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> its all about the garage
CMC#5
post May 9 2007, 09:02 PM
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Now that things are starting to settle down here in our new home, we broke ground on the GarageMahal.

Any suggestions/tips from those that know much more than I ever will about electricity and other shop essentials? Keep it simple, essential and wonderland arent the same (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/cool.gif)

Specifically I'm looking for advice on # of circuits and size, as well as floor and wall paint/coating/covering options.

(IMG:http://www.camaromustangchallenge.com/images/Other/GarageDay1.jpg)
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marka
post May 9 2007, 09:30 PM
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Howdy,

How big will the shop be? How many folks working there? What type of major equipment like compressors, lathes, mills, welders, plasma cutters, etc.?

I can tell you what I'd do on the electric side at least.

Mark
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CMC#5
post May 9 2007, 10:22 PM
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Good point...a few details. Its 40x45 with a good chunk devoted to getting the trailer out of sight. So about a 24x40 work area. Its not commercial, just my car stuff. Stuff I own includes a 220v compressor and 220V Mig, 110v drill press and band saw. I plan on putting our old washer/dryer out there too so I can clean shop rags with impunity. Future equipment wish list includes a lift, a lathe, and a mill in that order...but likely none of those will happen for many many many years. There'll be a small 1/2 bath so I can clean up before getting back into the house.
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z28tt
post May 9 2007, 10:56 PM
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How large of a power feed will you have? I'd expect a 20 spot 100A breaker box would be fine. I like to have the large equipment on their own 240V circuits, so each will tie up two breaker spots. If you're saving $ on copper wire (it's expensive, and long runs can add up!), you can put equipment not likely to be used at the same time together, like a lathe, mill, and welder. The inrush current on large motors is what will usually pop a breaker, and the largest motor will probably be on the air compressor. I wired all my 120V stuff on 12g Romex, which is good for 20 amps, I believe (it's been a while). The larger equipment got wires large enough to handle the breaker size (I think it was 10g for the 30A real 2hp air compressor motor). I can get details if needed. For receptacles, you'll want a GFCI receptacle as the first one in the circuit, and the following will be protected by that one (much less expensive than GFCI breakers). If shop equipment won't be moved, you can save the $ of receptacles and hard wire them. I'm not sure at when a cutoff switch is necessary, and when you can use the breaker as one. I have the NEC code book used for our town, and did everything per code (and promptly forgot it!). Sounds like MarkA does this more often...

My shop breaker box: 60Amp 2 pole main breaker, 8 ga 3 wire + ground feed (need to double check).
1 - Shop Fluorescents
3 - 120V 20A Receptacles A Circuit - 4 receptacles
5 - 120V 20A Receptacles B Circuit - 4 receptacles
7 - 120V 20A Receptacles C circuit - 4 gang box for drill press, computer, TV, & stereo
7 & 9 - 240V baseboard heater (in the kitchen - I had to steal that circuit on the main house breaker panel which was full, to get power to the garage sub panel)
2 & 4 - Air Compressor
6 & 8 - Welder/Lathe (both have receptacles - I switch plugs when either is needed)

I moved in about 16 months ago, and the 24x22 2 car garage had a whole 2 outlets. My first project was to add better lighting, and a ton of outlets. It's very convenient having receptacles in the middle and corner of every wall (every 10 feet, and every 6 feet at the workbench). Get lots of bright light. I used 3 high output cold weather 8' 2 tube fluorescent hanging fixtures (110W tubes), and would like another one over the hood area of the car's bay. You might want a ceiling fan or four in the garage as well... If you ever plan on powdercoating, leave a circuit for a junked kitchen oven. Write down a list of your current and future equipment, find out the current draw (most instruction manuals say what size breaker is required), and run the wire gauge needed for that current. Are you drywalling right away? If not, don't bother running $500 of copper wiring that may not be used for 5 years... Any plans for heat? Leave a breaker open for the furnace.

