View Full Version : building a new shop

m squared
12-15-2005, 07:47 PM
I'm building my future workshop. My plan is to set up the shop to do light machine work and small run manufacturing when I retire from the military in a few years.

I plan to install a 13 X 40 lathe, 9 X 49 bridgeport style mill, upright bandsaw, surface grinder, and possibly a small 3 axis CNC mill in the currently planned 12' X 24' tool room. I also want to put in a small office, restroom (important), a "dirty work" room for welding, grinding, and cutting, and a seperate tool storage room to keep things out of the way when not in use.

I'm planning a pole building with internal framing to hang sheetrock, insulation, and wiring/fixtures from.

I'm looking for lessons learned of what to do and what not to do as far as set up. Tips on things like power service, shop air, heat, lighting, would be greatly appreciated.

Frank Ford
12-15-2005, 08:28 PM
Well, where I live there's no hope of adding space, so I'll continue to be envious of anyone with a home shop bigger than my 18x18 garage. I've been working in that space for 35 years now, and about ten years ago I had to tear it down from the insde to knock off an encampment of termites that had eaten way more than their allotment.

After replacing the necessary studs and running twice as many electrical outlets as I thought I'd ever need, all I can say is I underestimated by half. Not because I really need that much power, it's just that every time I add a new tool, a lot of stuff has to be reshuffled. Now it seems I have flex conduit and air hose tacked all around the place.

So, my only piece of wisdom in this kind of project is to consider how easily stuff can be changed once you're in there. The really bright (by my standards anyhow) thing I did was to do away with all the sheetrock and faced all the walls and ceiling with a cheap grade of 3/4" plywood. I floated on a bit of mud and painted it all white. Now, anytime I want to hang just about anything anywhere, it's a snap. . .

Al Messer
12-15-2005, 08:29 PM
Don't forget Heating, Air Conditioning, and a BIG de-humidifier to take the moisture out of the air, unless you live in the High Mojave Desert.

12-15-2005, 08:31 PM
I think if i had to build a new shop i would start by putting radiant heat in the floors if you live in a cool climate. also three phase power would be nice for the new shop. another thing i would think about is running air lines through out the shop if you do this you won't be tripping on hoses and it keeps the noise of a compressor out of your hair. good lighting is another thing you want to think about.

12-15-2005, 08:41 PM
I would build the whole thing out of concrete block.
start off with a insulated concrete floor.
concrete walls should be at least six inches deep and re-enforced.
wall should be double with a cavity..solid concrete block and insulation in the cavity.
This is so you can plonk just about anything on them shelves .and have them not collapse.
also you won't double glazing and insulated roof.
did this over ten years ago ....note no cavity and no insulation.....that's something i regret with this build.
some pics ...took them with a cheapo cam
the workshop measures 26 by 26 feet.

Foundations were dug 1 metre deep and brickwork was done up to floor level


Area inside brick work was filled with 15 tons of hardcore ...wheel barelled 100 yards.ouch


This was levelled out ....compacted..then screed-ed with sand.


A damp proof membrane was laid on top of the screed


8 cubic metres of concrete was poured......all wheel barrelled from the cement mixer 100 yds away.......now you know why I had two disc's extracted from my back


more than 1500 solid concrete blocks were used..nother ouch


The walls are started



all the best.mark

[This message has been edited by aboard_epsilon (edited 12-15-2005).]

12-15-2005, 08:42 PM

took three weeks to do the above...most of the work by myself
16 foot high at the apex..as you can see from the trees...there was a big delay before getting to this stage....thats when my back went ....the rest took a further 12 months


roof goes on ..concrete tiles


after this the windows and doors were installed and the walls were stuccoed /Rendered (spelling)

all the best.mark

12-15-2005, 08:45 PM
You're in the wet part of Oregon... absolutely most important little thing is to grade the site so it drains well, and put a vapor barrier under the concrete.

If you're going to insulate, heat & frame out a large part of the building, consider a conventional stick frame built on a slab. Less of an issue if you're talking about a 12x24 part of a 24x48 or whatever.

Also definitely want an insulating vapor barrier between the skin & frame, unless you are planning on insulating the whole thing anyway, in which case ... see above.

And search for past threads on this topic.


