April 22, 2016 · Posted in Photography, Updates · Comment 

Apparently I can’t escape these guys. This nasty thing came in a 5 gallon bucket of soil from one of the local solar projects.

5 Gallon Bucket Dust Separator

February 18, 2015 · Posted in Updates · Comment 

I have a Rigid 12 gallon shop vac. The one with the pleated filter.  Typically I plug the vacuum directly into whatever tool I am using.  The pleated filters get clogged up with the wood dust, and constantly require cleaning; which takes time away from what I really enjoy doing.  Not to mention the mess. Saw dust everywhere.  I have spent some time perusing the woodworking online shops for cyclone dust separators, but after seeing the decent ones priced at $100 bucks I decided it was worth a try to make my own.  I have seen quite a few different versions of home made cyclone dust separators online, from the trash can top hat, to the 5 gallon bucket.  I decided that as long as the shopvac is my only vacuum I would only need a 5 gallon bucket.  That can be emptied easy enough as needed.  I will make a trashcan top hat when I have the need of one for a larger dust collection system.

After a trip to Home Depot for some 2 inch pipe and elbows, I decided to set out to make my own bucket separator.  Using the CNC machine I cut out the exact size hole for the pipe to fit through. That took about 10 minutes to program the machine, and do the two cuts.  I then put the pipe through and connected the fittings.  It’s not a perfect solution, some dust still gets into the vacuum, but it is much less than used to, and with a simple shield I should be able to get it down even further.  Here are some photos of the product, and a video from inside the bucket.  I emptied the shopvac onto the shop floor, and used that as a test of the system.  Some of the material did get into the shopvac, however I think it was too much for the bucket to handle without a shield, as the majority of the contents of the shopvac was the type of material which I sucked up after the bucket was about 1/3 full.  It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the 5 gallon bucket has about 6 inches of material in the bottom.  I will cut out a shield the next time I have the chance and try it again.

With the prospect of doing quite a bit more woodworking, now that I have a permanent location for my tools, the need for a proper dust separator, as well as a good vacuum, is that much more important.

I purchased the bucket, lid, pipe, jointsand the hose, about $35 total. The new vacuum hose was $20 by itself.



January 23, 2015 · Posted in Updates · Comment 

Thanksgiving was a crazy week preparing the subgrade for this beast. But I didn’t have to build it, so after we got the dirt work done the rest was pretty easy for me.


The loft (on both sides of the shed) provide tons of extra storage space. Half for wood, and half for typical shed storage (the christmas tree and decorations, etc).

Inside of shed

The best part is what I fill it with. Here is an image of the CNC Jon built.

CNC machine with computer controller

And my first project with it. These will be sides to bee hives.

Bee Box Sides

Views from the “Office”

May 30, 2014 · Posted in Engineering, Photography, Updates · Comment 

I must admit I love getting paid to work at places with awesome views.  Here are a few samples.



Time Lapse clouds

August 28, 2013 · Posted in Photography, Updates · Comment 

My new phone has a time lapse video option.  Awesome!  This is the clouds building in Chandler, AZ.


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