Matt's Long Awaited Workshop Renovation #7: Electrical Work and Updates

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Blog entry by Matt posted 04-10-2009 05:14 PM 1535 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Painting is Done - White and Bright! Part 7 of Matt's Long Awaited Workshop Renovation series Part 8: Happiness is an Electrical Upgrade »

Here is the progress so far.

The walls are insulated, covered with sheetrock, mudded, and taped. I have installed (4) 2-bulb 4ft light fixtures in the ceiling. There is still room for 4 more and I’ll be adding those later. I have some of the conduit and outlets in the ceiling as well as starting to run the wiring for the wall outlets. I plan to alternate circuits to provide me with the flexibility of running multiple tools but spreading out the amp draw. The wall outlets will be a minimum of 52 inches from the floor to avoid any sheet goods or large items. I have a single access hole cut in the ceiling. As seen in my previous posts, things are looking pretty good.

So far, I’ve spent close to $500.00 on this project.

What is next? I have the electrician coming over Saturday to run the new 240v circuit to the shop and install a 100amp subpanel. The box I’m getting provides me with 16 slots. That should be more than enough for a 400 sq/ft work area. The bid from the electrician came in at a hair under $540.00.

I have been using a 3d modeling tool and Photoshop to create a 2D diagram of the floorplan. I think I have arrived at a solution that will work as a great starting point for me. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. See the picture below.

The TS, BS, DC and CNC are all on wheels. Most of the time, I think they can live a little futher out in the middle but this is the ‘small’ working area if I’m turning, or making things that don’t require larger space. This will also leave the shop configured to allow the wife to get her SUV in there if she needs to. (It better be a pretty good reason. LOL!). The wall on the bottom left corner is reserved for Lawn/Garden/Sporting Goods (twins girls toys.) The Bench will provide some outfeed for the TS and the DC is right there as well. The same goes for my BS. DC hose will probably not be longer than 6 feet. It’s a small one.
To Do:

I still need to finish running all of my circuits. There will be individual circuits for the following. Lights, ceiling outlets (3), wall outlets (alternating, 2 circuits) TS (220v), BS (220v), DC (220v). The motors for the 220v machines still need to be reconfigured for the new voltage. Decide on a climate control system for the shop. Heat or Heat+A/C. I’m leaning toward the latter if the price is right. It’s only 400 sq/ft so it shouldn’t be a real big stretch. And lastly, I need to get an initial storage/bench solution established.

For cost reasons, I’m planning to build a ‘FWW New Fangled Bench’ and have already purchased the construction lumber, screws, pipes, and clamps. For now, it seems to be the ‘best fit’ for me in the new workspace. Cabinets and a permanently mounted bench are also planned for the near future. Gotta have the storage!

That’s about it for now. Look for a new blog series on my bench building (hope I don’t screw it up) coming soon.

Thanks guys,

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

6 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3846 days

#1 posted 04-10-2009 05:48 PM

Matt, this is an exciting period that you are going through right now. Using the bench as outfeed support is an excellent idea. My only thought is that unless the bench is going to be at least 7’ long it might be a challenge to use it for supporting full length sheet goods but you could always move the saw away from the bench in order to do this. I understand completely about the SUV. I have often said that if I asked my wife to put her truck out of her garage I would be outside before her vehicle would be. :)

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#2 posted 04-10-2009 05:51 PM

looking great! after the sheetrock part is finished – everything else seems almost fun isnt it?

just make sure you have amp space to work conveniently between stations.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Matt's profile


181 posts in 3396 days

#3 posted 04-10-2009 05:59 PM

Actually, we barely park any cars in there because it’s difficult to back in or out of my garage. She perfectly fine with parking in the driveway in front of the house. I imagine my equipment will “spread out” through natural evolution. However I wanted to be able to easily move a few things over in case the new arises. Like oil changes or light repairs.

As for the outfeed table idea. I rarely rip full length sheets because those things are a pain to store, they warp from being leaned, etc. I usually buy it as I need it for something, then I have the store make one or two of the longer cuts on their panel saw. My bench will only be 5-6 feet long but for my needs, it will probably serve me well 99% of the time.

Thanks guys,

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3785 days

#4 posted 04-10-2009 06:14 PM

My only suggestion for your layout, since the need for an outfeed table is reduced as mentioned, is to place your workbench so that you can work all around it. I find that my bench is an indispensible assembly, clamping, and gluing station.

A good small shop solution for occasional outfeed needs is Rockler’s Heavy duty “flip top” roller stand. When not needed it folds up and sits flush to the wall.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 3948 days

#5 posted 04-10-2009 08:27 PM

Matt that’s a good price for the electrical. It will give you 200 working amps at the panel which should be more then enough. The shop sound like its coming along great.

View Matt's profile


181 posts in 3396 days

#6 posted 04-12-2009 03:56 PM

Well, the subpanel is in. I’m really glad I decided to hire a guy and do it right. Now I have to re-run conduit to a couple of outlets and the lights….again. The electrician is going to let me know when the inspector is coming out on Monday. There are a few conduits that need supports attached and that is about it. Yay!
While all of this was happening, I managed to build 90% of my ‘New Fangled Bench’ in about 4 hours. LOL. Kids and new woodworkers. This bench is solid and a great first bench!

I’m heading out for Easter Sunday but I plan to take pictures of everything that has been happening this weekend. Keep your eyes peeled!

Happy Easter guys!

-- Matt - My Websites - - Hand Tools :: - Small Shops

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