12-15-2005, 08:47 PM
1)I would insulate the heck out of it so you can afford to heat/cool it.
2)at least 9 foot ceilings.
3) few windows -- don't want
strangers "window shopping".
4) Roll-In band saw
5) Either 3 phase power or a phase convertor
6) both 120 and 240 outlets and lots of them.
7) restroom -- coffee in means coffee out.
8) storage so you can buy material in bulk.
9) no garage type doors --- keeps the in-laws vehicles out. Most of them are allergic to work, rain and cold weather.

m squared
12-15-2005, 09:17 PM
Thanks for such quick input.
Frank, I know the pain you feel, my brother has pretty well made his living for about the last ten years working from an 8 X 16 shed in his back yard building bagpipes. He has a 9 X 19 lathe and small mill drill. At least he doesn't waste all sorts of time walking from machine to machine...

Al, I live in Western Oregon, dehumidifier, CHECK! I had thought about in floor heating, I'll look into that some more.

Mark, would love to do block, but I have an existing pole building I will be adding on to.
I had already been told about the floor by another machinist friend. 6" minimum spec grade mix, with 1/2 inch rebar in 12 inch centers, is that enough or do I need more to support the machinery I mentioned?

12-15-2005, 10:24 PM
You might want to use a fiber reinforced concrete along with the rebar. It may not cost much, if anything, and it won't hurt. I used 6 inches of concrete, plus mesh, plus rebar. The only problem is the concrete guys tend to mush it all down to the bottom where it doesn't do much good. This is particularly true if you are doing radiant heat and you have insulation board as a base. The rebar chairs will get mushed right down.

Figure out how to insulate the pole barn before you build it. One thing you might want to look at is SIP panels between the upright posts. Good insulation and, if you sheetrock it, you can hang anything anywhere on the wall.


Forrest Addy
12-15-2005, 10:27 PM
A small hobby machine shop ideally configured consists of a building that will accept double the machinery inventory it was originally designed for, a separate stock rack for pre-finished and structural shapes. A 12 x 12 welding and fabrication area by a roll up door. "U" shaped material flow, a tool room, a stock room, a john, and a material-in-process area next to an enclosable inspection area.

30 x 50 is the minimum size for a one man shop. This will take you to a three man shop but no more. Add 2500 sq ft per man therafter.

The amenities Stepside listed are the minimum.

12-15-2005, 10:38 PM
I think a fridge, microwave, shower, sink and toilet are the best things to have, so when the woman gets fired up you still have a place to hide. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

If I were still with the ex-wife the iron bars would lock from the inside.

12-15-2005, 10:42 PM
For in the floor heating and some other net stuff check this place out. they have sales and email alerts. Tek supply a farmer/ agri/indust supplier.
they have a radiant floor heating system parts and pieces and the radiant heat foil insulation is great which is what I'm putting in the second floor of the shop abobe the drop ceiling and roof. Also thinking of putting under the vinyl sinding when I replace the alum siding that currently on it.

Been there, probally broke it doing that

12-15-2005, 11:47 PM
M Squared
I'm also in the Salem (Turner)area and can Highly reccomend the floor heat, If you'd like to experience it contact me. I have no de-humidifyer and I have no rusting in my shop. I have no windows in my shop but I have transulcent panels on the south wall that I like. No wall spacelost to windows or security issues with windows. If your doing internal framing for sheetrock then be aware that you will have to have enough footing under wall to support it. Standard pole construction will not support it.
no neat sig line

3 Phase Lightbulb
12-15-2005, 11:56 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by m squared:
a "dirty work" room for welding </font>

You can put the MIG and stick welder in there, and put the TIG machine in a clean room http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif It's probably the cleanest machine tool of them all: No chips, no slag, no smoke, no sparks, nothing http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif


