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Michael_Grumbach 06-09-2021 11:31 PM

Mount Bus Bar on Wood
 
I built a bus bar by bolting copper metal to a wood panel.
Should I worry about this causing a fire?

Danjo 06-09-2021 11:45 PM

Unknown. It depends on the mass and resistance of the material. If the mass is greater than the attached cables then youíre probably OK, but using a rated device is a better idea.

rossvtaylor 06-09-2021 11:57 PM

I'd do this with nylon spacers between the bus bar and the wood. You'll need clearance between the bus bar and the wood for screws or bolts, so the nylon spacers at each end would provide this.

DeMac 06-10-2021 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael_Grumbach (Post 441766)
I built a bus bar by bolting copper metal to a wood panel.
Should I worry about this causing a fire?

Michael,
Are you saying that you have built, on your bus, a place to pour adult beverages, using copper & wood?

OR

Are you asking about conductivity and flammablility when electrifying electrical components, which have been mounted to a wood surface, using metal screws?

If the later. Please do not. You ought to hire a licensed electrician.

rossvtaylor 06-10-2021 09:15 AM

DeMac's comments made me realize...I was presuming the bus bar the OP referred to was for 12V circuits. In that case, I'd have no issue with a bus bar mounted to wood with standoffs.

But...if this was meant for 120V then it's a big no. I shouldn't have made the low voltage assumption.

musigenesis 06-10-2021 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeMac (Post 441799)
Michael,
Are you saying that you have built, on your bus, a place to pour adult beverages, using copper & wood?

Ha ha, this is what I thought OP was referring to as well. I couldn't see how that could possibly cause a fire unless they were making those flaming drinks.

Michael_Grumbach 06-10-2021 09:25 AM

thanks everyone.
I'll get a spacer and stay out of the news. 🤣

dbsoundman 06-10-2021 09:25 AM

I wouldn’t mount anything to a piece of wood, no matter the voltage. Nylon screws and spacers are the correct way, inside a metal box.

DeMac 06-10-2021 09:38 AM

12v can start a fire. Even a ground bar can sometimes be electrified. No way to guarantee the line current. Do you believe the 'spacer ' stops the screw's conductivity? If you mean 'bushing', then the required machine screw won't fit in the mounting hole. Nor would it be properly, electrically bonded.

Michael,
Maybe a wider scope will help us better understand your needs. Are you building a telephone com panel, electric 12v, 48v, 120v, ac or dc?

No wood nema panels. Plastic, pvc, aluminum, steel, etc.
Wood, No bueno.

Bert06840 06-10-2021 10:15 AM

I have to admit that, in a pinch, I have done this. I was in the middle of nowhere and had to rig something up for a ham radio event. What could possibly go wrong? Itís just 14V. Iím only going to pull a few dozen amps. Trust me, Iím an engineer.

Fast forward a day, when disassembling it, I noticed that I must have not tightened one of the current carrying bolts well enough. The piece of wood was charred under the terminal. It looked like it had self-ignited but ran out of oxygen.

Donít be like me.

Mr4btTahoe 06-10-2021 11:22 AM

...just buy a legit bus bar. They aren't expensive... and if you had a fire that was linked back to that home brew item, your insurance could deny your claim.


I'm all for making your own parts and such... but not in this instance. Not worth the risk.

Rucker 06-10-2021 11:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael_Grumbach (Post 441766)
I built a bus bar by bolting copper metal to a wood panel.
Should I worry about this causing a fire?

It's great you're asking the question, even AFTER making it. Sometimes we make it and forget it.

What kind of current are you pushing through the bus bar?

For 12V up to 30 Amps, here's what I use-I mount these right on wood panels. They are rated for more amps. They stand off the surface and have a plastic cover:
https://www.amazon.com/Terminal-Bus-...NsaWNrPXRydWU=

Polarweasel 06-19-2021 05:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bert06840 (Post 441810)
I have to admit that, in a pinch, I have done this. I was in the middle of nowhere and had to rig something up for a ham radio event. What could possibly go wrong? Itís just 14V. Iím only going to pull a few dozen amps. Trust me, Iím an engineer.

Fast forward a day, when disassembling it, I noticed that I must have not tightened one of the current carrying bolts well enough. The piece of wood was charred under the terminal. It looked like it had self-ignited but ran out of oxygen.

Donít be like me.

This right here is all you need to know. Do it right, which in this case is not DIY.

Danjo 06-19-2021 05:26 PM

My Blue Sea bus bars are on wood. I don’t see a problem with it. The OPs homemade bus bar is unrated and I wouldn’t do that

mmoore6856 06-19-2021 05:34 PM

never to wood mount a piece of steel spaced a quarter inch or more from the wood. put your bus bar on it. just imagine trying to sleep knowing that even 12 volt systems catch on fire

Doktari 06-19-2021 09:06 PM

What about some sheet metal over the wood then non-conductive spacers then the homemade bus bars? I like to have some metal between electrical and wood because metal doesnít catch fire.

Danjo 06-20-2021 07:48 AM

What if your busbar has a UL 94-V0 Rated, Glass Reinforced Thermoplastic base? Can that be mounted to wood?

Michael_Grumbach 06-20-2021 09:16 AM

Thank you very much for all of your feedback. I had isolated the bolts with a plastic-like tube thru the wood and added a rubber like material between the wood and the washers and nuts that hold it to the wood. Someone here had made a suggestion like that.
But I'm still feeling a little uncertain, so I'll be using two AML fuse blocks as standoffs which will completely isolate the power from the wood.

kidharris 06-22-2021 02:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Doktari (Post 442987)
What about some sheet metal over the wood then non-conductive spacers then the homemade bus bars? I like to have some metal between electrical and wood because metal doesnít catch fire.




But if the metal gets hot enough it will cause the wood to catch fire

kidharris 06-22-2021 02:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael_Grumbach (Post 443021)
Thank you very much for all of your feedback. I had isolated the bolts with a plastic-like tube thru the wood and added a rubber like material between the wood and the washers and nuts that hold it to the wood. Someone here had made a suggestion like that.
But I'm still feeling a little uncertain, so I'll be using two AML fuse blocks as standoffs which will completely isolate the power from the wood.


The points that I picked up on were
1. The power bus bar has to be adequately sized for all possible loads so that it does not heat up.
2. Adequate distance from the wood/combustibles should be observed.
3. All fasteners connecting the electrical wiring should be solid connections.
4. Isolation from grounds is imperative.

5. An engineered UL rated product gives the insurance company someone to blame besides you. And it is better than sleeping pills.


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