220, 221...Whatever it takes

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Blog entry by TuckerFan posted 03-21-2012 05:21 PM 1398 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I are in the process of buying a new home and although I was told paint, carpeting, mowing the yard, and inspections are more important, I am most concerned with the building that will become my wood shop…28’ X 40’. (Whew!) As I slowly buy machinery, (bandsaw, jointer, planer, dust collection unit, lathe, and sanders), should I run a separate electrical service, or run a 220 from the house to this building? Should I assume that all of these machines will be 220? (With the exception of a smaller sander, I am not buying benchtop models.) Besides the electrical stuff, what are other considerations that I should ponder?

-- I...I..have a...a...wood problem

7 comments so far

View Grumpymike's profile


1892 posts in 1735 days

#1 posted 03-21-2012 06:11 PM

I’m in the same process, moving from KC to Suprise AZ and building a new shop (24X48)
The local laws and codes there very alot from where I am now, so we hired a licensed electrition to make the new power supply to the new, still under construction, shop.
He ran 220 to the new shop and placed a new breaker pannel. Now when we start doing the wiring I can have 220 circuits (4) and 110 circuits (12).
You will need to know how much load you will be using so that he can size the line and main breakers to match.
In our case the 200 amp service to the house would not make the added load requirement with the AC, dryer cook stove and pool pump all running at the same time which will most likely happen form time to time, with the table saw, dustcollector, lighting and AC in the shop running. So he ran a new drop from the pole with a second meter.
Check with your local regulations and codes to see what you will require, a good electrician will know what to do. Yep he will be spendy, but cheaper than a fire.
Mike in KC; ... Suprise AZ in 29 days

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View PurpLev's profile


8523 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 03-21-2012 06:25 PM

the plan should be based on amperage not voltage. best bet is to have a sub panel for the shop that will handle whatever you are planning on running there. if you are planning this from scratch take into account that you’ll probably have at least 3 breakers running simultaneously:
1. lights
2. tool
3. DC

Some tools come in a 220 option (tablesaw, planers, lathes, bandsaws, DC) while others dont (sanders, routers, handheld) you should make a list of tools you have or plan to get at some point and see which can be put on what circuit. and according to that plan how big you’d need your panel to be (100amp ? 200amp?)

heck , you can make a list here in a form of a blog ,and maybe folks can help you sort it out.

good luck – fresh starts are always better long term so plan it properly

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

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2403 days

#3 posted 03-21-2012 06:38 PM

Not a licensed electrician here, but here’s what I did with my shop. My shop has as much or more than what you will put in your shop for a small shop 12×30. First thing was to run a separate Service to the shop. In my case I was able to add a 100 amp circuit in my main panel to the shop from the house. This allows one circuit for the house and one for the shop neither interferes with the other. Both the house and shop have their own 100 amp sub panel to prevent any undue overloading of circuits. I have 6- 220 circuits and 12- 120 circuits in the shop.
I have machines that can be wired either way so those that can be run on 220, can in the shop. Something you don’t want to do if your just going to run a 220 line out to the shop for your electrical. You can read more about wiring my shop at
Hope this helps.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View ShaneA's profile (online now)


6417 posts in 2018 days

#4 posted 03-21-2012 06:42 PM

Love the Mr Mom quote…awesome

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2095 days

#5 posted 03-21-2012 07:43 PM

I ran a separate drop. I think that works best. This is completely separate from the service to my house. Plan big and you won’t be disappointed. Everything works off amps. 110V and 220V draws the same amps.

View TuckerFan's profile


24 posts in 1698 days

#6 posted 03-21-2012 07:55 PM

Like the few other times I have posted, I have learned a tremendous amount very quickly from fellow posters. I can never come close to where you folks are with my small amount of knowledge. (But I bet I enjoy my time in the shop just as much.) I will continue to be reminded to check for more replies, but thanks to one and all for the input…past and future. Keep ‘em coming.

-- I...I..have a...a...wood problem

View Shanem's profile


128 posts in 1886 days

#7 posted 03-22-2012 04:19 PM

When I moved to our new house the garage was only constructed 2 months before. Unfortunately it was smaller than I would have put there. What I did was try and optimize the tool layout for the size of the shop. I used Google sketchup. You can import your tools into it to scale. After you have your layout, you can decide exactly where you will need your receptacles and have an idea of the V/A needed.
I also used ALOT of circuits. Did not want to have to try and add more later. Wanded to stay away from extension cords and power bars as well.
Good luck

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