5. ELECTRICITY AND COMPRESSED AIR
5.1 HOW DO I WIRE MY SHOP?
As my friend Doug, the journeyman cabinetmaker, says: there's only
four things you gotta know about being an electrician:
S--- flows downhill,
Payday is on Friday,
It may be s--- to you but its bread and butter to them, and
Every asshole is a potential customer.
Oops! That was about plumbers. Forget it. Anyway, Doug is just
jealous of plumbers 'cause they make more money than cabinetmakers,
just like Tom. They both got office jobs now.
Actually, all the regulars and most of the newbies on the wreck are
electrical experts. That's why any thread on wiring and electricity
gets so many responses. Most of us work with electricity all the
time. After all computers and power tools are electrical, and so's
the TV we watch Norm on. If you want to change the plug on your
tablesaw, you still need to know everything about wiring and amps and
volts and watts and volt-amps and wire gauges and phases and power
factors and impedance and resistance and plug configurations and panel
sizes and capacitors and motors and switches and electrical codes.
But that's OK, don't be afraid. You can trust any wiring and
electrical advice from anybody on the wreck, apply it and be
absolutely sure that it will meet code and be perfectly safe. No
point in getting ripped off by electricians or consulting an
inspector. Just ask away on the group and you can be sure of getting
a whole lot of accurate and consistent responses, just like when you
ask any math question of all the rocket scientists on the wreck.
5.2 SHOULD I WIRE MY SAW FOR 240?
As Kent Fitzgerald pointed out, the Top 10 Reasons to wire your
tablesaw for 240 Volts (or is it 220?) are:
10. You can amaze your friends by claiming it gives you twice as much
power. (Of course this isn't true, but they'll mostly just nod
solemnly and grunt in approval).
9. And if they fall for that, go on and tell them it's actually four
times as much power! Yeah, that's the ticket, because, uh, you know,
Power equals Something Squared.
8. To really astound them, mention that it now costs nothing to run,
because all the used electricity goes right back to the power company,
instead of being wastefully poured into the ground. (Watt-Hours?
7. All the lights in your house will dim equally when the saw stalls.
6. No more sleepless nights worrying about which side of the
receptacle was supposed to be neutral.
5. Deters would-be borrowers. Too bad you can't do the same for all
your tools. "Sorry, Uncle Chester, I'd love to lend ya some clamps,
but all a mine need two hunnerd-n-forty volts".
4. Family members won't use your saw receptacle to plug in the Xmas
lights. At least not more than once.
3. Ever notice that the Europeans use 220V for everything? Make the
switch, and you just might develop a little continental flair
yourself. Vive la difference!
2. That 240V receptacle kinda looks like a cute little face winking
at you. If you spend a lot of time in the shop alone, you could give
it a name and talk to it sometimes.
And, the Number One Reason to wire your tablesaw for 220 Volts....
1. Your saw will enjoy the benefits of perfectly balanced waves of
alternating current, in absolute symmetry with respect to Earth
Potential (say, wasn't that a band back when in the 60's?). This will
reduce vibration, increase bearing life, equalize your Feng Shui, put
some swing in your inner harmony, and prevent demagnetization of your
5.3 SHOULD I USE PVC FOR MY COMPRESSED AIR LINES?
Sure. PVC is good for up to 600 p.s.i. Your compressor doesn't go
Some people will tell you that OSHA has banned PVC because it's likely
to turn to shrapnel if it breaks. That's just a lot of typically
stupid government regulation bullshit. OSHA? Screw them. If they
had it their way, all workers would wear Kevlar body suits and
helmets. CW & Rob Stokes & Victor? They're full of it. Besides,
they're still alive, so what are they complaining about? Campbell
Hausfeld? They're just trying to support their steel suppliers. PVC
pipe manufacturers? They're just trying to cover their legal butt.
They prolly also say you can't use their pipe for water.
A lot of guys on the wreck have used PVC and nothing bad has happened
to them. After all, I've been smoking since I was twelve years old
and it hasn't hurt me. Don't worry, go ahead and save a few bucks.
The rest of us will get to buy your tools real cheap from yer widder
lady. Heh, heh!