Monday, September 29, 2008

Basement Shop Progress Pics 2008.09.28

The ceiling is finally sealed up - next on the list is finishing the ducting for the DC. I managed to move all the rest of my lumber (temporarily stored in another are of the basement) onto the existing racks - looks like I have room for about another couple hundred feet before it's at capacity - as it is what's on the racks is probably close to being unmanagable.

I also got the ambient duct collector up - got this Jet unit when it went on sale at Amazon last year. It works well filtering down to 1 micron with multiple speeds and a remote control (it can be set with a timer as well).

One of the ways I was able to manage the project was to move all my mechanics tools and metal working items into another area of the basement. I picked up a metal rolling workbench with wood top for $10 at a neighborhood yardsale (bought it and rolled it two blocks to the house - I bet that was an odd sight). I've yet to mount the swivel radial vise as I didin't have long enough nuts/bolts, but you get the idea. I also moved my HF Drill Press by the bench as a dedicated-to-metal driller. I'm either putting a cabinet or some peg-board above the bench - haven't decided yet. Across from the bench is another short cabinet with my 3 Ton arbor press and two metal roll-away tool boxes. I'm still looking for at least a 20 Ton Hydrolic press to add to the mix as well and a small metal lathe. Here are some pics:

Finally I used the aisle leading into my workshop as a place for storing files and reference books. This was put together with scrap Standards and Brackets I've had banging around in my rat-hole for years, along with some salvaged pine shelving. Beneath is a metal barrister's bookcase housing binders with a complete collection of Woodsmith and Shopnotes. The cardboard magazine holders have a complete run of Wood Magazine and Fine Woodworking (some left-overs are in a box on the floor - have to figure out a way to get those on the shelf). The bookcase also haa a shelf full of small motors on it as well as an original vintage red Swingline stapler.

I've started placing some equipment but haven't gotten anything "in stone" yet. May reconfigure depending on how things lay out.

-- John

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Basement Shop Progress Pics 2008.09.18

Got the brackets on the John Sterling standards loaded up with a Walnut tree I've had stored in the carport for 2 years. This tree was taken down over 20 years ago and cut up into about 50 boards (at least by the time I got it there were 50 - I'm not sure how much was actually produced as some had been used and there are missing pieces of the stack when aligned). The nice thing about having all the wood from the same tree is most of the color is the same once finished. There are also some interesting figure where the tree split into two trunks. I think it sat on the ground for a while as there are pin-holes along some boards where various insects had eaten into the sap - anything that was suspicious was cut away. Another interesting aspect - most of the wider and thicker boards were the straightest and had minimal checking and splitting - there's evidence of stickering on those - the smaller boards were probably just piled up with weight, I suspect. I also had some red oak and the rest of that haul of sapele in the carport so it's now all on the wall.

I also managed to get another length of the ceiling sealed up. Next up is the Jet ambient dust collector.

-- John

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Basement Shop Progress Pics 2008.09.02

Finally got the cyclone mounted up and it runs fine in its new position. This time I used the stand - I looked into wall mounting but didn't feel comfortable with the type anchors I would need in the block wall. An alternative would be to build a torsion box wall for the unit to attach to, but after calculating the amount of room it would also take, it made better sense to just use the Grizzly-made stand.

Note the cut-out in the ceiling to clear the motor housing. It's wrapped in insulation to cut-down on noise and I was careful to isolate the entire unit from touching the walls or ceiling, to help cut-down on vibration. It's still loud, but mostly from the on-rush of air, rather than from the unit itself.

You might wonder how I got this guy assembled - normally you would put together the bulk of the cyclone on the stand on its side, then tilt it up into position (the manual recommends 3 people). I didn't have that luxury both in man-power and in ceiling height. I noodled this one for a while before coming up with a method that worked. I first built the top of the stand and attached the cone and impeller housing before laying on its side. Next I built a wood platform with castors that fit inside the stand. I then tilted up the whole unit until it stood on the wood stand and set the motor and impeller on top, attaching with the supplied bolts. I next rolled into position. Once in position I was able to determine where the cut-out for the motor needed to be and I could finish up the ceiling with the unit rolled out of the way. Once that was done, I rolled back the unit and slowly added blocking to front and back, raising up the whole unit the thickness of a 2x4 at a time. This took some time and I did have one accident where most of the blocking fell and the unit crashed into me - luckily the back edge was still supported and I was able to hold the unit up until I could get blocking back under it (I do have a nice large bruise on my left arm as a temporary record of the event).

Once the unit was up about an inch higher than the bottom stand legs, I nudged the wood support until I could get the right back leg attached, the nudged and rotated the stand until I could get the opposite leg attached, rolling the stand towards me so the back corner leg was exposed. I put a 4x4 block "leg" under the front corner for some extra support and attached the leg in the back corner. Using this same support I rolled out the stand, holding the unit upright to pass the temporary leg. I finally attached the front leg and was able to tighten everything up - I ended up needing to shim the front leg to accomidate differences in floor height to level. There were a few moments in there that caused the ole sphincter to tighten, but it wasn't too bad. I did feel like I had been in a fight the next morning with soreness all over. Nothing like holding up 300 or so pounds of top-heavy metal by yourself while maneuvering around, with a possibility of the whole thing falling on you at any minute to get the stress up.

Finally I attached the filter and placed the dust canister underneath. One thing I didn't think about was the need to remove the cannister - I'm going to have to keep space open next to the unit so it'll roll out. I'm thinking right now of placing a piece of wheeled equipment there so it can easily be moved for dust canister removal.

Here's a close-up of the motor cut-out. Everything is well wrapped in HVAC metallic tape, as are all seams throughout the ceiling - this is to isolate as much dust as possible from the rest of the house.

I also started working on one of the metal/wood workbenches I picked up in that haul that included the Walker Turner sander. This bench was pretty rough - paint flaking off everywhere on the metal stand as it had been painted an institutional green. As the underside showed a gray I decided to go with Rustoleum Dark Machinery Gray, over brown primer. The entire stand was first sandblasted to removed as much of the old paint as possible - it's not perfectly smooth but it'll do as a working table.

The idea was not to get this to furniture quality, but rather to create a reliable work surface without paint flaking off everywhere. To that end I also sanded and filled the maple butcher block top - it had actually been flipped at some point so the worse surface is face-down - it's filled with hundreds of drill holes, cuts and scrapes. It must have been used in a metal shop where people liked to use it to support drilling - it also had numerous burns and spills saturating into the wood. I got off most of the muck (oil and metal shavings) using 80 grit (both sides), filled the worst holes then re-glued/clamped some strands that had delaminated, before I surfaced again with 80, following up with 120 and 220 on the top and edges. I also replaced the missing threaded rods that hold the ends together (3/8" threaded rod donated by fellow GWA member, Tommy Roland - an artisan if there ever was one and nice enough to share his knowledge and experiences). Here's a side view after one coat of BLO.

I plan to put 2 or 3 more coats of BLO on the wood portions before waxing with paste wax. I prefer the natural oil finishes for something like this that will get banged on, rather than film finishes that would crack with constant pounding and use - after all, it's not fine furniture. I've also completed about 1/2 of the space as far as sealing with HVAC tape. Still to go is sealing the rest, re-hanging my lumber on the standards you see in the pics, hanging the ambient dust collector, the ducting and some task lighting. Oh and placing the equipment - there's still that.

-- John