Worst Job in a Wood Shop

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Forum topic by Chris Wright posted 01-28-2010 10:51 PM 1818 views 0 times favorited 28 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris Wright

540 posts in 3509 days

01-28-2010 10:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Here I am, taking a quick break from the one job I have to do in the shop that I just hate. We have a decent size shop here at the Arts & Crafts Center, and with it we have a decent size dust collector. The collection bins are four 55 gallon drums. And today I’m emptying them. But that by its self isn’t so bad, what makes this task so bad is that I also have to knock the filter clean. I know what you’re thinking, “well, how bad can that be?” Well, I’ll tell you. This filter is comprised of 48 roughly six inch diameter tubes made of filter cloth that are suspended in the top half of the dust collector. These tubes fill with chips and dust over time and I have to stand inside the lower part with a broom handle and poke and knock the chips free. Breathing and eyesight issues aside (this is where I use my Trend Airshield the most), I then have to clean up all the saw dust that’s now on the ground, and if it’s like it is today, the wind is not kind. It usually takes me about an hour and a half to two hours to completely empty the collector, dumping roughly 8 to 10 drum loads of saw dust.

So, that got me to thinking. What’s the one job that has to be done in your shop that you don’t necessarily “hate”, but you enjoy the least?

I look forward to reading your comments.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

28 replies so far

View Rustic's profile


3253 posts in 3624 days

#1 posted 01-28-2010 11:00 PM

cleaning in general

--, Rick Kruse, Grand Rapids, MI

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3703 days

#2 posted 01-28-2010 11:04 PM

Sounds like a breeze compared to cleaning up waste on a dairy or hog farm ;-))

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

View Gary's profile


9333 posts in 3460 days

#3 posted 01-28-2010 11:36 PM

You got that right Top!!

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3143 days

#4 posted 01-28-2010 11:39 PM

to change breakpads on the car in this wintherstorm——-ups that was not wood related or was it I still
have to go to the tool store tomorow to get a new cheisel
but in the shop it is to find any tool i need for a project it take too long when all the stoff is in moving boxes


View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3516 days

#5 posted 01-28-2010 11:48 PM

Woodworking related: Vacuuming up all the chips/shavings.

Non-woodworking related: leaching out the outhouse up in Canada where we spend 2-3 months every year. Although I did make a nifty tool that my family has dubbed the “chipstersh**stirrer.” LOL Put it on the end of a 1/2” drill, put it down the hole, and it dices, slices, purees, mixes, liquifies and does a fantastic job. Those little butt bullets just don’t stand a chance! Just add water!! And YOU TOO CAN MAKE YOUR VERY OWN! JUST 19.99 + SHIPPING WILL GET YOU THE PLANS. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! NOT ONLY WILL WE SHIP YOU THE PLANS, WE WILL INCLUDE SOME VERY RELIABLE RUBBER GLOVES TO PROTECT YOUR HANDS! BUT WAIT! CALL IN THE NEXT 5 MINUTES AND WE WILL DOUBLE YOUR ORDER AND ALSO INCLUDE NOSE PLUGS! THAT’S RIGHT! ALL THIS FOR 19.99+SHIPPING. CALL NOW, OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY.


-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View Mark's profile


1807 posts in 3301 days

#6 posted 01-29-2010 12:00 AM

sanding after sanding after sanding….then comes finishing and W A I T I N G…I dont mind cleaning my shop too much after finishing a project because I do it while I’m still in my great buzz of another accomplishment and pondering what to do next.

-- M.K.

View Dez's profile


1166 posts in 4105 days

#7 posted 01-29-2010 12:46 AM

I would have to say it is the waiting for whatever reason – glue to set, finish to dry etc!

-- Folly ever comes cloaked in opportunity!

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3756 days

#8 posted 01-29-2010 01:12 AM

I’ve heard that some industrial ones have built in air horns (very low frequency), that you can turn on and they will vibrate the particles out. I’ve never seen it, but its what I was told by a manufacturer when I visited their plant (before I even had a care about woodworking).

View Tony_S's profile


871 posts in 3111 days

#9 posted 01-29-2010 01:43 AM


Look at the bright side…it could be worse. Our dust collector has 220 filter bags!!!!!
Ours has a ‘bag shaker’ built into the collector though (shakes the bags for about 10 min every time the collector is shut down) The only maintenance on them is to change them out once a year and have them washed and repaired….and we hire that out.
Trust me though…Ive been inside ours enough times to know just how crappy it can be!!!

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View Chris Wright's profile

Chris Wright

540 posts in 3509 days

#10 posted 01-29-2010 03:12 AM


Sounds like a nice DC you have. Ours is supposed to have a shaker for the filter bag, but I don’t know if it’s working, or if it even exists.

I don’t mind getting inside to clean them out, but it’s the clean up I don’t care for.

-- "At its best, life is completely unpredictable." - Christopher Walken

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3703 days

#11 posted 01-29-2010 05:53 AM

This reminds me of a dust collector system I wired the controls for about 30 years ago. The plant burned the saw dust and chips for heat. I told the engineer there wasn’t anything to prevent the burner feed bin from over filing and a fire hazard backing up into the dust collection system. He told me it was not a problem and would not approve the iinstallation of a limit switch.

That didn’t surprise me as our job foreman had called me to the site to wire the system. He didn’t have anyone capable of correcting the engineering drawings. As engineered and drawn, the system would not stop once it was started. I made the necessary corrections and gave him a red lined drawing. I could see the situation was going to get tense because the engineer and he had been fooling around with it for a few days :-)

About 2 or 3 months after the system was put on line, I had to return and install the limit switch I had recommended. The burner bin over flowed and nearly burnt the plant down!! It’s is amazing how much damage they will cause when their egos get a little dinged :-))

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

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 3920 days

#12 posted 01-29-2010 06:15 AM

I hate emptying the dust collectors also. I get moving in the shop, working up a good head of steam, and then discover one or more collectors are full. I hate stopping in mid stride to deal with this task.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3703 days

#13 posted 01-29-2010 09:42 PM

Another one I just thought of is digging the packed in dust out of magnetic motor starters. They are supposed to be dust tight enclosures, but a lot of cabinet and woodworking shops are not up to code. I never get called until the dust is as hard as concrete in there and the motor won’t start ;-))

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

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3741 days

#14 posted 01-30-2010 06:03 PM

waiting for the temp to rise enough to be able to do something in the shop. it was 0.1 F this AM. no shop today its so cold the wood stove won’t stay lit.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 3902 days

#15 posted 01-30-2010 06:16 PM

Removing varnish and stain because the client changed their mind on the color.

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