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Shop electrical question

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  • Shop electrical question

    I'm in the process sof rearranging my shop, a 24 x 26 space with 10' to the ceiling joists. The floor is concrete. The shop has it's own 8 circuit sub-panel fed from a 60A breaker in the main panel in the house.

    [If I knew the trick to inserting a photo from my computer into this message I could add it here for clarity, but I don't see in the UBB help anything about uploading an image from your computer, only linking to images on the net, I know others have done it so please let the cat out of the bag :-]

    2/4/04 Edited to add link to a drawing of my shop area in the garage. Bob D.

    I'd like to find a way to get power to my TS w/o having a cord laying on the floor which is a potential trip hazard. Only thing I can think to do is drop a cord from the ceiling off to the side of the TS where it won't interfere with running wood across the table. I'd like the cord to hang down to about 5 or 6 ft off the floor, is there anything in NEC about this? Also, how to handle strain relief on the cord where attached to the box?

    How does everyone else deal with this problem? What is a good way to drop a short piece of 12 Ga. SO cord from a box mounted in the ceiling?
    Is I should later decide to change over to running the TS on 220V, can this metheod still be used or is that not allowed?

    I was considering one of those retractable cord reels but they have such small gauge wire that I don't beleive they should be considered plus the added length of wire is not needed and will contribute to voltage drop.

    [ 02-02-2004, 12:48 PM: Message edited by: Bob D. ]

  • #2
    Bob, I am using a cord reel to power the center of my shop. You can get them with 12g wire. I have a 20 amp double outlet with one side 120v and the other 220v. I plug the cord reel into whichever I need for the tool I'm using. Don't know about codes but I've been using this setup for about 15 years now.
    info for all: --- "I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."


    • #3
      If coming from the ceiling, check out the options available at a supply house. I don't know the name of them off the top of my head, but they are like the chinese finger trick. The stainless wire encases the wire, then when you pull on the wire, the steel mesh keeps it from pulling out of the box.

      The other option is to use a rubber raceway with the cord going through it much like you would see at a convention center. A supply house would also have pictures of these also.


      • #4
        I tried using those "telephone cord" looking extension cords attached to the ceiling but, I found them annoying. Always seemed to be in the way. I have 4 dedicated circuits and plug in the large tools there. Good 'ol duct tape has worked well. Keeps the cord flat on the floor and out of the way. I have to move my tools around a bit since my shop is only semi-dedicated. Duct tape is good for this.
        keep makn\' sawdust!...just don\'t breath any.


        • #5
          Mike is right about the Chinese finger cuff--looking things----the idea is that there is no direct strain on the junction box connectors and that any bend in the wire isn't strained.

          Only other alternative is to run conduit along the floor to the saw----but this would require some beveled wood ramps to avoid a tripping hazard. It's done all the time in shops I've seen, but generally they have something stored next to the tool to prevent people from walking where the tripping hazard is.


          • #6
            LOL, I was trying to think too hard. the products are called a few different things. Cable Grips, Cord Grips, or Strain Relief Grips. What your would do is affix a junction box to the rafter or somewhere on the ceiling. Then you would have aither an elbow or a connector on the cover plate with the actual rubber cord coming out. Attached to that cord is the strain relief connector, with a plug end at the very bottom. If you were to take and pull that plug end, you'd see that you can't pull it out because of the strain relief. When you plug your power tool into the connector, it should either have one of those plastic sases like you can get for extansion cords or use twist lock devices.

            The other (and easier) method is to use FloorTrack raceway for the cords. typically, the top is shaped like a ramp and you run the cord inside the raceway underneath. The raceway provides protection for the cord as well and trip safety. there are many different grades or duribility of these raceways.