If anybody has been following my workshop updates, you’ll be familiar with the fact that I barely even have a “workshop” right now; it’s more like a tornado dropped tools, parts of a forest, and piles of sawdust and woodchips in my basement. I can only imagine that this is a freak occurrence, and it just so happened to pick my exact latitude and longitude. Maybe I should contact NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) in Boulder, CO since they’re just a stones-throw away? ;-)
This isn’t meant to be a long, or a serious blog, so I guess I’ll jump right into it. We’ll see how long I can air all my mistakes and accidents, but I thought that, going forward, I might share with you the trials and tribulations of a beginning woodworker, in a more light-hearted way. That means, I will attempt to comply with all film industry standards and keep this a “PG rated” blog, at the worst. There will be no bloody, gory stories here, sorry. Now that I’ve said that though, I’m sure this might go all the way up to a “PG-13” rating at times, due to obscene language that tends to jump out during some of these “humorous occurrences”.
So, without further adieu, I present to you Woodworking Humor, Episode #1>
I guess I have prefaced this episode a bit in my introduction, referring to the fact that the set-up in my basement might vaguely resemble a woodworkers shop… albeit one that has gone through a tornado. I have been trying to gradually get everything either organized, cleaned-up, or put together over the last week or so and still have a ways to go. The main reason for all of this is quite simple: I figure a clean, organized shop will not only help with productivity, but will be much safer than the current set-up. I’ve literally been moving piles of wood, tools, finishing materials, and any other sort of shop supplies or equipment in the book so that I might be able to use a particular tool, access my workbench, or just move around the “shop, a.k.a. tornado alley”.
I have been making some progress on this recent venture, although I’m not out of the woods yet, or out from underneath all the piles of sawdust either. On that note, I thought it was about time to get my dust collector up and running. I purchased it a couple of months ago off of Craigslist. I really couldn’t resist. It’s a Delta 50-760, so more than adequate for my small basement shop application, plus I got it for a really good price. The only issue with it was that the guy I bought it from had it wired for 220 (or 240… whatever you want to say). I only have regular outlets in the basement and didn’t want to convert anything.
Two days ago I rewired the DC, after stepping over and around multiple obstructions. Easier than I thought, once I actually took the time to look at the diagram. Match the numbers on the wires up with the chart and apply wire caps. Done… I guess? We won’t know until I install a new plug.
I was going to wait until this morning to install the new plug, but just couldn’t resist at least tinkering with it last night after the late news. Guess I should set the scene for you:
“It’s 11pm on a mild late-summer evening in Denver, CO. Jonathan’s belly is full of food, both from dinner, and from popcorn. He knows he must get his recently acquired dust collector up and running soon so he can check another task off his laundry list of neverending tasks. He thinks to himself, why put off until tomorrow what you can do during late night hours?
With fresh determination, he goes down to the basement, grabs the new plug and a screwdriver and gingerly steps over several piles of boxes and tools, being careful not to trip and arouse suspicion from his wife, who is upstairs brushing her teeth and getting ready for bed like any other sane and rational person might be doing at 11pm.
Jonathan tries to be quiet, but his wife wonders where he’s gone? She comes down the basement stairs to investigate. Standing there in her pajamas, ready for bed, she inquires, “What are you doing?” “Just wiring up the new plug,” he answers honestly. She has that look on her face that reads, “you are hopeless, aren’t you?” and climbs back up the stairs and into bed.
Within 2-minutes, Jonathan has the plug wired-up and walks around another pile or two of tripping hazards to flip the switch for the dust collector to test not only the machine itself, but his late-night wiring work.
The motor immediately whirs to life and within a second, the impeller blades reach full rotational velocity. Just as Jonathan opens his mouth to exclaim “Victory is mine!”, he is greeted with a billowing cloud of fine dust particles that promptly flow throughout the basement, adding another layer of fine dust over the top of everything.
He marches back upstairs, the battle won. He goes into the bedroom to check on his wife. “What was that?!” she asks.
“Well, the dust collector works!” Jonathan happily says, smiling.
“It was loud!” she exclaims.
Jonathan’s only response is, “Too bad I forgot to put the bag on it before I turned it on. It smells like he might’ve been cutting MDF last time he used it.”
-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."