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Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... #29: Sawdust is a big part of our lives...or... What goes around, comes around.

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 01-19-2012 01:30 AM 1215 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 28: A Picture Book...some shop stuff...mind Pabulum.... Part 29 of Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... series Part 30: Woodworking Vise – Upside Down Mount, Shrouded Mechanics – What’s with that? »

Dropped this into one of Roger’s posts http://lumberjocks.com/Kentuk55/blog/27657 this afternoon, but thought it merited a blog post…........

OK, so the furnace goes out this morning, probably about 0200hrs, and I wake up at 0400hrs and notice it is a little cold…...check the electronic thermostat, yup there is a problem. Ain’t electronics wonderful?

Go down to the shop… the furnace is a squatter there... and take the top off of the furnace.

Lot’s of lights flashing. Very pretty.

Recycle the furnace, meaning flipping the breaker off for 45 seconds. No dice.

The flashing lights read…...

...—-... SOS….....

.....naw, not really, I check the reference on the underside of furnace cover…..”No ignition after 3 tries”.

This furnace has been worked on recently, so the ignitor must be the problem.

Please note, it is 8 degrees below zero in balmy Anchorage…....

So, even though they have no room in their schedule for today, we leave a message for our favorite local plumbing and heating place…....only real journeyman plumbers work there.......more expensive….but great service. And I tell the gal to note it is probably just the ignitor….......

......fire up two gas fireplaces, run the monster gas oven at 500 degrees…..it vents into the kitchen, don’t run the hood….......and turn on every light in the place, and all three computers in my office…......you can get a sunburn from those three big monitors running…....the house starts warming up.

I run off to do some surgery, and Sherie pages me as I get done. Give her a call….....

OK, LJ’s hear this…

She tells me that the plumber comes walking in the door, box in hand with new ignitor…....he believed me. Pulled out the old burned out one, left it on one of the project tables so I understood the problem, and walks out the door 10 minutes later, between all the other scheduled jobs.
.
.

.......he notes….....they burn out because sawdust settles on the ignitor, so you ought to buy a few to keep around in case you keep doing this hobby…......IN CASE I KEEP DOING THIS HOBBY?!!
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.
And he leaves the instructions for how to put one in!
.
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Yup, this weekend gonna go down and buy a few ignitors.
.
.

Bet he was the same plumber I gave the shop tour to a few months ago when he was working on the furnace, and he thanked me afterwards for sharing the shop stuff.
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What goes around, comes around. There are some great professional workman in this country.

I think I just got an example of what this country is all about…......
.
.

...........................but it was just a tiny little bit of sawdust….....wasn’t it?..............
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.

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska



15 comments so far

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5387 posts in 1977 days


#1 posted 01-19-2012 02:17 AM

You know, I went to bed last night running the air conditioner, a cold front moved through and dropped the overnight lows into the 30s… Now not as cold as you, but I can see where you are coming from…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View lew's profile

lew

10154 posts in 2501 days


#2 posted 01-19-2012 02:51 AM

Glad your are warming up!

Thanks for the tip, Jim. Maybe a stupid question but is it gas or oil?

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2135 posts in 1854 days


#3 posted 01-19-2012 02:53 AM

I had a similar problem with a hot water heater a few months ago. My brother was living with me at the time and got stuck with the unfortunate task of human guinea pig when it came to hot water in the shower. There is a filter that is over the air intake that was covered in a “tiny little bit” of sawdust. My lathe sits fairly close to the heater so put up a simple canvas drop cloth to help block the dust on that side of the basement. I am going to have to add some DC to my lathe setup and invest in one of those big mouth attachments to hook to a vac soon.

Hobby….Ha!

David

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1910 days


#4 posted 01-19-2012 03:44 AM

dbhost
Right, did you pull up the blanket as well as the sheet?.........(-:
Well could have been a lot worse…...we will be in Las Vegas in a couple of weeks, we can compare notes…..

Lew
It’s gas, makes heating affordable here…......I suspect the ignitors are different…........
Had oil in Fairbanks back in the ‘70’s, pretty expensive, gas is a lot cheaper and easier…...........

