Setting up a new home shop, advice wanted.
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  1. #1
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    Default Setting up a new home shop, advice wanted.

    Hello all! 14 year long machinist/millwright here. Tool and die, oil and gas, automotive, manual and CNC machining, and machinery repair work. Have 10 years experience running HAAS mills. I've got a small side business that I have had for 11 years now selling some automotive parts that I designed and have made for me by a machine shop in a different state. My business has really exploded and the shop cannot seem to keep up with my orders and this corona stuff has really killed me getting parts. In a of couple years I am looking to move and build a new home and shop on a acre of land I purchased last year that is closer to the plant I will be working at. I am wanting to purchase a HAAS mini mill, put it on 240V single phase and do a 30x30 detached insulated/air conditioned shop behind the house. Its hot here in texas and I want to keep this machine cool and dry. I mainly machine aluminum with very little 303/304ss. My questions are what type of air condition and insulation setup are you guys with home shops using to keep things happy? When I get ready to build, im going to try my best to get 150-200amps of service to the house and put 60-80amps of service to the shop for the machine plus air compressor and support equipment. Any other suggestions for garage doors, weather stripping, etc.. please post up. I was thinking about a 18K BTU 19 seer split system wall mount ductless unit for AC? We are still in the design phase of building, so plenty of time to tweek things before concrete is poured. Appreciate any help/input.

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    I have run 20,000+ lb CNC mills from my home shop for over 10 years now. You asked for advice so don't be offended if most if not all of what I'm suggesting is well within your existing realm of knowledge.

    I can't say too much on your insulation as here in Canada in my region it's a must. Depending on your area you will want good insulation anyway as it lowers the odds it will upset your neighbors. Being on an acre it is tough to say how close that puts you to the nearest potential source of complaint.

    200A to shop with a 100A sub panel run from that to your house. Get a phase perfect, 30HP and then you'll be good for whatever growth you have for a little while.

    Buy the absolute nicest equipment you possibly can, air compressor with auto drier is an investment, the more you spend on quality now the more time you have making money and less messing around with staying on top of maintaining everything. I know you said your a millwright but CNC machines down sucks and who needs "make work" projects?

    Anyway, I'm not sure how humid it is where you are but you should consider running fans on each mill to draw air out to an a electrostatic air filtration unit that then blows the air outside. I have that setup and I can run coolant all day and you would never really know unless I open the door and leave it open frequently. Electrostatic keeps the harmful particles from getting outside but the humidity goes right out.

    I can't comment on your A/C sizing but don't skimp on insulation and then more of your power can be used to make chips. My shop can be easily cooled down by a 2000 watt air conditioner. You may want to consider building a side storage room on your shop that you remote locate your chiller to, assuming Haas even have chillers? Also maybe remote mount those stove coils they use for braking too. The side benefit of taking the time to do this is a much quieter shop overall when the machines aren't doing heavy cutting. All those fans can add noise in a small insulated box! I've been considering putting open roxsul with a light mesh on the inside of my walls to absorb sound better for comfort. When I used to design large well stimulation equipment we did this on the inside of engine rooms to keep things better for the adjacent control cabins.

    Post pics when your setup and running!

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    More power is better, at least 200 Amps to your shop. Choose a roof design that lends itself to expansion, to make it easier down the road. And have a big roll up door.

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    get a dehumidifier that can give you 50% or less humidity if you dont want stuff getting rusty, helps with preventing mold too

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    Before building anything I would do either a paper or CAD floor plan and insert the machines you expect to need in the next 10 years. Use sales brochures for the recommended footprint and power needs. I think you'll find you'll need a much larger building if you expect to have more than a couple machines.

    My shop has roughly double the square footage you expect to build, and I find it crowded to say the least. It was fine for the first few years, but as I acquired more machinery things started getting closer together than I would like. It's manageable, but far from optimal.

    As for power I would install a 300 amp service in the house with a minimum of a 100 amp sub panel in the shop, or have a dedicated 200 amp service in both places. I started with a 200 amp service. A few years later I added a 100 amp panel in the shop. About 3 years ago I added another 60 amp panel in the shop. It's not that you need a full 200 amps to run the machinery, but rather to have dedicated circuits for some machines like air compressors, welders, mills, and lathes, minimal machines on other circuits, and separate circuits for lights, 120 outlets, and 220 outlets. In Texas you're also certainly going to need AC and most probably some heat in the colder months.

    The time to get the room and power you need is when doing the initial construction. You may not need it all in the first couple years, but eventually you will. It's far more expensive to add square footage and power once the original building is complete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron p View Post
    When I get ready to build, im going to try my best to get 150-200amps of service to the house and put 60-80amps of service to the shop for the machine plus air compressor and support equipment. .
    Haas mini mill full load amps: 40
    5HP air compressor running amps: 16
    Mini Split AC running amps: 7
    Lights: 2

    We can assume these items will always running be running together, that's 65 amps. Plus you will also have intermittent small loads (bench grinder, lathe, band saw, etc)

    Put 200 amps in the shop. It might cost you maybe $200 more for the wire, but that's a small, one-time price to pay for guaranteed no problems and room to expand.

    Also, spend the money up front on good insulation (not fiberglass) and air sealing, or you will be paying for it the rest of your life.

