I said in my last post that my next project would be installing my new ‘baie coulissante’, my new double patio door. But it turns out that I was wrong. I thought that before I cracked on with that I’d re-do the lighting in my workshop, something that I thought would only take a day yesterday, allowing me to get started on the patio door today. But as soon as I started looking more closely at the workshop wiring I knew that that was hopelessly optimistic.

I knew that the existing lighting was running of the workshop’s power circuit but that didn’t matter, it’s what I did when I put lighting in my wood store. I also knew that the one plug socket in there didn’t have an earth and it was only when I looked more closely that I realised why this was. Sure enough, the incoming power cable did have an earth but it wasn’t being used. Why? Because although there was a single bulb mounted on the cross-beam in the workshop, some fool had run three core cable from it up to the light switch and power socket near the door and used the earth cable as one of the pair feeding the light switch!

All I’d wanted to do was fit some extra lighting – one strip light each side of the cross beam to put light into the back of the workshop for the first time ever and another over the work bench that just had another single bulb hanging off a nail over it that had been daisy-chained into the light switch. So a real dog’s dinner and there was no way that I could leave it like that.

So I did a couple of things yesterday. First I fitted a new handle to my ancient sledge-hammer that I’ll need when I knock out the old windows and door on the back of my house ready for the new patio door and then I got hold of all of the materials (cable, plug sockets, junction boxes etc) that I thought I’d need to do the workshop wiring work. I didn’t do too badly given how I’d been more or less thrown in at the deep-end – all I ended up being short of was one junction box.


After a long day, by 8.00 pm this evening I’d broken the back of the job, having done a proper re-wiring job with the correct weight of cable on each leg and with a proper earth system. I’m adding several plug sockets although their positioning will be mainly for convenience as the total load will be limited and it won’t be possible to run several heavy duty services (eg compressor and large angle grinder) at the same time. I’ve fitted two sockets onto the cross-beam and a strip light replacing the original single bulb. The junction boxes allow for a further connection to be run later on to another strip light on the reverse of the cross beam achieving my objective of lighting up the rear of the workshop and thus making it more usable and accessible.


I’ve kept the light switch in its original position up near the door and the wiring is already in place for another one or two plug points in the same area plus the third and last strip light over the work bench. Unfortunately I couldn’t install them and connect them up because I needed another junction box to contain the connections.


I really do now need to make a start on my new patio door as we should be getting a couple of fine days, albeit with a cold start each day due to having clear skies at night, but with wetter weather expected in the second half of the week. I think that if I make an early start tomorrow though, if it is a bit chilly I could pop down to ‘les Briconautes’ at Montignac, pick up another junction box and finish the job off. I’ll have to wait and see what the morning brings 😉

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