Power In The Shop (Only 5 Years Late)

Long time readers may remember some of these photos.

It was in the summer of 2008 that I ripped out the sheet rock, insulation and electric from my shop. Though I had every intention of replacing them all quickly, it was not to be. For years I suffered through a shop that had no insulation and almost no electric. My only shop outlet was a single 15 amp outlet on a circuit shared with the shop lights and the hall in the house.

As the removal of the insulation and electric was part of the first phase of my siding project, their replacement languished as the siding project devolved into a multi-year odyssey. It was my friend, +Aaron Marshall, who finally brought me back to the insulation and electric.

Woodworking in America 2011 occurred during the early days of the Wood Whisperer Guild Split-Top Roubo project. Aaron and I were excited about it and talking about workbenches. I explained to Aaron my intention to build a Roubo/21st Century Workbench hybrid from LVL’s and Timberstrand. Though the great hardware available from the WIA vendors was tempting, Aaron convinced me to make even that from LVL and make my own leg vise.

I left WIA excited about my bench and proceeded to begin work on it right away. I had finished the leg vise design by the time the temperature dipped - that’s when I knew the bench had to wait and I began rebuilding the wall.

My absolute favorite drill for roughing in electrical work.

Though the rough in of the electric was the first phase, most of the electrical work had to wait until the walls were insulated and sheathed. The insulating work began just after Christmas 2011 and by April of 2012, I was able to begin sheathing the walls. Finally, by April of 2013, the insulation and sheathing work were done and I was able to begin wiring outlets.

Ready for sheathing.

I completed the wiring of the 110V outlets on July 10, 2013. After thinking I was done, finding one I forgot, installing it and then connecting a ground that I’d failed to connect, all of the outlets were live and wired properly. I was even able to use the power detector I made in 7th grade technology to test the outlets.

There's Power!

Next time I’m in the shop I won’t be swapping plugs to switch tools or blindly feeling for the circuit breaker when the table saw or planer trips the fuse and the lights go out. I now have 3 dedicated 20V circuits with 16 double gang boxes and one single gang box to choose from.

So many nice outlets . . .

And that’s with just one side done. Once I wire the opposite wall and connect the two 220V circuits still not setup I hope to have more outlets and power than I can use.