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View Full Version : Power drops for machines on the floor



3 Phase Lightbulb
02-07-2018, 10:08 PM
For my personal shop, I discovered that putting machines against a wall is very wasteful as I really like to put shelves and cabinets against walls. The means all of my machines are set off the walls which for me is a great productive location for them but then you need to run power to them out on the floor. For my sanders/grinders/buffers and my drill press I decided to make some simple power drops and they are working out great. I used 4 neodymium magnets to hold the outlet on the drill press which keeps it very secure and completely out of the way. For my sanders/etc I just drop a 4-outlet box which sits on the mobile bench. This setup works really well. I was concerned it was going to be distracting with wires hanging down but it's completely normal feeling.


http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/ceiling1.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/ceiling2.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/ceiling3.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/ceiling4.jpg

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-07-2018, 10:08 PM
http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/ceiling5.jpg

RB211
02-07-2018, 10:29 PM
I like the way you think. My Bridgeport is away from the wall, and when the 12” lathe gets here, will do the same. It is REALLY nice to be able to walk behind a machine.

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-07-2018, 10:39 PM
I used to have a bridgeport in the corner in my old shop and my lathe against a wall and that was a waste of wall space. I now have everything off the walls. The bridgeport, lathe, and surface grinder are about 36" off from the shelves that line all of the walls. It gives you tons of storage space plus you can walk around all machines and I can move them around easily with a pallet jack if the need arises.

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/machines1.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/machines2.jpg

Rich Carlstedt
02-07-2018, 10:41 PM
You are right about having drops in the shop. I also do that for my lathe, Sander, and Bridgeport.

I was told that there may be an electric code violation if you do not use a spring wrapper ( choker) on the cord coming off the ceiling to keep pressure off the connectors. So I bought a couple.

Rich

lakeside53
02-07-2018, 10:45 PM
Around here you need to kellums style strain relief the cord at the ceiling box (I assume it is SO cord? can't tell) with the likes of these : https://www.graybar.com/manufacturers/hubbell/wdk/kellems-strain-relief-grips . We have about a 100 of them hanging from 24 feet at work.

If it's flex conduit it needs to be supported every 3 feet. i.e., clamped back to uni-strut or whatever.

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-07-2018, 11:07 PM
It's actually just a glorified extension cord. I was going to run a dedicated circuit but decided to just plug into an outlet already in the ceiling which is only used for the garage door openers. The conduit boxes swivel and I'm using wire clamps to grab the 12 AWG extension cords. It only took about 20 minutes to setup so I couldn't resist.

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/cord3.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/cord2.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/cord4.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/cord1.jpg

Fasttrack
02-07-2018, 11:14 PM
It also makes it much easier to work with oddball or oversize pieces that may hang off a table and/or require additional equipment to handle or support.

BCRider
02-07-2018, 11:38 PM
I've got a drop down platform that hangs over the mill and drill press. Plugs and lighting on the underside and LIGHT bulky item storage on the upper side. It means that I didn't need to run the drops since the cords on the machines are long enough. The lower side is only about 6' 6" so it's easy to reach.

But in the end it's really not any different than your box drops. Cords still hang down from above. And I agree, it's different but took nothing to become used to seeing.

The corners have "free" outlets in them which I plug into at need for anything I need power for while on the bench vise or working near to the center of the shop. VERY handy.

This came out sideways when I uploaded it to my HSM album but it shows the shelf and you can see the cords from the machines and some work lights that are clustered in the middle of the platform. Neatly out of the way but handy to reach.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2316&d=1518064500

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-07-2018, 11:49 PM
Cool, it's like a mini mezzanine. Mine not only holds stuff up top, but I also put racks under in between the joists and the support post is perfect for dropping power outlets and light switches off of. I rotated your pic for you.

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/bc.jpg

Arcane
02-07-2018, 11:55 PM
I've long been an advocate of using conduit and surface mounting receptacles on the ceiling after having a shop where they are all embedded in the walls.

