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Projects: Machine shop, storage, work areas, computer and electronics lab areas

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  • PStechPaul
    replied
    I already have a large number of metal shelves, some of which are light duty or medium duty as yours seem to be, and also some very heavy duty military grade shelves that have a sheet metal backing that makes them extremely rigid. I also have a large shelf unit that is on casters, as well as numerous wooden shelves. I gave some of them to my sister and BIL. And I have something like 10 full size file cabinets and a couple of half-height units, plus a few plastic ones. And I have maybe a dozen cabinets with small plastic drawers, and a bunch of metal card files that I use for small electronic parts. And also several sets of open plastic bins.

    I do plan to go over the primer with a finish coat. I'm also thinking about mounting the drawer cabinets on a cart with casters, so I can move it around. I have some heavy perforated steel angle material that can be used to make a pretty good cart, and I have a two-shelf cart that is on my porch and needs to be cleaned up and painted.







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  • 3 Phase Lightbulb
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by engineerd3d View Post
    3 phase light bulb. Are you in NJ? I think I saw that parts washer on CL.....
    I'm in MA. I threw the parts washer in a dumpster I rented. Maybe someone salvaged it and put it up on CL in NJ - doubtful though. Unfortunately I threw out tons of good stuff I know I wasn't going to use it, but I also didn't want to deal with trying to sell any of it. I even through out a heavy duty steel 4-drawer filing cabinet that was full of new Bridgeport parts (bought at an auction years ago)-- which I immediately regretted after the dumpster got picked up. I wanted the floor space that cabinet was consuming that bad I didn't really care about all of the BP parts as I don't need them but then realized I should have probably threw them on CL but again, I wasn't really thinking that way at the time. I was thinking, yea, I think I paid $50 for this cabinet and I really don't want it now, and WTF am I going to do with all of these BP parts -- mine is fine so I'll just toss them..

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  • engineerd3d
    replied
    3 phase light bulb. Are you in NJ? I think I saw that parts washer on CL.....

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  • 3 Phase Lightbulb
    Guest replied
    Paul, I wish you were close by. I had bought a bunch of shelves at auction a few years ago and finally got around to finding room for them in my shop but ended up with several that I just didn't have room anywhere for so I ended up tossing them during a recent cleanup. It was one of those times where you were sure someone probably would want them, but my dumpster is only here for a few more days so do I toss them, or risk being stuck with them if I can't find a new home before the dumpster gets picked up.





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  • BCRider
    replied
    Paul, grey primer is not a finish. It's very porous and won't protect the metal from rusting from below. Invest in some Tremclad. I don't normally like the stuff but there's no doubt it does stop further rusting and gives a decent protective finish to items like your de-rusted shelving.

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  • PStechPaul
    replied
    At this time, the entire building is fed from two 20A breakers in my "main" house where I am living, through about 75 feet of #12-2 UF that I have connected for 240 VAC, with the ground wire used as neutral. The panel in the workshop is also grounded to a ground rod. It is not up to code but it has been working OK for seven years, and I think it is safe enough for my purposes. I had no way to get any of the work redone as the guy took my last prepayment of $2000 and skipped town. I think he was on cocaine - he seemed nervous and "edgy" and his eyes didn't look quite right. He had a good looking girlfriend who was a vet technician and she liked my dog Muttley, but he also left her and she went back to her husband (according to my handyman buddy who was his neighbor). It looked like he knew what he was doing with the electrical work, but I don't think he was a licensed electrician.

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  • RichR
    replied
    Originally posted by tmarks11 View Post
    ... I am a fan of pre-twisting (which is not required), but if you don't do that, then the wire nut should have been torqued enough to make the wires wrap each other once or twice. ...
    Same here (and it should be required).

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by tmarks11 View Post
    Also the wire nuts are not firmly screwed onto the wire, as demonstrated that the wires themselves are not twisted together. I am a fan of pre-twisting (which is not required), but if you don't do that, then the wire nut should have been torqued enough to make the wires wrap each other once or twice......
    Yes. One of the yellow ones looks a bit twisted, the white wire one is obviously not even distorted at all. Red should be right for that connection, if as I think I see, it is AWG 12 but you are correct, even solid wire, which I assume this is, should have been at least a half twist from tightening especially if there are only two wires in that.

