Until recently the dust collection system, in my basement shop, consisted of a broom, dust pan and window fan. Then a really good Craig’s List find and some some subtle hints from Mimi (”YOU do the dusting and you’ll see just how bad it is!!”) has upgraded the old way. Although the system isn’t the most powerful- 1 1/2 hp- it has really made a difference; especially when I remember to open the correct blast gate. One thing I discovered is in order to maintain peak efficiency, the blast gates on the equipment not in use must close completely. Sanding doesn’t present a problem but when planing, jointing, sawing or general cleaning- larger chips find their way into the sliding gate tracks and prevent the gate from closing completely. To clean the tracks, I’ve tried unbent paper clips, opened safety pins, small scratch-alls but nothing seemed to really do a good job.
Well here’s my answer to the problem-
This is nothing more than a old U-bolt (1/4×20 thread) with one leg cut off. Bent to form a right angle then heated and flattened to fit the blast gate slots. It could have been ground flat but fire was more fun. The end was ground to a rounded point to get into the corners of the tracks. The handle was made from a piece of Sapele from member “Karson”. Drilled a hole with a #7 bit, turned/sanded the handle on the lathe then just threaded the bolt into the hole letting the bolt threads cut their way into the wood.
The length of the “blade” is long enough to reach into the corners of the tracks.
And the lanyard- that’s in I get clumsy and drop the tool. At least I won’t have to tear apart the hoses to find it.
Thanks for looking!
-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the world's finest custom rolling pins!