Keeping it Clean – SoCS

Good afternoon (that’s EBT – eastern bar time). Today is the first Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt for 2023. I was going to say that this would be the last ‘first’ I have to announce, but tomorrow will be the first Thursday Doors Sunday Recap, and it will be huge! Several people did not take a holiday break, and I promised to include their doors on Sunday. This post “

“Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: ‘out of the box.’ Write about the first thing that comes to mind when you think ‘out of the box.’ Enjoy!”

If we were having a beer, you’d be interested in my recent delivery.

“Happy New Year, Dan. It’s good to see you. Modelo?”

“Yes please, Cheryl. Did you ever get out of here last week?”

“I did. I left after serving the champagne toast.”

“What about Skippy?”

“I don’t know what happened to him, and… Oh, here’s your buddy.”

“Happy New Year, Cheryl. You were about to reference a rat’s hind parts.”

“Cheryl, give this man a John Howell’s Special and put it on my tab. Happy New Year, David.”

“With pleasure, Dan. He sums up my thoughts about Skippy to perfection.”

“Here’s your bourbon, your snifter of seltzer, your glass of ice and some cherries.”

“Here’s to having you back behind the bar, Cheryl.”

“Enjoy it while you can, David. Since he ruined my holiday weekend, Skippy has agreed to work for me next Saturday.”

“Next Saturday? The fourteenth?”

“Yes, Dan. Why do you ask?”

“Because John Howell is going to be here next Saturday.”

“Well tell him I said hi. You might add, I’ll probably still be in my PJs when he gets here, maybe I’ll be reading his new book. It’s rising up in my T B R pile.”

“T B R? I’m not familiar with the acronym. Care to explain?”

“To Be Read, David. I’m surprised you didn’t know that.”

“I read a lot, but I don’t usually let the books pile up ahead of me. I’m more of a just in time buyer of books. Speaking of piles, Dan. What was that pile of boxes I saw the UPS man carrying to your porch yesterday?”

“The big one was dust collection supplies.”

“You’re collecting dust?”

“In my workshop, David. I am trying to collect as much sawdust as I can at the source.”

“I see. Cheryl, you might as well bring us another round, I’m going to ask Dan to explain something technical.”

“I’ll get those. By the way, that crash you heard was a resolution breaking.”

“How do you collect the dust, Dan? I’m envisioning you dragging a shop-vac around with you and tripping over hoses and cords. Dangerous for old men like us.”

“Old men like us? Well, snarky humor aside, it is dangerous, and if I can show you what I took out of that box, you might understand.”

“Hose. I take it that’s for a vacuum. How long is that?”

“Twenty feet (1).”

“Twenty feet? Your shop is only sixteen feet wide.”

“One room is wider, but the dust-collection in there is already set. This is for the smaller room, and that is only sixteen feet wide. But the hose has to go overhead and drop down was necessary.”

“I see, so you’re not tripping over the hose. What does the hose connect to?”

“There are four components to the system.”

“Sheesh, David, you really should have kept that resolution. Here’s a fresh beer for the dustman and another splash of bourbon for the weary listener.”

“Four components you say?”

“I’ll be brief. One is a wall mounted dust collector for big machines. It’s piped into the large room, through the wall to the bandsaw and under the floor to the table saw.”

“Can is suck up dust from both?”

“It can, but I have blast gates installed so only one is ever in use.”

“The hose to the bandsaw looks longer than necessary.”

“It is. I can remove it from there and connect it to the other stationary machines.”

“Is that a shop vac next to the table saw?”

“Yep. Sometimes I place smaller tools in that area. There’s another one behind my chop saw.”

“And I guess another one in the other room.”

“No, I mounted our old whole house vacuum in that room. It’s mounted high, this new hose will go from there to my drill press or my workbench as necessary.”

“Well, I guess that makes sense. No tripping over power cords and hose, but a lot of running around to turn vacuums on and off.”

“No running at all. They’re all plugged into remote-controlled outlets. I can turn them on or off from a fob in my pocket.”

“Cheers Dan, and may I say, that’s brilliant.”