cam m
12-16-2005, 08:56 AM
Workshop hints?
I built a 26 x 26 wood frame building with 8' walls on top of 18" concrete curb walls and an overhead radiant heater. Wall finishes are 7/16 OSB inside and vinyl siding over 3/8 OSB outside. Steel clad doors and powder coated steel roofing. I live in semi arid Canadian Prairies so de humidifiers are not needed. The radiant overhead heat allows me to leave the workshop at 5 above while unoccupied, and I can work in my shirt sleeves in 25 minutes regardless how cold it is (to -40). I wired it with 3 basic types of circuits. 110 - 15 amp, 220 - 15 amp, and 220 - 65 amp. I live in a rural setting lookie-lous aren't an issue. I put 110 - 15 amp plugs every 8' around the building 4' off the floor and it's barely enough. I put 220 - 15 amp plugs in two corners - not enough. I put the 220 - 65 amp plug in one corner close to the 8' high x 10' wide overhead doors and its not enough. I put in 5 1/2" floor with air entrainment and fibre as well as 1/2 rebar on 24" centres trowelled smooth and coated with 2 coats epoxy paint with sand between the coats for traction. No floor issues yet after 5 years. My shop houses 3 lathes of various sizes, asian mill drill, drill press, 20' of wall mounted benches, plasma cutter, stick welder, mig, oxyacet, 2 bench grinders, 14" chop saw, bandsaw, and and upright toolbox as well as a 12 drawer bench top tool box. The biggest regret was the decided lack of forced ventilation/fume extraction for the welding operations. The lack of fume extraction forces me to drag the cables and torches outside to weld and cut. not usually an issue I plan around the cool days and run a lathe or something else in the real cold weather. I moved in all the equipment alone and I would NEVER build a shop without an overhead door to move the big stuff through. Moving 2000# stuff through a 36" entry door is a major PITA. I pile project inventory in front of the big door to discourage inlaws car repairs.

[This message has been edited by cam m (edited 12-16-2005).]

Paul Gauthier
12-16-2005, 09:37 AM
17 years ago I built a 24x24 pole building.
two story ganbrel style. It's 100% too small.
Biggest mistake was not installing radiant floor hearting. Too late now unless I raise the floor, not sure I want to do that. Another mistake was not insulating the first floor, doing that now with 6".
Electric plugs, figure out the max number you need and then double it.
AC is a must for humidity control if for no other reason.

Paul G.

m squared
12-16-2005, 10:18 AM
ok WOW
(madly taking notes here)

Seems like floor heat is the way to go, I will be doing the flat work on the floor myself so I can make sure things stay where they are supposed to be.

Larry, I need to get in touch with you and see what floor heat will do I suppose

110V 20A on 4' centers in the working rooms and 220V on 8'? That sound about right?

I had considered a welding fume hood in the welding and cutting area, does anyone know where I can get info, designs, ideas on these?

12-16-2005, 10:24 AM
Many good points already covered. I'll just give a few thoughts:

- Air compressor outside--they're noisy.

- Consider an outdoor area accessible from the dirty room with a concrete pad.

- Any need to do painting, plating, bluing or the like? Think about what that entails.

- There is never enough storage. Think about what kinds of systems you will want to help you organize. Good organization enables a much smaller space to function well.

- Sink: Yes, there is a bathroom. But I find a shop sink is also helpful. Presumably it goes on the other side of the wall from the bathroom sink.

- Make sure the building is located conveniently for moving heavy machinery on and off your property!

- Ditto on the radiant floor heat. The stuff is marvelous.

- I like having a measuring and layout area where the surface plate sits with all the measuring tools. This area has to be kept clean. You'll "borrow" micrometers or calipers to take over to the machines, but I like the measurement area to be spotless.

I have a tiny little shop but you can see some of the things I've done to organize it here:




12-16-2005, 10:41 AM
I dunno about radiant underfloor heating in an "industrial enviornment" - what happens when(not "if" you damage the concrete floor, and have to jackhammer it up?

Personally, I would go with baseboard radiators - they're fairly cheap, just don't mount em right at floor level as spillage/chip pile can be an issue.

For a heating source, I recommend a geothermal heat pump, very cheap to operate(if you get a decent solar setup, it will cost you nothing to heat/cool your shop!) and combined with good, and I mean GOOD insulation, will be excellent in the long run - the downside? the costs. typically double of what a gas boiler setup is. But folks, Propane, fuel oil, LNG ain't gonna get cheaper!

About construction: I would try to "blend" the building into the scenery - building a concrete block building in residential neighborhood is just begging for trouble from the nosey nellies and the zoning authority. Making it from "stick" construction means you can do most, if not all of it yourself. The thing to consider when designing that I consider very important is columns - do whatever you can to avoid them! For instance, if you build a 2 story setup(not a bad idea actually - put the office, bathroom, furnace, light stuff upstairs thus freeing up space on the first floor. Where was I? Oh yeah columns - 2 x 12's are rated to 20 foot spans as floor joists, beyond that, it gets pricy because you have to go to the fabbed wood I beams. I've seen them span 34 feet+ with 16" high ones, 12" OC. The problem is one of cost - a 2x12x20' is 65 bucks down at Home Depot, The fabbed wood Ibeams are special order, and EXPENSIVE. I would also have seperate rooms on "wings" of the building for special processes, like Plating, welding, anno, Paint(strongly consider a small paint booth, and make sure it has outside access!)perhaps an inspection room, etc. if You do go with a single story setup, look into prefabbed trusses - you can get them in huge spans.

