Update to the 5 gallon dust separator

February 19, 2015 · Posted in Engineering, Photography, Project, Tools, Woodwork · Comment 

I made a screen for the bucket separator, which in theory should force the dust to go down into the bucket better and keep the turbulent flow up above. Using the CNC machine I cut a piece of scrap wood to fit into the bucket with a gap around most of it to allow the material to fall into the bucket. I think the support posts create too much turbulence within the bucket itself and this causes more of the fine dust to get into the vacuum. Perhaps I need to just have a small screen not much larger than the central portion of the bucket to allow for less turbulence and faster fallout of the larger particles.

This system relies on centripetal acceleration to push the particles to the outside wall of the bucket, as gravity causes them to settle out of the airflow they fall below the screen where the air is much more calm and there they fall out completely. What I found is that the bottom of the screen was coated with the smaller particles, while the smallest particles made it back into the vacuum, clogging up the filter. The large particles were intercepted into the bucket. The whole point of this is to reduce the amount of buildup on the filter. I will try with a smaller screen. At this point I think it worked better with no screen at all, however the true test will be this weekend when I put it into actual service, instead of merely testing with a pile of sawdust dumped onto the floor.

Some images of the bucket lid and screen. I must say I am very pleased with the CNC machine, and would not be able to manufacture my own tools to the tolerances I expect without it. Perhaps I will have to use it to manufacture a larger CNC machine, something with a bed size of 36″ square or 36×48. That will be a major project. Until then I’ll just use it to make other tools and jigs.


June 19, 2013 · Posted in Tools · Comment 

I got into the truck after work heard the click…then nothing. I don’t enjoy being stranded, so even though it is most definitely the wrong time of year to be laying under my truck, I replaced the starter. Its tempting to carry a spare.  I do carry a battery jumper, but this starter should be good for a while… and the old one has been starting sluggishly for a while. At least the new one has a lifetime warranty, so when it dies it will be a free replacement… provided I keep the truck for another 200k miles.

Happy Birthday Linux

August 25, 2011 · Posted in Engineering, Friends, Tools · Comment 


Today you are 20 years old.  We have become good friends since I met you 12 years ago. You have grown quite a bit and are quite capable now, and I have grown to understand you quite well.  You have been a much better friend than Microsoft as you don’t hide things from me, and you serve me just how I need you to. You let me tell you what I need you to do and you do it.  Microsoft asks me what what to do but doesn’t do it how I request.  So I left him behind in favor of better company.  You keep me safe from the malevolent youths of our era, and keep viruses and spies away from my family.  You even keep my wife’s friend Microsoft safe, safe from himself sometimes.  I’m not too fond of him but she is, so I tolerate him to the best of my ability, thank you for working with him even when he doesn’t want to work with you.  So you know I do have to give him the boot every day, or he becomes unable to function, I’d rather not do it, he is slow to go down and slow to get back up and I feel like it is a daily waste of time.  If I don’t monitor him while he gets back up sometimes he falters and is still down when I come calling.  Perhaps being slow and stupid is part of his upbringing.  I don’t think I have ever had to give you the boot except when I have had to move you, and you always have come back quickly.  For your kind and faithful service I thank you.

Your Friend,

Server Admin

Small Project

February 25, 2009 · Posted in Engineering, Photography, Project, Tools · 3 Comments 

Last August while Laurie and the kids were staying cool at more northerly latitudes I was here. I decided to remodel our office desk. When we moved in it was a door across two cabinets. Not too attractive. I bought the wood to make the new desk. I joined the planks glued them together and planed them to make each panel for the desk and then I waited for Laurie to get home and clean off the desk. She came home and still I waited. Birthday’s, Thanksgiving, Christmas, they all came and still I waited. But finally late last week she cleaned off the desk, so I could measure, alter, fit, glue, sand and finish the desk. Here are a couple photos:




Completed with everything replaced and running.


Next project: Tackle the cords.  Maybe I should invest in that wireless power technology that Tesla invented in the 1800’s that we still have yet to see applied to everyday life.

Free Educational Materials

July 11, 2008 · Posted in Engineering, Tools · 1 Comment 

I don’t usually mention specific websites, at least not here.  I stumbled on an awesome website a few minutes ago.


It is targeted to be an aid for ‘tonights homework.’  I think it is pretty cool, maybe that is just the nerd in me.  Whenever I find a repository of so much information, neat information that is worth learning about, I get very excited.  I think this may become one of my favorite websites.  Check it out.

P.S.  I really enjoy the engineering section.

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