    I do not think the guy was any better than the average country Bubba, and all his work is suspect, in my book. I'd ask for it all to be re-done if I inspected it, especially, if, as I suspect you will find, all those 12AWG wires are breakered at 20A...... I did not count wires, and I did not look at a chart, but I suspect the left conduit is overfilled, as well as not de-rated.

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  • Tundra Twin Track
    replied
    I have found a lot of the Brother P touch labels will slide right in to a lot of tool cabinet draw faces where they have that clear plastic that slides out.I don't even stick them on just slide in behind clear plastic,I used them extensively on the Homark Cabinets I incorparated permanently under my work bench,cabinets came from Cosco.On my Rousseau parts cabinets the larger labels fit same way,I assume Lista&Vidimar would be the same.

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  • tmarks11
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
    What bothers me is 2 things. Box fill. Lots of wires, may be too many for the box volume
    Also the wire nuts are not firmly screwed onto the wire, as demonstrated that the wires themselves are not twisted together. I am a fan of pre-twisting (which is not required), but if you don't do that, then the wire nut should have been torqued enough to make the wires wrap each other once or twice.

    The electrician who wired my house didn't do either. I have opened electrical boxes and found lose wires that slip out of wire nuts with the slightest tug. I had one near electrical fire where the wire nut completely melted (I secured power when I smelled what my navy experience calls "FIRE!").

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  • PStechPaul
    replied
    Magnetic labels! That might be good, but I think the Brother P-Touch or Dymo labels will be good enough, or even just paper labels covered with clear tape. I probably won't be changing the labeling very often, and I can organize the drawers by just shifting them around.

    I think I will support the drawer cabinets on some heavy duty steel shelf units that I have. This is one that has been sitting outside in front of my old metal shed, for probably 20 years. I decided to see if it could be salvaged:



    After disassembly:



    Pretty heavy rust on some of the shelves:



    They cleaned up pretty well using an angle grinder with a cup style wire wheel, and a couple of hand wire brushes. A coat of grey primer and they are at least reasonably serviceable:

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  • Arcane
    replied
    For anyone who (for whatever reason) doesn't want to use stick-on labels or a felt marker on a metal surface...here's an alternative.

    https://www.staples.ca/en/Staples-Ma...3_1-CA_1_20001

    If you can print on them with an inkjet printer you can also write on them and they can be cut to size with scissors or a paper cutter. You could even apply sticky labels to them later to easily update the information on them.

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  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    He can add an extension box to that overstuffed box. That will give some elbow room for the mess of wires and wire nuts in it. As for the overstuffed conduit, it should be replaced. I doubt that it would even qualify under the exceptions for adding to existing wiring.

    I ran all my wiring around the periphery of the ceiling in my garage/shop and I used the armored, flexible cable. That way, each circuit has it's own cable. I planned it so that there would be enough room in the various boxes. I only had to add an extension box to one 4x4 box where a bunch of circuits came into the garage.

    The outlet boxes are connected with vertical runs down and if necessary, back up to the ceiling so there are no horizontal runs to interfere with the shelving. I used the commonly available shelving system with vertical tracks and metal brackets that fit into it. There is a 1/2" to 5/8" space between each shelf and the wall so the armored, flexible cable can easily run behind them on those vertical runs. It all fit together like a Swiss watch. Well sorta like one, anyway.



    I was installing the AC unit in that one but you can see the wiring along the ceiling and then down to the boxes.



    And this one shows how the wiring fits behind the shelves and there are no horizontal runs on the walls. Well, the first photo does show one short one under the window, but I do not plan to have any shelves there. These photos were taken while the wiring was in progress and additional cables were run after. Also, all the boxes are now properly covered and one of the ceiling junction boxes in the first photo has an extension box on it because it got very full.

