This Cyclone Sucks! — Really

I wanted to build a cyclone for my newly installed Harbor Freight 2 Horse Power Dust Collector. After much research I decided to go with Phil Thiens Cyclone Separator Lid I am very happy with my decision. If you decide to make your own, head over to his site. The instructions are great.

Here is a shot of my lid upside down. I wanted to show the cutout and the elbow.

Here is a shot in between the lid and the baffle,  All my plumbing is 4 inch.
 Here is the completed product filling the void of my HF dust collector modification. The hose between the impeller and lid is 5 inch, I cut another piece of the hose that came with the Harbor Freight Dust Collector. It is a 5 to 4 inch reducer stuffed in the lid and there are clamps holding it in place, they are just not shown.

Again, I am pretty happy with the results.

Preparing the Drying area

Alright! Now that the log is ready, I need to get started on a place to stack and dry. It needs to be straight and flat. If it is not straight, your fresh lumber wont be straight. I just happen to have a cement slab and cinder blocks I can use. I laid the cinder blocks with a 8 inch gap between them and made it 32 inches long. 2 1/2 cinder blocks in each of 6 rows.

Pecan Drying base
Pecan Drying base

The big deal here is, your lumber will be as flat as your drying area. The rule of thumb for air drying lumber is 1 year time for every inch of thickness. So you also need to choose a spot that can be occupied for at least a year, most likely longer. It will also need to be protected from the weather in your area.

Next Step, Getting it milled….

Cooling down the shop

After insulating the shop attic I decided to put in a window AC. I was originally thinking of putting in a small split unit, but went with a window unit instead. I will only use it when I am in there and the split unit after install would cost around 4 times my window unit. The unit is properly sized for the shop; there are all kinds of sites to help get the right size so I am not going to get into it. It is a 110/120 volt 12.5 Amp unit. I put it on its own 20 amp circuit. Power tools draw a fair amount of amps and my band saw would have been on the same circuit drawing over 10 amps and that would have pushed it over.
So I stuffed it in the window:
It was designed to hang there, and I think they did a great job engineering it. But, I like to have more peace of mind. I have this fear of coming out after a good wind storm and finding it on the ground and a gaping hole in its place. So I built a brace using 2×4’s and saw horse braces you can get in the big stores. I put a couple coats of Poly on it to protect it from the elements. I also put in adjustable feet I got at the wood store. I assume that the wood will shrink in the elements. The feet have plastic bottoms and can adjust up to 4 inches.
The last thing I wanted to improve on was the insulation around the unit. It has thin accordion plastic “wings” that don’t stop much. So I got a piece of ¾ inch foam sheet from the home improvement store, they only had 4 x 8 sheets, lucky me. I cut out a piece to fit around the unit.
I think it came out pretty good. I think next on the HVAC list is to insulate the garage door. put that is another post!

Picking up and Prepairing the Log

For a while, I have been wanting to make something by starting at the log. Preparing it and getting it milled. Then stacking, sticking, and drying. Then thinking of what to build and doing it.

We recently came across a Pecan log for free off Craig’s list. It was quite a nice log, about 27 inches wide and 68 inches long. We went to pick it up and quickly discovered how heavy a log that size is. We called a friend, used a floor jack, a couple 2×4’s, several straps and a second truck. We finally got it on the trailer! Sweet success:

Next up, Sealing the ends. This should be done as soon after falling the tree as possible. The folks I got it from say it was cut down in May 2012, it now Feburary 2013. I used Anchor Seal, kind of pricey at $19 a quart but everything I read said this stuff is the bomb.

I put on 2 coats, it goes on white but drys clear and has a waxy feeling to it. I was also told oil based paint will work. What ever you use, put it on before you go to the mill. It would be a real PIA to coat every piece of milled lumber.