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Forum topic by NBeener posted 12-14-2009 10:27 PM 1137 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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NBeener

4806 posts in 1840 days


12-14-2009 10:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: electrical wiring drop cord shop layout design

Wednesday morning, the electrician arrives.

I did my first true (2-dimensional) Sketchup drawing (!!!) to lay it out, to scale:

Quick questions:

1) I’ve read a few of the pro’s and con’s of using cord drops from the ceiling for equipment. I’ve specified three:

- Dust collector (ordered remote control, already)
- Table saw
- Band saw and jointer-planer

The electrician wants $75/ea for strain relief (which I specified). Are these generally needed? I see a part at Grainger that looks pretty simple for DIY:

Should work … yes?

2) Is it better to hang the outlet box from the ceiling (say, hanging at your height plus six inches), or is it better to put the outlet box in the ceiling, and then either plug directly into the outlet or run a short pigtail cord from the outlet.

I’m doing my 4-way 110V outlets on alternating circuits, so each box will have two circuits powering it. This will increase capacity at each 4-way AND give me an easy changeover to 220V, should I want it later. The wall outlets will be at >= 52” height (so 4’x8’ sheets won’t cover them, while laying there).

Any other thoughts???

Thanks!!

-- -- Neil


32 replies so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14796 posts in 2342 days


#1 posted 12-14-2009 10:46 PM

Code requires strain relief for hanging cords. The ceiling boxes are your personal preference, IMO. Good idea to keep the wall outlets up :-))

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2314 days


#2 posted 12-14-2009 10:49 PM

for tablesaw/jointer/bandsaw/planer I would actually go with floor outlets – but that’s just my personal preference – keeps the cords out of the way, esp. when you move lumber around , you don’t want it snaging on the power cords…

as for outlets on the wall – higher than normal is good, since you’ll have workstations around, and this will keep the cords out of the way and in reach.

good luck, looks like it’s coming along great.

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

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NBeener

4806 posts in 1840 days


#3 posted 12-14-2009 10:53 PM

TopamaxSurvivor: Ah. Thank you. I’ll have to decide, then, but … hard mounted into the joists may be fine (and cheaper!).

PurpLev: I should have mentioned that I’m in an unfinished basement with concrete floors and walls. I did give a lot of thought to the floor-mount, but … to avoid tripping over them … it’s either “raceways” over them or duct tape, right?

I did figure out (though the drawing doesn’t reflect it) that behind and to the right of the TS is helpful, if ceiling-mount is the final call….

-- -- Neil

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2314 days


#4 posted 12-14-2009 10:57 PM

yeah, In that case, ceiling mounted might be easier solution. just make sure you position them where it’s least likely to have lumber come across it (while moving it around the shop , and more importantly – while working on it)

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

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3809 posts in 2329 days


#5 posted 12-14-2009 11:02 PM

$75 each for starin reliefs sounds high … the Grainger product should suffice.

My personal preference would be to put the boxes in the ceiling as opposed to surface mounts on the ceiling so long as there is adequate framing/support. I might tempted to go with an outlet in the ceiling box and strain relief the drop to the machine so long as electrical codes permit.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1840 days


#6 posted 12-14-2009 11:06 PM

Thank you, TheDane. I like both of those ideas.

-- -- Neil

View stefang's profile

stefang

13101 posts in 2000 days


#7 posted 12-14-2009 11:49 PM

I have a 4 outlet box mounted on the ceiling. I have been using it for 10 years now (without strain relief, never even thought about it). I do like the convenience. My saw is a combi machine and I spin it around to use the joint/planing functions and the mortising attachment.It’s a lot easier to do this with the overhead plug. I also keep my shop vacuum plugged in there. I move that a lot too and it’s good to have the plug up high where it can’t tangle with other stuff. The only problem I’ve ever had with it occurred yesterday while cleaning my shop. I accidentally pulled the cord while sweeping in the corner and the contact pulled out and hit me on the head. Ouch! A good case for brain/strain relief?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1840 days


#8 posted 12-14-2009 11:59 PM

Thanks, Mike. Always grateful for your input.

The overhead plug (vs. dropped cord) is sounding better and better. I’ll probably put the Grainger strain relief (pictured) on, myself, later. As long as the plug fits tightly in the receptacle (and if no Code requirements demand), it may not be something I even bother with. After all, if you’re going to hit the cord, better the plug does come out….

I really like the Shop Vac idea. I’m constantly playing jump rope with the cord to get it up, over, and around stuff. Up high is an excellent idea for that one, too!

Thanks, too, for pointing out yet another risk to cleaning up the shop ;-)

As for the brain/strain relief: I’d recommend an aspirin, at least :-)

-- -- Neil

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7035 posts in 1969 days


#9 posted 12-15-2009 01:52 AM

this whole project is getting me all electrified…..maybe i should hook a plug into this body and see if it will jazz me up…lol…..so watt is sounding better to you…..all these ideas must be a releif…..and watch the cheese …or you might get the strain…...lol…..arnt i a funny guy…....

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3666 posts in 1830 days


#10 posted 12-15-2009 06:11 AM

No comment on the ceiling mounts, have never done it. I depend on the unwanted, but then, convenient pillar in the shop, of course you remember, “Peter Power Pillar”. Well, I like Mikes practical arrangement, you can always mutate it if there is a box up there. I think that is the point, put a box up there with receptacles, and then modifiy as you see fit. Take the cheap route, make your own extension cords, whatever, thats what I do.

Funny, my pillar has short heavy duty extension cords hanging from it…........kinda sounds the same.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3666 posts in 1830 days


#11 posted 12-15-2009 06:14 AM

Grizz, you are incorrigible…......................(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3445 posts in 1860 days


#12 posted 12-15-2009 06:47 AM

Greetings Neil: One thing you can do if you want floor plugs, is run your wiring in conduet(1/2” is plenty), screw the boxes down in the concrete, put clips on the conduet, screw them down to keep everything from moving, and you’re good to go. The electrician can do all of that. And you’ll have floor plugs, and not have to fool with ext. cords, etc. I would put in boxes that would carry 4 plugs at each one. I’ve done it before. Works good. You might have to jump the conduet, but that’s better than jumping rope—errr- cords….....

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14796 posts in 2342 days


#13 posted 12-15-2009 06:55 AM

Yeah, but cords will give when you trip over them, conduit won’t. REal PIA to clean around too.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

3445 posts in 1860 days


#14 posted 12-15-2009 07:14 AM

Greetings Topamax: Some cords will—- others won’t…..... lol lol. Besides—your not supposed to be walking around dragging your feet…...........lol From my point of view, everything in my shop is a PIA to clean…

-- " I started with nothing, and I've still got most of it left".......

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14796 posts in 2342 days


#15 posted 12-15-2009 07:21 AM

I’m not a big fan of conduit on the floor, under it is better :-)) Lot easier to sweep. Much better to roll things over!!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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