I have a bare concrete floor, but wanted to epoxy. I moved in all my equipment in the winter, and now it's too much work to bother. Instead, I have raised rubber tiles in the car work area, and work mats in front of the bench, drill press, and lathe. Use light colored paint - it reflects the light better. I'm a big fan of having everything out of sight (you wouldn't know it, if you saw the garage right now!), and went nuts on cabinets under the workbench, and around the garage. The hanging Ikea cabinets with cheap white doors have been great - the bottom is about 65" off the ground, and it's along the wall in the car bay. I can walk by it, since my shoulders clear, not be forced to bend around them, and still see inside (I'm 6'3).
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rmackintosh
post May 9 2007, 11:31 PM
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Well....there you go Al...you ACTUALLY found ONE thing that Texass has over Kalifornia.... (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif)

AFFORDABLE LAND!

...oh, by the way....don't forget to change that "Concord, CA" location in your location field buddy! (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

I am just jealous....I can only WISH I had the space to even CONSIDER a garagemahal.....you go man!
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SSTAT
post May 10 2007, 12:23 AM
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While I cant comment on all the hieroglyphics above I guess I can tell you the single greatest thing in my garage-

http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?...UseBVCookie=Yes

I LOVE this thing. I've got it right in the middle of my 2 car garage, If I need an outlet I just reach above my head, there it is. If I need to go to the other side of thecar, the wire goes OVER the car, not tangled by the tires or anything else, Im not tripping over it etc. Ive got lots of outlets in my garage, but I probably use this thing >90% of the time. Of course you have to put an outlet in the ceiling... but you'll probably have to do that for the garage door anyway.

This post has been edited by SSTAT: May 10 2007, 12:24 AM
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wdtiger
post May 10 2007, 12:45 AM
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I have nothing to add. I would just like to add my name to the "jealous" list. (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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mitchntx
post May 10 2007, 01:07 AM
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How many outlets? Decide on paper and double it.
How much light? Decide on paper then double it.
40x45? Double it.

Outside light is a must.

Light switches by EVERY SINGLE EXIT!
Think about cross ventilation.
Figure out a way to get that compressor OUTSIDE!

Your wife is not gonna like walking all the way out to the shop to do your shop towel laundry.

1/2 bath is valuable floor space ... about the size of a decent beer fridge. Besides, pea(sp) gravel works great.

Windows are just another component that will break when you get really pissed having to change yet another opti.
They are also convenient entry ways for those who have no business in your shop.

CAT5, RG59U and phone is a MUST! I installed an intercom to the house. It didn't last long.

I've considered AC, but would be afraid of the electric bill if I tried keeping it cool.
My shop is on a separate meter and the bill typically runs between 40-100/month depending on what's going on inside.

I found a local warehouse salvage business that buys lots of industrial related furniture and fixtures. I bought several 9' x 3' x 18" warehouse shelves for $10 each. Lots of fluids, cleaners, supplies, bins, etc. can be stored in them.

Fire extinguishers BY EVERY EXIT.
Well stocked first aid kit.

Check your home-owner's insurance policy about liability if someone, heaven forbid, is working in your shop, other than you, and gets hurt.
My add-on policy was about $30 a year and give me 1/2 million in accidental death, 200K in hospitalization and some other interesting coverages for broken tools a such.

You should come by and visit WMC some time ...

And PM me ... I need restrictor plates.
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cccbock
post May 10 2007, 01:40 AM
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Every one of Mitch's and Andris' suggestions is good. don't listen to Mitch about the 1/2 bath, you will be glad you spent the money on it. I wish I had one.

I could add a pile of stuff I learned on mine (36 x 45 Morton Building), but some of it has been covered already by others and you only asked about electrical.

First...You gonna have a lift in there? It will need a seperate circuit. If no lift, rethink your plan. I get more use outta the lift in my garage than ALL the other tools put together X 10.

Second... insulate the garage, and do it well, and do it up front. If you decide to put in heat or AC now or later, the building is ready.

