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Thread: Power Supply

  1. #1

    Power Supply

    I'm new-ish to the woodworking world and am slowly trying to stock my small garage(workshop) with tools. My table saw, a used Grizzly G0715P, had to be converted 220V to 110V in order to use at my house. I'm looking to get a jointer/planer combo next. I would like a budget friendly, 12" helical head machine. I'm considering the Grizzly G0634X, which requires 220V. It seems that most options available require 220V power supply. Is this the case throughout all woodworking machines? Should I have an electrician rewire the garage or is there a safe way to convert? Thank you in advance for any help!
    -Dan

  2. #2
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    Big machines really want 240 volts. I think upgrading your circuit would be worth doing.
    Best Regards, Maurice

  3. #3
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    It's really not that big of a deal to add some 240v circuits. Sticking to 120V is really quite limiting.

    Edison chose 110 volts for his circuits, but the whole country upped to 120, 240 sometime in the 1930's.

  4. #4
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    This is the trend to all electrical things related to delivering increased electrical power comes down to the losses involved in this delivery. Woodworking equipment follows suit. Lower voltages require higher currents which also creates higher heat losses. The way to reduce these losses is to raise the voltage.

    As you build your shop and add better and more powerful tools, the higher voltage becomes more needed. As you move into larger commercial and industrial equipment, the same is true and the voltages increase even more.

    You'll find the 240VAC in a woodworking shop is very desirable and nearly a necessity.

  5. #5
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    The highest power motor you can realistically run on a standard 15A 120V line is about 1-3/4 HP. Some people can run 2HP motors and they are available, but these will commonly cause the circuit breaker to switch off. A 20A circuit can be used here. However, if you want something larger than 2HP, you really need a 240V circuit. A 12" jointer needs a 240V circuit because the minimum horsepower motor is usually 3HP. More is better, though.

    If you are stuck on 120V, the best you can do is a 6" jointer and/or one of the 13" planers. For 13" planers, most are bench top planers (like Dewalt 735), but you can find full size 13" planers that run on 120V such as Shop Fox W1842. I think Jet used to make a 13" full size planer but I can't remember if it was 120V.
    Last edited by Aaron Inami; 09-28-2022 at 3:51 AM.

  6. #6
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    You could add a big transformer to create 240 volts but amps will be limited to one half what the 120 outlet can provide. So not more then 1.5 hp regardless of voltage. It is cheaper to add a 240 line into the shop then buy a big transformer. I would run 240 to a subpanel and have at least 50 amps for car charging and what not.
    BilL D

  7. #7
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    Found it. Jet JPM-13CS planer moulder, 13" at 1.5HP on 120V.

  8. #8
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    There is a specific step many of us take when we move from benchtop machines to floor machines. Any induction motor leaving the 1HP level for more powerful tiers should probably move to 240v service. I did run a 1-3/4HP hybrid tablesaw at 120v and at 240v; there was no difference in actual use. A 3HP jointer, planer, sander, etc. is a different story.

    In one of my home shops I just added a 50amp breaker to my home service panel and fed a sub panel with that. Since I only run one machine at a time plus the dust collector, this worked fine for a decade. If you are not comfortable working with house current, many electricians do piece work. That is, add a breaker and sub panel only. You could add your 120v and 240v breakers, wiring and outlets. A general methods book on house wiring can be had at the library or on Amazon.
    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups." - George Carlin

  9. #9
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    I have six 240v outlets in my small garage shop fed from a sub panel off my main breaker box. They really are not that difficult or expensive to install.

  10. #10
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    Unless one wants to maintain a stable of smaller capacity tools, having one or preferrably two 240v circuits in the shop is a good move. The second is for a dust collector. The first is for whatever power tool you'll be using in the moment that uses 240v power.

    Since I have a mixture of larger tools, my machine circuit that is not dedicated to a particular tool is a 30 amp 240v circuit so it can handle my most demanding machines as well as those that only require 20 amps. I've standardized on the same 30 amp plug/receptacle format (L6 twist lock in my case) so rearrangement doesn't require any changes to machines or where they plug in. I mention this because it's not just about voltage...machines have amperage requirements, too, so your circuit(s) have to reflect the highest requirement if/when you have multiple machines unless you run dedicated circuits. (that's not very cost effective, honestly)
    --

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

  11. #11
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    Kill two birds.

    Run a 100 amp sub panel to the garage. That way you'll have enough for that charger you'll need for your electric vehicle.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    Kill two birds.

    Run a 100 amp sub panel to the garage. That way you'll have enough for that charger you'll need for your electric vehicle.
    This is a good idea in multiple ways and in some geographies, there are tax incentives for installing BEV/PHEV charging that can counter a chunk of the cost of installing the subpanel.
    --

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

  13. #13
    Point taken! I'll have an electrician take a look. Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom M King View Post
    It's really not that big of a deal to add some 240v circuits. Sticking to 120V is really quite limiting.

    Edison chose 110 volts for his circuits, but the whole country upped to 120, 240 sometime in the 1930's.

  14. #14
    Thank you all for your responses! It sounds like the move is obvious to upgrade my workspace to a higher amp capacity, specifically so Im not forced into smaller machines in the future. Just to clarify, the advice would be to ensure the minimum capacity is the sum of what would be my two highest-amp machines that would be running at the same time? ie jointer/planer + dust collector

  15. #15
    Jim do you mean that at the same outlet you are plugging and unplugging the tool your using at that moment? The cord on my table saw for example is incredibly short. It seems like a lot of moving around to make that happen?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Unless one wants to maintain a stable of smaller capacity tools, having one or preferrably two 240v circuits in the shop is a good move. The second is for a dust collector. The first is for whatever power tool you'll be using in the moment that uses 240v power.

    Since I have a mixture of larger tools, my machine circuit that is not dedicated to a particular tool is a 30 amp 240v circuit so it can handle my most demanding machines as well as those that only require 20 amps. I've standardized on the same 30 amp plug/receptacle format (L6 twist lock in my case) so rearrangement doesn't require any changes to machines or where they plug in. I mention this because it's not just about voltage...machines have amperage requirements, too, so your circuit(s) have to reflect the highest requirement if/when you have multiple machines unless you run dedicated circuits. (that's not very cost effective, honestly)

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