Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Table Saw Dust Collection is Plumbed

While sharks are normally water breathing, the Shark that lives in our shop needs a nice supply of O2 to make sure it maintains a healthy diet of fiber, aka wood.  And since the shark is friends with the router table, router fence, and table saw, I figured it was best to work out a way for them all to share between themselves and talk to Mr. Sucker himself.

I ordered the Shark with a 4" port on its back, the table saw has a 4" port in its belly, the router table collection box has a 4" port in its belly, and the router fence has an itty bitty 2.5" port on it's, umm, right arm?

We have a 6" line from the wall into a ClearVue 6" to 4" transition, then 4" to the table saw, 4" to a Wye which feeds the router table collection box.  The other 4" goes up into a boom, splits out to a 2.5" for the router fence, and then finally ends up at the Shark.

There is a blast gate before the router collection box, the router fence, and the Shark.  I still need one for the table saw belly but I'm going to probably wait for the table saw mobile base before I add it.

Right now, everything is just held up by the flex hoses and leaned up against the table saw fence rail.  I'm concerned about what will happen when I move it but we will see.  It's only temporary.

Part of the issue is that there are not "standard" sizes and things fit loose here, or tight there, or even not at all so I did a few connections in just flex hose.  PVC under heat is your friend!

Here are some pictures of the progress.

The Incra TS LS system is in table saw mode.  The black 2.5" hose is just loose.  Metal 4" blast gate is open to the Shark.

In Router Mode.  2.5" black hose is connected to the fence and blast gate is open.

Back of the table saw.  The blue tape is only temporary because that joint is loose.

In total, there is just under 10' of 4" Sewer and Drain pipe in this section.

Initial testing of the table saw left Zero dust on the table and Zero flying back at me.  Very happy with the setup so far.  The verdict is still out on the Shark but maybe I'll do something on that separately after I use it for a while.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Dust Collector Plays a Joke on Me

Hurricane brought one of her friends over to see the "Dust Thingie" so I felt an obligation to really show it off.  I mean it's the biggest baddest thing in the neighborhood, right??  Don't answer that.

I grabbed the 6" flex and let her feel how much it was drawing and then she turned around and I let it suck up some of her hair.  She squealed, Hurricane squealed ( She had already tried it and thought it was great fun ), the Jig Saw squealed, I shot the Jig Saw ... DANG Decepticons!, and it was a good day.

But during this I was thinking it just wasn't pulling like I had remembered it having done so earlier, but I went on with my business of dropping things on my toes and beating up my fingers.  And YES, there is blood inside one of the pipes, just don't remember which section.

A bit later Tornado comes and wants to cut some wood so we end up on the band saw.  Freshly hooked up to the DC and I'm excited to try it.  Once I found the remote again ( I need a tile for it! ) I fired it up and we got cutting.  As I backed up to let Tornado get closer to the bandsaw ( That sounds way worse than it was ), my flannel shirt ( stop laughing, I'm from WA/GA, it's chilly HERE! ) gets sucked right up into the 6" inlet behind me.

I quickly remembered why the 6" flex wasn't pulling like I expected it to, there was another open 6" inlet where I had the 6 -> 4" transition off to repair it.  Earlier in the day I had managed to drop a section of pipe with a transition connected off the wall hangers and it broke part of it.  I had removed the transition to glue it back together and forgotten it was still off.

Mystery solved.

Just for the record, the Jig Saw is still alive and recovering nicely.  It is a Festool after all.

Seems there is a Union being organized around the shop so I need to watch out for that.  Should be interesting to see which one ends up the leader.

Dust Collector Coming Together

After a few hours cleaning and straightening up the shop we started on the dust collection piping.

Testing painting the pipe blue to come close to the nice blue of the ClearVue CV1800.

Not overly happy with the paint so far as it scratches easily so on to testing some more things.

The stack:

Hangers Painted:

First run of pipe on the hangers:

First connection to the sander:

The ClearVue 6" to 4" transitions are really nice although the 4" flex hose I have is darn tough to get on.  I used a heat gun, a screw driver, and quite a few ^%$$&%^&$$  words to get it connected.

Few more pictures from over the weekend with some more progress.

Beautiful Fall Trees

I grabbed a couple shots of the trees walking back from dropping off Hurricane at the bus stop.

Luckily she left plenty of leaves on the trees after the whirlwind of a morning and "YOU ARE THE WORST DAD EVER!!!".

Love that girl!

