Cliff

My shop overhaul

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I only started in February, and the tools expanded so insanely fast that I was unable to walk in my garage due to the amount of tools and wood everywhere. So something had to happen. So I decided that with the exception of x-mas gifts and finishing my smoker cart, everything I do from now until spring is shop improvements. 

Original garage-

2 outlets on 15 amps from the house. Both on one wall. I had to run extension cords to everything, which was an incredible pain in the ass. And very few things could remain plugged in. No walls unless you count some plywood on the back wall. Floor is cracked and sunk in many areas. Completely impossible to have anything level. 

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First, the materials - 

Insulation- about 180-200 sq ft of insulation, R-13. Buying this in stages.

Drywall - Buying this in stages

Fuse box

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 breakers

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 grounding rod, conduit 

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outlets, 3 switches

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boxes, 250' 12/3 wire, 250' 12/2 wire, 200 ft 6-gauge wire, , 

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Insulation (bonus cyclone, trashcan, clamps cause why not)

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Plus clamp storage, lumber rack. (not pictured)

Edited by Cliff
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That's awesome!  You'll be amazed at how much a properly equipped and organized shop will improve your work flow.  Congrats!

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Hmm looks like it's 1.95mb per thread now on photos? Not just on each post? This is not good. 

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Watch the outlets/branch... Last time I looked (admittedly years ago), NEC was mute on an absolute limit, but had a guidance number -- typically adopted for municipal code... I forget what it is.... Any electricians in the house?

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May I ask how much you spent on electrical? Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk

probably $700. Maybe even $800.

Watch the outlets/branch... Last time I looked (admittedly years ago), NEC was mute on an absolute limit, but had a guidance number -- typically adopted for municipal code... I forget what it is.... Any electricians in the house?

I didn't wire, I know enough to know I would kill myself. My electrical engineer friend did it. He did 7 outlets each on 2 20 amp circuits, and one on a 30 amp (for a/c.)

Unable apparently to post more pics or I would :(

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So the big day came Saturday. First, empty the garage out the best I could. That meant storing the table saw outside - overnight in a state where it rains every 20 seconds for no reason at all. Turns out, btw, that half of the city I live in got a massive downpour, my side of the city did not. I got pretty lucky. Even with the tarp I didn't want to see what would happen if we got rain. Pictured here installing the fuse box is my friend, who doesn't need a ladder to touch anything, ever.

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Total wire run was 64 feet from the house to the garage. That makes for a trench about 55+ feet long. We went down 18-20" - I believe IL code is 20 inches. The city I live in requires 36-43". Really? For wiring? No. So the city was not invited to this. I figure at worst - it's still better than bare wire buried 7 inches down that I had before.

I did not have to do this alone. My stepdad (he's a farmer, even though he's 60 he can outwork me easily) helped out and my wife's father did what he could. The bulk of the digging was done by me and my stepfather though, and it was pure hell. Just back breaking work for me (I have the body of a programmer.) If it wasn't for the fact that I had spent the past two weeks upping my stamina by sealing the driveway and cutting down big bushes and removing the stumps by hand - I'd have not been able to finish the trench. As it was, it still took us about 10 hours to get it ready. And of course yesterday a chick I know that works for the city came over to hang out and tells me that she has access to a trencher for free. SONOFABITCH!

My dog supervised -

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Finally after hours and hours, the tench was at the right depth and pretty level. We decided to glue the conduit first, then run the wire through it. This required trial and error. The picture below is the trench with just the conduit, as we didn't get it glued and in place until after dark, about 8pm.

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Once it was glued and everything set. We started to fish it. We had to move 67' of 6 gauge wire through that. We decided to try all of them at once. We got it all the way down until the next to last bend and it just got stuck. So we pulled it back out. My stepdad tied a cotton ball to some twine and dropped it into the conduit. I went to the other end and attached my sander reducer to the shop vac and plugged into the conduit and turned it on. It sucked the cotton ball right to me. We then taped the string to the twine, coated the cables with baby powder and with him pushing and me pulling the twine, managed to get the wire through into the garage.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Cliff
spelling and picture snafus
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This post will bring the thread up to date on where I am with my project.

I would say it took about 16 hours to do all the electrical work. That was partially due to some people stopping by to see my friend and slowing him down, and partially because we had no light for 4 of those hours.