Last... consider a small office area with storage above. The office is a place to get away from the garage area and keep manuals, new parts, phone, clean room, and a desk with comfy chair. Above it (if the gmahal is tall enough) you can store all those parts you refuse to get rid of, but will never use ever again. this keeps them off the garage floor and out of the corners and makes the place look WAY better.

Bock
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mitchntx
post May 10 2007, 01:47 AM
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Bathroom over a beer fridge? I need to see your man card ... stat! (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)
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cccbock
post May 10 2007, 11:08 AM
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QUOTE (mitchntx @ May 9 2007, 08:47 PM) *
Bathroom over a beer fridge? I need to see your man card ... stat! (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)


Enlarge bathroom, put beer fridge in bathroom. Make sure fridge is accessible while seated.

Also keeps the beer stock (or lack of) out of sight of the wife since she would never dream of going into the garage bathroom (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/beerchug.gif)

I think this may be a hijack...

Bock (placing tattered man card back in Marlboro box) Folken
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Eugenio_SS
post May 10 2007, 12:27 PM
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as mentionned, make sure you have lots of lighting... some even put fluorescent lights on the walls.
Best thing i did to my garage was to ePoxy the floor once it was built.
The ideal is once the cement is well cured, clean it well and then epoxy it.
I used the light color so garage stays bright... and much easier to clean, maintain.

Also, look into lift requirements, I think they require 4,000 psi or something like that type of cement.
Make sure the contractor uses appropriate type of cement.

a sink is a must... not sure it was mentioned.
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mitchntx
post May 10 2007, 12:51 PM
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(IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/icon_lol.gif)
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CrashTestDummy
post May 10 2007, 02:27 PM
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QUOTE (Eugenio_SS @ May 10 2007, 07:27 AM) *
as mentionned, make sure you have lots of lighting... some even put fluorescent lights on the walls.
Best thing i did to my garage was to ePoxy the floor once it was built.
The ideal is once the cement is well cured, clean it well and then epoxy it.
I used the light color so garage stays bright... and much easier to clean, maintain.

Also, look into lift requirements, I think they require 4,000 psi or something like that type of cement.
Make sure the contractor uses appropriate type of cement.

a sink is a must... not sure it was mentioned.


The high-strength cement is required for the 2-post units, but not for the 4-posters, IIRC.

Epoxy flooring is a must! Even if it is the cheap stuff, but you won't want to use the cheap stuff. It not only makes it easier to clean and maintain, it makes it _possible_ to clean and maintain. I used the cheap do-it-yourself water-based stuff on our garage floor. If it was all I had, I'd still do it again. I'll opt for the more expen$ive 2-part (or have it done professionally) in our new shop.

As the others have said, that shop's too small. (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

Congrats on getting started, though.
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marka
post May 10 2007, 03:17 PM
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Howdy,

QUOTE (CMC#5 @ May 9 2007, 06:22 PM) *
Good point...a few details. Its 40x45 with a good chunk devoted to getting the trailer out of sight. So about a 24x40 work area. Its not commercial, just my car stuff. Stuff I own includes a 220v compressor and 220V Mig, 110v drill press and band saw. I plan on putting our old washer/dryer out there too so I can clean shop rags with impunity. Future equipment wish list includes a lift, a lathe, and a mill in that order...but likely none of those will happen for many many many years. There'll be a small 1/2 bath so I can clean up before getting back into the house.



Ok...

I'd say you want a dedicated 220vac circuit for the compressor and any other "big" machinery like a mill or lathe. The mill/lathe could potentially share a circuit, but I've not seen anything that lets you easily put two 220vac receptacles on the same circuit. If you could... The mill/lathe would be a good choice for this. Oh, and if the dryer is electric, you'll want a dedicated circuit for that.

You'll also want a couple floater 220vac circuits for stuff like the welder. This could just be one circuit and a big 220vac extention cord that's 20' long or so so that you can move the welder to where you want to work.

For all the 220vac circuits, I'd go with 50A breakers for them all. You don't have too... For instance the compressor circuit probably doesn't need that many amps. Still, if you're doing this stuff yourself the cost difference between the two (and particularly compared to paying someone else to do it) isn't that bad. Having more amperage available gives you more future options.

