05:59 PM

I see no reason you couldn’t share. The cheapest thing would be to jumper a wire of the correct guage from the plug you currently have into a remodeler’s box. These are easy to attach to the sheet rock. You would have to remember that the sheetrock is all that supports the box and it WILL break if you pull too hard on the plug. you could attach the box to a joist with nails and it would be sturdier. If you buy components and make a wye you have to buy more parts. This could be done though. You can only run one saw at a time and it should be protected by a breaker of the correct size. what is the new saw??

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Elizabeth

823 posts in 4227 days


#2 posted 04-02-2013 06:01 PM

A Rikon 18”, at a great price in the current Woodcraft sale :D

ETA I’d probably be more comfortable building a wye (if it is what I think it is; any clarification?) than cutting holes in the sheetrock. I did build a 220v extension cord for my table saw, as the cord wasn’t long enough to reach the ceiling, and rewired my 14” bandsaw for 220 (because it was the only way to get it to ANY plug without draping an extension cord halfway across the shop) so I have a little experience wiring plugs, but no experience cutting sheetrock or installing boxes. Also the ceiling is less accessible now than it was a year ago, because the dust collection ducting is running near to that area and there’s a big table saw in the way of where I’d need to place the ladder.

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LeChuck

424 posts in 4145 days


#3 posted 04-02-2013 06:16 PM

I am not an electrician, but in my workshop I went from a single 220V outlet to 3 of them on a single 40A line. That is because I am absolutely sure that there will never be more than one machine (table saw or bandsaw)+dust collector on at the same time and the circuit is sufficient for that.

That said, if I were you I would rather not use a plug adapter or doubler, but simply branch out (with proper size wires) and add an extra surface outlet on the wall for a more permanent connection. I posted on this before when I was doing my connections and I think there are some photos too.

-- David - Tucson, AZ

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Fred Hargis

6986 posts in 3576 days


#4 posted 04-02-2013 06:18 PM

I’m not an electrician so you may want to skip this reply. But I have 2 240V tools running off the same outlet. I used a shop built extension cord that goes first to the jointer, and then extends on to an RAS. I just used handy boxes and 240V outlets to make the extension (it’s #12 wire).

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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Swyftfeet

170 posts in 3254 days


#5 posted 04-02-2013 07:29 PM

I’ve never understood all the angst surrounding 220v machinery and wiring, all of Europe and GB runs everything on 220V. If you do not overdraw current on the breaker and use properly gauged wire, you’ll be fine.

I guess the fear might be related to the fact that households in the US only use 220 for specialty(dryer, stove, welder, compressor, hot tub ect) devices and generally have a single breaker per outlet that is designed to pop when that particular machine overdraws.

-- Brian

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Elizabeth

823 posts in 4227 days


#6 posted 04-02-2013 07:34 PM

Brian, my angst is equal opportunity. I have mechanical engineering experience but no electrical beyond one term of circuit theory. 110v makes me nervous too!

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Swyftfeet

170 posts in 3254 days


#7 posted 04-02-2013 07:55 PM

I certainly wasn’t trying to single you out. It’s just kinda entertaining(darkly) to me that in general folks will run 90 billion xmass lights, a cubical heater, and a computer, and a thousand other things on household extension wire off a single outlet, but when you talk 220 they wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole.

Probably good now that I think about it…

-- Brian

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DIYaholic

19921 posts in 3758 days


#8 posted 04-02-2013 07:58 PM

Thanks for asking this question. I’m in the same boat….

I have 2-single 220V receptacles, but too far from my machines. I was looking at an extension cord arrangement, but will now consider extending the circuits with multiple outlets.