Power: if you can, get 3 phase service, with say a 200amp service panel. put a threephase outlet every 10 feet or so, with them wired on an individual circuit(or at most 2-3 outlets per circuit). This way, if you get more machines, you can easily rearange the shop to better suit the amount of equipment you have.

Lighting: if you have high, and I mean HIGH ceilings, HID is the way to go, otherwise go with decent flourescent fixtures with electronic ballasts and "warm" bulbs. Don't skimp on lighting! If you don't think you have enough, you don't! Add more!

Floor: a 6-8 inch thick concrete floor sealed with epoxy should be good enough for anything short of a monster machining center. Putting a perimeter drain in with a sump that pumps into a drum is also a good idea - coolant spills can be a a pain in the ass and this makes dealing with them easier.

Windows: Bad idea. Yah, it lets light in, but it also lets other people look in, something you probably don't want, if for nothing else than zoning issues. However, if you have a single story building, look into skylights, they will make the building seam more comfortable.

Access: make sure you have a driveway(at least 8 feet wide, with no sharp turns) because you're probably going to have stuff dropped off or picked up at some point.


This Old Shed (http://thisoldshed.tripod.com)

12-16-2005, 11:17 AM
When I moved into my current house in the 80s it had no garage, just a post and beam carport but with a complete and proper roof. It is about 24 x 20. I sacrificed an 8x10' area for an entrance "mudroom" for the house with steps into the garage. I closed in the entire carport with 6" framing and plywood plus matching siding on the outside. I still haven't completed insulating and covering the inside walls but have about half of it insulated on the north side and also covered with plywood on the inside.

One big item is that I have a 10 1/2' ceiling. That is about the handiest thing to have in a shop. It makes handling long material much easier. Also, to prevent window shopping it has no windows low enough to see through. I have translucent panels 2' x 8' on both sides that are near the top of the walls. They let in enough light in the day that you don't need to turn on the lights to avoid tripping on things (there is plenty to trip on).

I also constructed barn style doors that swing out with a man door beside. The main doors are plywood both sides with 1 1/2" foam insulation inside. The opening is 10' wide by 8' high. The doors swing all the way out and can be latched to the front side of the garage (shop).

[add] The main doors cannot be opened from the outside. You have to enter through the man door (with deadbolt) to go inside to open the main doors.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 12-16-2005).]

cam m
12-16-2005, 11:20 AM
Your ultimate decisions will be affected by your resources as well. Who will build it? How good are your skills if you intend to build it yourself? Ie, what materials and techniques are you familiar with? For example I've built 6 buildings of own and I'm quite comfortable with cribbing, concrete, stick framing, wiring. When we built our house though, we used a new concrete form system. I paid for the carpenter who helped me with it and myself to attend a training seminar before we ever even ordered material. Also, be cautious about 20a circuitry. Some tradesman may insist on installing 20a spec plug ins which should have a different spade pattern.

12-16-2005, 11:46 AM
#4 rebar on 12" centers in a 6" slab sounds adequate. Be sure it is well supported - I prefer seeing lots of plastic chairs. The biggest factor in preventing cracks is making sure the dirt under the slab is really well compacted and not too fry or too wet.

Legal disclaimer - The above is not intended as specific engineering advice. Consult a professional engineer licensed in your state for design and code compliance issues.

After that, I suggest plugs. Lots of them. I put one in for every six linear feet of wall. Install a dedicated heavy duty 50 amp, 240 volt service to your welding area now, when it's cheaper. Other dedicated lines should go to the locations of the room heat/ac and the mill or (big) lathe.

First step is to sit down with a sheet of paper and figure out the work flow pattern. Also, summer colling will be lower if you can open doors on opposite ends of the shop. Get insulated rollup doors for winter. More windows are good for light but bad for theft. Maybe have them lightly frosted.

Finally, don't skimp on tool and material storage.


12-16-2005, 11:55 AM
On the issue of wiring, it is perfectly legal to go up one gauge on the wire. You are permitted to use 12 gauge instead of 14 gauge on a standard 15 amp circuit and it's a good idea to help prevent voltage drop under heavy starting loads.

