Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 6

Popular Woodworking 2007-08 № 163, страница 6

Out on a Limb

by christopher schwarz, editor

117 POPULAR 1 •

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The Curse of the Creepy Kleenex

he first time I ever became concerned about dust collection I was sitting on the couch with my toddler daughter on my lap.

All day long I had been sanding cabinets that were destined for the addition we were building on our house. I was beat. I took a deep breath. I sneezed.

What ended up in the tissue sent my little girl squirming off my lap and set me to wondering about the health problems that come from breathing dust.

It was alarming because I thought I had done enough to fight airborne dust. I had a shop vacuum with a premium filter that I attached to my sanders. My table saw, jointer and planer all were ducted to a single-stage collector with felted bags. I even kept the door to my shop open whenever I worked.

But all that wasn't enough to prevent my tissue from filling up with stuff that looked like it attacked Steve McQueen in "The Blob." So I did three radical things that day.

I put away my large right-angle random-orbit sander. It was the sander that always seemed to send up a plume of dust when under load. I latched its case tight and haven't opened it now for seven years. If you need a big sander like that, drop me a line.

Then I bought a cartridge respirator for when I use my palm-grip random-orbit sander. I'll be honest: I hate the respirator. It's kind of heavy and gets slimy when I work up a sweat. But you know what? The thing works. Notjust for keeping out dust, but also for lacquer fumes. I have a begrudging respect

for the respirator, much as I loathe to don it.

The third thing I did was I resolved to use handplanes more. And this was the hardest of the three changes. Though I was already using planes quite a bit, I was still doing a lot of sanding. But I forced myself to finish my surfaces with planes, even though I was worried about ruining the project at hand.

That third decision turned out to be the best one. Hand-planes turned the most dreaded part of every project (power sanding) into a task that was as enjoyable as the j oinery. Yes, there was a learning curve. And yes, it cost me time and money. But I don't regret the decision.

In this issue, Scott Gibson takes a good look at dust collection in our Woodworking Essentials series in the middle of the magazine. You may not make the same decision that I did about how to deal with shop dust. But pretty much all of us need to do something to clear the air. Ifyou're making terrifying tissues after your sanding sessions, remember this: Things that get clogged up (filters, planers, lungs) eventually stop working.

New Feature on Jigs

This issue we launch a new column: "Jig Journal" (it's on page 24). It's not your typical woodworking jig column with Rube Goldberg gizmos. These are jigs designed to be used every day. Check it out. PW

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Safety Note

Safety is your responsibility. Manufacturers place safety devices on their equipment for a reason. In many photos you see in Popular Woodworking, these have been removed to provide clarity. In some cases we'll use an awkward body position so you can better see what's being demonstrated. Don't copy us. Think about each procedure you're going to perform beforehand.

10 ■ Popular Woodworking August 2007

PHOTO BY AL PARRISH

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