Speaking of amperage... A 100A box would probably be enough, but if the cost difference for a 200A service wasn't much I'd go that way instead. It may well be a good bit more expensive though.

In terms of 110vac outlets, I'd want one at 3' or so off the floor every 4'. For a couple people working in the shop probably you don't need more than two separate circuits, but think a decent bit if you'll have something on the utility circuits running when you want to use a chopsaw or something else that takes a good bit of amps on that same circuit... Remember also that you can split your outlets so that one receptacle uses one circuit and the other receptacle uses another. The other option is to split the circuits per wall or something like that.

For lighting, you want that on its own circuit so that when you pop a breaker you're not standing in the dark. Use plenty of lighting. No, more than that. :-) In my shop I'm going to use 8' fixtures that use four 4' t-8 bulbs. The T-8 stuff seems to be the way to go these days in terms of cold start/run & efficency, but I'm certainly not an expert.

Other stuff... I dunno where you live but if it gets cold in the winters consider radiant floor heating. Around us, natural gas and fuel oil prices are as bad or worse than electric now, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't do electric radiant floor heat when we poured the new floor.

For the future lift, make sure you've got the headroom you need and remember also that a garage door in the up position or a garage door opener may be your limiter. The floor requirements for a four post lift are much better than a two post, but if you're like me you'll find a two post more versatile.

I'd put in an exhaust fan on one of the walls too.

There's probably other stuff I'm not thinking about.

Mark

Edit: This is a good reference book for wiring. Reading the NEC is a non-starter. http://www.amazon.com/Wiring-House-Pros-Re...l/dp/1561585270

This post has been edited by marka: May 10 2007, 03:21 PM
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marka
post May 10 2007, 03:36 PM
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Howdy,

QUOTE (mitchntx @ May 9 2007, 09:07 PM) *
1/2 bath is valuable floor space ... about the size of a decent beer fridge. Besides, pea(sp) gravel works great.


If you're married or if it rains, keep the half bath. You're going to need the plumbing anyway, because you _are_ going to put a laundry tub/sink out there, right?

QUOTE
Windows are just another component that will break when you get really pissed having to change yet another opti.
They are also convenient entry ways for those who have no business in your shop.


Totally disagree. Windows that provide natural light take away that 'cave' feeling and make the shop much nicer (at least to me). If you don't need to worry about heating costs, I'd put in a bunch of skylights as well.

QUOTE
CAT5, RG59U and phone is a MUST! I installed an intercom to the house. It didn't last long.


Good point. This day and age you really do want a computer in the shop. Consider adding a wireless router so when you're using your laptop tuning software, you still have an internet / network connection.

QUOTE
I found a local warehouse salvage business that buys lots of industrial related furniture and fixtures. I bought several 9' x 3' x 18" warehouse shelves for $10 each. Lots of fluids, cleaners, supplies, bins, etc. can be stored in them.


Yep. Also a great source for blem/discounted countertops, which make nice bench tops.

Of course, what _also_ makes nice bench tops is 1/4" or whatever steel... You should plan on one of these anyway, as you can then tack stuff directly to the bench when you're fabbing something. Then just grind down the tack after you're done.