Gotta love the sharing of knowledge and exchange of ideas that transpires, here on LJs!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3219 posts in 3274 days


#9 posted 04-02-2013 08:07 PM

You can do with 220 volt circuits the same you would do with 120 volt circuits, provided you ensure to use proper materials – those components or materials that meet the safety standards for use on 220 volts.
Since almost everything used in 120 volt circuits is actually rated for 600 volts as a safety factor, you should have no problem with the voltage issues. Current is the second issue, just make sure the plugs or sockets, and / or wires you use are rated at – or higher than – the circuit breaker on this feed. The one thing you must ensure is that the wire or plug / socket does not have a lower amperage rating than the breaker or the machine it’s used for, or there exists the possibility of creating heat and possible fire. The S/N nameplates on the machines are code required to show maximum amperage draw under load.
If I were doing this, I’d go to big box, get a metal box, a 220 V plug, two 220 sockets, some wire to match the breaker and machine serial number plates, make a short extension cord to go from the wall socket to the two machines – with both plugged into the new junction box with the two new sockets.
Hope this helps.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

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Carl Webster

82 posts in 3881 days


#10 posted 04-02-2013 08:14 PM

Adding an additional 220/240 volt receptacle in parallel to an existing 220/240 Volt receptacle is no different in principle to doing the same with a 120 volt receptacle. As long as the wiring is the same size and protected by the proper circuit breaker, you will be fine.

-- Carl in SC

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Swyftfeet

170 posts in 3254 days


#11 posted 04-02-2013 08:18 PM

I should specify advice in this thread will work but may not follow local building code. If you do this and in the future decide to sell the house, be prepared to undo it.

-- Brian

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Swyftfeet

170 posts in 3254 days


#12 posted 04-02-2013 08:30 PM

And if a fire breaks out and they find it due to electrical you’ll likely be footing the bill if it’s not wired to code.

I simple interlock that branches the legs of the circuit so only one of them is getting juice would likely cover the code issue, but you should call the electrical inspector to CYA.

-- Brian

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JamesT

104 posts in 2995 days


#13 posted 04-02-2013 08:32 PM

Oldtool has a good suggestion. As he points out it’s the size of the wire that’s important. Many people don’t understand that the main purpose of a circuit breaker is to protect the wiring from overheating and catching on fire. Not to protect the equipment plugged into the circuit.

-- Jim from Horseshoe Bend

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crank49

4032 posts in 4054 days


#14 posted 04-02-2013 08:36 PM

According to the NEC (National Electric Code) two or more motors are permitted on a single branch circuit if each motor has its own overload protection.

Of course you can provide an outlet near the saws at operating height that is on a cord plugged into the ceiling outlet. Then, to be correct by the code you would only plug in one saw at the time.

Multi-motor connections on shared circuits are generally permitted only if the motors are under 1hp.

I haven’t dug through the whole code on this and there may be exceptions, but I generally just put a fused disconnect on each machine and then they can both be wired together.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 4052 days


#15 posted 04-02-2013 08:43 PM

Not really qualified to answer this question being in Europe, but couldn’t you replace your outlet with a double receptacle? You’ll find them on Amazon.

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Swyftfeet

170 posts in 3254 days


#16 posted 04-02-2013 09:08 PM

In the US they have some pretty tight restrictions on what you can do when it comes to 220V circuits. I probably shouldn’t have been so cavalier in my comments.

-- Brian

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Elizabeth

823 posts in 4227 days


#17 posted 04-02-2013 10:07 PM

Thanks guys. I’ve sent an email to my electrician who helped me with the previous work asking his thoughts. I will probably end up making another 220v extension cord at a convenient length and swap it between the two bandsaws along with the dust collection.

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Elizabeth

823 posts in 4227 days


#18 posted 04-02-2013 10:49 PM

Wow, already heard back from the electricial. He remembers my shop and gave me a quote for adding a new outlet, and I was right, I can’t really afford it right now, so I’m going to make another extension cord and use it to plug each saw in one at a time. Maybe I’ll mount it to the side of one of the saws so it’s easy to reach.

View toolie's profile

toolie

2203 posts in 3712 days


#19 posted 04-03-2013 01:41 AM

maybe i’m overlooking something. why not just swap out the single 220v receptacle for a duplex?

http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-5822-W-Receptacle-Commercial-Grounding/dp/B000U3I1S0

plug both saws into the same receptacle and leave them there. i don’t think that outlet is much more than $10-12 @ either HD or lowes. de-energize the circuit (trip the breaker), remove the single receptacle outlet, replace it with the duplex outlet (ground to the green grounding screw and one hot lead to each current carrying screw terminal), re-energize the circuit, plug in both saws and make sawdust (one saw at a time).

