Microclene MC1000

Just had an MC1000 Microclene Air Filtration unit arrive for me to evaluate from Microclene. It will be interesting to see what it can achieve, particularly compared to my current ‘shop air filtration unit.

With a 100W motor, it can pass a 1000 cubic metres of air per hour through the unit for filtering, and when compared to the current unit I have, it is significantly more compact, creates about the same amount of noise, filters to 95% 1 micron, 65% 0.4 micron (cf 100% 5 micron and 85% 1 micron). They both process about the same amount of air (1000 vs 1100 cubic metres/hr)

How much better the 0.4 micron filtering is will be interesting – it is in the range of wood smoke particles (0.2 – 3 micron), although my current CHF-1000 doesn’t have a certified rating below 1 micron to compare it. (A micron is 1/1000000th of a metre, or 1/25400th of an inch.  You generally cannot see particles smaller than 40 micron)  When particles get below 1 micron in size, they can take days, or even years to settle in a quiet atmosphere.  In a turbulent one, they can remain permanently airborne.


Guess that means I would be 100% safe from Anthrax, asbestos would be rendered “Mostly Harmless” (to quote Douglas Adams) and radioactive fallout would be diminished.

The 5 Faces of Woodworking

The Tattooed Woodworker makes some interesting observations in his classification of woodworkers.

Where do I fit? I guess with a hint of regret, I’d have to fit into slot number 1. Almost my sum total of woodworking involves murdering electrons, with just a few scant visits to “The Dark Side” (or as Rob calls them less controvertially, “The Purists”).

I don’t deliberately avoid handtools, and in fact those that take pride-of-place in my workshop (or will when I build the Krenov-inspired cabinet when on the Ideal Tools course) are all handtools that “The Purists” would be very happy with – HNT Gordon planes, Chris Vesper’s marking knife (I really need some more of his tools I think) etc.

What is interesting for me, is how I evolved to this point where I can and do pretty much every single task in woodworking with some form of (typically) large machine, yet I seem to crave the purity of hand tools, without having the time to do anything about it.  Not that I regret the path chosen – I am a mechanical/materials engineer in practice and thought, if not by vocation.  I enjoy mastering machines, and all that comes with the ability to precisely process a material, be that wood or steel. (Aluminium doesn’t rate – horrible stuff that doesn’t have the decency to burn, or melt properly!)  But I do look at the hand tool purists with a sense of loss – there is a skill set there that I am sadly lacking, and I’m not sure what is blocking me from going there – time perhaps, a desire for precision, who knows.  A rough-cut dovetail doesn’t evoke the same reaction in me as it does for some, but when watching a real artisan produce a drawer with handtools that is so precise that it can hardly close properly because of the cushion of air behind it that becomes compressed keeps me enthrawled.

Have a think about it, particularly against Rob’s list – where do you choose to fit as a woodworker, and why, or how did you get to the point that you are?

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