So, it’s been quite a while since I updated our Pipe Blog, but with good reason. As those who follow our Twitter/Instagram/Facebook pages know, we’ve moved! We’ve relocated our home and workshop from our place in Greensboro to a new, exceedingly 1970’s home in Winston Salem, NC. The increased space has enabled us to improve the workshop a good bit, as we were bursting at the seams before. We more or less officially shut down the old shop back in September in order to start packing, and only in this last week have we finished rebuilding the workshop and gotten back into business. For those who think that’s a long time, well… Here are some pictures.
This was our basement space in mid-November of 2020:
The time since then has been 100% consumed with unpacking, making ourselves some livable space upstairs, and turning part of the basement into our functioning job again. And voila…
Subscribers to our Patreon page have been seeing a good bit of this already, and I’ll be posting to Patreon some specific pics and explanations of how and why various workstations are designed like they are. I figure the folks who are willing to help support us with a few bucks each month are probably seriously pipe-nerdy, so that’s where I’ll be posting a lot of the workshop intricacies in the near future.
For instance –
The crazy looking contraption above is our dust collection system for our metal lathe and our tenon turner. Both produce a lot of shavings and chips, and in the past that stuff has all gone either straight into the dust collector fan blades to tangle, or onto the table and floor. Now, we’ve added a “hurricane” separator – All the crap that gets picked up by the intakes goes down into the trash can, swirls around thanks to the top lid’s inlet and outlet, and the heavy content drops out of the airstream so that only very fine dust gets carried along to the collector bag itself.
Each of the two arms at the top of the ‘T’ have a metal shutoff gate, so we can direct the full suction of the dust collector to one tool or the other. We’ve gone with metal gates this time as they have cleanout slots and don’t gather up dust and jam half-open like the cheaper plastic gates do. We do have on plastic gate left, though, there in the middle – That’s a handy attachment plug for a length of flex duct that can be snapped in in just a second, for easy vacuuming of the bench tops. That way we can keep the lathes tidy and the excess that we vacuum up goes into the separator just like the normal dust. The wire you see supporting the upper ducting is attached to both the duct and the trash bin lid, and runs up through a hook in the ceiling and down to two attachment rings. One is normal position, the other is pulled down and hooked to lift the entire assembly as one, for easy sliding-out of the metal trash bin to empty the waste.
So there’s a little sampler of the sort of stuff I’ll be filling our Patreon site up with over the next month, as we gradually get the new workshop up and running and back in business!