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3-phase supply for garage

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Anonymous

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Has anyone got experience of adding a 3-phase supply to a workshop or garage?
I have asked Scottish & Southern Power Distribution to give me a quote for adding 3-phase to my garage. They have sent back a form headed 'Request for New Commercial Electricity Connection'. They are asking for 'site plans which have been submitted with your planning application'. I haven't made a planning application, I'm not doing building work, I just want 3-phase in my garage.
I am thinking they have sent me the wrong form. I am not a commercial woodworker, its just a hobby.
Does anyone know if I will need a seperate meter for the 3-phase supply?
Basically, any info from anyone who has gone down this route would be appreciated.
Thanks
 

Freetochat

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An interesting question. I spoke with my 'sparky' about this a few moths back, and the advice was that the Board would not put a 3 phase into domestic premises, and that the safety requirements would be prohibitively expensive.

Good luck if you are able to get it!
 

Scrit

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I'll bet that the cost of stringing the separate 3-phase from the nearest 3-phase transformer and supplying either 3 meters (one per phase) or an "aggregating" meter won't come cheap (they will also bill you for that). Neither will a metalclad TP&N distribution board. Industrial electricity supplies are billed in a different way to domestic - different tarrifs, etc., so probably two sets of bills to deal with if you can get them to that stage. If you don't already have three phase the best way to go is probably to buy an inverter, but even then be careful. 240volts to earth can bite and may kill you - phase-to-phase cross-circuiting gives you 415volts which invariably kills.

Scrit
 

Ian Dalziel

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Max Depth,
There are a few different things the form they sent you will give them the info they need.
First it’ll probably cost around £1200 just for connection but before you even go there you have to have a means into your workshop ie the ground dug up along a channel then a hole dug at your foundations with a electricity board supplied hockeystick inserted between your foundations and the wall the meter is going on.
You then have to have a ELCB connected to a distribution board all prewired…..then you have to tell them each and every machines load currents ie start load and running load…..this is so they can provide adequate amperage. Also you will need a certificate of comformity from your electrician stating his approval no and maybe also a megger reading of anything going to earth.

The letter you received is a standard letter….headed this way because 3 phase is only required for commercial operations…whether you are a hobbiest or not is irrelevant to them.

There are a lot of houses in the UK have 3 phase but don’t know it as they only use one tapping…some houses are used as distribution points and you might be one of the lucky ones that has this….check at your meter if you have one tail going in then you only have single phase…..if you have 3 tails and only see 1 tail coming out the block then its entirely possible you have 3 phase but youd need them to supply the fuses and connect the other two phases.

3 phase is worth getting if you are making money from your operation but most hobbiests deal with it via converters mainly rotarys as these give the best phase balance and will run most woodworking equipement… 3 phase also runs far sweeter than single phase and is less prone to motor breakdowns but hobbiests generally don’t run there equipement long enough and hard enough to push motors……plus side you can get some cracking 3 phase machinery for reasonable monies.

Ian
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for all the input so far. I will persevere at least as far as getting a quote, but if it does come to something like £1200 then obviously its not worth it.
Anyone happen to know the starting current of a Wadkin 10 AGS (3 phase)?
Thanks
 

frank

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max would it not be cheaper and a lot less bother to change the motor ?

frank
 

Scrit

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Max

The motor should have a rating plate on it, but AGS10s should typically be only 2 to 3 HP (1.5kW to 2.2kW). As to starting load, no idea, but a bench saw doesn't start under a huge load, unlike some machines.

Scrit
 

DaveL

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Max,

I gave the 3 phase motor that was on my AGS away to other wood worker on the forum. I do recall that is was only a 2HP motor. On a 3 phase motor the load current is less per phase as it is spread across the three phases and the draw is from a higher voltage feed.

I have just searched and found this:


I replaced it with a 3HP single phase motor that needs a 16 amp feed, on start-up it did blow 13 amp fuses DAMHIKT. :roll:
A 3HP motor and starter will be £131.31 while 2HP would be £103.71. I think that less than £30 extra would be well spent. 8)
I have found the 3HP motor a delight to use on the saw, I have had a 12" blade in it and ripped 3 1/2" ash, hot knife and butter springs to mind. I think the extra 30% on cost for 50% more power was well spent.

I assume that you got the saw you were after last month? Any chance of some more details, machine number, pictures, er how you got it home?

I have spoken to Wadkin service and they do have some spares, not sure what or the cost yet but they emailed me a pdf of the parts list, I don't think they would mind if I passed it on to you if your interested, let me know.
 
