Friday, July 19, 2013

July 2013 Meeting

     Our meeting this month started off on time during a typical, hot July evening.  I counted 19 of us that braved the higher temps and were ready to get together, share some woodworking tales, and learn about keeping our shop a bit cleaner and our lungs a lot happier.  As is the routine, round the room introductions were the official start of the meeting.  At first we opted to turn off the swampers so we could hear better but as beads of sweat appeared and we began to stick to the chairs they were turned back on!
     First up was a reminder about the 2 x 4 x 8 construction board challenge, aka:

     This is where you design and make anything you can come up with from a single 2x4.  You can add fasteners and paint but no other material is allowed.  We will bring these items to our Christmas party for judging --- today is the 200th. day of the year so that means only 159 days until Christmas and the party is before that so you better get going!
     As promised, here is a LINK to the AWFS fair.  Click on it to get information about the dates, registration, exhibitors, education, etc.  I'd also like to show a picture of  Jamie starting the meeting last Wednesday but notice it's from a different perspective, it's showing her back:

The reason for that is that if at all possible, let's back her up because she's been invited to be on the panel of a presentation that will be held in the theater (not sure of the exact location) during this years upcoming AWFS fair --- quite an honor to be asked to join that!  Here is the info from the fair information:

Women in Woodworking

Thursday, July 25 at 12:00pm | Location: AWFS® Theatre sponsors a panel discussion and “speed networking” to talk about the challenges and advantages women hold within the wood products industries. Come find your peers or potential mentors among women involved in the furnishings, cabinetry, case goods and wood industries suppliers businesses.

Ted beginning his Dust Collector Talk
     Our presenter this month was our own Ted Warren.  He's been doing a lot of research as he set up  shop in his relatively new home.  A problem he encountered was how to utilize all of the large equipment he had in his former, commercial shop into a space that's much smaller.  All of us that work with wood know the hassles of dust control especially when it comes to power tools.  Hand tools don't generate a lot of dust other then when you're sanding so the problems isn't as great.  When you add power tools to the mix dust collection can improve your health, safety, clean up time, and life expectancy of your machines.  The system he presented was Oneida which has the huge plus of being made right here in the USA rather than off-shore.  Ted mentioned how good their customer service is and how was able to talk to actual people even though he initially bought his system over 8 years ago.  I don't think there's any argument that dealing with a company that has good customer service really adds to the value of their product.
     Proof of Oneida's good customer relations is evident by all of the brochures and technical information they provided Ted so that we can each have our own copies.  As the writer of this blog I'm really grateful because that means I don't have to try to explain all of the technical details Ted touched on in his presentation.  Let me refresh your memory on some of the highlights though.  The objective of dust collection is to suck up the dust at the source.  That means it isn't floating around in the air to find its' way into our lungs.  A question that you'll run across is knowing how many cfm's (cubic feet per minute) are needed to capture the dust from various machines.  On page 3 of the Installation Guide he gave us, there is a listing of that as well as what the recommended size of ducting would be for different machines.  The main problem with dust in our shops and lungs isn't the large particles we can see, rather; it's the small micron sized ones that get in our lungs.  It's this small sized dust that's also the cause of explosions similar to what you hear about happening in grain elevators.  If I remember correctly, a micron is about 1/25th. the size of a dot made by a pencil point so you need a good filter medium to capture that before you inhale it.

HEPA Filter Medium
     By far, the best filter medium to capture that is what's referred to as HEPA.  The one you see on the left side of the table is an example.  The design of the filter is such that it's pleated and the material used allows the air to go through but still doesn't allow those micron sized particles to pass.  Yes, they're more expensive but isn't your health worth it?  When properly taken care of with good maintenance they'll outlast the cheaper materials so when you spread the cost over their lifetime it's a good investment.
     The progression of ways to collect dust are via a ceiling unit, a single stage bag system, a two stage collection system, and then the cyclonic set up that separates the fine dust from the larger particles.  You can also use a portable shop vac and connect tools such as routers and sanders directly to them via a hose.  You can upgrade a single stage dust bag system with a HEPA filter canister that replaces the upper bag.  From personal experience this dramatically increases the efficiency of your dust collection.  There are also separating systems you can add to your existing set up.  As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, I'm really glad that Ted and Oneida provided the catalog and installation guide for all of the members.  Use that to get specific answers to your questions and breath happy!  Judging by the number of questions and amount of discussion this presentation generated it was a well received talk, thanks Ted.
   Our show and tell session began this night with John, who brought in some of the pens he makes and sells.   Here is a LINK to his website.  These are not your ordinary, run of the mill pen you can pick up at OfficeMax.  He uses a range of materials including wood, acrylic, ground up gemstone, and even gold and silver.  Prices can range from $50.00 to $350.00 or more!  If you had the chance to hold one of these in your hand you can really appreciate what a fine writing instrument feels like --- goodbye BIC stick!

     John participates in many craft shows and also will bring his pens to you.  Here is a look at some of what he brought in to share with us.

     I brought in a toy truck recently completed for my grandsons' upcoming birthday.  It isn't until September but I saw this truck on the cover of a book and just knew is was for my car and truck loving little guy!  
Monster Truck Coming …….

….. and Going,
Just had to carve in his name to make it special

     I have to admit that this was a real challenge, even more so than building a piece of furniture in my opinion.  Now mine is a toy but Bill brought in a TOY, check this out:

Bill's Excavator 

     This was fantastic to say the least.  It took him about 3 months and it was his way to fill his days after surgery.  He built it from plans and a parts kit that was minimal to say the least.  The tracks rotate and work as they should.  He needed to turn the cylinders on his small lathe to the exact diameter needed to allow them to work like an actual hydraulic unit would.  The details are pretty amazing, all the way down to pedals and shift levers in the cab.  He has more of these projects in the works and will bring them in to wow us as they get built.
     Another great meeting, be thinking about the 2 X 4 challenge and if there is a topic you'd like to have presented at a future meeting contact either Ted or Dennis.  I'll leave you with this tired phrase and corny ending:

Can you dig it??

Never too old for toys!

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