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The long and dusty road

Hello, and welcome to another edition of “Woodshop Inefficiency Caused by Stupid Procrastination!”

On today’s episode, we look at the effects of procrastinating necessary shop cleaning. Oh, I’m pretty good about keeping things tidy around my shop, if for no other reason than I do a lot of photography there and things have to look fairly nice when I do. However, that generally applies to things out in the open where you can easily see them. The inside of my cabinets and drawers are a mess, but I’ve become adept at procrastinating their cleaning since, well, no one sees it.

Sawdust pile

Unfortunately, there’s another place in my shop that no one sees. When I built my shop I designed a dust collector closet that houses the DC, keeps it out of sight, and cuts the sound level by more than half. Good thinking, right? Yepper, but out of sight is also out of mind, which means I don’t think about it much.

But a few days ago I noticed that there were small dust streaks blown out underneath the DC closet doors. Taking a peek, I found that the collection bag filled to the very top, and the dust’s pressure had created a small slit in the bag.

OK, time to change the bag, a statement that proved easier said than done. The tear in the bag was no problem – slapping on a piece of duct tape took care of it – but do you know how much a DC bag weighs filled to capacity? Me neither, since it was not only too heavy to lift, but the bag was so extended that it was wedged tightly in place.

I ended up having to undo the bag from the collector and start scooping sawdust into a second bag until the volume and weight of the DC bag decreased enough that I could both get it unwedged and light enough to carry to the trash. The process too forever, both bags were heavy enough to be unwieldy lugging them upstairs, and the resulting mess took an hour to clean up.

It would be pointless to say that I promised myself I’d never let that task go this long again since of course I did. And, of course, I’ll break that promise just like every other promise I make to myself regarding procrastination.

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