The fuse box, 60 amps from the house. I think right now there is 2 20 amp breakers (maybe!,) 1 30 amp breaker (again, maybe?) and there is a 220 in there in case I someday get a tool that requires that. Three switches. One controls one-half of 3 outlets on the ceiling, another controls another one-half of three outlets on the ceiling (these are for lights.) and honestly I can't remember what the other switch is for. Either for the motion light outside or for the air conditioner/heating outlet.

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My job Sunday morning was to pound an 8-foot grounding rod. This was not enjoyable.

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Three GFCI outlets, per code, to start each run out of the box. Actually, I think the rightmost is the A/C outlet and doesn't continue past this. Only need one outlet on that breaker.

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Since there are 15 outlets, didn't take pics of all of them. This is an example of how they are laid out on the ceiling. Since one side of each of these is turned on/off via switch, when I hang the lights, they will plug into that side. The others are always live. There are a total of seven ceiling outlets, and I'm going to try to find a way to run my table saw up to one of those as it will sit in the center of the garage and I don't want any extension cords to get in my way.

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I will still need to go use the wire staples to clean up stuff, though he didn't have a lot of slack. I also have to patch some holes as we had to skip some outlets on the back wall because it was too hard to fish because of how I did some things when I was putting up drywall. And since those outlets were in the clamp/wood rack area I thought it unlikely I'd have any tools there anyway. To save time we just removed them from the plan and added one right in the center next to the garage door opener so I could have my current light plugged in while I work on the other lighting.

Speaking of.. next steps:

1. I have six lights. 4 are free from my wife's dad who used to be a salesman and got "stuck" with 15 office building lights. I will have to put plugs on each of those plus one of the ones that currently hang in my garage. They I will be hanging these lights.

2. Finish insulation and drywall. This is being held back by financial considerations. I just pretty much buy a roll of insulation every paycheck.

3. My floor is remarkably broken and unlevel. We're talking a 2 inch drop from one side of my workbench to the other. That is across 23 inches. The right thing to do is repour. Unfortunately that is not an argument I can win with my wife, who rightly points out that to pour a new floor would be spending $2000 that we need to use to waterproof the basement or start remodeling the kitchen. So my solution - build a floating floor. For about $250-300 I can have a flat and level floor. I'll need to raise the side garage door about 2 inches though. And this will bring my garage floor nearly level with the driveway.

4. After the floor is done - built-in cabinets on the back wall.

5. Ceiling. Because the rafters are at different heights, and are more than 24" oc, AND we just ran wire where I would install new rafters - we're going to have to do something besides drywall. I'm thinking 1/2" plywood painted white, then blow insulation into the top.

 

I will update this thread once I get more done but it's a pretty long timeline. :D

 

 

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Hi Cliff,

Just a question, did you put a vapor barrier between the insulation and the drywall? If not you will have moisture getting into the insulation.

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Hi Cliff,

Just a question, did you put a vapor barrier between the insulation and the drywall? If not you will have moisture getting into the insulation.

It's faced insulation. Vapor barrier built in.

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Awesome progress. Keep in mind ground fault outlets and electronic variable speed tools don't play well together. 

Why not? You mean plugging directly in? Or just having one on the circuit? Cause it is required by code to have the first one in your series be GFCI. But I doubt I'll use them too often. Right now that is the "gardening" side of the garage.

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I did GFCI outlets at the beginning of my outlet series in my shop when I did the electrical. When plugging in my Jet 16-42 EVS lathe, GFCI trips every time I power it on. Had to put the GFCI after that outlet, code also states you have to install tamper resistant receptacles so that kid don't sticking their fingers, toys, and other body parts into the outlets. It's unnecessary regulations, you've got a shop for of tools that are far more dangerous than a kid putting tab A into slot B. 

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I did GFCI outlets at the beginning of my outlet series in my shop when I did the electrical. When plugging in my Jet 16-42 EVS lathe, GFCI trips every time I power it on. Had to put the GFCI after that outlet, code also states you have to install tamper resistant receptacles so that kid don't sticking their fingers, toys, and other body parts into the outlets. It's unnecessary regulations, you've got a shop for of tools that are far more dangerous than a kid putting tab A into slot B. 

Oh I agree that code is retarded. I ignored my fair share because my city is probably the most strict in the state. I'm glad you told me this cause when I do plug in stuff like that and it blows up, I'll know why. I can rewire if that is the case.

