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designing and building with wood channels my creativity and challenges my mind.
This blog is a record of my life in my studio.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Why it's good to keep junk parts

Last week, when I ended my lease on my storage space next door to my shop, my main space was flooded with junk: old tools, scrap wood, and other miscellany.  Some of the redundant tools I was able to sell.  Some of the scrap wood I gave to a neighbor.  But when it came to an old wide belt sander with a frozen drive pulley, I decided to junk it rather than try and fix it.  I poached the motor (a good 1HP, continuous rated one), and put the cast-iron sander mount and stand out in the hallway, in the hope somebody with an interest in old iron tool parts might take it.

A few days later, the parts were still in the hall, and I was glad they were, because something was telling me I'd be able to use that mounting bracket for something.

The next day, I was puzzling over how to make a high-powered vent fan for a collapsible spray booth I had to make for my shop.  The fan i wanted to use was very powerful, but needed a very sturdy support...and I just couldn't see how to make on out of wood.  Then it hit me: why not mount the fan on that old sander's mount? 

That's what I did, and the outcome couldn't have been better.  I mounted the fan where the sander's drive pulley used to be, and I bolted a pair of 2x4s where the motor mount bolts used to be.  From there, I was able to build a box around the fan, and make a space in which to slide a 24"x24" furnace filter. 

The resulting device isn't pretty (in my haste, one of the front corners is out of square with the rest of the box), but it works very well.  Plus, I was able to use nothing but scrap wood I would have otherwise given away or thrown out.  Now, I am spraying to my heart's content!

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