Maybe most, like me, have found out that making or building or fixing stuff
in the living room can often be fraught with disaster.
A few years back, I bought a pair of Lee Valley Tools iron bench legs.
(Somewhere I got the bright idea to set up a work bench in my living room
that would temporarily be used with a computer and associated peripherals.)
Very carefully I laid out about 40 square feet of newspaper and then
proceeded to spray paint those bench legs with navy blue paint. It wasn't
until I cleaned everything up, that I realized there was a dark blue tinge
on *everything* in my living room, *except* where the newspaper covered the
floor. And by *everything*, I mean walls, ceiling, entertainment centre, TV,
me, and the window.
Curse, curse, swear, swear for the next two weeks.....
Having mostly recovered from my spray paint incident, awhile later I thought
I'd try something again. But this time it was just going to be plain old
woodworking. No problem, I figured, a little sawdust on the floor can be
vacuumed up with ease. I proceeded to build my self a wooden cart for my
beloved laser printer that was taking up too much work bench space. Saw,
saw, saw, hammer and screw and finally HAND-paint. Voila! I was all done.
About an hour after moving the laser printer to the cart, it suddenly died
on me and wouldn't restart. The printer is an 80 lb semi-commercial colour
laser printer and the manufacture recommends leaving it running all the time
since powering it up takes close to 30 minutes and eats up a prodigious
amount of the inkstix toner. So, I did leave it running all the time except
when it had to be moved. Well anyway, after calling in a service tech to fix
the damned thing, he told me that the air intake in the printer was clogged
with what looked like sawdust, so the printer had started to overheat and
the automatic shutdown had activated. With an unwavering gaze, I handed over
$225 to the tech for the service call and casually told him that I had no
idea where so much dust could have come from.
15 minutes later, curse, curse, swear, swear.....
Well, I haven't actually experienced Lesson 3 yet, at least not a major
lesson. I know it's there waiting, ready to spring out and grab me by the
short hairs. But, I have come to one inescapable conclusion. The pain one
occasionally experiences doing fixit stuff anywhere such as hitting your
thumb with the hammer or stapling your hand to your current project, is only
one type of pain. Often more painful is the sudden realization of what
you've done wrong and the accompanying realization that it's going to hurt
your wallet even more.
Here's your Lesson 3 for you, free of charge--
Last year I decided I could no longer abide the sight of my
avacado-colored refrigerator, and as it still runs pretty well and I'd
rather buy tools, I decided to just paint the thing with some enamel
Of course, rather than doing the sane thing and taking it outside on
the hand truck, I decided I could probably spray that sucker right
where it was. So I proceded to mask the area carefully, making a tent
of plastic all around it and prepping the fridge for paint, and
started in. The mess was fine- there was surprisingly little cleanup,
but I didn't account for any ventilation in my superb master plan, and
ended up with a head that swam for days. About halfway through the
job (in a rather addled state), I wised up a little and made a
cardboard vent shaft to the window and put a fan in it- and there is
now a perfectly round white spot on the screen I see every time I look
out the window.
Less of a disaster than it could have been, but still a PITA. It was
one of those jobs where I kicked myself the whole time, and wished I
could just quit- but I couldn't. That's the real danger I've run
into- when you start something in a living area, and get tired or hit
a snag, you have to keep at it even past the point of sanity, just so
that you can use the space again.
On the bright side, the fridge looked (and continues to look)
I am actually in the process right now partitioning off an area of my
living quarters for woodworking and airbrushing. I live in an
apartment and there's no other choice.
I have a 5x6 foot area walled off, floor to ceiling. I'm obviously
limited to small projects and use only hand tools, except for a drill.
Sawdust, shavings, paint spray and vapors were the reason for walling
off this area. I have a small doorway with a threshold that prevents
dust and shavings from blowing out along the floor. I use rubber mats
which not only protects the hardwood floor, but also keeps dust from
moving around too much.
There is a window that opens to the outside, which I feed the exit hose
from a small airbrushing spary booth through. I am planning to put a
fan in this window to run at low speed out the window, creating
negative pressure, drawing air in from the rest of my apartment -
I'm considering putting a small air filter in this area as well.
When I need to make cuts on larger pieces of lumber, weather permitting
I bring it outside to the parking lot.
Some day I'll have a real shop :-)
On 28 May 2006 18:58:13 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
I got one of those shop-vac air cleaners for my birthday this year,
and recommend it highly- it's perfect for a small area. I keep mine
in my turnery (about 10' x 10') and it'll clear the air of heavy dust
as quickly as I can make it. Works pretty well for drywall sanding
and concrete dust as well. Definately worth $100, and very portable.
They make better filters, to be sure, but it's a godsend if you want
to move it around or are limited in your mounting options.
Beware - heavy dust is *not* the main problem. The super-fine stuff
you can smell but not see is *deadly*, long-term, and it gets through
all but the very best filters. And even those, a bit.
I use the house vac system since it's mounted in my workshop,
and after using the thickness sander in there even for five minutes,
the air becomes positively hazardous even though it *looks clear*.
Since I live in a temperate climate and use no heating or humidifier,
I fitted an external vent for the vac's exhaust - such a relief!
On Mon, 29 May 2006 16:47:54 +1000, Clifford Heath
Point noted and taken- my suggestion was more oriented towards the
cleanliness aspect of working in a living space. I don't suggest the
shop vac thing will help with health issues, it just keeps the place
from looking like you haven't dusted anything in 20 years. The reason
I pointed out the concrete and drywall dust is that I have it mainly
for remodeling jobs where it's not acceptable to leave a layer of dust
over everything in the client's house, and a window is not immediately
availible. If you're woodworking in your own home, that'd make
yourself or your family the client, and it does a nice job in that
Sounds like it works, but perhaps a respirator is in order if you're
having that many problems with the fine dust. It still has to go by
you to get sucked outside, after all.
No, the hose runs from the machine to my workshop air inlets,
to the vac, then outside. Very little dust makes its way into
the air inside the shop. A little dust builds up in piles on
surfaces, but only what gets directly deposited there - it
doesn't settle from the air.
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