I just finished and published my first product – the Arduino Shop Dust Collection Monitor. This was a fun project for me. The display tells me when to clean the cartridge filter in my dust collector.
The Dust Collection Monitor measures the pressure build up inside the cartridge filter. When the collector is on the filter pressure is displayed, which increases as the filter gets clogged with sawdust. When the pressure increases, it can help tell when it is time to clean the filter.
The monitor was built fairly cheaply using an Arduino. The monitor is hooked to the Internet, and can get and display the time, the temperature, humidity and barometric pressure in the shop. The dust collector motor tracks runtime in hours since the filter was last cleaned, since the filter was new, and a total for the dust collector itself.
After seeing a blue jay tear up the nest of some house finches, I decided to build a few bird houses, so maybe the house finches could have better luck in the future. I had some old lumber I got to use in the woodstove, and remembered some fence boards in the pile, so I went and got those. It looked like a future bird house to me!
I want to go over my dust collection system, and explain some of the tips and tricks that I know of. Dust collection is for a couple reasons. One: to get a lot of the sawdust and chips collected without making a mess over the shop. Two: to try to reduce the amount of dust in the air for you to breath. Wood dust in the air is really bad for your lungs, especially the smaller particles. Also, you can get wood dust allergies, which would be bad if it made it so you couldn’t enjoy your hobby, or how you make your living.
I’ll go over my Roubo workbench drawer cabinet design and construction. In my Christopher Schwarz book, he says not to clog up the underneath of your workbench with storage, as it can block methods of clamping work to the top of the bench. I decided with my small shop, if I could sneak in a couple small drawers under the workbench, it would be worth it for the storage. I tried to keep it a fairly low profile, to leave plenty of room under the workbench. When I put out a picture of my drawer cabinet, I got this reply:
Just a quick update. I’m finishing up the drawer cabinet under my new Roubo workbench. It is going great.
I also found another project because my dust collection filter cartridge clogged the other day. Or it finally slowly slowed down enough that I noticed, when my jointer, then table saw, then garbage can thien filter all clogged on me. I was slow to get the point, but finally checked my cartridge filter and saw a thick cake of fine dust covering the inside.
I was having trouble using a hand plane to flatten my workbench top. The plane was having tear-out, and despite trying a backbevel, the blade continued to tear out. This is my first time trying a hand plane, I basically don’t know what I’m doing. I decided to try the router sled method to flatten it.