(1) 20′ (6.1m)

If you like magical realism with suspense, action and a bit of family sarcasm, you will enjoy these books:

The Evil You Choose
When Evil Chooses You

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  1. I loved the comment about the crash just heard. Snark starts off the year right! Beautiful close-ups! I have no idea what I just read about the dust collector, but I congratulate you on mastering dustlessness.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I am impressed by the massive lengths you go to to capture the dust from your work shop…. What happens to it all?
    The photo are very eerie it is looking very damp, foggy and cold….even the flag looks depressed.
    The beautiful drops of water on the fir trees are very uplifting though make me mavel at nature.
    As for Skippy ….he gets a very bad press 💜💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • The dust is contained in the various contraptions, then dumped into bags and disposed of. It’s sad that there is no good use for it. When I had a cabinet shop (1985) I stored the larger chips for a guy that used them for animal bedding. I don’t have as many chips these days, much more sawdust in the mix. Sawdust isn’t all that helpful around animals.

      We are waking to eerie looking days, with cold nights, warm-ish days and lots and lots of rain. I did enjoy trying to photograph the drops. I must look like a weirdo standing and staring into a tree.

      Skippy is a challenge to work with (as a writer). I hope you have a great weekend, Willow.


      • Thank you for the explanation Dan I was genuinely interested. The beautiful photos are well worth people thinking you are odd! …As for for Skippy , I like him and hard or not please hold on to him I reckon he has an interesting backstory 💜

        Liked by 1 person

        • Skippy was created to make the mistakes and say the stupid things I didn’t want to tag Cheryl with (since Cheryl is based on a real person, albeit not a real bartender). He was modeled after a particularly bad bartender a friend of mine and I were forced to experience. Ironically, that friend was the first person to defend Skippy and frequently (on Facebook) criticizes me for being too hard on Skippy. I guess we’re never fully in charge of our characters.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Janet. The fob and the outlets are from Harbor Freight. I was surprised they work as well as they do. There are commercial products to control dust collectors, but they run into the hundreds of dollars. This kit, fob and three outlets, was $18. The large dust collector is manually switched, but the switch is an easy reach from both machines. Their are outlets that can be controlled by apps, but given how many times I’ve dropped the fob, I don’t think I want this running on my phone.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I tried that, GP. It was fun, but it put us in the poor house for quite some time. Very few people want to pay what custom furniture is worth. Everything I’ve made in retirement has been put to use in our home or given away. I like that.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Mine is a poor man’s approach, but it works reasonably well. I think I collect about 75-80% and the rest can be managed, if I convince myself to sweep/vacuum at the end of the day in the shop. At least at the end of the project. I’m glad you like the drops. I had fun taking those photos. More to come.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Those close-ups were spectacular, Dan. Looking forward to spending some time at the bar. Thanks for the coming attraction announcement. I wish we had your rain. Last but not least, your dust collection system looks awesome. Terrific post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks John. We’ll get the bar nice and clean for your visit, and we’ll have plenty of a certain brand of bourbon in stock. I have been happy with the results of this Rube Goldberg dust collection system. Less dust to clean up and less to breath. I wish you had our rain, too, but having had drought conditions here last summer, I’m not going to complain.

      See you next week.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m convinced, Dan, that if you and the hubs got together again a d started talking innovation and invention, I would be looking for someone to talk to. Sorry I’ll miss John next Saturday but tell him I wish him well with his new book!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. LOVE your dust collection system. Very insightful on your part. Too bad what you collect can’t be repurposed somewhere. Years ago my brother installed a vacuum system in his house. All that was needed was the hose that got carried from room to room and plugged into the outlet in the wall. Everything was collected in the basement. Easypeasy!

    I really like the reflections in the raindrops. Neat! I’ve always loved foggy/misty photos of just about anything. Puts a whole different perspective on the subject.

    I’m a fan of Skippy. Ok, so nobody ever accused me of being normal, but he gets a bum rap sometimes. I think he and David should go on a weekend retreat together and have a bonding experience. Now that would be a conversation you probably couldn’t print! 🥴

    If will be nice to see Old Glory flying high and proud again. Let’s hope for a long, long time.

    Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The larger chips and shavings can be used for animal bedding, but I don’t generate very many of them in the mix. When I had my cabinet shop, I gave the chips to a farmer. These days, sadly, it all goes into the trash.

      Skippy has a lot of fans. I can’t figure out why, but I’ll try to deal with it. We’ll see how he does next week with John.

      The latest vacuum I’ll be hooking up is the old whole house vac like your brother has. The collection unit works fine, but the electronics died. You could turn it on with the hose, but you had to run downstairs to turn it off. Not convenient.

      Sadly, our flag will return to half staff. One of our State Senators was killed in an accident with a wrong way driver on the highway. Very sad, the Senator was a young man and very well liked. Ironically, the State has been working for years to reduce the number of wrong way drivers.

