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Forum topic by toolanddieguy posted 01-16-2012 11:24 PM 5739 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 2683 days

01-16-2012 11:24 PM

Planning on building a 32×56 post frame building this summer. Gonna be storage/workshop. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Don’t have anywhere near the tools to fill the new space just planning ahead. Thinking about running duct work and electrical in the concrete anyone else tried this?

6 replies so far

View Tennwood's profile


112 posts in 3174 days

#1 posted 01-17-2012 04:31 AM

The obvious problem with running it in the concrete is once it is there, there is no turning back. I have seen a couple of shops on the LJ site that run it them a craw space, but if you are building on a slab, and don’t have a raised floor, that won’t help. For the electrical, you may want to consider running some metal channels in the concrete from the wall outlets to the areas that you may place your machinery. That way you can at least run the power cords in the channels and out of the tripping zone. They will be dust collectors but you can always cover them with a strip of wood. For the duct work for the machinery, just run it overhead. Except when I am cutting sheet goods on my table saw, they generally don’t get in the way. The flexible hoses are handy here.

I am envious, what a great design (AND THE SPACE!).

-- Jim, SE Tennessee, "Don't spare the kindling Dear, we have plenty"

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 3540 days

#2 posted 01-17-2012 05:13 AM

I agree with Tennwood’s advice. I have also designed a workshop we will be building this coming spring. I have designed our shop 60X44 I Beam 12X10 and C Purlin with a poured slab floor. I am sure it will be a ton of fun for you. My long term goal is to continue adding 20X44 sections until the shop is around 100’ long. We build custom cabinets for a living so we require a little more space.

One small change I would consider. We will be building a smaller 30X30 I Beam metal building for finishing. This will allow me to design and structure the space for good ventilation and safety standards for spraying solvent materials. It will also ensure other workers are not subjected to fumes while cabinets are being sprayed. And, in the case we might have any major issues with explosive materials, our primary building tools will not be at risk of damage. Of course I pray we are safe in all we do, and with proper safety technique and handling we should be fine.

-- .

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2668 days

#3 posted 01-17-2012 05:22 AM

I ran PVC conduit in the floor of my shop and set 2 cans for receptacles. They are the brass cover receptacle that you see often. I will say up front that those were VERY expensive. My shop is 40 ft. and 30 ft. wide. The conduit comes off the side wall and is on the 20 ft line. the first can is 10 ft from the wall and the second is 20 ft from the wall. If you don’t use them you just close the cover and leave it. I felt like it was better than using wiring that had to drop from overhead. I wanted receptacles for table saws and planers without using drop cords with 15 amp plugs.

View rustfever's profile


752 posts in 3303 days

#4 posted 01-17-2012 05:41 AM

I am an Industrial Contractor. I build for businesses and for industry. I absolutley refuse to place any electrical in or under the concrete. I likewise am against duct work below grade and encased in concrete. I will make exception when the ‘below grade’ utilities are actually in ‘gutters’ or ‘trenches’ designed for running utilities.

I take this position for several reason. First, nothing may be changed if it is encased in concrete, without using a concrete saw and a jack hammer. Second, my people have been asked to demo floors with utilities encased in concrete and have actually severed those utilities. [Ask me sometime of the story about the Bank, FBI, the rookie cop, and the alarm system in concrete! You will laugh your head off. But I sure didn’t laugh at the time it happened.]

Dust systems clog. You need access. No access is available in concrete without a jack hammer!

Equipment system move, but concrete is there forever.

Run everything overhead. Pay a little extra for a better dust system. It is much cheaper than paying for one trip to demo concrete.

The electrical system is accessible overhead. Easy to modify when equipment changes hp or location.

Sounds nice to be out-of-sight-out-of-mind but it will be forever expensive to modify.

Just my opinion after dealing with underground utilities for 35 years,

Chenck out my personal wood shop and see how I set up it. NOTHING, repeat NOTHING, is underground [encased in concrete]

BTW, my business is primaily concrete construction!

If you do put yours encased in concrete, please be sure to call my company when you want to make modifications. We sure could use the business.


-- Rustfever, Central California

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2668 days

#5 posted 01-17-2012 05:51 AM

Rustfever I can’t disagree that anything in concrete is a difficult matter when there is a problem but I can abandon my circuits in the floor and go overhead with a minimum of work so what is lost for me. Less than $200 I think. Then I could have what you have. I could also pull new wiring through the conduit. I pulled it once and I guess it will pull again. The problem is when the concrete cracks and shifts and things open up. usually duct work opens and collapses. I am not a proponent of putting dust collection in a floor and don’t like any heating cooling ducts in a concrete floor. I have seen problems with water pipes under a concrete floor yet they are very popular in my area of the country. I have been very happy with my receptacles in the floor for the past 12 years. I would do them again. If there is a problem then I could run drop cords like most people or I could run power from overhead to the tools in the center of the room. Yes I would still do it again.

View helluvawreck's profile


31019 posts in 2860 days

#6 posted 01-17-2012 07:03 PM

I’ve worked in manufacturing (mostly engineering and maintenance) for 40 years and I like everything in the open where you can get to it when you need to work on it or modify it. That’s also the way that I like it in my shop as well. It will save you money and trouble to do it that way.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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