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Six of one

Sometimes – too often, it seems – woodworking gives you two choices that force you to make a tough decision.

I’m talking about choices that are equal in just about every way, each has similar pros and cons, and going either way would probably be fine. But, you still have to decide. Some of these are solvable simply by asking the person for whom you’re working or building – that is, let them choose. But when it’s just you, and the two choices really are equivalent and you can’t decide, what do you do – flip a coin?

I have one of those right now. I’m laying out the last section of my dust collection system to my lathe/sander room. Because of the wall framing, the location of my furnace, and the room layout, my ductwork can take one of two paths.

The first is far more direct and really cuts down on the length of the duct run, which is a good thing, but to make it work would require more bends in the duct. The second path wouldn’t need as many bends, but it’d be considerably longer. I’ve done the math on air handling with this (and, admittedly, I’m not an expert here), and as far as I can tell the two paths are pretty much equal.

Rather than flip a coin, I think I’m going to take the path with more bends. Why? Well, working with shorter pieces of duct is easier than getting long ducts through and around the framing, and I’d be able to use up numerous short duct pieces left over from previously installed portions of my system.

I also figure that if I don’t like the arrangement, this method would be the easiest to dismantle and redo the other way. The one I should have chosen the first time.

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