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.
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? What-Hours? Whatever!).
7. All the lights in your house will dim equally when the saw
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
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 aura.
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 that high.
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!