Tooling Up – Lights & Power

On the heels of running the power to the HVAC system and the air compressor, I finished connecting up all the electrical circuits to the main panel. The added lines were a 250V/ 50A circuit and plug for the welders and red cube shop heater, a 250V/20A dedicated circuit/plug for the milling machine, and a 120V/20A circuit that added 3 plugs to the back wall, one plug on the left side wall and one in between the 2 big bay doors… all single gang.

I then installed the glass storage box & cutting table after reinforcing the wall with a mounting bracket (two of the added aft wall plugs can be seen in the pic below, one each side of the glass storage box).

One issue was that the bottom of the box had gotten wet on the inside, and there was a good bit of mold and dirt. I pulled all the glass out and gave it a good cleaning then left it to dry overnight.

I then installed the new LED light bars in Bay 1, the first bay on the left side of the workshop. As with Bay 2 I simply surrounded the 4-bar fluorescent light in the middle with 4 interlinked LED bars. It’s quite amazing how much light this adds to the shop… nice and bright for building an airplane!

[In the pic below right you can just make out 2 of the 5 added electrical receptacles: one at lower left edge of the pic, and one at the lower left edge of the white pegboard…]

A good month ago as I was in Lowe’s buying Lord knows what, I ran across a rolling workstation that I thought might just be perfect to serve as the lathe’s new mount. I liked the back wall with peg holes, the solid wood top and the deeper lower drawers. The size was near perfect… but the price wasn’t: a bit too steep for my blood.

Then, over the holidays they had a sale price going which was nearly 40% off. I never saw any more of these in the stores and although the price was valid, they weren’t anywhere around — even unavailable to be ordered online. I talked to my local Lowe’s and they showed one store south of Wilmington, NC had them. So I set out on a mission that ended taking nearly the entire day to get this now much cheaper workstation. It was actually a beautiful clear day and the drive was long but nice.

When I got it back to the workshop it did take me a good half hour to slowly unload the crate off the trailer (I didn’t want to damage it). I then had to install the wheels and back wall panel… and then, Voila! The new (and improved!) lathe station.

After unloading and assembling the lathe station, I then unsheathed all the BID and UNI rolls and put them in the now clean and DRY glass storage box.

I also spent a good hour tacking up all the electrical wires to the newly installed LED light bars. Here’s the before pics with the wires hanging down . . .

And the after pics with the wires nicely tacked up out of the way. With the wires tacked away I can now insulate the ceiling without getting tangled up on the wires.

As an FYI, I’ve already had the mini-split system heater running, and without insulation it typically is getting so warm I have to turn it down or off!  Still, I will be installing weather stripping around the doors as well to minimizing air gaps on those, in addition to the wall and ceiling insulation.

Tomorrow I’ll continue to work installing more lights in Bay 3, where the long workbench, milling machine, lathe and tool storage chests will be located. That will be the final section that needs to be completed before I can finish insulating the entire ceiling.

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