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Thread: Machine power cord - 2 foot, into extension cord

  1. #1

    Machine power cord - 2 foot, into extension cord

    I recently hooked up a 240V circuit for a Grizzly 8" jointer, and for the cabinet saw I'll be getting later this year. The space is a garage bay, about 12 x 24'. The panel is in the corner, and I run metal solid or flex conduit on the surface (sheetrocked wall) to a series of handy-box outlets along the long wall. Some machines are on that wall (sanders, bandsaw, planer is pretty close). But the larger machines are more toward the center of the space. For them, I can either run a cord on the floor, over to the wall, or undertake to run something up to the ceiling and over. So far I'm too lazy for the latter, and I'm happy to have the flexibility that simple cords-on-the-floor gives me, for moving things around as needed. I don't like stepping over cords all the time, but for now it seems a good solution.

    When the jointer arrived (Grizzly 0858), I wasn't surprised to find the stock power cord was too short to reach the wall. I bought a length of SJOOW 12/3, thinking to make up a new power cord, and replace the original. But one thing led to another, and it was easier to stay away from the machine control panel, and just make up an extension cord, and plug into that. But I didn't need the extra length, and I didn't want the bulky plug on the floor, so I chopped the original cable, so it's now two feet long, with a new 6-20p connector which hangs nicely, without touching the floor. Then the SJOOW I made into an extension.

    I didn't plan it, but there's a benefit to this that I really like. If I have ANY doubt about safety, and unplugging from power to perform some setup operation, I don't have to hesitate. And I don't have to walk over to the outlet, which is on the far wall, behind the bandsaw, etc. Now, I can just reach over the jointer fence, and unplug it right there. The cord is so short it's never in the way.


    Now I'm planning to wire my table saw similarly, later this summer. I've not heard of anyone else doing it this way, and just thought I'd run it by the brain trust, to make sure I'm not missing something. My gauges are not in doubt (not to me). The Grizzly is wired with 14 AWG, and I went with 12 for safety and the extra distance. I can't recall the amperage (12?), but it's well within the limits of a total run of about 20 feet from machine to main panel, with all of it 12 AWG, except the first couple feet supplied by Grizzly. Beyond that, I can't see any issue with this... but you don't know what you don't know... so I'm asking.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Griswold Connecticut
    Posts
    6,319
    Nope, no problem. There is no rule that states that an extension cord can only be for 120vac. As long as the correct sized cable and connectors are used, you're good to go.
    I have a similar setup with an extension cord made of 3/C,10AWG, SO cord.
    "The first thing you need to know, will likely be the last thing you learn." (Unknown)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Tippecanoe County, IN
    Posts
    466
    Joe, that's exactly what I do. The movable machines are easier to move but, as you pointed out, the biggest advantage is the safety issue. When it's easy to be safe it's easy to be safe.

    Your extension cord length and gauge are fine. 14AWG would have worked just as well but, sure, 12 would have been my choice too. I have some 10/4 extension cords and I really don't like weight, bulk, and stiffness. They're just difficult to deal with.
    Beranek's Law:

    It has been remarked that if one selects his own components, builds his own enclosure, and is convinced he has made a wise choice of design, then his own loudspeaker sounds better to him than does anyone else's loudspeaker. In this case, the frequency response of the loudspeaker seems to play only a minor part in forming a person's opinion.
    L.L. Beranek, Acoustics (McGraw-Hill, New York, 1954), p.208.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    3,761
    All my stationary tools that get moved every year, or few, are similarly wired. The tails on the machines are shorter than that though, and all wire is SO instead of SJ. Some, like a RAS, 8" jointer, and table saw have been wired like that since the 1970's, and still work fine. All run on 240, and plugs are Hubbell twist lock.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,869
    I only put "pigtails" on all of my major machinery with twist locks and then fabricated "extension cords" for the distance between the machine and the outlet. The short cord on the machine makes for much easier shop changes/moves in the future and there is no excess cord between the machine and the wall, which can be safer in some situations and is also easier to clean around in all situations.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Okotoks AB
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    1,116
    I did just that when I got my current table saw. The cord was too short to reach the wall receptacle so I cut it to about 2' & put a twist lock end on it. Now if I want to, it's much easier to unplug the saw.

  7. #7
    Thanks for all the replies.

    The only thing I'll change is to use twist lock connectors. Currently they're just 6-20p. Working fine, but I do find myself eyeball-checking them occasionally.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    48,869
    Lots and lots of folks are very happy with the non-locking hardware, but I just like the peace of mind that comes with the twist-lock connections.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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