220v extension cord for Table saw?

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Brett Thomas notes:

Hard wire 'em and use switch boxes with levers that allow a padlock. If that doesn't keep the kids out, nothing will.
Charlie Self "Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good." H. L. Mencken
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IF you're putting in a sub-panel, You can put in a 'manual disconnect' _upstream_ of the panel. These are readily available at the BORG, as well as any electrical supply house. For _not_ a whole lot of money.
Obviously, if you go this route, you run the circuits for the lighting directly from the main panel. You do _not_ want the lock-out to disable the lighting._
'panic buttons' are a whole nother story. These require a 'contactor' (the name for a 'really heavy-duty relay', and some trivial control circuitry that holds the contactor engaged, until a panic button is pushed.
Buying this kind of stuff new *is* generally price-prohibitive. However, on the surplus market -- e.g. <http://www.surplussales.com -- you can find appropriate heavy-duty components for not a whole lot of money. I haven't looked, but I wouldn't be surprised if they even have the 'big red button' panic buttons.
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Robert Bonomi wrote:

Thanks for the link. I'm sure whenever I get it all done (or decide it's not worth the effort & cost) I'll post pics...
-BAT
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Ha! You gotta get a job like Charlie's Brett.

Maybe hardwire is the way for you to go. In my shop area tools move around as they're needed. They don't always move to the same spot on the floor, depending on what else is going on there. That's where extension cords come in very handy. If they were stationary, and fixed, I'd hardwire them with no plug at all.

The same could be said of any plug, whether it's a UL listed cord, the plug on the end of a cord hardwired to a table saw, or any other plug in your shop. Where it's a concern for a plug coming loose, twist lock plugs address the concern nicely.

Not really any safer in practical terms and I don't know how much neater either. After all 10 or 20 or whatever feet of electrical cord is still 10 or 20 or whatever feet of electrical cord - no matter if it's one long piece or two smaller ones in the form of an extension cord. But - since it sounds more like you're permanently placing your stuff, why not just hardwire and forget the plugs completely?
Just as a sideline, I have about 25 feet of cord wired to my table saw motor so that I can put it anywhere and hit an outlet. It's really no different than having a 6 foot cord and using an extension cord, but at one point I had to replace my cord and I had some long stuff lying around so I just used it that way. The one and only real disadvantage is that I always have 25 feet of cord to deal with as I move my saw around. Not a big deal at all, but there are down sides to everything.
--

-Mike-
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Hey Brett, I'll throw this in out of order, just to set the stage... not to worry - you didn't offend anyone.

Part of what folks tend to respond to is the drama of statements like this and the drama implied in what you originally threw out there with your first comment. It might be that you intended no such drama, but there is a whole history of usenet that preceeds you and folks become somwhat conditioned. We're used to seeing people who make comments about requireing UL approved cords often times having no clue about building a simple extension cord that is many times more reliable, safe, suited to its use, etc. than the UL tagged product from the local department store that others seem to take refuge in. Too often its the UL tag that satisfies the uninformed user, and not the construction of the cord. Those fires you refer to are typically not "burst into flames" type of fires (drama). In fact, I'd go so far as to say never. Electrical fires are slow starters, and most typically from such causes as under rated UL approved cords.
As to most shop made wood products being well engineered, I'd suggest most are very poorly engineered. Over built because of a lack of real engineering. Not that it's such a bad thing, but I certainly would not agree with your statement above. There really is not much engineering to a properly constructed extension cord. If you can trim insulating material, operate a screw driver, and have a modicom of common sense, a well built extension cord is well within the reach of most anybody.

Nah. No offense. But... your comment above makes it appear you comments are not so light hearted. Maybe because you don't do any electrical work? That would seem reasonable enough. People who don't understand something are often afraid of it.

Just be sure to post pics on abpw...

