Two things a well equipped shop needs are power and air. Power I’ve done quite a bit of before but no so much for the air. The power was pretty straight forward. I had room in the existing panel and added the circuits as necessary, allowing room for expansion. For around a couple hundred dollars I got all the wire, conduit, boxes, breakers and receptacles I needed for the project. I mounted the conduit and air plumbing on unistrut anchored to the wall and for good measure painted the conduit and unistrut to match the shop. I dropped 20 amp outlets for the drill press, chop saw, grinder and parts washer plus outlets for lighting and the workbench plus 220 volt circuits for the welder/plasma cutter station and another for the compressor. Within a couple of days the electric was completed.
There are plenty of good sites for air plumbing tips. I shopped TP Tools for piping systems, filters and fittings. There is quite a bit of a debate regarding what to use for air plumbing. Some swear by iron pipe, others by copper tubing. At the gig we have thousands of feet of copper tubing feeding well over 100 air drops. I used what we had at work with what I learned about air plumbing to decide to use copper tubing. I used TP Tools for the flex hose and fittings to connect the tank to the plumbing. I used Northern Tool for the filter/regulator. I again used Lowes for the tubing, valves and fittings. It turned out to be less than a kit from TP Tools though a bit more work to install as the joints has to be sweated. The compressor I was able to get at Lowes on sale and with discount coupons they had been sending us since we bought the house and used them a few grand worth of things for the house. A 60 gallon, 3.5 hp single stage compressor for under $350 out the door. A compressor that size needs to be anchored to the floor with Redheads and vibration footing from Grainger. Another trip to Ahern for a real Hilti roto hammer to sink the Redheads was required. Air system complete just over $500.
With the electric and air system in place we are ready to install the tools and workbenches. The goal of the shop is to be able to do all the fabrication, repair and tuning of a hobby stock level race car. Here’s how we finished it off. Now ready for the car.