Archive for the ‘DIY’ Tag

DIY: Air Cleaning System   1 comment

Dust Is Everywhere


It’s the never-ending problem in my garage woodshop.

When I finish wood, I generate dust. Great, pervasive clouds of dust.

It drives Velda crazy. When I’m sanding, she really has no choice but to give up on housework. I become my own living version of Pigpen, and she knows that dust is going to come into the house, no matter what.

No. Matter. What.

I’ve got the big dust collection system, of course, but that is for the large tools like the Table Saw or the Drum Sander. Those tools are great as I begin to shape of the boards, and then smooth the glued-up blanks … but they have no place in finish sanding.

For that, I need hand tools. For that, I need sanding by hand. For that, I’m going to generate small dust particles, and there’s little to be done to collect that dust in my shop … so I thought I’d create my Do It Yourself Air Cleaning System.

I’ve seen this idea done with a plywood box containing the entire system, with air filters both in front of and behind the box fan. That was needless, I thought. I simply put one air filter behind the box fan so dust would be sucked onto the filter, and called it good. Come on, this is as low tech as you can get. Why complicate it with building a box to contain it?

The box fan was $40, and the filters are $4.50 each when you buy a 12-pack from Amazon. Does it solve the Pigpen problem? No. Does it help? Absolutely.

The Right Tool   Leave a comment

Tattoo Wash BottleGetting a job done properly is not necessarily a sign of an amazing talent or skill. Sometimes its just having the right tool.

Knowing what the right tool is … now THAT is wisdom. Knowing how to use a tool? That’s a skill.

In my case, the right tool is a tattoo wash bottle.

Yup, of all the guys I know, a tattoo wash bottle is about the LEAST likely tool that I would ever need. But this tool gets the job done.

What job?

Our refrigerator has an automatic ice maker. Yes, I’m spoiled. The ice is made automatically without the need for those clumsy, broken ice cube trays.

When it works.

The problem is that the ice maker fills by directing the water to flow through a short, flexible black tube that focuses the stream through a chute and into the reservoir.

When it works.

When it doesn’t work, it’s always because the black tube has become frozen solid with an icicle that blocks the water flow. So, how do you unfreeze a tube with a minimum of fuss?

Solution # 1 was to call a repairman, before we knew about the unfocused ice accumulator that is our ice maker. The repairman put water in a nifty little injector with a long wire tip, and the problem was solved in moments. He left the house a bit richer, and I was standing there a bit poorer wondering why I was so ignorant of the ways of the ice maker. We didn’t call the repairman to unfreeze the black tube again.

Solution # 2 was to improvise a tool that could direct a stream of hot water into the black tube and unfreeze it. DIY at its best. Unfortunately, the closest we had was an old salad dressing squeeze bottle that had an short tip that was about 1/4″ across. That directed the water in the general direction, but the tip was too short and inflexible to get in the right position. The inevitable result was that water went everywhere when we had to unfreeze the ice maker.

And I do mean everywhere.

We put a dish towel under the ice maker to soak up all we could, but it was a total mess, every time.

So I began to search for a better tool. Once I found the tattoo squirt bottle, the amount of water needed to unfreeze the tube dropped from about 20 ounces to about 1 ounce. The mess went from really annoying to no mess at all.

I wasn’t any smarter. I wasn’t more skillful.

But I had the right tool.

Posted November 7, 2013 by henrymowry in Living Life

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