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Critical questions about workshop wiring

See if your shop has the power it needs for the woodworking you want to do.

Tools need amps

Tools need amps

Power tools have big appetites for electricity, and unless you built your shop from scratch, you've likely tripped circuit breakers trying to eed them.

A properly wired shop offers the only way to ensure an adequate food supply. So how do you determine your shopwiring needs? Take the time to answer the following questions, and you'll be well on your way.

Note: Unless you are skilled at electrical work and familiar with local codes, leave wiring jobs to a professional. Use the information gathered here to guide your conversations with an electrician.

Q: How much power do my tools require?

A: Tools feed on amps. The nameplate, located on the tool body or motor housing, right, indicates just how many the tool will need (draw) under full load. The chart, below right, shows average ranges for some common tools.

Jot down your major power tools' requirements, and keep the list for later planning. Note any tools that can be wired to run on 240 volts instead of 120. (The nameplate indicates this, as well.)

Continued on page 2:  Adequate electrical service


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