CCWKen
02-08-2018, 12:13 AM
Looks pretty good to me. Most all automotive shops have drop-downs for everything--Electric, air and even some have water.

J Tiers
02-08-2018, 12:48 AM
I prefer NOT to have drops, but to run the cords up to an outlet above. I especially do NOT like a hard wired cord going to a box mounted on a machine, as that drill press looks like.

Better to use a short drop and a single cord end receptacle so the machine cord goes up to it, or just a receptacle in the box instead of the drop, depending on ceiling height.

A glorified extension cord may not even be "SJ" type cord. Actual cordage might be "SJ", which is a lightweight thermoplastic insulated cordage. Better would be "SO" cord which is heavy duty rubber covered oil resistant cordage. SO might be required for shop drops, have not looked it up.

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-08-2018, 12:56 AM
I prefer NOT to have drops, but to run the cords up to an outlet above. I especially do NOT like a hard wired cord going to a box mounted on a machine, as that drill press looks like.

Better to use a short drop and a single cord end receptacle so the machine cord goes up to it, or just a receptacle in the box instead of the drop, depending on ceiling height.

A glorified extension cord may not even be "SJ" type cord. Actual cordage might be "SJ", which is a lightweight thermoplastic insulated cordage. Better would be "SO" cord which is heavy duty rubber covered oil resistant cordage. SO might be required for shop drops, have not looked it up.

The box on the drill press is mounted with magnets :) Keeps the box from moving, but will break away if I pull the drill press out and forget to unplug it.

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/ceiling4.jpg

Paul Alciatore
02-08-2018, 01:25 AM
I have pretty much the same situation with lathe, mill, drill press, band saw, and a work bench in the middle of the room. I installed the outlet boxes on the ceiling and most of the above are just plugged directly in there. I do have an outlet box that was already installed on the lathe bench, but it is not for the lathe, just other things used there. And the work bench has a couple of outlet strips on it which are powered from above.

All the outlets are new and tight so the plugs do not show any signs of coming loose. No problems so far.

I don't think an electrical inspector would like the idea of magnetically mounted boxes. But they may not like my set up either.

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-08-2018, 01:37 AM
I don't think an electrical inspector would like the idea of magnetically mounted boxes. But they may not like my set up either.

I would feel sorry for the inspector if he was that grossly incompetent.

Paul Alciatore
02-08-2018, 01:44 AM
????? Your point?




I would feel sorry for the inspector if he was that grossly incompetent.

J Tiers
02-08-2018, 02:08 AM
????? Your point?

3PL does not think there is a violation......

CCWKen
02-08-2018, 08:11 AM
Just curious. When was the last time one of you invited an electrical inspector to visit your shop? :confused:

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-08-2018, 08:28 AM
Just curious. When was the last time one of you invited an electrical inspector to visit your shop? :confused:

Every time I go into my shop :)

Jim Williams
02-08-2018, 09:36 AM
When I built my 28 x 60 ft. Shop some 40 years ago, I put a grid of surface mounted receptacles in the ceiling, along with the usual ones on the walls. A 240V twist lock receptacle was installed above the single phase Bridgeport clone. The receptacles for lighting were powered by switches in the walls. The lighting was chain hung 4 ft. fixtures.

chipmaker4130
02-08-2018, 11:00 AM
My shop has a bridge crane running the full length of the shop so ceiling drops would not work. Same problem if you have an overhead door track in the way. I fabricated simple arches from EMT and lightweight steel tubing over which the electrical supply runs, along with an air hose.

Like the rest of you, I like to get behind the machines for cleaning and maintenance, and for access to the wall space (shelves). I did keep the shelf behind the lathe fairly high so I don't bean myself every time I sweep back there.

