Sharpening Jig/Station

I had to use my adjustable height bench for my work at home desk so I bought a Workmate 225 as a temporary substitute for a workbench.

I made my first jig for it last Saturday, sharpening jig that holds down my diamond plate at one end, and a glued on strop on the other end.

Work from Home

For obvious reasons I am now working from home. I spent 2 days re-arranging, and cleaning, my home office so I could add a second workstation.

I decided that for now I would use my Husky adjustable height workbench. It has a couple of advantages:

  1. I can use it as a standing desk
  2. I wouldn’t waste time, and money, looking for something new, online or in person.

Vacuum Upgrade (part 2), The Baffling

I use a vacuum to keep my CNC bits cool and clear of sawdust in addition to vacuuming up the dust. The vacuum I use is a little shop vac that is really loud and as I explained in the previous Vacuum Upgrade post the exhaust was too powerful. I just wasn’t getting enough negative airflow for the suction at the back of the hood.

I hoped to solve both problems with a sound baffle that I could mount to the top of the vacuum housing. I decided to add a 2 inch baffle to the lid of the vacuum enclosure.

Some weather stripping and caulk sealed up some air leaks and a couple of coats of paint finish the project.

I took some measurements along the way with a decibel meter app proving this project was worth the time and effort put into it.

The shop vac outside of the enclosure was particularly loud even for a shop vac at 93-95dB.
With the enclosure but before the baffle it was 80-83dB.
With the enclosure and the new baffle it dropped to 63-65db.

I consider this 30dB drop a major success!

Vacuum Upgrade – CNC

I finally got around to stage two of the vacuum system for the CNC machine.

First I built an articulating arm for the vac exhaust. I used nothing but scrap wood. Well, except for the knobs and bolts of course.

Articulating Arm

Unfortunately the exhaust is a bit too powerful, the suction doesn’t quite keep up and some dust is being blown back out the front.

I had been thinking about building a baffle for the vacuum’s exhaust anyway with the hope that it would cut the noise level more. Perhaps it will also cut the exhaust speed enough to create a negative airflow from the front to the back.

Well, maybe next weekend.

CNC – A couple of upgrades:

I wanted to see what I could do to quiet this setup. Using some scrap 1/2″ OSB and Styrofoam I built a box and cut some holes for the 1-14″ hose I found at Home Depot.

CNC Workstation
I hope to get a “hood” built for the backside that will suck in the dust. The mount for the blowing attachment is temporary. I think the permanent one will be mounted on the dust vac box. Probably some kind of articulating arm. I’m still working on the design for that.
Swithes for CNC and Vac
$10 worth for the 4-gang box, 2 -switches, 2- outlets, and an hour or two later I had two switched outlets, one for the vac, the other for the CNC. I’ll mount it farther away from the CNC later. I don’t want to have to reach across the CNC machine to do an emergency stop of the machine.

The Saw Stops here

I have never been happy with the switch configuration on my table saw. I was always fumbling around trying to find the off switch after making a cut on it while trying to make sure my cut pieces didn’t drift back into the blade or fall off of the table.

I finally decided to make a switch paddle so I could easily shut the saw off without fumbling around blindly or taking my eyes off of the blade and materials.

I had seen several prototypes for them on on YouTube but none for the particular Jet saw I have so I had to design my own.

It’s not fancy, well it is made from some scrap Walnut I had, but it is a pretty simple device.

I should have done this a long time ago!

T-Track and miter insert for Router

T-track insert
Almost a year after adding the router insert to my table saw I finally routed out the dado for the combo T-track/Miter Track for my router top.

It’s rather unlikely that I’ll ever use the miter track but the t-track can come in handy on a router table.

2-stage Shop Vac

I’ve had the parts to do this for a few months now. I had to empty the vac and clean the filter the other day so I figured, while I’m at it…

OK, all attachments attached!

FYI, that’s a Dustopper from Home Depot.


I’ve made a several upgrades to this workstation and the vacuum system since I made this post.
Check the later posts in this section.

This is my first real project for the machine. Some small snowflake ornaments.

Flip-top Final

When you are limited to a garage for a shop you have to get creative when it comes to floorspace. I combined my chop saw and planer into a flip-top cabinet.

I reduced the footprint of these tools to less than half of what they were as stand alone tools.

I’m also very happy with how the flip top came out considering I built it from my old router cabinet. I only had a basic idea as to how to engineer this when I started on it but flipping it over is smooth ad nearly effortless. Locking the platform in place is a little awkward but I can improve on that later.