Monday, October 17, 2016

There's a Shark in the Garage

A package showed up on the door step and it turned out to be a new Shark Blade Guard for the table saw.

It came with the 4" Fin, I mean 4" Dust Port, and has the teeth, umm, I mean riving knives.

After much fussing and fiddling with it, the guard is installed and ready to eat some wood.

The oldest girl is already drawing/painting a nice Shark graphic for the front edge.  What do you think?  Maybe it will remind me to keep my fingers out of it!

I wonder if the Shark can catch the chipmunk that keeps ducking in the garage....

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Are Festool Jigsaws actually Cylons, or maybe Decepticons?

I hate, I mean HATE, my current jigsaw.  It won't cut square to save it's life and frankly it is about to lose its life.  The only thing it has going for it is that it is the only one I have.

So, after drinking more of the Green Koolaide, I figured let's see what ole Festool has for us.  Numerous videos, reviews, etc and I ran across this little puppy.

The Carvex PS 420 EBQ.

Anyone else think it looks a lot like a Cylon Ship????

What's next, I find out Festools are actually Decepticons?  Wow, that would explain a lot.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Festool Metal should be a traded commodity

The guides for the tracksaw are held together with connectors and I needed them so I went looking.

$18 from my old friend Amazon.  Oh, but WAIT, you need TWO of those little buggers.  At least they are prime so free shipping.  But still!

So, in my typical fashion, I figure this is a rip off and how can I save some money?

I am lucky enough to know some people with some "toys" that play in the metal arena.  Buddy thinks it would be about $10 to make a pair out of normal steel not this crazy Festoolamium.  They are a standard size plus four threaded holes and four set screws.  I want to paint them BRIGHT colors so they don't get lost, but I'm guessing they will end up being used in the next edition of Cops and Screaming girls with bright metal short swords...

More when he gets some time to make me a set but in the meantime "Dear...."

I can still see the shore of Reality from Festool-Land but it is shrinking.


I need a new name for it but it is all I have at the moment.

It's big, it's powerful, it will suck down buildings in a single moment, it's CLEAR ( Take THAT supergirl ), and we call it the Suck-O-Master.  Okay, I call it that, everyone else rolls their eyes at me.

Everyone, meet the newest addition to the family, the Clear Vue CV1800 Cyclone.

The install was a lot of "fun" if you want to call it that.  I have some suggestions for improving the documents but here are a few things off the top of my head if you are getting ready to install one.

The inner 'retard' got a work out.
  • Have two people.  I did it by myself and I'm still calling myself an idiot.  IDIOT
  • Wire the motor BEFORE you put it 8+' up in the air with the box at the back.  IDIOT
  • Take your time caulking the seams, ALL the seams.  Don't try to do it while your 8yr old is asking you 10,000 questions about how it works and goes together and why his toe hurts.  IDIOT
  • Paint the wall BEFORE you install the monster.  IDIOT
  • It needs both a 240v 30a circuit AND a 110v circuit.  I didn't realize it needed the 110v so I've been using an extension cord to test.  IDIOT
  • Test that the relay kills the 240v when the 110v is unplugged BEFORE you fire it up the first time.  IDIOT
  • Don't fire it up, to test the motor, before the filters and barrel are hooked up.  It is VERY efficient at blowing all the dust around and even had dust circling in the cyclone.  IDIOT
  • Bolt the motor mount to the braces, don't just screw them with sheet rock screws.  Just more of a make-you-feel-better thing.
  • Pay very close attention to the dimensions so you know exactly where things will be.  I printed out this page CV1800 Footprint.  I wasn't expecting it to be sitting so far away from the wall.
  • Pay attention to the orientation between the intake and the exhaust before you screw the impeller and cyclone body together.

The ducting is still a future project but got moved down in the priority list a little.

I'm also planning on installing a DIY bin level shut off and a flow/efficiency meter.  

The BED and how it opened the gates to Festool land.

The problem:
  The oldest's bed is too big to get down the stairs in the new house.

The solution:
  Cut the beautiful, big, HEAVY, Cherry murphy bed in 1/2.

  { Best way to cut really straight lines in a bed made by a friend of the family so it could be put back together again and hide the fact. }


  "Alexa, tell me about track saws."  "Sorry, I don't understand the question."  "Idiot Alexa..."  "Alexa, bring me a coke."  "Sorry, I don't understand the question."   "Idiot Alexa..."  "Alexa, turn off the lights ( love this trick )"  Wait for it, wait for it..  DAD!!!    Score!  Alexa, play country music"    Ahh, happier place.