We did trip one of the GFCI already. My friend touched the bare wire. He forgot he had turned the fuse box on. Good times!

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shop10.thumb.jpg.9ba384466eef78f68f234c7

It's sad that I'm so jealous of plastic boxes and romex!

Rework is looking great Cliff...gonna be a great space in the end.

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==>plastic boxes and romex!

I'd staple that Romex to remove the slack and get rid of the sag... While too late for those in the photo, I'd put slack loops at every box for future runs...

Photo of a convenience outlet box install with staples and some slack Romex at the box. Not the cleanest install ever, but you get the idea...

 

outlet-1.jpg

 

 

Note: Spider web optional...

Edited by hhh

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Out of curiosity, why did you do the drywall and insulating before the wiring?  I hate running wiring and old work boxes so was actually planning on ripping existing drywall down before wiring,  then replacing with Osb after wiring is all done.

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==>plastic boxes and romex!

I'd staple that Romex to remove the slack and get rid of the sag... While too late for those in the photo, I'd put slack loops at every box for future runs...

Photo of a convenience outlet box install with staples and some slack Romex at the box. Not the cleanest install ever, but you get the idea...

 

outlet-1.jpg

 

 

Note: Spider web optional...

That's pretty cool. I assume my friend didn't do that because we installed 15 and I need like.. 3. However, I do have over 200' of 12/3 and 100' of 12/2 left. I know enough to splice in if I need to. Though I'd probably still have someone watch over me. One of my projects will soon be stapling around to make sure everything is secure. Think I'll wait until it's under 90 though...

 

 

Out of curiosity, why did you do the drywall and insulating before the wiring?  I hate running wiring and old work boxes so was actually planning on ripping existing drywall down before wiring,  then replacing with Osb after wiring is all done.

Well, I thought I could probably make it through the winter and still do stuff without electricity, but I couldn't without insulation and walls. So that was the priority. Meanwhile, I knew that there was ZERO chance I could pay for this project, due to previous tool spending shenanigans. So when my friend came, and the money suddenly appeared as if by magic from elsewhere. Suddenly it turned to "Crap why did I start the drywall!" I did ask my friend how hard it would be to fish the walls and he said it would be no problem. Turns out that is because when he puts up insulation and drywall he staples the insulation to the inside of the stud, I did it to the outside. So there was no nice groove for him to slide the wire down like he anticipated. 

Long story short, no prep and no brain on my part. 

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I am planning a run of 6/3 cable to my shop next year for a 60A sub panel.  What size conduit did you use on yours?

 

The work looks like it is going along nice.

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==>6/3 cable to my shop next year for a 60A sub panel

Watch distance. I think the up-gauge is around 90ft-130ft, depending on amp/gauge.... but it's been years since I looked at the NEC... Probably couldn't even find my copy.... There's an on-line NEC with a gauge/amp/distance chart -- or any electrician would know...

 

 

==>I assume my friend didn't do that because we installed 15 and I need like.. 3

Your friends an EE? As any licensed electrician will tell you, we don't know sh*t about wiring... :) 

Edited by hhh

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I am planning a run of 6/3 cable to my shop next year for a 60A sub panel.  What size conduit did you use on yours?

 

The work looks like it is going along nice.

Pretty sure it was 1" Fit pretty easily. We had to play with it to get all three fished through the conduit though. Because of 3 90 degree turns. 

 

 

==>I assume my friend didn't do that because we installed 15 and I need like.. 3

Your friends an EE? As any licensed electrician will tell you, we don't know sh*t about wiring... :) 

Hahah. I will believe that when I see it. I'd trust this guy to do about anything though. He's brilliant and does this quite a bit in his spare time. Also I think he was doing this stuff for quite a few years, he was overqualified, but they paid him so much he kept the job. I liken it to when people want me to show them how set up a printer, or send an email, or even set up a simple webpage.. I'm like, "you know I am super overqualified for that right? I'll do it if you are paying me.. but it's so simple, you should do it yourself."

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You should have an electrician check your work to make sure it's up to code. I noticed that you have your #6 wires running through the stud space to the panel with no conduit. You also appear to have a green wire connected to the neutral buss & 1 of your hot conductors is white. These are all very serious code violations here (Calgary) & Canadian & US electrical codes are mostly harmonized now. Better to catch it now before closing it in.

Also, the panel is not to have splices in it. The incoming wire needs to be long enough to terminate directly on the breakers etc without using splices.

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