Sunday, April 19, 2015

Vacations Must Come to an End

I've been out of work since the end of the day Thursday, 4/9, and tomorrow it's back to the grind.  (Well, I actually got called into a telephone conference for an hour on Wednesday, so I worked from home).  Anyway, it was a blissful 10 days.  Whenever the TV started talking about Madame Pantsuits, I changed the channel.  Yeah, normalcy bias; I mean there is nothing remotely abnormal about a Clinton wanting to dominate the country.  (Queue Tears for Fears).

Of course, if you read here at all, you know I spent last weekend at the Cabin Fever Expo.  I didn't come home with much, but I found a used Mitutoyo dial indicator for $10 and a few carbide cutting tools.  We flew from the Orlando area (Sanford, not the big Orlando airport) and were diverted on the way home - a severe thunderstorm was over the airport as we were approaching.  For a weather radar geek, it was an interesting fight but I would have really loved to have seen the displays.  We diverted to St. Petersburg and sat on the ground for over an hour.  We were eventually into the airport over two hours after our scheduled landing time.  Instead of being home by 8:30, it was 11PM.

For the rest of the time, I got to spend a lot of time in my shop, which is always sweet.  A few weeks ago, I started down the road of implementing a dust control system by adding a Horrible Freight system on a friend's recommendation.  Yeah, it's rated 2 HP, but I assume that like virtually everything on the market that's "rolling downhill with the wind at your back".  I tested it out in the shop with my miter saw (much like this one) and it did a respectable job at getting everything even without putting a hood behind it to help force all the dust toward the vacuum port.  The saw itself comes with a collection bag on the back that catches most (2/3 or 3/4) of the chunks but usually has to be thoroughly vacuumed after use to get lots of dust off the saw and its stand.  With the dust collector running, and the 4" hose just held next to the back of the cut, there was virtually no cleanup.  So, with a bit of guidance, Mrs. Graybeard made her first set of wood shelves, now proudly on the reloading bench.  Given the success with the dust collection experiments.  I ordered a few adapters to connect the 4" dust collection tubes to the smaller shop tools;  most things come with a 1-1/2 or 2-1/4" port to accept the hose from a Shop Vac, not a dust collection system.  If I had a 3D printer, I would have printed them.

And, yeah, I made some metal chips, too.  Nothing dramatic or exciting; in one case, a replacement for the latch a lock engages, and the other case an end mill holder for my small Sherline mill. 

But it's back to the usual tomorrow - actually, I expect it to be busier than usual.  All vacations are too short. 


  1. I'll be keeping an eye on you for further updates on the dust collector. As my collection of wood tools increases and I start using them more, I have to stop spending an hour running the shop-vac around the garage after each project. I built a small plant stand for the wife this weekend and ended up with a fine coat of cedar dust ... well, everywhere.

  2. Woodcraft seemed to have a selection of adapters the last time I looked. Stores in JAX, Orlando, and Tampa.

    Erik in Colo.

  3. Shoot me some drawings and I'll print you some adapters..

  4. Shutout me some drawings and I'll make you some...

  5. I'm in Deltona, you anywhere near?

  6. Comeandmakeit - I ordered a few from Grizzly, but next time I may take you up on that!

    I believe that 3D printing is going to drastically affect things like the massive manufacturing of "little plastic things from China". How about instead of going to Walmart, just loading a spool or two into the printer and going to bed?

    Dick - not really near, but not that far. I'm in the Melbourne/Viera area. A hundred miles?