Oh, take the plunge - build one. You'll never be the same afterwards. Here's a guess - I bet you are using UL approved cords that are more of a fire risk right now than any cord that most people here would build for a given application. Placing too much confidence - any confidence in a UL tag, to the exclusion of any other understanding of electricity is more of a fire/shock hazard than what you'd face with a properly built cord.
--

-Mike-
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Actually, I do a lot of my own electrical work. I have about twenty years of hobbyist experience with low-voltage stuff, but my recent acquisition of a 60 year-old house that was previously cared for by chimpanzees has forced me to become a hobbyist electrician. I've rewired a bunch of circuits in my house because the old ones were unsafe (and didn't do what I wanted), and I've placed a subpanel in my detached garage (shop), put in powered smoke detectors, replaced a doorbell and tranformer, and run new outlets. I'll be doing all the wiring, lighting, etc. in my shop, starting as soon as I get back on my feet from knee surgery and get all the boxes of stuff out of it.
All I'm saying is that, as a Apprenctice-level electrician with no Master in sight, all that wiring's going to have to work for a while before I completely trust it. And that's not true of an extension cord I get at HD - I've never once plugged in a new extension cord and thought, "I hope this works." I don't see why that's controversial, evidence of my lack of understanding of electricity, or proof that I don't trust my own workmanship. Maybe after I've got ten years experience working with 120/240 wiring I'll not think twice about my wiring. But, not yet.
-BAT
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Ok - I was just taking a guess. I just assumed that if you had done some electical work you'd have seen the similarities between wiring up a plug on an extension cord and wiring in a duplex outlet, and have held a confidence in shop made cords. Having seen some of your other comments about your uncertainty with some of these things I guess it's just your nature to be a little worried about them... and that's fine by me.

Hey - to each his own, right? You're the only person you have to satisfy in this matter, so it doesn't matter what I think or anyone else.

It's not really - that was just an assumption I made base on the way you made your earlier comments more than anything else. Like I said, I assumed that anyone who has wired up branch circuits would feel very comfortable with something as simple as an extension cord, so I assumed that with your reservations, it was possible you hadn't ever done any amount of electrical work. Though... I might suggest that it really is something of a matter of not trusting your own work.

Hell Brett, if you never become totally confident about your wiring, it's not the end of the world. It's not like it's a big deal. You're the only one affected by it so it's all just a matter of what you're comfortable with.
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Mike Marlow wrote:

Actually it's less a fear of not screwing things in right than of simply not making the right decisions to begin with. I teach myself a lot of things, and I learn by making a lot of mistakes. I've read all I can stand on the subject, and I *think* I know what I'm doing, but I'm not really going to trust it until it works for a long time. Much the same way the second piece of furniture I built was a bed for my son, and it was at least a year before I stopped sitting down on it gingerly.
In fact, in my experience teaching myself things, right now is the _the most dangerous_ time for me - I *think* I know what I'm doing with electricity. That might be a false confidence, though, so I'm extra careful.
-BAT
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I have - ever since I plugged something into a brand new extension cord and ended up with a whole lot of arcing going on. Scared me half to death as it was one of those "fancy" cords with 3 outlets on the end, and clear plastic so you could see the little neon light in there to show you it was live. The act of plugging in a tool caused one of the parts of the outlet to shift inside the plastic and contact another part. Needless to say I was not amused.
Goofy thing is that this of course was a more expensive cord while I normally get el-cheapo extension cords that I treat almost as disposable. A nick in the insulation and it gets cut in half for use in other projects.
Dan
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I have - ever since I plugged something into a brand new extension cord and ended up with a whole lot of arcing going on. Scared me half to death as it was one of those "fancy" cords with 3 outlets on the end, and clear plastic so you could see the little neon light in there to show you it was live. The act of plugging in a tool caused one of the parts of the outlet to shift inside the plastic and contact another part. Needless to say I was not amused.
Goofy thing is that this of course was a more expensive cord while I normally get el-cheapo extension cords that I treat almost as disposable. A nick in the insulation and it gets cut in half for use in other projects.
Dan
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hey, guys. No offence intended, none taken.
bob g.
Brett A. Thomas wrote:

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My 10-3 awg extension with heavy neoprene cover and carrying 220 volts will probably stand up to more than most of the extension cords I've seen contractors running around job sites carrying 110 volts. Amps versus wire guage are probably most important in overheating and general construction will determine how well it stands up to foot traffic and having things rolled over it such as mobile base mounted tools or wheelbarrows.
bob g.
Charlie Self wrote:

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Yup. Saw it. Don't see where it applies???
bob g.
Brett A. Thomas wrote:

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Robert Galloway wrote:

Sorry, just the first thing that popped into my head when I read it. Not trying to make any particular criticism of your electrical choices, meant to be lighthearted joshing.
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