Tips for keeping Sawdust and woodchips from getting all over your garage workshop!

The best way is to stop 90% of the dust before it settles in the garage! Use a dust collector, sweep the sawdust and chips off your bench and tools into a dustbin or onto the floor, where you can sweep it up.
Make sure you wear a mask, you don’t want dust piling up in your lungs either!
There are devices like “cyclones” that allow the dust to collect in a barrel.

Cyclones pull out most of the dust and debris before they enter the shop vac or dust collector, and keep the bag or filter from pre-maturely clogging, by making your dust collector a “two-stage” dust collector.
When the dust piles up, you have to stop and take a minute to clean the shop (safety first). When your shop is a garage, you have a lot more than tools in there – bikes, food storage, shelves with assorted car/sports/cookout “stuff”, etc. You can’t always brush all this off in a quick and easy manner. So you may want to use a compressed air blower, or leaf blower (on low power), to blow the dust away. You can also throw a drop cloth or garbage bag over things to keep the dust off. I once leaned a 4×8 sheet of plywood against some shelving, to deflect the dust. When you have a lot of parts, or christmas lights, etc., you can consider putting things in bins like these:
Remember to label them, and try to buy uniform sizes. They will definitely keep the dust out! Not everything may fit (like golf clubs), but it keeps things clean and less messy. Wait for them to go on sale if possible, so you can save money on storage.
Sometimes dust builds up, and this is bad – dust is explosive because it is combustible and has a lot of surface area. see Dust explosion – Wikipedia
So use air (compressed or leaf blower), brooms, hand brooms, and dustpans, and eliminate the dust.
TIP: If you have clean sawdust, like pine or hardwoods, you can use them around the garden or in the composter (if you have one). Don’t use particle board or treated lumber sawdust in the garden, as they have chemicals that can leach into your plants. You can also use the dust to fill small holes in the ground too.
When you collect the dust to put in the trash, I highly recommend using a contractor grade trash bag. Dust gets every where when the sanitation men dump it in the truck, and the bag keeps it contained and easy to handle. It will also keep small sticks and any nails or debris from getting loose and puncturing a tire.
After you clean the dust out of the garage, you may find a lot has stuck to you! make sure you clean it off with compressed air or a brush. especially before you go in the house (consider this helpful marital advice).
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Can you change a straight edge to a rounded or bullnose edge on a stone countertop after installation?

I would recommend against machining your top in-place. Bullnosing a top requires removing a lot of material, and then the nosing must be polished to match.
This is not a job that is easy to undertake in the home, and uses a polishing head like this:

Profiling head for nosing stone tops – Available on Amazon, and specialty tool supplies.

Replacement may be the best option here, unless you have a contractor who really knows what he is doing, and will bring a lot of drop cloths, plastic covers, a strong wet vac, and a lot of chops. And be prepared for a ton of dust in your home.

A possible option is to add a bull nose to the edge, but be aware that the bullnose would be fragile until it was glued in solid, and requires special tooling to cut and fit it in.

3/4x12 Light Cream Limestone Pencil Liner Wall Trim Tile
This is a tile trim from Amazon. it can be used as an edging (if it matches or contrasts nicely). Your marble fabricator may be able to make 1/2 round trim from the same stone as your top. It may need to be pieced, but can give you the edge you want without the mess or rework your looking at.Talk with your contractor, see what you can come up with.  
I hope my suggestions work for you, Keep in mind that countertop edges are easy to choose and hard to change!
I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative.  Consider sharing it and take a peek at my other works:

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All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his Starbucks coffee habit. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .This Blog was Human-generated by the author, and not produced by a Russian blog Engine.  

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Fixing the Keurig Conundrum – Recycling K cups

k cup recycler

Let me say that I love my Keurig.
I can make one cup at a time. With friends we can have different coffees, and I can even grind and brew a cup using a refillable my K cup basket.
The Keurig is convenient, quick, and easy to maintain.
But there is a growing problem.

Recycling the K Cups.

This figure is just for 2013.
Let’s consider what a K cup is:
1. A foil or plastic top
2. Grinds
3. Coffee filter
4. plastic Body

In it’s entirety, K cups are not recyclable due to having different materials that are hard to break down.  The only way to effectively deal with this is to break apart the k cups individually, and recycle each component, or send them to a facility that does this for you.

If you can’t be bothered, since convenience is the reason why we use store bought K cups in the first place, there are special services:

Coffee Capsule Zero Waste Box (Small 11" x 11" x 20")
Keurig had a mail-in program for recycling K-cups, but since they are switching from #7 to #5 Plastic for the cups, here is their recommended procedure, from Keurig Recycling:
“Since we began working with Preserve’s Gimme 5 program for our Vue® pods in 2013, curbside access to recycling for #5 plastics has increased significantly. With increased access, we are now asking that beginning in April 2016 you drop your brewed Vue® pods in your regular curbside recycling, after removing the lid and coffee grounds, rather than mailing them back through the Preserve program. Please check with your local community to confirm.”

