Brad Primeau

It would be easy to say same o’, same o’, but that is not the case. Yes, we are still not open but the delay gives the maintenance team and volunteers time to continue working on a number of things that will benefit the membership. Before we talk about what is being worked on, a few words about the work the contractor is performing is in order.

The holdup continues to be the dust collection system. The problem of sawdust collection and buildup of sawdust on some of the hopper flanges appears to be mostly resolved. The contractor eliminated the flanges by creating a smooth round shaped exit opening instead of the square, ribbed unit that was on the hopper before. Collection efficiency seems to have improved as well and an hourly barrel check will probably continue until we have some history using the system.

The amount of sawdust embedded in the filters has also been improved. It appears since the sawdust does not buildup on the inside of the hopper the filter air pulsing/cleaning system seems to be clearing the filters. It may be the filters will not have to be cleaned like they are at Rolling Acres. Time will tell. Regardless of the outcome the manufacturer recommends total replacement of the filters after 3-6 months of use. That is something that will have to be determined when the shop is operating normally.

So, what is the holdup? It’s having to lift a 55-gallon drum of sawdust and dump it into a 39-gallon plastic bag. It’s not lifting a 55-steel drum that is the problem ha, ha it’s getting into the plastic bag - NOT - the whole process is something a member would want to do!! The metal drums are something the system was designed to use for fire/explosion control. The Villages considers using plastic drums something that impacts the ability of the system to contain the sudden ignition of sawdust and the sudden expansion and pressure of igniting sawdust. If that were to occur the water/fire control system built into the system would also start up and drench the fire.

What is being done about it? The first Village recommended was not acceptable. Although Richard Peirce, our VP, recommended several options the one the Villages selected was not acceptable to Rik and others in the maintenance department. In a follow-on email Richard provided detailed recommendations which were accepted by the Villages. The contractor is buying the parts, most of which are off the shelf. Installation should begin in the near future.

A hoist system projecting from the wall between collection systems one and two is being installed. It will lift the barrel and allow it to be gradually dumped into a container holding a plastic bag. The tipping can be controlled so the sawdust doesn't suddenly dump out. After the barrel is dumped it can be lowered to the ground and be used again or kept for later use. After the bag is filled it can be put in the dumpster for disposal.

Several barrels will be provided so they can be switched out to keep the system so the system can be turned on without having to wait for the dumping process to be completed. The dumping system should be something most members will be able to use safely.

Enough about the dust collection system. So far seventy-three member storage cabinets are almost complete and in-place. Lock sets are being installed in the front of the administrative offices and the break room. Legs for the break room table have been carved on the CNC and are being assembled, cabinets for the carvers are being built, shrink wrap dispensers were also designed using V-Carve and cut on the on the CNC.

Last but not least, Dave Makarewicz has almost finished installing the power needed to startup our new/old welding rig. Jake Harris, a member of the maintenance team brought an older/used unit back to life and for the first time the club will have the capability to MIG, TIG and stick weld most anything.

That’s all for now and hopefully the next report will detail the opening of Brownwood.