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Wood inside PVC Panel

 
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rob6239




Joined: 14 May 2016
Posts: 18



PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 6:00 pm    Post subject: Wood inside PVC Panel Reply with quote


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I've been buildling myself a brew panel, mostly following Kal's designs but opted for a PVC 12x12x6 enclosure.

For a back-plate inside the box I cut a piece of plywood. My plan was to use nuts & bolts in each corner and JB Weld the bolts to the back of box so I can unscrew and remove back-plate if I want to work on stuff. That also lifts the "plate" from the back of the box a fraction of an inch so I can attach and screw things through the wood without piercing the enclosure itself.

As long as I ground everything, use proper 30A GFCI breaker for power and have my SSR's properly attached/sealed directly to my large heat sink on top of box is that piece of wood a problem?

And would wrapping the wood "plate" in aluminum foil do anything? Thanks
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10895
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Wit, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the forum!

rob6239 wrote:
... so I can unscrew and remove back-plate if I want to work on stuff.

That's nearly impossible to do given that the backplate items are wired to the door and the receptacles on the bottom. This is why I recommend tapping a metal backplate, so that if a part needs to be removed, it can be done without having to remove the backplate. If your backplate is wood, I'd recommend wood screws, not bolts and nuts.

Quote:
As long as I ground everything, use proper 30A GFCI breaker for power and have my SSR's properly attached/sealed directly to my large heat sink on top of box is that piece of wood a problem?

Making an enclosure or backplate out of wood is not recommended as wood is more flammable (mostly combustible) and possibly less rigid than other materials such as PVC (or definitely steel). Will it work? Yes. Is it as safe as an metal enclosure/backplate? No. This is why you'd never see anything made of wood inside a high voltage/current commercial product today. (There was a time when everything was wood however - just look at old tube radios or TVs. They usually had a metal chassis inside or mounting plate, and were then placed in large electrical cabinets made of wood.
Interesting thread about it: http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php?t=176515

OSHA bars using wood for an enclosure (Federal OSHA 1910.303(A)). NEC's a bit fuzzy about it seems.

Quote:
And would wrapping the wood "plate" in aluminum foil do anything? Thanks

I would not do that. It's not structurally sound. The last thing you want is a piece lifting off and shorting out something. It would (IMHO) be less safe than not using it.

Good luck!

Kal

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rob6239




Joined: 14 May 2016
Posts: 18



PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the very quick reply!

And good link . Anyone who reads it will appreciate this comment:
Quote:
The NEC does not prohibit me from making an electrical enclosure out on graham crackers and marshmallows either.

My brain does...



I also saw a few comments/concerns about actually mounting on the wood vs. just using as an enclosure.

I'll try and insert a pic of what I had tried so far:




With the PVC enclosure of course the door isnt' hinged or attached so I've been slowly building/wiring and anticipating when I'm ready to wire components on the door to those in the box/receptacles and close up the door.

But as the box is PVC and the "plate" was wood, I added the extra terminal there to use as a ground bus as well. Even if I used PVC I should still have that, but if I used steel or metal back there it would help ground.

I grew a bit more concerned after reading that short thread - as you can see, I've mounted everything I have inside to the wood...
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kal
Forum Administrator



Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10895
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: Pub Ale, Electric Creamsicle, London Pride, Wit, Janet's Brown, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Belgian Quad, Belgian IPA


PostLink    Posted: Sat May 14, 2016 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rob6239 wrote:
And good link . Anyone who reads it will appreciate this comment:
Quote:
The NEC does not prohibit me from making an electrical enclosure out on graham crackers and marshmallows either.

My brain does...

Yeah - I like that one.

I'd love to see a graham cracker/marshmallow control panel. Wink

Kal

_________________
Our new shop with over 150 new products: shop.TheElectricBrewery.com
We ship worldwide and support our products and customers for life.
Purchasing through our affiliate links helps support our site at no extra cost to you. We thank you!
My basement/bar/brewery build 2.0
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