How to wire a new shop
OK, I have been searching here for a while and have decided that I am going to build a small home shop in the back yard. I am going with a 20ft by 20 ft with 10 foot walls carolina carport building. The only problem I am having right now is how to wire it? The studs are 2 1/2 inch square tube, so I really don't want to drill holes in it to run the wires through. I do want to put some kind of wall cover on it to give it a finised look. Has anyone used this type of building and what did you do?
You might want to use surface-mounted conduit on top of your wall covering. It'll be easier to make changes in the future.
Well since you have not yet poured the slab or footing for the building the 1" or better PVC well be the most economical and versatile means of wiring your shop.
Remember to plan on lots of outlets - 110v. Just loop the 1" pvc "in - out" for each outlet box until you've made a complete loop around the shop. Then run an additional 1" to each place you plan (or think) you'll have a machine. No harm in running an additional 1" EMT to the rafters in case you end up running some thing off a service drop from the rafters
Remember PVC is cheap - GO BIG
Joe, 'm not sure what you mean? Do you mean to run PVC around the inside top of the walls in the shop?
I'll be the first to complicate things:
Will your 2-1/2" tube studs pass applicable local codes? Is this one of the metal arch carport/buildings that every small used car dealer sells for $695 installed?
If it's that kind of structure and you don't have to worry about meeting codes, I suggest running conduit over whatever wall surface you use. The framing tubing will be minimal at best, so do not make large holes in it.
If you are using weldable structural tubing, it's a different matter, but then I'd wonder why you aren't using 2x4's.
It is a little heavier duty than the $695 carports you see. They are rated for 150 MPH winds and meet local codes. They are a lot cheaper than 2X4 buildings right now.
No ... From your OP I was thinking you haven't even poured the concrete slab or footing yet
Originally Posted by Roger_H
From that stand point it is much more economical to run PVC pipe under the slab and up into the wall. You can ask the manufacturer of the building for a framing layout which will tell you every thing you need to know about making sure you come up IN BETWEEN the framing studs in the wall.
Once the frame is complete you raise up to 12" or 48" with EMT. Your not supposed to run PVC in concealed walls. Stuff won't burn by itself - but if it does burn, the smoke is super toxic. Also if you run 1" like I suggested, you'll want to use 4 - 11/16 sq boxes with the 1" knock-outs. Finish it off with a 'P' - Ring raised to the thickness of what ever thickness sheet rock you are going to use
Then insulate and finish off the walls as usual and you'll have 1 hell of a good electrical system.
With pipe - you can always re-size the wires, or add additional circuits easily as you go. You can even run 2 systems - a Single Phase system and a 3 phase system in the same pipes - just use different colors.
My two cents is to run services overhead and put drops for work stations; you can anchor anything to the walls and floor without fear.
I've never heard anybody say they have too many electrical circuits in their shop.
When I first saw this thread, my instinct told me to run a sort of channel all around the room, kind of like wainscotting or whatever. Something that's at bench height, and which could actually be the rear support for benchtops as well. Inside that you run electrical and air, even water if there would be a shop sink. You just break into the channel wherever you want access to the services inside. Doesn't have to be deep- if it stuck out away from the wall by little more than the depth of an electrical box, that would probably be enough. If you did decide to use it as a rear support for work tables, etc, put it at the appropriate height.
When I first built my electronics room, I did this sort of thing the full length of two walls. It is about six inches deep, and eight inches high. The bench top is also the full length of both walls, minus two feet for a taller cabinet at one end. The benchtop comes up to the bottom of it. It's nice to have the built-in shelf to put things on, spray cans, etc. My electrical outlets are on it, plus I have cutouts in it where various pieces of gear can be set into- three pairs of speakers as well in this case, since it was made for electronics repair and testing stations.
One of the things I like about it is that the bench top, which is two feet deep, is actually away from the wall by the same six inches. This means you sit that much further away from the wall, which I find more comfortable. For a built in stand for a machine tool, that kind of thing would allow for parts of the machine to stick out without the stand having to be either away from the wall so much. Just a few ideas.
Last edited by jugs; 01-25-2011 at 05:25 AM.