There is a commercially available tool to remove the lid; called the “Medelco Recycle A Cup K-Cup Recycling Tool“:

Medelco Recycle A Cup K-Cup Recycling Tool
Even with the recycling tool (which has recessed cutters) saving the grinds for recycling or compost is a messy affair.  After you remove the lid, digging out the grounds can be messy and rinsing off the filter and cup is necessary to prevent excess mold buildup in the recycled cup.
Being a woodworker gives me an advantage in prototyping a device to make emptying the K cup easier. Here is my design, Which can be duplicated by you or anyone with basic carpentry skills.
It is my pleasure to show you my  K cup recycler prototype:
The device consists of 3 pieces of 1 x 4 pine, assembled with glue and screws (nails would work fine too).  This model fits neatly over a dollar store reusable plastic container, to hold the grounds.
It measures approximately 8 – 1/2 inches wide and 7 – 1/2 inches in height.
Here it is in use:
Wooden k cup recycler in use
TIP:  Let the K cups sit for a day to dry out, the coffee grinds come out easier.
The hole in the top was made with a 1-1/4 inch hole saw.  This image is of me emptying a reusable K cup by tapping it on the block, with the grinds falling through the hole into the container.  An open plastic bag can be placed over the container, so that you can pick up the grinds without pouring them into the bag, so you won’t get grinds all over.
This simple device eliminates the need to spoon or use a popsicle stick to get the grinds out.  All you do is tap the K cup over the hole, and then  rinse the reusable k cup.  A regular k cup would require rinsing, cutting out the paper filter, and then tossing in the recycle bin.  The best part is that the grounds are compostable and will really help out the gardeners tha want to have rich coffee grinds in their soil.  Rose bushes really like them.
I plan to make some improvements in the design, and consider selling them  – any thoughts?  Does it need a kickstarter, or GoFundMe?

Thank you for reading this, and helping recycle some of the 6 billion k cups that are out there!

Please like, upvote, and share!

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Carpentry is both a hobby and a profession; here is how you can get started!

Carpentry is a great skill to learn. Observe carpenters at work, and read “how to do it” websites. This will show you the basics.
Accumulate some hand tools, and a good tool bag or apron. Always remember, “safety first”.  Look for apprentice or helper jobs, what you learn will be invaluable.  Carpentry encompasses framing, concrete forms, roofing, siding, sheetrocking, finish carpentry – you have a lot of choices for your “niche”.  
I found this book indispensable, and keep a copy around so the ideas are fresh, especially on layout and project planning:
Consider going to a school, or joining an apprenticeship program.
This is one run by a community college in the US: Registered Apprenticeships
This is a good guide to keep in your toolbox:

Keep in mind that carpentry is a craft that takes years of work and practice to master, learn all you can, and you will do famously well!

Best of luck with your Carpentry projects!  Post pictures of your work so we can enjoy it too!  -Alan
Thanks for reading my Blog, and best of luck with your projects!  
I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative.  Consider sharing it and take a peek at my other works:

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All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his Starbucks coffee habit. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .This Blog was Human-generated by the author, and not produced by a Russian blog Engine.  

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Here is the best way to learn woodworking

There is a secret to learning woodworking.

The secret is “Build Something”.
There are lots of plans on the internet, and many are simple enough that you can easily buy the materials and start getting tools for doing basic work.

The first time you anything the results may not be “perfect”, but the pride in building your own tables, cabinets, toys, signs, etc. far outweigh the effort!  As your skills continue to improve, you will be able to take on more elaborate projects.  Many questions you have can be answered on youtube videos or asking an “old-timer” like me.

Image result for workbench and tool boxImage result for workbench and tool box
An important place to start is your workshop.  You can buy a workbench kit or use a folding table with a board over it for protection – even sawhorses will do nicely (and fold away after).  Your tools can be in a box or on pegboard.  As long as you keep it clean and manageable, a good workshop area makes things much easier.
Pine shelving (1×12) and 1×2 and 1×3 pine boards can make almost anything, and cut easily.  you can use nails or screws to assemble the finished product, and pine finishes easily with paint or stain.  1/4″ plywood can be used for cabinet backs and bottoms.  Don’t worry if it is not perfect, sandpaper and wood filler cover a lot of “oops’s”.  You can get starter packs with assortments of nails and screws to fit almost any situation (remember that outdoor projects need coated or outdoor screws) – the links are to assortments on Amazon, but Home Depot, Lowes, and ACE hardware carry everything you need, and all the basics!

