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For strength, hardwood is far preferable to softwood. Most big box stores have pieces of oak, often in the stair parts section. If nothing else is available, poplar would be preferable to softwood such as pine, fir or spruce. You are right that you need to predrill to avoid splits.


The joints in the design you referenced are actually plain lap joints held together by lag bolts or lag screws. If you wanted to get a bit fancier, you could always use half-lap joints or one of the other variations shown below. These will require a bit more work, but all but the dovetail lap shown below can still be done with just a circular saw and a ...


Shouldn't be a problem. If the garage has a habit of filling with water, you'll need to use conduit and conductors rated for wet locations. Otherwise I can't think of any problems. You'll have to use conduit that can be subject to physical damage. To be sure, contact your local building department.


It is not quite clear to me why you want to remove the brush holders. Normally the brush replacement does not require much saw dis-assembly at all. You simply remove the cap part (item #46) and remove and replace the brush. From looking at the exploded parts diagram it appears that the brush holder (item #50) is simply press fit in place and secured with ...

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