Workshop Bench Outlet Strip Options
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Thread: Workshop Bench Outlet Strip Options

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    Aaron's Avatar
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    Workshop Bench Outlet Strip Options

    I've been working on my basement workshop lately and finally got around to adding peg board and proper lighting around my workbench. Next step is electrical outlets. What have you done to put outlets on your work bench? Right now i am thinking of going with some hardwired outlet strips (3') connected by conduit but i am open to suggestions.

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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great plan, I got some strips years ago from an old computer room and they are nice to have.
    Kenny

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    RandyM's Avatar
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    I myself am finding that I really don't need a lot of outlets in one place. I just need outlets all over the shop. I have one bench with electrical boxes and conduit. I also have dedicated overhead lighting for the benches. In fact I am adding overhead lighting to my rolling cabinet I just acquired. I will have to get you photos. Keep us up to date.
    Last edited by RandyM; 02-23-2011 at 01:33 PM. Reason: grammar
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    RandyM's Avatar
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    Aaron,

    Here is my welding bench and another work station. The welding bench has an outlet box on each front corner. The switch on the right box is for the overhead lights that are mounted by a post at the back. The post also has a spash shield mounted to it. All the wiring is mounted just below the tabletop.

    The other work station has a surge protector mounted on the wall at the right. What is nice about this is it has a built in switch aside from the surge protection. I hope this will help you with your ideas. Good luck and keep us up to date.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Weld Bench 3.JPG   Weld bench 2.JPG   Weld Bench 1.JPG   Bench With Surge.JPG  
    Randy __________________________________________________ ___ Be Safe!

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    Nice welding bench!

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    When I did my garage, I put in 4 sets of outlets. The thinking was I'd run an extension cord to any work area, and use a plug strip at the two areas with a table/workbench. If you can identify where your "flat work surface" areas are, you can hit them a little harder, then have a box every 20 to 40 feet or so. A little shop use pre-planning can save a lot of time and money. Since many "big tools" like drill presses need a dedicated circuit, planning is needed for those. I am ignoring the "simple but resource intensive" approach of a dedicated circuit every 8' so you can do anything without any pre-planning.

    I put in a single outlet, and put a plastic gray "outdoor use" box in. Each box has a GFI breaker/outlet in that gray box and is on it's own circuit on my breaker pannel. In retrospect, I should have put in a double outlet metal box. The plastic ones are too easy to tear apart or strip the threads. In the double metal box, I'd put the GFI breaker on one side, and a "normal" outlet on the other side. The normal outlet would get the daily wear and tear. That way, if you wear out something it's not a $20 GFI breaker but a $1 outlet. And you have 4 outlets in an area for those few times you need it.

    I have a simple little 3 outlet 2' cord that I have plugged in to the bottom GFI outlet that I use for low power stuff, and leave an extension cord plugged into the top to take to a saw or shop vac. The plug in strips are good, I'd buy one with a metal housing. A plug strip on a 16 to 25 foot #12 extension cord lets you have all you tools plugged in at the work area in the shop.

    I've used the long 6' plug strips that are designed for rack units and have an outlet every 8 inches or so for my test equipment, but in an 8' long space I have 19 things to plug in, which is not typical for a shop. For the money, I'd do the double outlets on each side of the bench, and use metal plug strips and/or extension cords from there.

    Finally, you could run 1" conduit for distribution. Put an extra 'T' section every 10 feet (stick of conduit) so you could add anything later. Put a 6" stub with a cap and keep it there with a dot of RTV (bathtub caulk). Not too expensive, good flexibility down the road. While you're running that, think about an air line...

    Pete
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