Professional tools are nice, but when you are starting out, basic tools are good, and you can replace with better ones as you go along.  You can also give any old tools to your kids as you upgrade to better equipment (just make sure they are supervised).  Here are some basic tool sets:

You will also need a saw, a drill, and basic clamps.
Easy woodworking projects, Books and plans from Amazon

Next time you need a cabinet, step stool, or shelves, get some woodworking plans and get out your tools!   You may also want to volunteer for groups like habitat for humanity where you can learn basic carpentry skills.  I have done it and enjoyed it a lot.  If you just need something small, and don’t have a place to cut up the wood – here are wood project kits you can build:

Precut wood project kits on Amazon

Precut wood project kits on EBay

If you really enjoy woodworking, and want to turn it into a serious hobby, here are some Woodworking plans and ideas:

9,000 plans for Furniture and Crafts – Mark Stuart

EZ wood project designer – just use a pencil! (Design Package)

Ted McGrath’s 16,000 woodworking plans!

Best of luck with your Woodworking projects!  Post pictures of your work so we can enjoy it too!  -Alan

Thanks for reading my Blog, and best of luck with your projects!  
I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative.  Consider sharing it and take a peek at my other works:


All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his Starbucks coffee habit. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .This Blog was Human-generated by the author, and not produced by a Russian blog Engine.  

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How to get the color you want for woodworking or Art projects

It’s all about Primary colors.  As an example, mixing orange is a base of red with yellow copiously added.

it is good to understand the “Color Wheel” when you need a specific color. Here is an article on it:
All about Paint Color Mixing: Chart the Wheel & Mixing Guide – Artists network

Mixing Color Wheels for the Artist (9-1/4″) With a Creative Color Wheel (9.25 inch) circle with different colored sectors used to show the relationship between colors. – From Amazon; also available from artist supplies and paint stores.

My mother was an art teacher. She really emphasized the color wheel, and it was a great tool for understanding the primary colors and their relationship to all the colors. Her students became little Picasso’s!

When matching colors, you can bring your color wheel to a store, and get the paint mixed spot-on!
Here is a University of Tennessee bottle carrier I made for a friends birthday:

 
This is a Toy chest I made for my Grandson, which had to be in NY Fire department colors:

  
For the chest, I brought my color wheel to Home Depot, and they mixed the red and orange for me.  It worked out really well.  Here is an NYFD Ambulance, for reference:

Color makes the project, and getting the color RIGHT, now that is just Over the Top!

May you have great success with you the Color Wheel!  (My Mom would be proud).

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All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his coffee habit. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .This Blog was Human-generated by the author, and not produced by a Russian blog Engine.  

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What kind of tape/adhesive can I use on walls?

Command Strips are the best. in my opinion.
Command Picture Hanging Strips Value Pack, Medium, White, 12-Pairs (17204-12ES)
Command Strips, available on Amazon
They have adhesive strips, hooks, and velcro. Just make sure you use the right ones for what you are hanging, to ensure they can support the weight. I usually clean the wall first, so there is no grease or anything that will cause the command strip to fail. I buy them on Amazon, but you can get them at Home Depot, Lowes, Target, Ace, and other stores.
Because the command strips are not permanent, you can pull the adhesive off the wall when you move – with no damage.
If the wall is very smooth, you can use suction cup hooks.
double sided tape should be used with care, as it may permanently adhere and cause problems when you try to remove the item (like pulling paint of the wall).
Enjoy decorating, it makes your house a home!

All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his Starbucks coffee habit. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .  To my knowledge, No Russian influencers have contributed to this post.

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Are you ready to make a no-frills Tiki bar?

Sometimes you need to cut loose – and you want to have a really cool place to do it; so you do what any self respecting carpenter does – you build a Tiki bar!

I had some treated wood left over from some projects, and some waferboard from a siding repair.  Perfect for a basic bar!  Plus I had some exterior paint and a set of casters, so the bar could roll out of the way.  Here is the basic bar:

I rabbeted the landscape ties for the bar rail, and used simple butt joints and exterior screws for almost everything else.  The shelves are fixed and fit buckets and covered storage bins, for extra glasses, napkins, bar tools, straws, and giveaways for kids (tiki necklaces, porpoise bracelets, and stickers, From Amazon).