David
Right on, I am thinking about a sawdust filter for the furnace.
Hobbies first….......work second. I think we all agree here….........(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7928 posts in 2798 days


#5 posted 01-19-2012 03:56 AM

Well, you have an honest plumber… depending on how much he Charged you! LOL

That’s good information… That alone is worth the price! Yes?

I hope your surgery goes well… Hysorectomy? (sp)

Hope your house is nice and warm when you get home!

THAT is really COLD! I’ll bet your gas & electricity bills are out of sight!!

Take care.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: http://www.WoodworkStuff.net ... My Small Gallery: http://www.ncwoodworker.net/pp/showgallery.php?ppuser=1389&cat=500"

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1910 days


#6 posted 01-19-2012 04:28 AM

Joe
Well, the house is nice and warm. And yes, gas bills are big, but not extraordinary. Surgery was a minor thing. Important to the patient of course. And the plumbing bill was just the standard….strange, the good guys charge the same as the bad guys.

But I got some information to save me some grief and some cold hours in the future.

Sawdust….in your hair…..in your nose…on the floor…in your clothes.

.....just keeps going round and round….......

Part of our lives….......Yes?

Take care as well…......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1628 days


#7 posted 01-19-2012 05:17 AM

Glad you got it fixed Jim, wouldn’t be fun to have frozen pipes on top of a dead furnace! I just had my pellet stove installation inspected; the inspector was quite concerned with me having it in my shop due to the dust…small price to pay though for a nice warm shop…I haven’t found any sawdust free wood types yet…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2080 days


#8 posted 01-19-2012 04:06 PM

Hi Jim, I’m glad you got your heating problems sorted out. I wondered how you were doing when I heard that there has been an unusual amount of snowfall in Alaska the last few days. Yes, there are still good folks around. I had a similar experience with my plumber recently (no, I didn’t get sawdust into the pipest).

I loved the link. It just shows how tasks can be made so simple and easy with good thinking. I have seen a lot of thin rip jigs in the past, but this one takes the cake. Thanks for posting this. I will use this method from now on.

If some of my typing looks strange it is because I had my last eye operation early this morning so I am using one eye (and my computer) to write this. Take care, and stay warm!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1919 days


#9 posted 01-19-2012 04:14 PM

stefang: yikes ! I hope your eyes heal well, and work well, and … soon !

Jim: so … the dust.

Is it coming in through fresh air returns, in the basement or elsewhere in the house, or … seeping through cracks in the furnace housing ?

When I pull my furnace panel, I really don’t see much dust in there. There’s good weatherstripping on the panel’s innards.

Our furnace pulls through a HEPA filter AND a 5” pleated media filter.

Just wondering where the pass is, if you’re going to head it off at the pass.

Long live sawdust. It’s like beach sand, in its propensity to get into places that just boggle the mind (and change the stride).

Stay warm … or … in dbhost’s case … warm and cool ;-)

-- -- Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1910 days


#10 posted 01-19-2012 05:05 PM

Mantario
I keep looking for some sawdust free wood up here in Alaska, but I doubt the species are very different form those in Ontario…...(-:

I have some bad memories of frozen pipes….like working in an unheated gravel crawlspace at 55 deg below zero in Fairbanks, Alaska, putting sleeves on 22 different joints…......and I did that for a friend for the price of a martini!

Took a close look at your shop again. You have come a long way. I calculate you have about 512 sq feet, and I have 424 sq feet, after subtracting the furnace area. The freezer is still there, but will get moved, hopefully, this weekend. I can store some sheet goods in the garage, which is a contiguous space.

I am beginning to think I will have to enlist a friend to help me do a sustained upgrading, including rerunning wire, perhaps even some new sheet rock.

Thanks for the inspiration. Maybe I will get renewed energy, and a little help. Work has been a real bear the last few months, I can hardly keep up with the email.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1910 days


#11 posted 01-19-2012 05:22 PM

Mike
Hope those eyes improve with the surgery. As I recall, that was cataract surgery. Usually, the lens implants completely revamp the quality of sight.

You can hardly get through the subdivision here any more, the roads have become mostly one lane due to the build up of snow. Some years the city snow removal crews are looking for work, but not this year. They can’t keep up with it. Usually the smaller roads in the subdivisions get taken care of last, which is the proper order. But all they can do this year is run a plow through with a lick and a promise. Snow removal with the graders, giant snow blowers, and trucks isn’t happening because they have not been able to keep up with the issues on the major highways.