Sorry about the photo goof, reviewed Paul's instructions and can't find the BBCode so you have to click on the thumbs to view the images.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2318&thumb=1&d=1518105462 (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/album.php?albumid=394&attachmentid=2318)



http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2317&thumb=1&d=1518105437 (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/album.php?albumid=394&attachmentid=2317)

ed_h
02-08-2018, 11:09 AM
In the woodworking part of my shop, I used to have power and dust collection from above. It worked fine, but made it sort of hard to manipulate large pieces. Eventually, for the machines in the middle of the floor, I put power, dust duct, and control wiring (for vac system) under the floor. Makes the shop look much more tidy.

It's is less flexible than ceiling drops, but so far that hasn't been a big problem.

Ed
http://bullfire.net/Dust_Collection/SDC11757a.JPG

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-08-2018, 11:09 AM
chipmaker4130 (http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/members/6203-chipmaker4130), Here you go...

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2318&d=1518105462

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2317&d=1518105437

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-08-2018, 11:26 AM
I fabricated simple arcs from EMT and lightweight steel tubing over which the electrical supply runs, along with an air hose.

I like that idea a lot. I think that is what I'll do for my bridgeport and my surface grinder. I'll probably mount a ~32" long piece of angle iron hinged (horizontally) off the wall above the shelf to help drop power down for each of them. I'm currently just running the power cord behind and into the shelving but I like your over-head drop extension idea much better. My Lathe is easy as it's under the mezzanine so I can just drop power down from one of the joists.

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-08-2018, 11:35 AM
Are you a magician? I think I figured out your floating bottle trick :)

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2317&d=1518105437

chipmaker4130
02-08-2018, 11:49 AM
Hey! Thanks for the photo fix, but how'd you do it?

Yeah, my coolant catcher 'floats' via a slip-on bracket, and those open arches are made from a pre-formed EMT 90 that I sawed in half lengthwise and then welded end-to-end. Doing it that way does waste half of each 90, but they're cheap and it saves a bunch of time and cursing. They give me about 26" of walkway near the wall, and there's no 'threading' of cables/hoses since they're open on top.

BCRider
02-08-2018, 01:53 PM
He rotated mine as well that had been fine before I saved it to my HSM blog. He's a bloody magician hisself ! ! ! ! :D

I like the holders you used chipmaker. Anything that keeps that stuff off the floor is a great option. Hey, if umbilical supports are good enough for the space program then they are good enough for us shop guys, right? :)

chipmaker4130
02-08-2018, 02:49 PM
. . .Hey, if umbilical supports are good enough for the space program then they are good enough for us shop guys, right? :)

Right on! (My wife thinks I'm kind of spacey anyway)

3 Phase Lightbulb
02-08-2018, 02:51 PM
Right on! (My wife thinks I'm kind of spacey anyway)

Make sure she's not referring to this type of spacey!!

https://pixel.nymag.com/imgs/daily/vulture/2017/11/01/01-kevin-spacey-1.w710.h473.jpg

Mcgyver
02-08-2018, 03:45 PM
Same problem if you have an overhead door track in the way.



I get around that with 3P twist locks. Its extremely rare the garage door gets opened, but if I have to....I just unplug stuff

Paul Alciatore
02-08-2018, 03:50 PM
So you are a city or county code enforcement inspector? Why didn't you just say that. I think I have been ambushed.

But surely you are not in every city, in every state. I have found that the ones that I have worked with have been very helpful, but they can bring up many points of the codes that I didn't even suspect existed. If magnetic mounts are OK, then wonderful. I don't know if I would ever use them, but wonderful.




Every time I go into my shop :)

Paul Alciatore
02-08-2018, 03:56 PM
The BBC or .img code is BELOW the image AFTER you click on one image in the folder to select that image in a single image screen. You have to scroll down below that image to to see the codes.

Don't blame me, I would have designed the process a LOT better. And a LOT easier!


1. Select an Album:

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2319&d=1518126132


2. Select a Photo in the Album:

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2320&d=1518126141


3. But you can not see the codes. Scroll Down:

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2321&d=1518126155


4. There's the codes, below the photo.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/attachment.php?attachmentid=2322&d=1518126166


Sorry, I had to delete your pictures from the quote due to the four photo per post limit.