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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jimmyb

186 posts in 2975 days


#20 posted 04-03-2013 02:05 AM

If your 220v receptacles are 3 wire (2 hots and a neutral) then you can tap off one hot and the neutral to make a 110 volt receptacle. Just be aware that you are now “unbalancing” your load phase. If you are running some 220v machines while running the 110v, you will have more load on one phase and less on the other. This could then blow a breaker. (retired IBEW electrician)

-- Jim, Tinley Park, IL

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Marty5965

161 posts in 3028 days


#21 posted 04-03-2013 03:35 AM

I’m with Toolie, perfectly legal, perfectly safe, save your $’s. It would be better than an extension cord and take all of 15 minutes (providing you can reach the receptacle, of course),

-- Marty, Wilmington, OH, learning every day....

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woodbutcherbynight

9202 posts in 3492 days


#22 posted 04-03-2013 02:59 PM

Run a surface mounted box with some conduit from one of the boxes in the ceiling. Simple repair with a trip to any BORG. Turn power OFF, check it with a meter to be certain then assemble the parts. Make sure the wire is same size as what is in outlet. In the states 220 volts is not really 220 volts in residental (Generally speaking), it is two 110 lines. The amperage of the circuit breaker for stoves and driers and such is usually 50-60 amps. The AMPS is what makes this circuit lethal, not so much the voltage although they have a symbolic relationship = if touched at the least they sting, or they kick you like a mule, or in worst case they kill. I work on the electricians truck at work so when I have a question I ask. He gave me one of those books they have at the BORG and that has helped alot, might want to pick on up. Sure the internet is nice, like I want to run back and forth from the computer to the shop.. (laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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crank49

4032 posts in 4054 days


#23 posted 04-04-2013 12:41 PM

The NEC (National Electrical Code) says you can NOT connect two motors on the same circuit if they are greater than 1 hp unless they each have overload protection.

Anybody who says you can is inviting you to break the law.

They do not make duplex outlets for 220 volt connections because they would be illegal.

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Fred Hargis

6986 posts in 3576 days


#24 posted 04-04-2013 01:29 PM

Crank, I had never seen 240V duplex outlets until the link above provided one. Not arguing with you, just saying…..

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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toolie

2203 posts in 3712 days


#25 posted 04-04-2013 02:24 PM

They do not make duplex outlets for 220 volt connections because they would be illegal.

http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-5822-W-Receptacle-Commercial-Grounding/dp/B000U3I1S0

really?

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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crank49

4032 posts in 4054 days


#26 posted 04-04-2013 02:24 PM

That link is a 120 volt duplex outlet rated for 20 amps. Do a search for “120 volt 20 amp duplex” and you will find the same outlet from many other sources. The 250 volt is the safety rating. Look at any 120 volt duplex outlet and it will have the same, or higher, safety rating on it, but that doesn’t mean its for 240 volt service. Most 240 volt equipment will have a 500 or 600 volt safety rating.

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Fred Hargis

6986 posts in 3576 days


#27 posted 04-04-2013 02:42 PM

What about this one? Look closely at the stab arrangement in the first link (the 20 amp), it’s a 240V outlet.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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toolie

2203 posts in 3712 days


#28 posted 04-04-2013 07:17 PM

That link is a 120 volt duplex outlet rated for 20 amps.

crank49........sorry, but you are incorrect. the receptacle i linked is a 240v receptacle rated for 20A. look carefully at the blade arrangement on the linked receptacle. it is a mirror image of the 20A 120v receptacle you discussed, which i believe is a nema 5-20p. the receptacle i linked is made to accept BOTH nema 6-15p and 6-20p plugs, both of which are 240v plugs as shown in this chart:

http://electricalsafety.lbl.gov/assets/docs/NEMAPlugReceptacleConfigurations.pdf

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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crank49

4032 posts in 4054 days


#29 posted 04-04-2013 07:22 PM

OK, so they do make 240 volt duplex outlets. .

Still does not change the NEC code requirement that multiple motors, over 1 hp must have separate overload protection.

Look, I know you can hook up as many motors on a 240 volt circuit as you want to. Yes! They will run; as long as the amp capacity of the circuit is not overloaded. That has nothing to do with whether it is legal or not.

Outlets can be used for things other than powering motors.

