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I am an avid American Woodworker magazine subscriber and reader.I have small shop in my garage with a band saw, radial arm saw, cutoff saw and a 10 inch wood lathe. My primary tasks are pens and bowls. I use the band saw to cut bowl blanks and the lathe for bowls and pens. Other saws are used sparingly.Dirt and dust are a major problem requiring the need for a dust collector.I'm overwhelmed by the number and sizes of dust collectors in the marketplace.What is your suggestion on size and type, cfm, bag, canister, and micron filtering size. Will dust collectors remove most of the lathe chips?.Penn State Industries has some good buys and this week Woodcraft has a Rikon (650 cfm), 5 micron bag on sale for $200.HelpP. F. Boyer819 SpringtimeTrailSeymour, Tn 37865Ph 865-573-8619email: email@example.com
Chad, In my opinion I think that woodworkers set themselves up, or let themselves be used, and the general public and even the woodworking industry takes advantage of that. There has been a very steep decline in woodworking in the last 4 years, yet the industry treats it's customers like their time and knowledge isn't worth anything while they profit from it.. I have done alot of work in dust collection in my shop over the last 4 years, but there is no incentive for me to share it. I'm sure that there are many others that feel the same way, or have just plain totally gave up on woodworking.
Random-orbital sanders use sandpaper disks, and many include integrated dust collectors . Disks are attached using either pressur.
thanks for sharing.
Hi Charlie. I certainly can understand your thoughts. I'm sure your knowledge is worth something. You made an interesting statement to me. YOu said, "There has been a very steep decline in woodworking in the last 4 years." YOu could be correct. However, (just on what i see) it seems there is an increase. Of course, i am only stating based on what i "think" i see. But it seems as if the wood working shows are growing again, and more tool manufacturers seem to be making more and more tools. Could you share with me what you are seeing in your area?
Ok, thats a fair question. I don't know how things are with woodworkers in this area. ( 50K city in North Dakota ) I don't seek them out. My guess that it's alot like the rest of the country,, less people can afford to retire, and many have two jobs just to stay afloat, they just don't have the time for woodworking. I also know of a popular dust collection website that has gone from 150 visitors at one point in a day in 2008 to about a dozen currently. I think that maybe the DIY home remodelers may have increased some.
You've piqued my interest. I'm going to try to do some research and see if woodworking is going up or down. I would agree with you that many people hold two jobs, and retiring is tougher. Times are tough and money is tight, however I believe things are shifting. For example, books and magazines are going down, but subscribtions on-line are up. Tv shows such as The New Yankee Workshop has ended, but Rough Cut is growing. With all the web videos, younger people are exposed and drawn into woodworking. I think the image of woodworking is finally changing. It went from an "old man's hobby", to just a hobby. However, image changing doesn't mean increased growth. So I will see what i can find.
If it's allways going to be considered as a hobby I think that it's going to be some pretty tough going. Also in some cases I've been able to buy furniture at the same price or cheaper then what it would cost me in wood to make it. Most of my work now days is for our house, and maybe an occassional gift to a family member or a friend, trying to make a buck selling to the general public isn't worth the aggrevation or my time in most cases. I've been a wood worker for about 30 years, and luckily some of the equipment and tools that I bought new in the 90's was still made in the USA. Alot of the newer imported equipment and tools don't excite me much, so I upgaded my existing equipment. There is not enough profit in woodworking for me to make extravagant equipment and tool purchases. In other words, I'm pretty happy with what I have.
You are definately right on that. In most cases it is cheaper to buy a piece of furniture than it is to make it. I've been a self employed furniture maker and licensed contractor for 15 years. The only customers that I have are ones who need a piece of furniture an EXACT size and have features they saw and liked on something else. Here in my town, making little end tables or boxes won't sell easily. I'm one of those guys who truly believes the craft is a better reward than the money.
With that being said, I think most of us woodworkers do it for the craft. Professional or hobbyist, we like it to expand out skill and knowledge. My friend Frank Klausz once told me, build furniture not for others, but for yourself. I think it's still good advice.
YOur thoughts on new tools. There are a lot of new tools out there. I have friends who constantly read the reviews. Doing this for a living, i judge a tool based on the percentage i think i will use it. If i believe i will use it on every project, then i will buy the best, i can afford. If i believe i will only use it 10% of the time on a project, then a hobbyist quaility tool will probably be good enough for me.
Most tool reviews nowdays I take with a grain of salt.. Most are filled with novice woodworkers, and tool salesmen. I've been a woodworker long enough to know what I need, infact I have designed and fabricated improvements for dust collection that didn't exist. Now there is some loser in YouTube trying to take credit for one of my designs.