Shop talk

Fivepoints

Well-Known Member
What kind of electric service do you all have? I'm not going to pay for 3 phase, not necessary at this point.

Is 200 amp enough? All LED lights will certainly reduce the draw there. What big draws am I missing;
Air compressor
Welder
AC in office
Big fans in shop
Heater (source TBD, but still gotta move the air - unless I heat the floor)
Fridge/water cooler
Well pump
Keep in mind that a lot of industrial equipment runs off 3 phase. 3 phase welders and air compressors are cheaper used than single phase. I bought a 10 hp ingersol 120gal compressor for $500 recently due to it being 3 phase. It's about 5 or 6 years old and in great shape. For the most part, the used market just isn't there for 3 phase used equipment. Most factories are just going to buy a new one. Also the amps per phase it lower so depending on how the bill is figured, it may save you money every month. Large building a/c just about has to be 3 phase due to the power requirements.
 
Personally for a one or two guy shop, 200 amp service is plenty. I’m a heavy equipment mechanic that has a machine shop on the side. And now have turned into a hobbyist tree climber arborist. In my shop I have a 30HP phase converter, that runs a mill, surface grinder and my biggest load is a 15 HP Lathe. If you start having 6 guys all running large machines, you might need more than 200 amp service. Most all of your heavy loads are ran at different times, on electric motors, startup is what pulls the most amps. Congrats on getting a shop, I just went they building mine 2 years ago.

Ross,

And three phase would be wonderful to have to come in from the line if you have a need for it, I wish I had it, but I’m a ways away from it and I can run a phase converter much more economically than paying to have three phase brought to me.

Three phase machinery much of the time is very inexpensive due to the smaller amount of people that can power the tools.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Progress:
Found a demolition company that said they'd do it all (including haul away) for $1400. I had thought about doing it ourselves (a friend offered to help). I figured if we got a couple of roll offs, we could load everything into those. Because of the weight of the blocks, I was thinking dump fees along would be about that. I'm assuming they are going to grind and resell the blocks. Works for me...whatever they want to do with them!

Settled on a builder for pole barn. Everybody locally I have talked to about pole barns gave me one name. There are several others who build them, but nothing but glowing reviews of this guy. His estimate came in right about budget so I told him we're gonna do it. Probably later in the fall before he has time for my project.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
So, 80' long. Either 50 or 60' wide (only about $6000 extra for the additional 10'). 18' tall is about $2500 more than 16', so we'll most likely do that.

We were talking layout. Tentatively, garage doors will be on the south side. I'm thinking office on the east side of the building. We talked about: 14x14' door; 14x14' door, 10'x10' door; 10'x10' door; man door opening into office (the east-most 16' of the building).

Couple of questions for feedback:
1) Is 14' wide necessary, or should I see about making those 12' wide by 14' tall? Resale value may be a reason to keep them at 14'...???
2) Does it make sense to do the (2) 10' doors then the (2) 14' doors (closer to the office), then put another 10' door on the north side of the west wall? That would add another door, the other 10' bays would T into this bay. I'm thinking I'd swap the 10' and 14' doors to do that as it is more likely equipment in the 14' bays would be longer.

like this:
Capture.JPG

or this:
Capture1.JPG

Other layout things I'm thinking about:
Work benches along the office wall.
Tool/equipment storage along the north wall..maybe west wall.
 
When I built my shop, I did one 16’x16’ door, and one 10’ wide 12’ tall door on my side wall. If there is one thing I think I did wrong was only going 10’ wide on the side door. My Kenworth service truck will fit thru height wise just fine, but 10’ wide is really too small. 11 or 12’ wide would of been better. My service truck barely goes thru it, I have to fold mirrors in and watch everything very closely. If you are gonna run anything bigger than a pickup truck, 10’ wide is too small. Just my thoughts
 
Last edited:

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
To me it seems the door layout comes down to the inside dimensions of the shop - longest bay should have the biggest door - and the layout of the parking lot, so that you can be sure there will be enough space to line up your biggest trucks with the big doors to get in easily. We made a mistake there, to get in our big door with anything real long, you have to turn around in the parking lot and then back in from an angle...

As far as door width, we are 12’ wide, and while it is sufficient, 14’ would sure be nice sometimes, especially if your mechanic is not an expert at backing trailers to get them inside the smaller doors.
 

GreenstoneVT

Active Member
Location
Londonderry
Personally for a one or two guy shop, 200 amp service is plenty. I’m a heavy equipment mechanic that has a machine shop on the side. And now have turned into a hobbyist tree climber arborist. In my shop I have a 30HP phase converter, that runs a mill, surface grinder and my biggest load is a 15 HP Lathe. If you start having 6 guys all running large machines, you might need more than 200 amp service. Most all of your heavy loads are ran at different times, on electric motors, startup is what pulls the most amps. Congrats on getting a shop, I just went they building mine 2 years ago.

Ross,

And three phase would be wonderful to have to come in from the line if you have a need for it, I wish I had it, but I’m a ways away from it and I can run a phase converter much more economically than paying to have three phase brought to me.

Three phase machinery much of the time is very inexpensive due to the smaller amount of people that can power the tools.
The drop price for 3-phase is ridiculous. I had looked into it for my wood shop. For what I paid for my converter I could have gotten all of 2 feet from the pole. You need to be playing a very long return game or using a lot of heavy machinery to make it pay off. Only possible downside of the phase converter is where you are located on the grid. If you are off on a dead end you may be limited in size of the converter due to high loads messing with service past your point. Neighbors can get annoyed with brownouts.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Met with builder again. We decided to push the 14' doors all the way to the east. Then 10' doors. Office will be on the west side. I think I'll put a small door on the north side of the west wall. This will cut into office space, but I'll still have about 16'x34' set aside for that - plus height for a second story.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
Progress update:

Building is down. $1400 to demolish and haul away***

20200730_164822.jpg

Signed a contract last week for a 60x80'x18' pole barn. (2) 14x14 doors; (2) 10x10 doors all on the south side. Decided to do an 8x10 door on the north end of the west side...just another place to get small equipment in and out - thinking maybe the air compressor goes there. For now, I'll just have concrete where the existing 30x80 slab is and the other half will be a stone floor. Some day in the future, we'll put 3" on top of that slab and 5" on the other half. Would do that now...but apparently, they quit giving concrete away a week before I signed the contract. :rolleyes:

Builder is booked, so it will be closer to the end of the year before he gets to mine. At least I hope. Told me he had to send his crew home at 10 a.m. today because the trusses didn't show up. Called the rep and they told him it may be two more weeks. Maybe longer if they decide to keep giving everybody on unemployment $600 extra per week!

***Side note: How do you run that much equipment for $1400/day??? big track hoe, skid loader, 2 big dump trucks, and a huge roll off container truck. I'm not complaining - at all! - just can't make the math work in my mind. They did haul off the block and will grind/re-use that. My wife took the boys out to watch and said they were setting aside all the metal, so they'll get a few $ for that, but won't be much as there wasn't much there!
 

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