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DrDirt

4615 posts in 4825 days


#30 posted 04-04-2013 08:01 PM

If it were me I would either get another box run.. or just swap plugs when using the machines.
Just depends how you use it. You may find yourself just doing all the bandsawing on the new Rikon anyway.

I have no idea about the NEC code. But I do look at it as though if it is a code violation, and you have some issue, you aren’t going to jail (I think) but your insurance company could deny a claim.

At this stage, I would plan on only plugging in one at a time, but give the electrician that ran your other outlets a call.

P.S. love the area you are in. My sister has lived in Eugene/Crow for the past 20 years. They just moved into a rental in “springtucky” on Mackenzie View.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

823 posts in 4227 days


#31 posted 04-04-2013 08:13 PM

DrDirt, yeah, I spoke to the electrician and he gave me some options. For now I’m just going to plug/unplug – I’ll probably make another extension cord so the changeover point is at a convenient height – maybe even in a box mounted to the side of one of the bandsaw bases. According to the electrician, it would be a code violation to plug in two motors on the one outlet at the same time, and for that reason he couldn’t legally do it for me, but there are aftermarket items (as some have pointed out) that would serve as a temporary DIY fix until such time as I could afford to have a proper run put in. The items themselves are built to code, but installation of them would not conform to code. But I’m uncomfortable with that from an insurance standpoint.

I imagine I will be having periods of time of only using one saw or the other and don’t anticipate switching back and forth multiple times in a given work session, so I’m sure I’ll get used to the changeover!

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toolie

2203 posts in 3712 days


#32 posted 04-04-2013 10:48 PM

it would be a code violation to plug in two motors on the one outlet at the same time, and for that reason he couldn’t legally do it for me

FTR, i don’t believe your electrician would be violating anything by wiring the outlet, unless the local code has a specific exclusion of all 240v duplex outlets. there are applications where duplex 240 volt outlets are surely usable and legal, or such outlets wouldn’t be produced. not many manufacturers build products that won’t sell. what an owner does with the wired outlet is his concern. there are plenty of house fires every year in homes wired to code but abused by their occupants. however, the final choice is the OP’s.

I’ll probably make another extension cord so the changeover point is at a convenient height

this is what i use on my 10-340 BS ($16 @ HD):

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202353559?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=appliance+extension+cord&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=202353559#.UV4BAaJgSSo(

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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Marty5965

161 posts in 3028 days


#33 posted 04-05-2013 12:14 AM

You could do the run for the new outlet yourself and just have him hook it up at the panel (think legally that’s what should always happen). That would save you some $.

-- Marty, Wilmington, OH, learning every day....

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woodbutcherbynight

9202 posts in 3492 days


#34 posted 04-05-2013 01:59 AM

How expensive would it be to have the electrician run you a 60amp service box to the shop. From that you could have dedicated 220vt 20 amp service to at least 3 machines. (guessing on the code issue). I have a 60 amp service, they had to check the main box and it was possible and this is how I run a Heat pump, compressor and a shop vac all 220 vt. NOT reccomended to turn them all on at one time start up but the nut at the top of the body has some sense to know NOT to do it, even if I can… (laughing) Long term this would be better as it ends the issue of 220 vt power even if more pricey right now. Just a suggestion….....

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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Marty5965

161 posts in 3028 days


#35 posted 04-05-2013 02:12 AM

You can only have one 220v receptacle per breaker though, and you need a double pole breaker so it would depend on how many connections are on your bus bar.

-- Marty, Wilmington, OH, learning every day....

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Fred Hargis

6986 posts in 3576 days


#36 posted 04-05-2013 11:41 AM

“You can only have one 220v receptacle per breaker though, and you need a double pole breaker so it would depend on how many connections are on your bus bar.”

Marty, that’s not true. You can put multiple outlets on a 240V circuit, unless there are some local restrictions outsie of the NEC.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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toolie

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#37 posted 04-05-2013 01:50 PM

+1 re: FH.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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Swyftfeet

170 posts in 3254 days


#38 posted 04-05-2013 02:58 PM

As Crank Stated earlier, you are allowed to have more than one motor connected to a 220V branch, per NEC code 430, each motor must be overload protected and GFI’d and the Branch circuit has some higher rating requirements.

http://static.schneider-electric.us/docs/Motor%20Control/8502DB0701.pdf

In the case of a home shop, It is likely cheaper to have one branch per motor. If you have a 3-way switch that only one plug would be active at a time, I believe you would be compliant as long as everything is rated properly. But you would have to confirm with the electrical inspector.