The important thing to remember is that you are using scrap wood, leftovers and pallet pieces.  there is no “wrong” way to build a Tiki bar.
The important dimensions are as follows:

  • Bar height = 42″ (pl;us or minus an inch or 2)
  • bar width = greater than 36″ depending on available material
  • Bar depth = greater than 14″, Top should overhang and be supported to prevent falling forward (see the “foot” extensions on my design)
  • Bar stool height = 30″ or so
  • Bar stool seat = big enough to support someone’s bottom

Make sure you sand everything smooth, so your guests don’t get splinters, and paint the bar to get the appropriate Tiki look.  Here is a Tiki bar I built for a client on Long Island, complete with roof, Back bar and a salvaged ceiling fan:

The author and his Daughter at the Tiki bar.  Yum!

Now you have no excuse, but to get ready for the spring and summer with a neat Tiki bar of your own design and some cool tiki drinks!

Thanks for reading my blog and Tiki on!  – Aloha!

All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his Starbucks coffee habit. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .  To my knowledge, No Russian influencers have contributed to this post.

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What gives a cleaner cut on plywood, a quality table saw, or a track saw?

I have to admit I have a bias here.

 Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw with Guide Rail

Makita SP6000J1 6-1/2-Inch Plunge Circular Saw with Guide Rail (aka “Track saw”)


If you are cutting LARGE sheets and have sawhorses (and a good “reach”), a track saw will be faster and easier than passing a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood over the blade of a table saw, and give a decent cut (provided the blade is sharp, with the correct number of teeth, and the operator is skilled).

For almost everything else, a properly aligned and set up table saw will do Much much more than a track saw. Here is my bias – I view a track saw as a “one trick pony”. I use an aluminium guide or a really straight board when I cut a plywood sheet. It’s fast and easy, and you can “dress” the edge afterwards. I also don’t have to store a single purpose tool just for these occasions – my skilsaw, guide, and clamps are easy to get to.

13 pointers for perfect plywood cuts – woodworking magazine

Bonus comment:

If you are cutting a lot of 4×8 sheets, the track saw can slow you down, compared to this baby:

Some of them even have a mount for a router, (or you can convert it), and you get very high quality cuts.
I owned a cabinet shop, and your plywood could slide vertically into this saw (it just takes up wall space), and you can stack the finished parts on a cart, ready for the next step

Little Giant PTC-2436-5PY Steel Panel Truck with Swivel Casters and Carpeted End, 1000 lbs Load Capacity, 24" Width x 36" Length

(banding/sanding/drilling). A decent panel saw costs more than a track saw, about as much as a good table saw.

Keep in mind that you have to determine what your shop does, when you consider the cost, and factor in any savings in time.

E. Emerson Tool Co. C50 50-Inch All-In-One Contractor Straight Edge Clamping Tool Guide

To Recap, either saw will cut clean if it has a sharp blade and is setup and used properly, but you have to determine your needs based on what you build. I have a bias towards the table saw and a good panel saw.

Best of luck with your cutting, and remember to wear a mask and eye protection!

All rights reserved by Alan Chenkin & Primrose Path LLC.  Remember to give credit to the author and any cited works. Some links are promoted so the author can maintain his Starbucks coffee habit. None of this content was generated by Russians attempting to usurp the US Woodworking industry. If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share .
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Father Adams Irish Coffee – For St. Patrick’s day (And almost any day!)

–Dedicated to my Late friend, Thomas Adams.

Father Adam’s Irish Coffee Recipe

Irish coffee never appealed to me, until Father Adams himself explained that I was doing it “All Wrong”, and set me on the path to a righteous cup of Irish coffee, like a dram of Irish mother’s milk.

You will need 

Irish Whiskey – Jamesons or equivalent
Irish Cream Liquor – Baileys or any good brand
Fresh brewed coffee, medium roast, without any flavors or adulteration (that means a plain cup of Joe)
Whipped cream – Fresh or from a can
Optional:
Green sugar crystals – for decoration and “sugaring the rim”
Irish coffee Glasses – get a mess of ’em, invite your pals and kinfolk!

Preparation:

Wet the rim of the glass, and either rub green sugar crystals on it, or prepare  without the sugar garnish.

Pour in a shot of Irish whiskey
Pour in a shot of Irish cream liquor
Pour in fresh brewed coffee, filling to about a 1/2″ (one or two fingers) from the top of the glass
Add a dollop of whipped cream to the top
sprinkle some green sugar crystals to add some color.

SERVE AND ENJOY.

Depending on your artistry, cleverness, and sobriety, the measurements are not “exact”, and you are invited to adjust the ingredient mix to your individual taste.  don’t be afraid to add nuts, food coloring (to the whipped cream) and more.  Be creative and enjoy this wonderful beverage!
Image Gallery

I hope to have truly inspired you to create a drinkable dessert which will elevate you to a new level of respect and glory with your peers.   Make yours an Irish Coffee!  -Alan

Thanks for Reading my Blog on Irish coffee!
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