A difficult task completed

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I finally accomplished the redo of my dust collection ducting I’ve wanted to get at, and learned several things in the process.

Almost immediately after completing my dust collection system last winter, I knew I could have done it more efficiently. To recap, on one wall I needed to run the ducting up and over a 12' stretch of built-in base cabinets, which not only necessitated adding several feet in length, but also required a couple 90-degree turns.

What I did last week was to dismantle all the ducting on that wall and run it smack through the back of those base cabinets. When done I’d shortened the run nearly 6' and eliminated all of the turns, boosting the CFM significantly, and even reclaimed the wall where the duct used to hang as a bonus.

In spite of how simple the result sounds, the task took forever and wasn’t easy:

• Folding my 6', 200-lb. frame inside built-in cabinetry to make access cuts (five of them) for the duct to go through was positively comical. It wasn’t easy when I was young; now, even less so.

• My knees hate me. They really, really hate me.

• No matter how warm I managed to get the shop, the concrete floor was still like ice.

• Getting up and down off the floor 800 times isn’t something I enjoy.

• Spiders.

• The under-cabinet gymnastics meant that my glasses were constantly shifting in such a way that I couldn’t see what I was doing half the time.

But, like root canals, doing your taxes, unclogging a septic system or any other task that’s onerous while you’re in the process of doing it, you’re glad you did it once it’s done. My resulting dust collection system is much better, and the travails experienced while getting it done are fading in memory.

Except that my knees still haven’t forgiven me.

A.J.

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