The biggest problem right now here is cold weather. We usually have a small spell of below zero weather each winter, and we are in it right now. You may have seen the problems Nome had with getting heating oil and diesel for their generators due to the early freeze up. Lot of unusual early ice around St Paul island in the Bering sea as well, this year. The latter is a port for crabbers and fishing boats. Got that info from a patient I saw yesterday that is involved in the industry. She is management type for one of the corporations involved. They keep talking about global warming, but this winter is not a good example of the trend.

That strip method does look good. I will combine it with some kind of hold down arrangement, but that shouldn’t take much doing. I do make a lot of strips to edge plywood construction.

- 6 deg F, -21 deg C right now.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1910 days


#12 posted 01-19-2012 05:41 PM

Neil
I really don’t know how the sawdust gets in their, but I assume some air sneaks in through crevices. The furnace is a boiler for the hot water baseboard system, and it heats the hot water tank as well. However, it pulls air from outside, and also vents outside, directly through the outside wall it is next too. The combustion chamber must not be totally sealed. I am going to buy a couple of ignitors, and also take a close look at where you install them. Perhaps I can beef up the sealing on the access door or some such.

Mostly, I probably need to keep the air a little cleaner, probably. I do some coarse sanding with the 12” Delta disk sander and the Rigid belt/drum sander, and the dust extraction is not perfect on those machines. But I suspect the culprit is sanding done with the PC low profile sander,

(http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/1114)

which does most of the fine sanding (I love that PC sander). It extracts dust pretty well itself, and I mostly use it on the multipurpose bench, with the table in downdraft configuration and connected to the shop DC system. However, that ignitor probably has taken a long time to burn out, and I did a lot of sanding on MDF in constructing the top for the multipurpose bench. Bet that was the culprit. Now I am better set up for dust collection, but of course it is never perfect. Should pick up a ceiling mounted air cleaner…....that is in the plans, but is not the first project in a row here.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2378 posts in 1628 days


#13 posted 01-20-2012 02:52 AM

Thanks Jim; it certainly makes ww a lot easier to have a bigger space. Even something simple like having room for an outfeed table makes a big difference. Can’t say that I’ve had to deal with frozen pipes…yet…got a backup generator installed this fall to hopefully keep the furnace going when the power goes out; haven’t had to use it yet though. It’s been a strange winter, hardly any snow and very mild temperatures. Personally, I don’t mind the cold, and prefer it to the constant freeze/thaw cycle it’s been this year.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3684 posts in 1910 days


#14 posted 01-20-2012 03:18 AM

Rob
Most of us here in Anchorage wish the temperature would drop to 22 deg in November and stay there till April. That keeps it frozen, no wet roads with mud-ice-salt covering the windshield and the rest of the car. And the roads don’t get a thick coat of ice which comes when we get a rain on top of the snow coated roads, followed by a freeze. Guaranteed to happen in February, however. We usually get 10 days of thaw and rain in January-February, and if you look at the satellite maps of Alaska and the Gulf of Alaska, you see the clouds streaming straight up from Hawaii…..which is at the same longitude, meaning due south. People forget how far west we are. When we get the Pineapple Express, that’s what I call it, you swear you smell orchids and pineapples in air and rain in the middle of winter in Anchorage. The satellite maps make you a believer, however.

I need a good outfeed table, I currently use a project table that has adjustable feet so I can make it the exact height. Along with the dust collection on my TS, that will be happening soon. Notice the SawStop in your shop, haven’t heard anybody complain about those much.

Later…......

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile

stefang

13623 posts in 2080 days


#15 posted 01-20-2012 11:05 AM

Yes Jim, it was cataracts. I just got back from an eye control this morning and the operation yesterday was successful. I can see long distance very clearly now, but I still need my reading glasses for close-ups, though that seems improved too. I am a very happy fellow right now. Maybe my measurements in the shop will improve too, but I won’t hold my breath,LOL.

It sounds colder in Anchorage than I like it. We are having an extremely warm winter so far. We had a little snow yesterday, the were already back in the + range where we have been most of the time.

Neil, thanks much for the good wishes!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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