    I used another trick while wiring. I used four circuits for three walls of the garage/shop. And I alternated them in the outlet boxes: 1, then 2, then 3, then 4, then 1 again, etc. That way I have four 20A circuits on each wall and all the power I will ever need in any location in the shop where I may be working, with only a short extension cord. I don't have to bring another circuit from the other side. It took a bit more cable, but I think it was worth it. Of course there are separate circuits for benches, drill press, mill, lathe, and other items that are in the middle of the room. The outlets for those are on the ceiling with cords bringing power down to the various places where it is used.



    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
    Code is code for a reason. And notice that the code is put out by the "National Fire Protection Association". That should be a hint.

    When boxes are overfilled, the heat in them increases, and there is a much better chance for damage to wires. Ditto for overfilled conduits, and conduits (raceways in NFPA-speak) with the wires not derated.

    Shouldn't the breaker and equipment grounding conductor protect you if there is a problem resulting from the violation?

    Yes, that is true. But, that is no reason to create a problem... breakers and other things fail sometimes. You do it to code, the chances of ever NEEDING the overcurrent protection or EGC are far lower.

    Also, when you find things are not done to code, the chances of the protective equipment NOT working is higher, because the installer may not have installed THOSE items correctly either.

    Doing things to code makes life easier all around. I know of places where the homeowner added uninspected stuff done 100% to code, and later on when a contractor did work and hooked to that uninspected wiring, there was no problem no questioning, etc. And some others where just the opposite occurred. The inspector would not approve connecting, and quite a bit of work had to be re-done just to allow the new construction to be connected.
    Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 11-01-2017, 04:26 AM.

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  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    Wow, finally someone who is worse that I am at saving old stuff. I can't believe it. Thanks for posting that, I feel a lot better. And I can show it to my wife when she gets on a "what am I going to do with all that stuff" kick.



    Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
    I agree that the drawer cabinets are close to a "lost cause", but I rather enjoy being able to salvage things like this, and it will eventually help me organize a lot of my "stuff" that is presently so scattered and hidden deep in piles that I usually can't find what I need. Sometimes it's good to have a relatively mindless task like this, and it helps me feel less discouraged and overwhelmed when i can make fairly quick progress on something that has an easily achieved goal. I found that the same Equipto shelf units sell for over $350 each, for the 24 drawer variety:

    http://www.globalindustrial.com/p/st...th-office-gray

    It's also interesting to find things from the past that I had forgotten about or thought were lost. Here is a "computer" I made when I was probably about 10 years of age. It uses multi-pole rotary switches that add three numbers and displays the result on one of 10 6V pilot lights. It was wired without solder because I was afraid of the hot iron. I called the thing "Computac":





    Here is a very old lantern that I found recently. My father had wired it to use a special NiCad battery and charger to replace the original two large doorbell batteries. The battery leaked. It's not very useful, but it is an antique.



    And here is an old ultrasonic cleaner that I got from my dentist. I fixed a couple of newer ones for him, but this one is badly corroded and dirty. I cleaned it up but it needs some body work, and I don't know if the electronics are operational. A future project, perhaps:



    These just show how I like to salvage things that are probably not really worth saving, but still satisfying to see the transformation.

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  • PStechPaul
    replied
    Wow, some very impressive shops! I don't aspire to anything of that magnitude, but i do hope to get things reasonably organized and cleaned up. Looks like warm weather will continue this week, so I can do some work outside and I'll be able to do some spray painting. I just finished a quick electronics project for my buddy at www.electricaltestinstruments.com: they had problems programming the PIC12F675 microchip in a little voltage relay that I designed a while ago, and it seems the issue must be with their ancient XP computer and old versions of MPLAB and MPLABX IPE. He also sent me seven completed PC boards, for their popular PI-250 test set, that have various problems. So it's good that I have improved my electronics lab bench, even if it is in my bedroom.

    I'm also working on the design of a battery management system for lithium cells as used in EVs. Some discussion of this on the DIYelectricCar forum:

    http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...s-82646p9.html

    http://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums...ah-188618.html

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