Crazy Stuff Stumpy Thinks About #29: I had a dust collection breakthrough while eating tapioca from a hospital trash can.

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Blog entry by StumpyNubs posted 12-02-2012 01:00 AM 6354 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 28: How I survived Black Friday at Woodcraft: Stumpy vs. the Zombies... Part 29 of Crazy Stuff Stumpy Thinks About series Part 30: A message from Stumpy Nubs for survivors of today's Mayan Apocalypse... »

The other day I yawned and a thick cloud came out of my gaping mouth, floated around my face for a moment and then was sucked into my nostrils as I inhaled my next breath. For a moment I assumed it was a cloud of pipe smoke, like my grandmother used to puff out in rings above her head to impress us kids on special occasions and weekdays. But since I don’t smoke, I knew this was something more serious.

(Tired of reading? Listen to Stumpy read this for you below. Or read on like a stuck up, smart-alec. It’s your funeral…)

Now, as you can tell by looking at me, I’m the type of guy that likes to take care of himself. Sure, I eat a lot of cheese and drink my share of malted beverages, and my wife’s share too. And my idea of exercise is to sit in a lawn chair in front of the shop swinging a flyswatter and yelling at the neighborhood kids. But just because I neglect my waistline and my arteries doesn’t mean I’m not concerned with my lungs. If I can’t breath, I can’t talk. And if I can’t talk I can’t order at a drive-through. So this is a health crisis.

The first thing I did was visit my doctor. And by doctor I mean Randy the shop boy. I make him smell my breath several times a day, so if anyone knows my breathing habits, it’s him. Now, I could go into detail about what Randy said and how much garlic I had eaten that morning but I’ll cut to the chase. Randy is an idiot and I’ve got dust in my lungs. Yes, you heard me right. My chest cavity has more filth in it than most internet videos, woodworking ones excluded. I should have guessed the problem months ago when I was kicked out of the wine club for saying everything was “oaky”. I wrote that off as a case of a bunch of fru-frus who can’t stand to see a chubby guy shotgun a bottle of Cabernet with his shirt off. (Another joke, I drink only in moderation and only out a brown paper sack.)

Anyway, my mailman told me that what I needed was a good lung dusting so I went to see a real doctor and was immediately admitted. Now, the best part about intensive care is the food. They get a whole different menu from the rest of the hospital. And I quickly learned to take advantage by sneaking into that wing and looking for the comatose patients with unguarded trays. That’s when reality hit me, a real bottom of the barrel moment. Here I was sitting next to a recently deceased old woman eating tapioca from her trash can and I had to ask myself, was this all worth it? Wouldn’t it be better to just get a new dust collection system and avoid this whole rigmarole altogether?

I mean, we all spend vastly more time sweeping the sawdust from the floors and blowing dust from every surface than we spend with our children, and only half the reason is because we woodworkers hate kids. Am I right.. huh? I’m winking, nodding and elbowing you like an idiot trying to make a point right now, and the point is this: My dust problem has overgrown my shop’s ability to suck. Not that my shop doesn’t suck in a lot of other ways. I don’t have cable for one thing, or an omelet bar. But neither of those is as important as getting that dust away from my giant nose and into some sort of filter like God intended. Chip collection isn’t doing the job any more, my raw windpipe and splintered nostrils can attest to that. I tried to battle the dust clouds by opening the shop doors and windows and installing fog lights on the table saw. I’m tired of chewing after every breath. I’m tired of burrowing through the shop like a hamster. But most of all, I’m tired of being tired… which I’ve been told is caused by the low oxygen levels in the shop, and if there’s one thing my Union employees demand, it’s oxygen. And a break every ten minutes.

So, right then and there, on the cold tile floor of the late Mabel Butterfield’s hospital room, I decided to change my life. No longer would I be a slave to the sawdust and wood chips that a good deal of my projects became. From that moment on the only thing I was going to sniff was glue fumes because nobody was ever harmed by those. I fell to my knees, took a final swig of ensure and swore to myself and Blue Collar Woodworking fans everywhere that I would design a dust collection system of such beauty, such efficiency, such unparalleled genius that Einstein himself would sit up in his grave, take a snort of my workshop air, wipe a tear from his eye and say… “Stumpy, you complete me.”

In the next three episodes of Blue Collar Woodworking history will be made. Will you be there to witness it?

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9 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18309 posts in 3726 days

#1 posted 12-02-2012 01:16 AM

Why don’t you just grow a thick, bushy mustache to supplement your nose hair?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View StumpyNubs's profile


7609 posts in 2851 days

#2 posted 12-02-2012 01:17 AM

I’m proud of my nose hair! Whenever anyone around me complains about a smell, I can honestly answer: “All I smell is hair.”

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18309 posts in 3726 days

#3 posted 12-02-2012 01:43 AM

must not be very thick if you are getting that much dust in your lungs! You should be smelling a bit of wood too.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View DocSavage45's profile


8638 posts in 2893 days

#4 posted 12-02-2012 02:32 AM

Looking forward to how you make a dust collector out of MDF!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View DIYaholic's profile


19623 posts in 2725 days

#5 posted 12-02-2012 03:29 AM

Much better than the canned voice from my laptop. Also, the computer doesn’t capture your rythm quite right. I can hear the dust in your voice, I quess you could say you have a “raspy” voice. Get it? rasp???

I’m about to rebuild my shop and DC would be the next logical step. Once tool/machine placement is determined, I will run ducting, so this series is perfect timing.

Anxiously awaiting your next cough, err soliloquy!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View CharlesNeil's profile


2421 posts in 3921 days

#6 posted 12-02-2012 02:52 PM

There has to be a “Phis a key a trist ” on here , Stumpy does need a Dr :)

View geoscann's profile


258 posts in 2330 days

#7 posted 12-07-2012 10:46 AM

Stumpy they voted union help dont matter any more they have no say just hire someone that dont need well maybe not.

-- BIG geo ---Occam,s razor The simplist answer is often correct

View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 2220 days

#8 posted 12-23-2012 02:30 PM

Stumpy -

What was the tape you used to make the barrel ? I have been thinking of doing a barrel for a plastic liner to catch rain water off the roof and your demonstration gave me an idea.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View StumpyNubs's profile


7609 posts in 2851 days

#9 posted 12-23-2012 02:36 PM

I just used masking tape to hold the seams together while I applied the glue and clamped it up.

Wooden barrels are watertight if properly made. You won’t need a liner. I believe there was a tutorial on Lumberjocks a while back about making a wooden bucket. You should do a search for it.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

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