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  1. #1
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    Default 3 phase 415V - Is it worth it?

    Just wondering how many people have got 3 phase installed. I am looking at getting a tablesaw, bandsaw, thicknesser, jointer etc, and debating whether to go 3 phase or not. I have heard it is quite expensive to get installed, but don't know exactly how much. What is involved in terms of equipment and is it transportable if I move house?

    Having no previous experience with 3 phase, I asked the salesman at a woodworking supplies shop recently about the adv/disadv, and basically he said 3 phase offers less noise, greater HP, and cheaper prices. Anything else? Any disadvantgages?

    For those in the know, would you recommend going to 3 phase or not. Need to make my mind up about this before making any purchases.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingDuck
    Just wondering how many people have got 3 phase installed. I am looking at getting a tablesaw, bandsaw, thicknesser, jointer etc, and debating whether to go 3 phase or not. I have heard it is quite expensive to get installed, but don't know exactly how much. What is involved in terms of equipment and is it transportable if I move house?

    Having no previous experience with 3 phase, I asked the salesman at a woodworking supplies shop recently about the adv/disadv, and basically he said 3 phase offers less noise, greater HP, and cheaper prices. Anything else? Any disadvantgages?

    For those in the know, would you recommend going to 3 phase or not. Need to make my mind up about this before making any purchases.
    FD,

    I don't know what the cost would be of installing 3PH at your w/shop would be (it would depend on many factors including distance, etc), but I've noticed that the "heavy" machine tools available in both 1PH and 3PH are priced identically. Certainly, 3PH offers the possibility of moving up to higher HP than 3HP, so may be an advantage if you were looking at at BIG table saws, high volume DCs, and whatnot, but for a hobby w/shop I'd suggest that a couple of 15a circuits would suffice.

    Sparky's: chip in here...

    Cheers!

  4. #3
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    I own all the machines you mentioned a few more and all are 1Ph with motors from 0.5 hp to 3hp and have more than enough power, the expence of 3Ph would buy you a nice machine (Jointer)
    If it goes against the grain, it's being rubbed the wrong way!

  5. #4
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    3 ph is the only way to go for the high end/commercial user. For something that is running for hours everyday the running cost is a lot less. A water bore is a good candidate for 3 Ph. However for the backyarder it might just be a matter of personal choice.

    I can 3 Ph into my place for a bit over a grand but for most its more like 2K. And thats just to get it to the meter. If you were building a new shed and where going to have it wired anyway the cost is not likely to be significant overall, and in some ways having the 3 ph to the shed makes the single circuits a lot easier.

    I prefer 3 Ph, because thats all I have been around for years, but many enthusiast/amateur models of equip are only available as single phase, although this can often be changed. I suppose, in laymens terms, 3 Ph gear has more balls.

    Its interesting to note that often in Australia the 3 phase machine cost more than the single (understandable) but in other countrys (which use predominantly 3 ph for any machinery) the cost is more for the single phase as this a non-standard model.

    Its well worth looking into before you make the decision. I'd talk to a sparky for an indication of costs.

    Cheers
    Squizzy

    "It is better to be ignorant and ask a stupid question than to be plain Stupid and not ask at all" {screamed by maths teacher in Year 8}

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    Unless you have something specific in mind that works best on 3 phase, then I'd suggest is prolly better to leave it out, provided you have enough power in the shed right now.

    If you need more juice out there, and need to upgrade supply, then maybe it might be a good idea to stick in the 3 phase at that time.

    Out of a 10A outlet, you have, effectively, 3hp. 15A, 4.5hp and a 20A outlet, 6hp, all on single phase. Now, I know that a single phase 6hp motor is not going to be easy to find, but there is still enough power coming out of one outlet for anything that's not going to be used to earn a living.


    If you were next door to me, I'd say yes, absolutely, no questions just do it. Only got 100V here, and the biggest motor I have seen in single phase is 1.5hp. Not enough for anything really.

    Do you know how frustrating it is to be hamstrung by not having 3 phase with not enough voltage to do anything with? What's worse, I am an electrician and I can't do anything about it!

    Yet...

