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Home Depot job buckets lids

I ran into an interesting situation regarding those job buckets at Home Depot. I have been re-engineering the way I do dust separation/collection from my equipment.

I want the vacuum motor directly coupled to the orange bucket instead of how the first picture  demonstrates.  Previously, the shop vac attached to one port and the tool attached to another. The inefficiencies arose quickly because of the additional hose needed to connect them together.  If I stack the shop vac on top of the separator and dust bin, I increase the suction and get more efficient particulate collection (see second picture).


The last two pictures depict the old and new lids, respectively. The grooved, old lid nestles the bucket bottom into an airtight connection whereas the new lid does not. For my application the new lid is nearly worthless!

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Maple quarters from rounds

I got my hands on some maple this weekend! The maple tree was likely three or four feet in diameter, cut into about 12”-18” rounds and then quartered.  I spray painted the end grain and then made boards 1¼” thick.

Note: Spray paint is probably not the best sealant to use; it might even be the worst! This was Rust-Oleum brand, so I might have lucked out since it is oil based. The next best option might be garage floor sealer. What are your thoughts?



#hallcastlepuzzles #woodworking #puzzles #brainteaser


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Finished puzzles in elm and standing cedar

This weekend I had the opportunity to create two puzzles with wood I haven’t used yet. The elm was quite challenging as stress was released as I cut the wood. The grain pattern tends to pinch the blade when making sticks or it wants to veer off away from the blade. I overcame this tendency by cutting shorter sticks. The standing cedar was even more stress ridden. I’ve had it drying in 1 1/4″ boards about 4 inches wide and about 1′ long for a year.  When I first planed them they immediately bowed. Thankfully, the small pieces that I ended up using did not exhibit any twisting or bowing; a good portent for the fruit woods!


Notice the stark difference between sanded and finished puzzles. I always find it very rewarding to see!