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post #11 of Old 04-29-2013
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Re: Wire my Garage like a Boat?

Yes, when I posted my response I was thinking the OP wanted to use AC power tools. I was thinking he wanted to run a drill press, grinder, saw, etc from batteries. For what I had in mind there is no good alternative to putting in a drop panel (circuit breaker box).

I respect the OP's intent. If his goal is to use a few portable cordless tools and have some light, his plan would work okay. Where I see the real challenge is lighting. In my own experience, it's damned hard to ever have enough light when you are working in a garage, and the light is never where you need it. Working with flashlights truly sucks. A retractable drop cord with a proper light is a lifesaver.

From a cost perspective, by the time you purchase enough solar to charge enough batteries to make good light- I don't know if you will ever get a return on your investment. Lighting a boat is MUCH easier than lighting a workshop that is far bigger and has all sorts of dark corners and dull colors that will absolutely gobble up all of your light.

Of course there are always extension cords. But for $100 you can bury a proper cable and put in a small, safe, circuit protected distribution box that you can plug all your stuff into and not have to roll up several cords every time you want to lock up the shop and go inside for the night. You don't even have to mount the box if you don't want to. Mount it to a board along with outlets and mount that board to a saw horse. Now you can move it around to where you are working or move it out of the way, etc. If the box is powered by a pigtail you can even unplug it from the single outlet that is hardwired to the house via your buried cable.
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