The issue is not that Elizabeth will only use one at a time so no big deal, its that someone later down the line may think that they can us both at the same time.

-- Brian

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toolie

2203 posts in 3712 days


#39 posted 04-05-2013 11:51 PM

its that someone later down the line may think that they can us both at the same time.

and if that happens, and both tools are energized at the same time, the circuit breaker protecting the conductors in the circuit will trip terminating the power to the duplex outlet. the saws will stop. and, to the best of my knowledge, nothing else will happen. unless i’m missing something?

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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Shawn Masterson

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#40 posted 04-06-2013 12:57 AM

I have all my 220 on three circuits my DC and compressor are on 1, TS on 1, and ROC (rotary phase converter) is on 1. If I add a 220 jointer I will branch it off of the ROC, because I won’t be using them both at once.

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JJohnston

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#41 posted 04-06-2013 01:31 AM

Here’s what I did – I built an extension cord of sorts with a big junction box that would sit right on the floor. It plugs into a single outlet, goes up and over and back down between the table saw and the jointer. I used the thickest wire I could find, but it’s stranded, so it’s flexible. It’s probably for a welder.
I’m also only using one at a time.

Cord from the wall coming in from the right, table saw plug on the left, jointer on the right.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

823 posts in 4227 days


#42 posted 04-06-2013 02:48 AM

Thanks very much for the photos, JJ – those are helpful!

View toolie's profile

toolie

2203 posts in 3712 days


#43 posted 04-06-2013 03:09 AM

I used the thickest wire I could find

one can only hope that it’s at least 10 gauge wire as the circuit it’s probably plugged into looks like a dryer circuit, and those are usually at least 30A. if that wire is 12 gauge, and the breaker protecting the circuit is 30A, that could present a problem. the fact that the gauge of the stranded wire extension cord is not noted does not inspire confidence. and while that box is a good idea for leveraging the utility of what appears to be an unused dryer outlet, the duplex box would be best mounted off the floor to avoid potentially being damaged.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

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Tootles

808 posts in 3585 days


#44 posted 04-06-2013 02:07 PM

If I am only ever using one of the machines at a time, can I plug both machines into the same 220v plug using some sort of adapter?

I’m not in America so I cannot speak about wiring codes and insurance implications, but apart from that, the answer to the question you asked is “Yes, you can”.

When a band saw is not running, it draws no power, so it makes no difference in terms of current through the power circuit, whether it is plugged in or not. The only time you may have a problem is if you were to physically run both band saws at the same time. So don’t do that.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

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JJohnston

1622 posts in 4374 days


#45 posted 04-06-2013 04:31 PM

Well then, toolie, you’ll want to keep well clear of my shop so you aren’t hurt in the inevitable disaster. After all, you clearly know more about the circumstances of the circuit/outlet installation than I do, and the selection of the wire.

— sometimes there’s a solution in search of a problem.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

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Fred Hargis

6986 posts in 3576 days


#46 posted 04-06-2013 04:47 PM

??????

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

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crank49

4032 posts in 4054 days


#47 posted 04-06-2013 10:07 PM

Jennyz our local spam babe, Fred.
Just ignore and she’ll go away.

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Manitario

2818 posts in 3966 days


#48 posted 04-07-2013 01:18 AM

What do you think about sharing a 220V outlet Jenny? Have you ever run into trouble with it when you use your bandsaw?

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View toolie's profile

toolie

2203 posts in 3712 days


#49 posted 04-07-2013 10:10 PM

sometimes there’s a solution in search of a problem.

was there some thing i posted that was inaccurate that offended you?

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

823 posts in 4227 days


#50 posted 04-11-2013 03:34 PM

I ended up taking the simple solution, and built this last night:

It’ll do the job, avoids any potential code problems, was cheap, and doesn’t add much time at all to the work. All the plugs are accessible from the fronts of the machines, located to either side of the box. In the future I will probably build a stand for the box and maybe secure it to the side of the smaller bandsaw’s mobile base, to get it off the floor.

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