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    Humidity is high and we are less than 5 miles from a large saltwater bay, so that is another factor. It sounds like I under-estimated the power reqs by a good bit. I work for a large oil and gas company (one of the largest in the world) and will continue to keep that job due to the extremely good pay and retirement package. I dont want to build a full blown CNC shop, but want 1 new mill to be able to machine parts when the main supplier can't get them to me on time. I have 8 main style of car brackets I sell and all are 1/2" 6061 or less thickness. This march was my highest amount of orders in a single month at almost 50 out the door. I do have good cad/cam software with proper HAAS posts, so that part is covered. I plan on doing a small single phase manual lathe with a DRO setup and the CNC mill. That all is really the main 2 machines I need/want. Im not running them every day or every week for that matter, but when I need to take care of back-log, I will have the ability to do so. And I can do some prototypes in house that I have had sketched out for a while now without having to pay crazy prices for 1 off parts. Planning on 10ft ceilings, radiant barrier roof decking, spray insulation on the walls and ceiling/attic and a 8ft roll up door with 1 side walk through door. I fish alot so the driveway will come all the way to the back of the house and to the shop with a large awning/covering to put the boats out of the sun next to the shop.

    Can you get 2 drops from the power pole with 1 meter? Im certainly not a electrician, so that part is new to me somewhat. About all I know with electrical is how to wire in new light fixtures to existing boxes or replace a wall socket.

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    Also, does anyone with a new mini mill know if you need a crane to lift it or will a forklift work? The haas website shows a spreader bar/rigging setup on a crane. That seems a little much for a 4,000lb mill.

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    Depends on size of forklift, but we've had far bigger mills moved on forks.

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    Consider getting the mini split as a heat pump. Gas heat is cheaper but you need to buy another furnace for that.
    Bill D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Consider getting the mini split as a heat pump. Gas heat is cheaper but you need to buy another furnace for that.
    Bill D
    For sure a heat pump setup.

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    Forrest would tell you to buy a used bridge crane and erect that first. Then use it to build the building around it. Better to buy the crane first so you know it will fit. Be a shame to have to knock down a building just to add a foot on one end and one side.
    Bill D

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    I am in a similar situation. I recommend a separate service for shop and house- 2 meters one for each. Meter/Disconnect on the outside of the shop.

    Also, a very inexpensive and relatively simple thing you can do to lower your cooling cost for the building is to install a good vapor barrier in the floor, walls, and ceiling. I put plastic up on the walls and ceiling then OSB over that and painted. Also plastic under the concrete. With this in a 30x60 shop a residential dehumidifier keeps it pretty comfortable much of the year and keeps the relative humidity at about 50%. If you install A/C it will greatly reduce that cost as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Deal View Post
    I am in a similar situation. I recommend a separate service for shop and house- 2 meters one for each. Meter/Disconnect on the outside of the shop.
    That depends on local zoning laws whether you can do that or not. When I was in California there was only one meter allowed per address.

    I would recommend installing a phase converter to have 3 phase power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron p View Post
    Can you get 2 drops from the power pole with 1 meter? Im certainly not a electrician, so that part is new to me somewhat. About all I know with electrical is how to wire in new light fixtures to existing boxes or replace a wall socket.
    You can get a residential 400 amp meter/service, and at the meter you will run (2) 200 amp panels, houses simply put them side by side in the basement (or wherever)
    But you should be able to run the second feed to the shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Forrest would tell you to buy a used bridge crane and erect that first. Then use it to build the building around it. Better to buy the crane first so you know it will fit. Be a shame to have to knock down a building just to add a foot on one end and one side.
    Bill D
    I have no need for a bridge crane. These parts literally weigh 2lb or less. I have a 2 ton engine hoist if I needed to lift something into the mill, but honestly its looking like maybe a Kurt vise at most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    You can get a residential 400 amp meter/service, and at the meter you will run (2) 200 amp panels, houses simply put them side by side in the basement (or wherever)
    But you should be able to run the second feed to the shop.
    All power companies can do this 400a single meter setup?

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron p View Post
    Can you get 2 drops from the power pole with 1 meter? Im certainly not a electrician, so that part is new to me somewhat. About all I know with electrical is how to wire in new light fixtures to existing boxes or replace a wall socket.
    Can't speak for Texas but where I am you can more then one meter on a single bill. A useful feature of this is that it makes it easy to seperate the power used for the buisness for deduction purposes

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron p View Post
    Also, does anyone with a new mini mill know if you need a crane to lift it or will a forklift work? The haas website shows a spreader bar/rigging setup on a crane. That seems a little much for a 4,000lb mill.
    I have unloaded bigger Haas mills then this using a rollback tow truck. It will come crated and the whole crate can be winched from the flatbed to the rollback . The deck is then rolled back and tilted and pulled out from under the crate . If when pulled unto the rollback about a foot is left overhanging at the back this will contact the floor when tilted and provide enough friction to pull the bed out from under . A good operator can do the job in well under 10 min

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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron p View Post
    All power companies can do this 400a single meter setup?
    Your mileage may vary.
    I can't find the meter base I put in (just a quick glance at Home Depot website)
    Here is similar, has space for 4 breakers:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Siemens-...0RLM/302878820

    check with your electric supplier for what they require.


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