Friday, May 24, 2019

Tool Rules Shop Sign Scroll Saw Pattern.

Funny 8" X 10" shop tool sign. You will probably want to use 1/4" Baltic birch plywood for this sign. It is eight inches wide and ten inches tall. 

This pattern will also work well for the laser cutter folks out there. It can be cut from 1/4" or 1/8" BB ply and glued to the backer board. 

Same old sob story:

I know I sound like a broken record but I am way behind on email again. I really should not say "again". I should say "still behind". I apologize to any of you who have not received a reply. I am working on replying to as many as possible. Thanks for your patience.

Keeping cool in my Shop: 

How hot is it?
It's so hot that the chickens are laying boiled eggs.

How hot is it?
It's so hot that I renamed my pet pig, Bacon.

Okay, I know there are some of you who think 87F is mild weather but when I work on my shop I want it closer to 70F. Luckily my two car garage workshop is pretty well insulated so it rarely gets over 90F inside.

I work in my shop year round and it is not heated or cooled. I have to rely on kerosene for heat and a portable air conditioner for cooling. I occasionally receive an email asking how I cool my shop. I talked about this a few years ago but this is kind of an update.

Amazon Link 

There are no windows in my shop. Even if there were, my neighborhood association rules do not allow window air conditioners. I tried to get by with fans for a few years but it was miserable for three or four months out of the year. I needed AC.

I got creative and installed a portable AC by cutting holes in the side door for the hoses(picture below). Other than two vent covers on the outside of the door you do not see it from the outside. This works great for me but there are issues to deal with.

When I installed the first AC in 2011 I purchased a 13,000 BTU single hose unit. I have about 360sf to cool. It worked fair but struggled on really hot days. If it were 90F I could get the shop down to maybe 75F if I never turned the AC off. Single hose units are just not very efficient. I do not recommend them for a tough environment like a garage.

I think it was around 2014 or 15 I purchased a dual hose 14,000 BTU unit and it worked great. Keep in mind that my shop is fairly well insulated for a garage shop. Without insulation on the garage door, I'm not sure this would work very well.

The next issue is wood dust. I have to clean out the filter weekly. Once a year I completely strip the AC unit and clean off the evaporator coils. It is full of dust at that point. Dust kills these AC units eventually. It looks like I can get four or five years before I need to replace the unit.

This year I had to replace the unit I purchased in 2014/15. That unit cost me around $400 so I consider that a good investment for four or five years of cool.

I replaced it with a Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU dual hose unit. I purchased it from Amazon and it arrived today. I paid $479.99 with free prime shipping. I wanted to buy locally but no one carried dual hose units in their store. Everyone wants you to order and have them delivered.

It arrived in good condition and took me only a few minutes to install. Of course, I already had the hoses and vents installed. All I had to do was connect the hoses and plug it in.

None of these portable AC units get great overall reviews. I think people often buy units that are too small for the area they are trying to cool. This Whynter ARC-14S has a rating of 4/5 stars on Amazon with over 1,800 reviews. It is rated to cool 500sf but that is inside the house with good insulation. Not going to happen in a garage. 

4/5 stars are just about as good as it gets for a portable AC unit. I had also researched other reviews and just decided to give this one a try.

When I turned it on it was 87F outside. In the shop, it was 82F. Within 30 minutes it was at 69F. This unit cools the space quicker than the last dual hose unit. The last unit would have probably stopped at about 72F. That is not bad but hopefully, this unit will handle the few 95F+ days we have better. 

When the thermometer stays above 85F outside I leave the unit running 24hrs. I know this is inefficient but this is my business and I am in and out of the shop several times a day. I just consider the extra $ on the electric bill a business expense.  

I am not suggesting this solution will work for everyone. There are several factors to consider when trying to cool an indoor environment. In my environment, it has worked out well. I only have two minor problems that I have not overcome.

The noise is a problem when I am recording a video in the shop. I have to turn it off when the video camera is on. Not a big problem unless it is very hot.

My shop runs off of two breakers. There are some tools that cannot be turned on if they are on the same breaker as the AC unit. Again, not a big problem but it is something to consider.

$12 per sheet of 12 coins plus $3.50 shipping
Inlay with a 1" Forstner Bit.
The perfect way to sign your work.

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