      I hope you have a great weekend, Ginger.


  6. After 17 years, my old Kenmore vacuum cleaner finally gave up the ghost. That thing was so darn heavy, and I had to plug it in 4 different outlets to vacuum my house. I got a Shark vacuum–battery-powered and no bag. It is so light and easy to use it almost makes me smile while I do my most dreaded chore.
    Question for you: your post didn’t show up in my Inbox this morning, but you are in my Reader and I am still following you. What do you think happened?
    Have a great weekend, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Vacuuming made easy. That sounds wonderful, Lois.

      I have no idea what might have happened. I would suggest you attempt to follow by email again (I don’t want to lose you). I’ll be in there almost every day during January – blame Linda, not me. OK, you can blame me. I love JusJoJan and I always encourage Linda to host it.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I can only do it with JusJoJan – simple jots, reused pictures. Sometimes, all I do is leave a comment on Linda’s page Just Jot Januaary by Comment. I tag them with JusJoJanByCo – in previous years, Linda has agreed to count them ;-)

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Leave it to you, Dan, to have a remote controlled vacuuming system for your workshop. I need a remote controlled robot to vaccum and clean my apartment. I know, I know, they make those little round robot vacuums, but I’m talking about having my own C3PO who can vacuum and scrub and do dishes, then fold himself up and hide in the closet when I don’t need it. Would have been helpful over the holidays.

    Have a most excellent weekend, Dan. Give the fur girls a skritch or two from me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m still not sure what happens to those robot vacs when they encounter cat puke, Mary. They never show that in the commercial. A truly useful robot might be nice, but with my luck, I’d get something that became sentient and had to be treated like family, or it would be malevolent and do away with me. I think I watch to much SyFy.


  8. Does the wire embedded in the hose help prevent static electricity build up ? Or isn’t that a problem ? Funny how no one wants to buy Ikea yet few want to pay for well built furniture. Good rain drops…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good question, John. The wire can be grounded and that does help eliminate static electricity. Otherwise, that can be a problem. It’s true about Ikea vs. custom made. Everybody complains about robots taking over manufacturing, but they don’t want to pay the human workers. When I would give people a quote on a custom piece, they would immediately compare it to a non-similar piece at Sears or some other store. Once, a guy showed me a piece of furniture that was mostly fiberglass made to look like wood. I’m glad you like the drops. They fascinate me, and I keep trying to get the perfect shot.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 2023 is going well, Teagan. The weather has been mild, albeit wet, but no severe storms. Hearing protection is advised when any of those vacuums are running. Of course, I’m wearing it anytime I’m using a machine that makes sawdust, so it isn’t a bother.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I need to design a catch system for my sterling silver shavings. They are all eligible for recycling and every tiny shard of metal is valuable. I can only imagine how much dust a woodworking shop can create. I am glad you are taking good care of your health and well being – so many people do not. I once had to take hubby to urgent care. He was doing some trim work in the guest bath and the sawdust hit the floor and bounced back under his safety glasses into his eye. You can never be too careful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • My wife has taken me to urgent care, ER and doctors offices many times. Being careful is important, but things can still go off the rails. I wear hearing protectors and I have prescription safety glasses. I also wear (fingerless) work gloves.

      Capturing silver would seem to be difficult. Good luck with that.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Jan. I’m looking forward to John’s visit, too. I have been fascinated by those drops. Usually, by the time I get out there, they’ve fallen or evaporated. I guess it’s easier in winter.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I love it when people understand characters. I don’t know what Skippy looks like, so you might be right 😉

      I did make John aware that Skippy will be our bartender.


  10. My husband David has a dust collection system in his shop. I’m sure he’d know exactly what you’re talking about. Blast gates reminds me of scifi. Speaking of which, the drop that cleared the fog could be an alternate universe. I love those fog and drop photos!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I would appreciate those great water droplet pictures even more than I do if it wasn’t so watery here as well. We’ve had a very wet start to the year. I’d say the weather was weird for January but I don’t know anymore how weather is supposed to be!


    • I emptied everything about four time last year. Like with many vacuum solutions, they could have held more material, but the they become less effective as they start to fill. Also, 5 gallons of sawdust is surprisingly heavy, so emptying them when I can still easily lift the container is preferred.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wow…I’m afraid to show my husband the photos! His shop needs a set-up like that. Nice work. And, I must ask, do you do something special with the dust you collect, or does it just capture it as you work and discard it later? PS – I LOVE the dewdrop photos!!


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