12-16-2005, 12:35 PM
Include a few nice ceiling I-beams with trolleys for lifting, or better, a bridge crane!! Super handy. Even if not powered. I have a 20X25 shop, concrete block. It has a 12" I-beam for lifting and moving machines, pulling engines, etc. The shop has an attic, where I put my 5hp air compressor, and a 100,000btu house furnace. Air is ducted to the shop via celing vents, a cold air return sucks off the shop floor. Air compressor has a dryer system and 8 coil hose drops the celing and 3 wall hose outlets. I have 8 outlets along the wall. Each has 2 110v outlets and 1 220v, 30a outlet for my portable VFD for 3 phase machines. Also a 220v 50a outlet for the 200a mig welder. Also have a wall mounted exhaust fan for fumes. Lots of commercial shelving. One whole wall is shelving, other shelving hangs from the celing over the workbenches. Supermarket type shelving. For lighting, I have 15 troffer fixtures, 4 40 watt bulbs each. Each 2 bulbs in the fixtures are switched seperately, so you can run 2 or all 4 bulbs per troffer, to save electricity if full brightness is not needed. The tig welder is in the basement shop, where I have a range exhaust fan hood over my welding bench that exhausts into the house chimney. Compressed air from the garage shop also goes underground to the basement shop. 220v 100a feeds the shop panel. Also have telephone,internet, natural gas,etc. Shop stereo is hooked to 2 170 watt 70v line amps. 7 celing mounted 70v speakers. Wood stairs going to the attic and a HaborFreight hoist for helping stuff up the stairs. Floor drains with cleanout traps are also nice. --Doozer

12-16-2005, 04:34 PM
Having done this- pole barn shop- I will add my two cents.
1.Concider machine placement when installing electrical service. I have a hell of a lot of money in wire and conduit because I located machinery on the far side of the building from the service entrance.
2.After you figure out where your machinery will be figure up a jib crane or gantry crane and build it INTO the building.
3.Concider adding chain pots into the "dirty work area" floor. Sure is nice to be able to chain/ clamp something down while working on it.


m squared
12-16-2005, 05:53 PM
One of my big advantages is I am building on to an existing 24 X 36 shop building that was on the property when I bought it. I have a 15+ acre parcel at the end of a mile long gravel road out in the county so lookie loos arent too much of a problem, if they are the neighbors dogs will let me know they are there (believe me on this one).
Based on the number of people that are saying no on windows due to security issues, what about an alarm system?

12-17-2005, 02:41 AM
I have had an alarm in my last couple of shops and think that they act as a good deterrent.
With the help of a friend in the business, we looked over my shop and thought ‘if I was breaking in here, how would I do it?’, then designed the system with the trouble prone areas in mind.

Here are a few considerations:
I have mine set to beep every time a door opens or closes so everyone notices that there is an alarm. I also have signs on each side of the building - big ones on the back- and stickers on all of the windows.
I have one siren in the attic in front of an eave vent that faces my house and one set to sound in the shop. It helps if there is someone to hear the alarm, but the siren in the shop ensures that it is very uncomfortable to remain in there for very long with it blaring.
Motion detectors are a must for thorough protection.
You can hook up heat detectors so the alarm will sound (a different tone) if there is a fire.
I did a careful installation, used solder and heat shrink on all of the connections, carefully aligned and mounted the switches, and used good 2 stage motion detectors. I have only had a couple of false alarms in probably 10 years, and they were because I went stupid and opened the door with the alarm set – so no big deal.
My friend (who sold alarm monitoring) thinks that monitoring is a waste of money. I have to carry a pager, so I have considered setting a dialer to page me if the alarm goes off.
The whole shebang cost about $200.

Your Old Dog
12-17-2005, 08:09 AM
So where the hell were all you guys when I retrofitted my chicken coop to a shop? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

I had to figure it all out myself. I did manage to get the wiring right. Now I can throw away the commercial duty extension cord hooks and hangers I was tripping on all the time. All my outlets are raiesed so the cords don't hang to the floor. I wanted nothing on my floor for rodent and dirt control. Sure is easy to clean up. I got windows up the gazoo and like them for now. My wood burning stove is able to keep up with the drafts the windows let. I'll sacrifice wall space everytime for a view if theres one to be had. I worked in a basement for 15 years and hated everyday of it. Used to tell the wife I was going down to my hole in the ground.

My big suggestion to you would be to settle on a couple of prioritys and the hell with the rest. You'll spend the rest of your life building a shop that will never get done. And when you're done, you'll be kicking yourself in the arse for not having added the outside workarea under a roof with a small blacksmiths setup and outside workbenches!! When I was engraving I frequently dragged my tools to the picnic table!

