Learning from Experience

So, I said awhile back that I wouldn’t talk any more about a new shop. I didn’t say, however, that I would talk about some learning experiences I’ve gained recently that should make it into a new shop, no matter the size.

There’s been a very big thing bugging me over the last couple of weeks, even more than any limitations on space – dust. Particularly on the edge of the MFT, dust accumulated very quickly from all the OSB cutting. But also at the table saw cutting MDF, and from the back of the miter saw cutting anything. There’s dust on every single surface, in every single crack. What I need to do is two things: get a higher volume dust solution, and install a filtration system.

A dust collector is a fairly easy thing from a purchasing standpoint. I could buy a wall-mounted unit, or modify something like a Harbor Freight unit to the wall. In a new shop, either in a loft or in the added space, this won’t really be an issue. But, I feel like I need to make a change before then or I run the risk of doing more damage to my lungs and space.

A dust filtration system needs to happen soon as well. I don’t know how I’m going to really pull it off in this show, but I’ll figure something out. A box fan and some box filters should do the trick, but it becomes an issue of how to mount it and all that. I’ll be looking into that first in the next few weeks. (EDIT: before I even finished writing this I found a inexpensive unit and ordered it)

I need to be a bit better about putting tools away so that they don’t get in the way of doing things, as I found out yesterday. The stage project was complete, but I haven’t yet put my tools away, or had even cleared out the hardboard dust from the MFT. I bought a desk storage unit that I needed to modify, and found myself having to vacuum and move clamps out of the way just to sit the drawers on the MFT to drill. I can do better.

Just a few thoughts over the past few weeks. These aren’t things that aren’t specific to a new shop, but are things that can be thought of in the construction and planning for. An overhead filter is easy to accommodate, the dust collection just a little bit less so.

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