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Power drops for machines on the floor

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  • Power drops for machines on the floor

    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.









  • #2

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        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.



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        • #5
          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
          Green Bay, WI

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          • #6
            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/manufacturer...n-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.
            Last edited by lakeside53; 02-07-2018, 10:49 PM.

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            • #7
              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.







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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  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.

                  Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                  • #10
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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                      • #12
                        Looks pretty good to me. Most all automotive shops have drop-downs for everything--Electric, air and even some have water.

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                        • #13
                          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.
                          1601

                          Keep eye on ball.
                          Hashim Khan

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                            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.

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                            • #15
                              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.
                              Paul A.
                              SE Texas

                              Make it fit.
                              You can't win and there IS a penalty for trying!

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