  Google, tell me about track saws.  
  There can be only one.  You must venture to this land known as Festool.  There you will challenge your brain on converting from the right scale to the wrong scale, it will cost you your first born to enter, and everything is built from these funny square box things.

"Dear, you know I really need a tracksaw to work on the oldest's bed and get it downstairs so he can sleep on it."  followed up by "Uh huh"...

CL, my old faithful friend, tell me what you got for me...    Nutting'  WHAT?  come on, really?


CL, my old faithful friend, tell me what you got for me...   Festool Tracksaw and this funny extractor thing.  What in the world??  Oh, translation from Festool Speak to English:  Extractor = Vacuum.

"Dear, lookie what I found, ain't it purdy???"  "It's a screaming deal for only XXX, no wait, I mis read the post ( Must be a sales guy ), well, but it comes with an <EXTRACTOR>" sounding all professional.  "Un huh, why do you even ask, go get it."  

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that woman!

Met a super nice guy who unlocked the gates to Festool land.  PUNK!  I HATE you now...

We are now the proud owners of a Festool TS 55 EQCT 36, and Dust Deputy for Festool.

Now everything I see is green.  Oh, but not Hitachi green, oh no, that just won't do, it must be from <insert angels singing>Festool Land.

Did I mention that I can't work on the bed till about 15 other things are done first?

New Dust Collector

The old dust collector, back in WA, was a 2HP Grizzly with a Super Dust Deputy, 4' of pipe, a blast gate, and a 4" flex hose.  It was mounted to the wall, vented to the outside, and did a pretty nice job, or so I thought.  I would move the hose from tool to tool and use it to clean up the garage.  I only used it maybe 60% of the time.  I also noticed that my allergies would flare up a lot when I was doing a lot of work.

I started doing the research again into what we needed for a good Dust Collector which, once again, led me to the terrific website from Bill Pentz and all the amazing work he put together.  I realized pretty quickly I needed quite a bit more in the suction department.

I ran across a deal on a Laguna 3HP Cyclone on CL and on the trip there to buy it the better half found that Laguna released a brand new line of Cyclones that was basically the same price.  Love that woman!!

I was already checking out Cyclones from OneidaClear Vue, and others.  My father has the Oneida and was happy with it, but I had previously had poor customer experiences with them so ruled them out.  ClearVue was the "golden standard" but seemed to be just outside my price range.

With sales price from Rockler we ended placing an order for the P|Flux:3, 3HP HEPA Cyclone.

A few days later I got a very nice email from Rockler that the Laguna was back ordered but only a week.  A few days later the week turned into another week and then a month and a half.

I realized that by the time I had moved up to the P|Flux 3, I had basically gotten to the price point of the Clear Vue and with a "Really, you are worried about a couple hundred $$ on a $2k cyclone" from the better half, I decided the Clear Vue was the way to go.  It is, from what I could tell, basically the standard out there, and it's CLEAR which gets really cool factor points!

I emailed and then talked to some incredibly nice and wonderful people at Clear Vue and placed the order for the 1800 Bundle.   They answered all my questions and went above and beyond helping me out.  

Less than a week later FedEx dropped a bunch of boxes at my garage door and drove off.  PUNK!  At least ring the door bell!  It was about to start raining!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Thanks for joining us on this little adventure of a small garage shop and everything around it.

The list of "projects" is growing faster than things are getting done which I suspect is par for the course for a household of 6 and a limit of 24 hours in a day.  I've been asked to literally increase the speed of light ( I do IT work by day ) so why shouldn't I be able to add more hours to the day?  I guess that's for another post...  Rats, another thing on the list.

Anyway, a very brief history and to bring things current.

The shop is in a two car garage in IL and the idea is to be able to alway keep at least one car ( the better half's ) in the garage especially in the winter ( Think everything mobile and the truck gets wet ).  I've been told that winters around here have this thing called "snow" but I have yet to understand what that means coming from WA and GA.  I know rain, well I know mist, but I don't know snow.  We shall see this first winter.  On the plus side, we finally have Thunder Storms again!

Most of the bigger tools were sold when we moved from WA with the idea that we could downsize where needed and upgraded in other places.  We've slowly been picking up deals on Craigslist as they come up and getting things put together.  There will be some more posts later on the individual toys.

Well, I hope you can stick around and we always appreciate the input, ideas, or comments.


--The FAM