My current unemployment — by choice, referred to by my friends as funemployment — has already been satisfactorily long (the previous spell lasting less than a week, counting holidays), and I think I’ve got a couple weeks more in me before I become an entrepreneur. More on that later.

As you might imagine, I have no shortage of projects keeping me busy. I’m making good headway on the robot arm, with a manipulator/end effector in development. And I’ve made plenty of progress in the workshop as well.


The workbench is done (for now, at least), and I’m happy with how it came out. Here’s a little virtual tour of the shop:

You can see the bench, table saw, and drill press. Router table is built-in to the table saw extension. You can also see the canvas curtains I hung to partition off the shop area and keep the rest of the basement clean — these are actually working pretty well. I hadn’t quite figured out what I was going to do about tool storage (all the hand tools are splayed out on the metal table to the left of the bench in the tour above) until I visited UW Surplus last week and came across a rolling cabinet in reasonable shape (for all of $10). Yesterday, I installed some drawer slides & drawers, some saw storage on the inside of the door, and voila:

Tool Cabinet

The only remaining obstacle, before starting in on the dining room table for Faye & Nick, was figuring out what to do about dust collection. Though I do enjoy working largely with hand-tools, there are times when burning electrons is a requirement, and that’s often accompanied by dust production. Yesterday, I picked up a Dust Deputy — a device that sits between your shop vac and your power tool that’s supposed to improve performance and prevent the vacuum filter from getting clogged. I was a little dubious, but read other reviews on the web and gave it a shot. Gotta say, this thing works like a charm! Even on my table saw (a contractor saw that isn’t yet sealed up particularly well), it keeps airborne dust to a manageable level, and the vacuum power didn’t drop at all through quite a few cuts. I get a cleaner shop and less dust in my lungs? Win/win.

I have a stack of 6/4 walnut in the basement acclimating to the house’s humidity, and now that the shop’s in such good shape, I’m planning on getting started on the table this week!

posted October 11, 2011 – 10:27 am
Old News
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