Spent some time trolling the archives and Google, and couldn't really find what I was looking for. I suspect in part it's because I'm suffering from a Language Gap - there's a specific term for what I'm looking for, and I don't know what it is.
So, I apologize in advance if this has been talked to death before, but I can't find it, if it is.
First of all, my knee has recovered enough from surgery in the past week that I've been spending my free time in the new shop (18' 6" x 19' fully detached garage) emptying all the boxes that don't belong there, emptying the boxes that do belong there into the hideous cabinetry out there, running boxes to recycling, giving things to Goodwill, etc. Very exciting! I expect to be able to set the tablesaw back up by this weekend! February of last year was the last time I made sawdust.
The walls and ceiling in the shop are exposed studs (16" centers) right now. I'm planning on putting drywall up on the ceiling and plywood on the walls. But that's not what I want to talk about (THAT is easy to find in the archives) - before I can do that, I have to get some wiring done. To get the wiring done, I have to make some key decisions.
I'm a bit of a safety freak, and I have two small children (4 & 2). Short term I want to keep them out of the shop entirely without supervision, and the lock on the garage door will do well with that. Long term, I want to let them in the shop, but not let them do anything really dangerous without supervision (i.e., anything involving power tools). I'm also interested in emergency power cutoffs, mostly for my own use. Right now the garage is fed by a 240v 40 amp circuit that terminates in a sub panel in the garage. I recognize I may need more in the future, but it's enough for now.
Without any thought whatsoever to the practicality or cost, the two big things I want are:
A lockout box. I want to be able to leave lights and battery chargers on, but throw a switch, put a lock on it, and have no power tools operate.
Several Big Red Buttons. I want to be able to hit a quick disconnect from one of several places in the shop, and have it kill the power to all the power tools (but not the lights or the battery chargers). Part of my problem is that I do not know what the industry Term of Art is for these buttons.
Of course, we don't live in a world where practicality and cost aren't concerns, so if any requirement I list above is too much work or too much expense, I'm willing to rethink. If it's gonna cost me $2000, I can lose the emergency cutoffs and just put a lock on the subpanel I have and be done with it.
So, here are my questions, and thanks in advance for anyone with the knowledge to answer, the inclination to help and the patience to read through my long-winded explanation:
1) What are Big Red Buttons called?
2) How do they work? Can I wire three circuits through one without needing a second subpanel?
3) What are the lockout box things called? Googling for "lockout box" gives me a bunch of storage boxes to store my lockout/tagout keys in. I think maybe a "safety switch" is what I want, something like this: http://www.builderdepot.com/browse.ihtml?pid 5815&step=5&prodstoreid"45
4) How do *they* work? Can I wire three circuits through one without needing a second subpanel?
5) If you held a gun to my head and said "Do it right now with what you know," I'd drop the emergency cutoff switches for now, install a new subpanel on a 30A breaker, and put a "safety switch" between the two of them. Is this, in fact, the best plan, or am I artificially limiting myself by my lack of knowledge?
6) Stupid question - I have this kooky idea to hook up a 50 ampish inline AC ammeter prior to the first subpanel. Is this stupid, or just geeky? I think it'd be pretty cool to always know how much juice I'm pulling.
Thanks in advance...