Budget Woodworking Shop
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Dear Mr. Electrician: How to put together a cheap woodworking shop in my home? Answer: Careful planning is the key, but yes you can build a woodworking shop on a tight budget. Give some thoughtful consideration to many of the factors mentioned below. Do a lot of research before spending money. Read about what others have done. NOTE: Text links below go to applicable products on EBay and ClickBank web sites where I might earn a sales commission if something is purchased. Avoid the three most common mistakes when setting up a wood shop according to Ralph Chapman. Through my own personal experiences I have realized that it is possible to save money on tools and materials. The first thing I suggest is that you read a book on the subject, such as "How To Set Up A Complete Wood Shop On a Budget" written by Ralph. It will answer your questions and give you great advice about setting up an inexpensive, but functional wood working shop at home. If you are a beginner, the book is a good place to start. FINDING BARGAINS FOR YOUR HOME SHOP I recommend that you not buy tools for your budget work shop before you have a use for them, unless they are a fantastic bargain. In my youth I would buy new tools in case I ever needed them. Many years later some of those tools are still waiting for a purpose. I have found good working tools at fantastic discounts, sometimes new, but mostly used at garage sales, rummage sales, and contractor going out of business sales. Once I just happened to see a tool rental yard have a going out of business sale. I bought a good used conduit bender there for about a third of its original price. Keep an eye on online advertising sites such as Craigslist.org and Facebook Marketplace. Join local Facebook yard sale groups for your area. I have found good tool deals on Ebay. A good place to find free things is Freecycle.org. ELECTRICAL POWER FOR YOUR WOOD SHOP As an electrician I would first research your electrical power requirements. Your power needs can be substantial for a woodworking business or can just be one 20 amp circuit for someone working at home. Your electrical needs may be small in the beginning, but likely will increase as you acquire more equipment. Some power tools require 240 volts to operate which is not standard household voltage in the USA. Is your main electrical panel located in the basement, garage, or somewhere else? If it is conveniently located, are there extra spaces in the electrical panel for additional electrical circuits? If the electric is not conveniently located, will it be easy to install a heavy duty electrical circuit from the main electrical panel to your home workshop location? If you are planning for a lot of power tools it may be in your best interest to install a wood shop electrical sub-panel. I have some blog posts on the topic of Sub-Panels, however most of them are generator sub-panel installations. ...