If you’ve ever tried to connect a vacuum to your portable power tools, you’re likely to have come across one (if not several) where the supplied nozzle at the end of the hose doesn’t even come close to fitting snugly in to the tool’s outlet. Some people will resort to using masking tape or scraps of PVC pipe; worse still (and I’ve been guilty of this many times) is where people decide to neglect the use of dust extraction and then proceed to cut, plane, rout or sand away with fine particles filling their workshops!
On Friday, while I was waiting for the glue to dry on a pair of chess boards (more on the perils of gluing end-grain to end-grain another time), I decided to have a go at making an attachment that would connect my vacuum to my random orbital sander. As you can see above; it works and I got the idea initially from (I think) Chris Pine over on Keek (@cpine).
You basically take two small squares of plywood, drilling one hole in each. In one block, you have a hole sized to take the nozzle from the vacuum; the other is drilled to fit over your tool’s outlet or port. Then, these two blocks are carefully glued together and I rounded the corners off to make it aesthetically pleasing.
It’s a custom solution that doesn’t cost a lot but might ensure you never run out of masking tape. You may still need to manufacture one ‘fitting’ for each of your tools but, if it means you’re more likely to use dust extraction then it’s worth it.
Thanks for reading and I hope you’ve found this tip useful.
Before I get started on a brand-new post with regards to a walk I’ve been wanting to write about for the past week; I’d like to announce that I am back in touch with my blog, after a long week of apparent inaccessibility! It looks as though it’s an issue with several UK-based ISPs (ours, here at home, is TalkTalk). I haven’t been able to sign-in to my blog without difficulty, I could load the site to simply view it in any browser and neither have I been able to view any other blogs that happen to be hosted by WordPress (and I am subscribed to quite a few).
Sites that use WordPress’ software and developer tools only (but hosted elsewhere) don’t seem to be effected by this. I’m no techno-genius but it’s almost as if something within the ISP’s setup is ‘blocking’ some elements of the WordPress software… I’ve not yet experienced this on any other site, although I have had trouble trying to update the basic information on my Facebook fan page for this blog.
Anyway, I’ve moved around this by turning off the wi-fi and switching back to my mobile broadband dongle, with its minimal download allowance remaining. I hope this might help others experiencing similar difficulties, if these ISPs don’t sort the issue very soon. In the mean time, I’m going to begin writing about the walk. There are already a load of photos on Flickr so, even if I don’t finish this tonight, you’ll at least have something to look at! 😉
Thank you all for your patience and also, a big thank you to everyone who’s recently decided to follow and Like my page on Facebook. I’m trying to keep it updated (more so now than ever before) with regular photos of progress and any links that I find interesting and would like to share. I’ll try to include more snippets from my walks as well, so it’s not entirely about working with wood.
I’ve been having great difficulty with Windows Live Movie Maker (now known as just Movie Maker) of late and that is the main reason I’ve been unable to upload Part 2 of my latest cutting board series until today. It’s been a month since part one otherwise and I had been struggling to find the time to sit down and chop through over one hour’s worth of footage but, it’s online now and is available for you to view, share and critique. 🙂
If you’re struggling with the same program yourself, here are some tips that I tried to get it working…
I managed to spend the previous weekend without taking a single step in to the workshop and yet, I’m still behind on updating you with the little goings-on that I have been progressing with in there. I’ve found it hard to even find the time to keep my client up-to-date with details for the chopping boards I’m planning to make soon and I’m also aware that I’m already behind with my intention of uploading one YouTube video on a weekly basis… I have plenty of short films in the pipeline so, I’m sure I can catch up before too long. 😉
While trying to finalise the arrangement of the mobile base for my site saw/table saw, I spent a bit of time trying to tidy up the storage situation with my drill press…
It does look as though the main cause of the rot that spread throughout our bathroom floor came from the toiletcistern, which is boxed in and seemed to be forever sweating litres upon gallons of water. After fitting the new floor, we lifted the lid to find condensation was still running and forming around the outside. Insulation is a popular solution to this, with the internet throwing up the suggest to lag around the inside with either an old gym or exercise mat or, good old expanding foam.
All along, I’ve felt as though ventilation (drilling a hole through the exterior wall and fitting a vent) would fix this. My dad’s solution was to throw a towel over the cistern and to ‘insulate’ it that way… Although the situation eased at first, it didn’t go away.
With all that’s gone in recently inside my workshop (reorganisation, etc.), I’ve again found myself up against the challenge of conveniently and safely storing bandsaw blades. When I had my smaller bandsaw, I could happily hang all my blades inside the plywood base cabinet I had made. But, with the Startrite 401e being such a monster and all, sitting that on top of any kind of box construction really isn’t an option. So, I’ve had to hang them elsewhere (for now) on the right-hand end of my mitre saw station:
Having put up a load of spur shelving in recent weeks, I really don’t have the wall space to spare for an alternative solution. That hook is one that I bought as a bulk pack from Toolstation and, as I had a scrap length lying around, I decided to line it with foam pipe insulation or lagging, which should do a good job of protecting the teeth (which are, of course, all pointing inwards!).
It would’ve been nice if I still had some space for a wall-mounted cabinet but, for now, I’ll have to see how this system works… I don’t really envisage ever having more blades than this collection ‘in stock’ at one time so, that shouldn’t be a problem. There is still the threat (albeit, a minor one) that the teeth on this nearside could pose a thread to passers by but, I think of much else to be concerned about beyond that.
Sometimes, in life (and, in fact, in woodwork as well), a little improvisation can go a long way to getting you out of an awkward situation.
Before I moved in to my new place, with most of my stuff either in the new place or in the van, ready to go the next morning, I wanted to check my e-mails and do a bit of surfing to keep up with the goings on in the world of the internet. My problem was that, while I had access to my laptop (and an internet connection, through Wi-Fi), I didn’t have a desk or table to work on. But, what I did have were two bedside drawer units (again, in horrible hidden chipboard, made to look like sapele – a poor man’s mahogany – as well!) and so, I was able to do this:
Not only did the stacked height make for a comfortable working position while standing (I never would’ve been able to get my legs in close enough, had I tried to sit down at one of these) but, by removing the top drawer and reinserting it upside-down, I had a convenient surface on which I could use my mouse, too! All that’s missing is the obligatory cup of tea… 😉