Tin Falcon
12-18-2005, 02:18 PM
Lots of good info but wanted to add another spin here. I Know most of us no matter what equipment we have and what size shop we have we dream of adding tools and a having a larger shop. But I am going to throw a new spin on things. I have had the pleasure over the years of having several wonderfull and educational conversations with the late great Rudy Kouhoupt. His shop was only 96 square feet 8 x 12 if I rememer corectly there was a good reason for this. TAXES!!! it is my understanding that in most areas, less than 100 square feet is exempt from building codes , inspections and taxes. Good insulation will save on the heating cooling bill. Building small will save $$$ by keeping your proper tax bill from going up due to improvements. Check you local coded do your homework.

m squared
12-19-2005, 11:19 PM
Thanks for all the input. I have a whole notepad of...well...NOTES.
Please feel free to keep making posts. I will keep making notes.

12-19-2005, 11:38 PM
m squared

12-19-2005, 11:41 PM
Sorry bout that...
m squared,
If you go with in floor heating, take plenty of pictures before you pour the floor. I even made marks on the walls for reference. Comes in pretty handy when you have to drill holes in your floor...

12-20-2005, 01:24 AM
Seems to be some critical information missing from this thread so far... Make sure the shop is positioned such that your wife can't see the front of it from the house.

You don't want her seeing all the packages UPS drops off in front of the shop all the time... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

m squared
12-20-2005, 12:47 PM
roger that Wayne!!!
only problem is the wife likes getting packages more than I do. I came home last night and my "pet rock" (starett master pink surface plate) had been delivered and she opened it because because it came addressed to M2 enterprizes and she wasn't sure who that was.

m squared
12-20-2005, 12:50 PM
That was my big concern with floor heating. I am going to be mounting machine tools to the floor, what happens if I hit a heating line when I am drilling for an anchor. Aside from drawing lines over where the heating lines are or as suggested taking pictures, is there a way to keep this from happening?

12-20-2005, 01:22 PM
I built a pole barn shop and heated the floor with 50 gallon water heater. The best way I could think of avoiding damaged heat lines was after compacking and laying down foil insulation I tied rebar 18" apart both directions creating a grid to tie off my heat lines and hold them at the bottom of my floor I then poured 5.5 to 6" concrete floor allowing 3" anchors and I haven"t hit a line yet?????

Peter S
12-21-2005, 12:30 AM
Maybe someone has already mentioned this....but don't forget to pour strong concrete on the approaches to the shed, because thats where the biggest loads may well be, eg a truck delivering a machine tool.
Over here anyway, machinery is often delivered by trucks with Hiabs - I wouldn't want one of those things driving on the normal home drive concrete. Steel delivery trucks, same problem too.

12-22-2005, 01:04 PM
As far as the number/type of electrical outlets, you can't have too many! I would suggest running 4" square wire duct (trough) on the walls, about 4' off the floor. You pull all of your wiring thru the trough and you can put them anywhere you want. This makes adding/moving/changing outlets easy. You can get cover plates for all different kinds of recepticals. One shop I worked in did it this way and it worked real slick, since they were ALWAYS changing thigs around.

12-22-2005, 04:40 PM
To mark the heating tube locations, why not place a vertical rod of brass or bright-colored plastic at each end of a run, sticking out of the slab. Once it sets up, cut it flush leaving a 1/8" dot of bright brass or plastic to mark the location. Don't drill between the dots.

Robert Duncan
12-22-2005, 04:42 PM
Make all of your outlet wiring 12ga and home runs (one outlet per cable run) back to the panel. This allowed me to change 117V outlets to 220V with a change to a double breaker in the panel and new receptacle at the outlet. It also minimizes nuisance tripping if I happen to turn on two high draw devices at once.

Another good trick is to use 12-3 or pull 4 conductors in conduit to each outlet site. You can share the neutral and have two breaker' worth of load (maybe a quad outlet with each pair on a breaker) with minimal copper installed.

Install a 42 circuit panel, even if you only use 15-20 to start with.

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by ckalley:
... pull all of your wiring thru the trough ... </font>

Note that if you are wiring to NEC code you cannot have more than three current carrying conductors in the same raceway without derating the conductors (going bigger in wire gauge size).

Robert Duncan
12-22-2005, 04:45 PM
Deleted duplicate post...

[This message has been edited by Robert Duncan (edited 12-23-2005).]