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Anonymous

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Hmm, I should definitely clarify my situation.
After a lot of prevaricating, I had finally decided on a Wadkin AGS. But then the ones I fancied on Ebay seemed to be going for quite high money, so I ordered the SIP with the sliding table. It was a bit of an impulsive decision, to be honest.
It was pretty obvious when it arrived that the SIP with the sliding table was too big for my space. Plus, as I have posted elsewhere, the tilt mechanism is not of the same quality as something like a Wadkin. My fault for ordering one without seeing it in the flesh first. I was able to sell the SIP for most of what I paid.
Anyway, I am now firm in my mind that I will go for a Wadkin, just waiting for the right one to come along at the right price. But of course there is a sizeable premium for single phase ones, so I am planning to get a 3 phase one.
So I don't actually have a Wadkin, or any 3-phase machines at present.
But as Ian says, the 3 phase application form wants to know various info about all the motors I will be running, so I was hoping that someone might have one and look at the plate for me.
Frank, to answer your question, yes changing the motor is an option. But from what I have read, the new motor is unlikely to fit the old pulley, so then you're into boring and/or sleeving the old pulley, and I don't have a lathe. I can't weigh up the pro's and cons of 3 phase supply vs conversion until I price up the 3 phase supply.
If I do get a 3 phase supply, then I can get good quality cheap spindle moulder, planer, thicknesser etc etc. these all seem to go for very reasonable money if they're 3 phase.
Someone at work told me that if you're lucky a 3-phase connection can run as cheap as £300. I live in a renovated farm worker's cottage, and I can actually see the 3-phase supply where it comes in on a pole about 20-yards from the garage.

It may seem odd that I am looking into getting a 3-phase supply when I don't have any 3 phase gear, but I think I doing things the right way round. It would make less sense to buy a load of three-phase gear then find out the supply was prohibitively expensive. Or spend a premium on single phase gear, or converters, or new motors, when 3 phase would actually be affordable.
What I hadn't reckoned on, was that the electricity company expects you to know about every motor you intend to use. I mean, I could just plug a 16 amp single phase motor in without telling them.
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Dave
No, I still don't have a Wadkin, but I know its what I want now. Are you saying that the AGS 10 will take a 12" blade?
Yes, please do forward the parts list on, I will send you a message. Thanks
 

Scrit

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Max

The AGS was available in 10in, 12in and 14in versions. I don't think an AGS10 will run a 12in blade (without modification) as it is a different beast (I did used to has an AGS, BTW).

Dave

Table saws like these aren't that heavy (typically 250 to 350kg) so you could haul one round in a Tranny van. Getting it in and out can be a problem unless you get hold of a van with a tail lift (my 3.5 tonne LDV has a 500kg tail lift, for example) or you can find a low bed van, such as the front wheel drive Renault/Vauxhall/Nissans in which case all you'll need is a pallet truck and two or three beefy mates.

If you want a 12incher you need to look for an AGS12. You might also want to consider the BGS (also in 10/12/14in sizes) - this has a sliding table section to the left of the sawblade making it even more useful (although these are a lot rarer). Try to find a 60s or later model if you can (the earliest saws pre-circa 1955/57 are NOT Wadkins at all, but were branded Bursgreen - the company was in fact part of Sagar, Halifax) as they will have riving knives in the main whereas the earliest saws have splitters. Don't tae the test number as being indicative of the year of manufacture, they aren't (unless you have a build record). If you can't find a Wadkin, why not look for one of the other big names such as Wilson, Robinson or Dominion or one of the lesser names such as Whitehead? You could also consider a Startrite, they made a 9 incher (the TA/SP 155), 10 incher (the TA/SP 175) and a 12incher (the TA/SP 275) both with cast iron tables and frequently with a fold-away sliding table (the DS option) - personally I rate them as a bit lightweight for heavy work, but they were popular with training establishments and smaller workshops for many years.

It may help you to take a look at the Dalton's of Nottingham site as they reproduce some sections of old catalogues on there (Beware! Their prices will make you blanch, but their rebuilds are superb).

Whatever you buy try to make sure that it's complete and that the fence locks up properly. Also check for cracks in the trunnion and that the tilt and rise-fall gear is in GWO and not too worn as this is costly to fix. Buying one of these machines is a bit like buying an old Jaguar (car) used to be - cheap to buy, but the parts are potentially VERY expensive.

Scrit
 

DaveL

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max_depth":y9kduyd4 said:
Are you saying that the AGS 10 will take a 12" blade?
My one, without a riving knife, one of the things missing from the saw*, will take a 12" blade, but it may of been modified over the 30 year odd years its been around to give the required clearance. I cannot vouch that another 10AGS will be the same.

* I have just made a mobile base, I am reworking the under table dust collection and will be buying or making one or more riving knives for the saw. I will of course be posting pictures, on the of chance that some of you may be interested. :wink:
 

Scrit

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For anyone interested, here is another convert to Wadkin :lol:

Scrit
 

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