  7. #6
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    3 phase power may not be available to some houses.
    The only real advantage of 3 phase is that some secondhand machinery is often far cheaper than single phase.
    Regards, Bob Thomas

    www.wombatsawmill.com

  8. #7
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    Was faced with the same question when building my new garage and workshop. 2 years prior I'd done some major work on the house and had to underground the mains coming in from the street. Extra cost of having three phase cable put in was negligible so it got done. Probably wont use it in the workshop but the outlets are there if I do need it in the future.

    3 phase is useful for some older machinery and if youre going to be running industrial size presses and stuff but for average woddy type machinery i wouldnt bother going to the expense of puttin it in..unless like me it can be included with major work on your house which requires moving or relaying of the supply from the street.

    Cheers Martin
    Whatever note you blow youre never more than a semitone away from the correct one....(Miles Davis)

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    First check if you have 3 phase available in your street. I also live in Brisbane and 3 phase is not available in the street.

    Also have an electrician to do a maximum demand on your properties current wireing.

    Modern houses have 16 sq mil for mains which gives you 63 amps. Some oledr house still only have ten square mill for mains.

    I have two three hp machines and several 2 hp machines. I can survive on two 15 amp point and the usual lights and power.

    I have solar hotwater and a fan forced oven that works on a 10 amp power outlet. This has saved me some power to use in the shed.

    As Steve says the price of new machinery is idntical but the used machinery is much cheaper in 3 phase

    If you are a one man band stay with the single phase.

    Note in my area ther is a long wait time for energex to do hookuos.

    Cheers Sam

  10. #9
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    No capacitors with 3 phase, quieter motors and not too many 5Hp single phase motors out there. Replacement single phase motors are usually more expensive than their 3 phase counterparts but on new machines this is not the case in my experience.

    For what most of us do 1 Phase is enough.

    As far as Im aware all new houses in Sydney have 3 phase to the meter box. From there its up to the owner.

    Ducted A/C is so common now that most houses have the need for 3 phase. So you may have it in your box and not realise it.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingDuck
    For those in the know, would you recommend going to 3 phase or not. Need to make my mind up about this before making any purchases.
    New 3-phase equipment might be the same price as new single-phase, but second hand equipment, particularly thicknessers, jointers, and spindle moulders bought from auctions are much cheaper. For the price of a new single-phase 13 inch thicknesser you might be able to buy an old but good 20 inch thicknesseer that will invariably be 3-phase. Who doesn't want a 20 inch thicknesser, for example? It sure makes short work of flattening those glued-up panels. Ignore this advice if you only make little boxes.

    Check out this thread:
    http://www.woodworkforums.com/showthread.php?t=13908 (not quite the same topic, but close)

    I'll be putting in a new shed within the next year and it will definitely have 3-phase.

    Qw
    All short sentences in economics are wrong.

  12. #11
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    Sometimes you may be surprised to discover that you already have it! I know I do but I don't own any three phase machines to take advantage of it.

    The reason I had it was the house had a three phase electric cooking range! I understand that some pool/spa heaters are also three phase

  13. #12
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    Thanks everyone for the great replies so far. I will be building a new shed, so by the sounds of it I should get 3 phase, 15A sp & the normal 10A sp all installed, meaning 3 different socket types on the wall.


    Also sounds like 3 phase might be a better choice if starting from scratch with regards to machinery purchases and given the option. Still, will no doubt have to keep on thinking about this one for awhile.

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwigeo
    Was faced with the same question when building my new garage and workshop. 2 years prior I'd done some major work on the house and had to underground the mains coming in from the street. Extra cost of having three phase cable put in was negligible so it got done. Probably wont use it in the workshop but the outlets are there if I do need it in the future.



    Cheers Martin
    Three phase is available in my area of Brisbane, near the inner city.

    It cost me nearly $1800 - and then bought a 3 phase 350A mig welder
    (total cost to me was $2100 - welder and 3 phase)

    now I can mig anything and buy 3 phase second hand tools which are really good value.

    If you are staying for a while I would do it

    Tom

  15. #14
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    With second hand 3 phase machines being so cheap, does this mean they are poor resale value if ever I would want to resell, compared to 1ph?

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingDuck
    With second hand 3 phase machines being so cheap, does this mean they are poor resale value if ever I would want to resell, compared to 1ph?
    Well logic would say yes,

    If you buy something cheap because the secondhand market is small then when you sell so yeah it would be cheaper,

    But how many of us buy things with re-sale in mind?

    Tom

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