Mark
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BigEnos
post May 10 2007, 03:51 PM
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If you're worried about security (and you should be) but you want light just use glass block. You can't open them, but you have garage doors if you need some air.
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Powerslide91
post May 10 2007, 04:04 PM
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Random thoughts:
My experience from building my shop echoes alot of what has been said. You cannot have too many lights and outlets. Include 220 outlets. I put 1 heavy 220 line into my shop but should have placed several in different locations instead. Now I have a super heavy 220 extension cord I need to drag around for the welders. It works but could have been better. Living in Texas I did AC and heat the garage. To me this is a hobby and it needs to be fun. Working all day at the real job then trying to go home and get stuff done in a shop that is 90+ degrees is not fun. The AC / heat is worth every penny to me. Good insulation, including the garage door is important. Lots of heavy duty shelving is a great thing. Look at oversize garage doors, especially if you are going to put a trailer and or tow vehicles inside. I oversized the doors on my garage in both height and width and it cost less than I thought it would. Epoxy the floor after you build the shop and before you move anything into it. I used the easy Rustoelum kits from Lowes. It has held up well for the last 2 years and I have no complaints but next time I will probably try a more professional grade covering. If you have plumbing to the shop, include a hose bib for things like washing down the race car outside. Outlets in the ceilings are a good thing for drop lights and extension cords. I admit I was a pimp and included a TV hook up. I put the outlet and a 110 outlet in the ceiling in one corner to hook the TV and stearo up to. Back to the keep if fun thing.... Stainless steel workbenches are worth every penny to me, it is great to be able to do a messy job, then just wipe it down with a rag when done. Layout areas for clean and dirty work. Grinders, drill press, parts washer, that kind of stuff in one area with a bench, and then a clean working bench in another area. Personally, I got talked out of putting windows in the shop but now I wish I had. I guess it does come down to the security and who can see what inside your shop. But my thought now is if a thief really wants into your shop bad enough, it will happen if you have windows or not. I just try to be smart about not advertising what I have inside.

Jeff
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CMC#5
post May 10 2007, 04:54 PM
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Wow, a ton of excellent advice! I figured there might be a bit of energy around this (IMG:http://www.frrax.com/rrforum/style_emoticons/default/burnout.gif) I think I have enough info to go on regarding electrical requirements, awesome and thanks. Ditto on insulation concerns. I plan on fully insulating the bldg.

Follow ups:
1) flooring...epoxy coating sounds like a ginormous PITA to do, plus waiting for two months for curing/drying after the thing is done so I can then spend four days acid dipping/painting waiting for it to dry before I move in sounds unlikely. Am I being too negative? Do those rubber floor tiles/roll out sheets work with jack stands etc? That sounds easy...though probably fall under the category of "nice to have/too expensive".

2) The bathroom stays. I was planning on a garage style sink and a toilet in there. I might install some pea gravel outside in case Mitch comes over though. I'd want him to feel comfortable.

3) The whole building is behind a fence with the German Shepherd in the picture so I'm not really worried about intruders...but I think I'll let price drive the decision on windows. All other things being equal I think I'd rather have a lift than a bunch of windows, no?

4) Awesome comment on the CAT5 and phone...hadnt even considered that!! wow...that would've sucked!

5) The upstairs will be partially finished as a guest house (big influence on convincing the wife here!). I was considering setting up ac/heat with a split to do either the bottom or the top. This way I could cool it, but not spend as much on equipment. It would mean one or the other though. Thoughts?

6) Anyone have thoughts for the walls other than normal drywall?

7) I've heard normal copper plumbing with soldered fittings is ok for air use...is this true? Any better ideas?
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cccbock
post May 10 2007, 05:27 PM
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QUOTE (CMC#5 @ May 10 2007, 11:54 AM) *
3) The whole building is behind a fence with the German Shepherd in the picture so I'm not really worried about intruders...but I think I'll let price drive the decision on windows. All other things being equal I think I'd rather have a lift than a bunch of windows, no?


Depending on the lift, you will need to address ceiling height. 11 foot is like the bare minimum but you really need 12. If you have a big tow vehicle, you will need a stouter lift. Sounds like your building is goint to be two stories so it might be big concern.

And yes, if you are over 30 years of age and under 70, you NEED that lift if this a shop. Didnt get mine till I was 45. 20 somethings can lay under a car all day and night with little ill effects. Once you get over 30 it starts to suck more and more until you hit about 50. From 50 to 70 you start paying other people to do the work if you don't have a lift just because of the time and PITA factor. Of course you will also NEED all kinds of cool lift tools, but that is for another day.

If the bathroom is in the apartment upstairs, just remember those stairs are gonna suck after the 5th beer...... and Mitch will be out back killing your grass.

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Just my thoughts.

Bock
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