My Start #2: Into the Garage

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Blog entry by macatlin1 posted 05-14-2011 05:30 PM 946 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Building Office Cabinets Part 2 of My Start series Part 3: Working in the Garage »

When last I left off I had moved my Table saw to the garage. I don’t know about your garage, but my garage was filled with household items and didn’t leave much room for any kind of wood working. By band saw, drill press and sander were against the walls and behind an episode of ‘Hording”. Even if I clear out and re-arrange the household stuff there isn’t much room so I will need to be able to move the tools around, storing them against the wall when not needed and rolling them to the center to be used.
First order of business was to build rolling stands for the tools. My first stand used big box locking casters. Or, should I say my first mistake was to use big box locking casters. I went cheap and bought small wheels and when I tried them out they skidded across the garage floor unless the floor was surgically clean and when I locked them the castering action allowed the saw to shift when being used. For my second try was to use Harbor Freight casters from the moving dollies. The sale price made the cost of the casters half of the shelf price. To lock the stand I drilled the stand in the 4 corners for 3/8 tee-nuts and used 3/8 threaded rod as jacking rods. For knobs, I used my largest hole saw to cut ¾ MDF and used the cutout that wedged itself in the saw. To secure the saw I simply screw the jack rod down until the caster begins to turn freely. The fourth rod is screwed down until the saw doesn’t rock. The larger wheels roll over floor debris. I made a platform for the band saw and for the drill press. Keep the drill press casters spread out as drill presses are top heavy and a wide stance comes in handy when you forget to move the extension cord out of the way when moving.

It was during this time I had a birthday and my wife bought me a thickness planer. I mounted the thickness planer on the stand I used for my old table saw as the planer didn’t come with a stand. When I first tried out the planer I didn’t hook up any kind of collection device. I ran a 2×4 through it several times and really didn’t see much come out of the chip chute. I guess the chips were moving too fast to see as the corner of the garage about 10 feet away was covered in chips. And, yes, it was the corner containing the household items. I bought a trash can and hooked up the cloth collection funnel that came with the planer and I realized that the can filled up fast. I was really surprised as much chip volume came from that machine so hooking up my shop vacuum would be futile.

The next project was to build a dust separator. I made a fixture to cut rings on my table saw and built a vortex separator using PVC plumbing fittings. I had to turn down the ends of vacuum hose couplers to get them to fit the PVC. For the thickness planer it works perfectly. No more fiddling with the bag, the collector can be out of the way and chip collection is improved. For the band saw the dust collection is good and most of the saw dust goes into the chip collector instead of the collection bag in the shop vac. However, the trash can is lightweight plastic and if the intake of the supply hose gets blocked the can collapses. Note to self: get a better and metal trash can.

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