My shop has a bridge crane running the full length of the shop so ceiling drops would not work. Same problem if you have an overhead door track in the way. I fabricated simple arches from EMT and lightweight steel tubing over which the electrical supply runs, along with an air hose.

Like the rest of you, I like to get behind the machines for cleaning and maintenance, and for access to the wall space (shelves). I did keep the shelf behind the lathe fairly high so I don't bean myself every time I sweep back there.

Sorry about the photo goof, reviewed Paul's instructions and can't find the BBCode so you have to click on the thumbs to view the images.

BCRider
02-08-2018, 05:16 PM
Paul, it copied into my HSM album sideways. But it was upright in anything I use here. It was also the IMG code that I used to paste the image into my post. So I'm still stumped I'm afraid.

Locally I know I've seen and even used long hanging rubber cords in shops I've been in. But on the upper end they were set up with those wire webbing "chinese finger puzzle" strain reliefs secured to the box on the upper end so the cords didn't take the strain at the bushings. And since bushings on soft cords can't be properly tightened the cords can work their way out. Hence the need for the finger puzzle strain reliefs. Not sure if it's a code thing or not. But it seemed like a good idea.

metalmagpie
02-08-2018, 05:31 PM
The 3 phase power cord on my Nardini lathe drops from above. At the bottom it is hard-wired to the lathe. On top the cord comes out of the side of a jbox. I used a 90 degree "chinese handcuff" style cord restraint.

metalmagpie

Paul Alciatore
02-08-2018, 05:34 PM
Well, mine have been just hanging for several years now and still no problems. Most of my cords have molded on plugs; where I needed to install a cord, as on my lathe, I used a cut-up extension cord with that molded on plug. But the (230V) mill, at least, has one that I assembled on the cord. I do find that I can assemble the better grade of AC plugs with a good grip on the cord so they do not pull out in normal use. It is a matter of selecting a good grade, not the cheapest and matching the cord size to the size of the strain relief in the plug. The overhead cords do not get much abuse: it is really hard to trip on them. I had a "plan B" in the back of my head to add additional cable supports if they were needed but so far I haven't seen even a hint of any reason to do so. That may be a nice project for my new 3D printer: something that attaches to the outside of the boxes and has an "S" curve for the cords to pass through. I am starting to love 3D printing.

The only time I have cords running across the shop floor is when I use wood tools, like my table saw, router, sanders, etc. And I generally put those away when I am finished.

I have absolutely no clue about that sideways thing. I wonder if there is some setting in the BB software that chooses to display thumbnails instead of the full size images. Anybody know?




Paul, it copied into my HSM album sideways. But it was upright in anything I use here. It was also the IMG code that I used to paste the image into my post. So I'm still stumped I'm afraid.

Locally I know I've seen and even used long hanging rubber cords in shops I've been in. But on the upper end they were set up with those wire webbing "chinese finger puzzle" strain reliefs secured to the box on the upper end so the cords didn't take the strain at the bushings. And since bushings on soft cords can't be properly tightened the cords can work their way out. Hence the need for the finger puzzle strain reliefs. Not sure if it's a code thing or not. But it seemed like a good idea.

chipmaker4130
02-08-2018, 05:46 PM
Thank you, Paul for re-explaining the photo thing. I used your instructions months ago with success but in the interim I'd forgotten to scroll down.

chipmaker4130
02-08-2018, 05:48 PM
I get around that with 3P twist locks. Its extremely rare the garage door gets opened, but if I have to....I just unplug stuff

I considered that for my shop too, but the ceiling is just over 10ft up so I'd have to drag a ladder over every time I moved something with the crane. (That happens a lot, actually, moving the crane around. I use it to load my large OA rig into my truck and to move a 500lb wood planer in and out of the corner its stored in).