One Thing Leads to Another

And another.

I often find myself looking back, and seeing just how many decisions and events that lead to others, the culmination of which leads to the present moment/situation etc.

For example, after completing a degree in Engineering (Mechanical) at Auckland University, I decided for a range of obscure reasons (and some not as obscure) to join the military.  I was aiming for pilot in the RNZAF, and did exceptionally well in the initial tests.  At the same time, I put in an application for the Army (not sure why).  I can’t quite remember when I put in an application for the Navy – it was either at the same time, or after getting home and thinking about it then did so the next day.  Either way, I really wasn’t considering the Navy seriously – months at sea didn’t seem to be me.  But I applied anyway, with the idea that the application would be good practice for the airforce application.

The Army fell through, and sadly so did the Airforce (something about them not having a pilot intake that year or something).  However the Navy snapped me up, particularly given I already had a BE (Mech).

The Navy lead to spending a lot of time in Melbourne with the ANZAC ship project, and on leaving, I decided for some reason, to move to Melbourne.  One thing lead to another, and here I remain, with a wife, child, and a mortgage.  And a shed.  If all these events hadn’t lined up in just a particular way, we wouldn’t be here now.  That is just one example, and I guess we all have such stories.

I was out in the shed this afternoon, and again a “one thing leading to another” moment became apparent.  I decided to modify the router table.

Looking back, and again those dominoes lined themselves up ready to be knocked over.

The Torque Workcentre is an obvious one – the size of it took over a fair corner of the shed, resulting in the requirement to remove the original router table, which I then incorporated into my TWC.

Domino two is the bandsaw, and the way I originally oriented the router end on the TWC was fine with the 14″ bandsaw, but became somewhat more cramped with the 19″

Number three was the arrival in the drive of the 3.5m TWC for me to assess.  A few quick tweaks and it ran like a dream, and looking over its magnificent length, I became enamored with all that extra capacity (an extra metre longer than my table), and I went looking at the shed in the offchance it would actually fit.  It won’t (damn), although I saw that a 3m table would potentially do so, but I would loose access to that end of the table, and therefore the router table.  I began thinking about how I might rejig things if I did, and so the seeds for rotating the router table were sown.

The last domino, which tipped the whole lot over was the cyclone duct collector.  Given its overall height, it wasn’t suitable to fit under the TWC (the machine it will primarily be used on, as well as the Festools), so up at one end was the next best, again blocking the router table.  One thing had lead to another, and I found myself rotating the table around.  It then also gave me the opportunity to extend it back to being 5 tablesaw wings – a good chunk of cast iron!  In the meantime, I had found the orientation I had the router table meant it was less accessible than I’d want for what I regard as a primary shop machine, and by turning it towards the front, this also got addressed.

Everything clicked into place after that – the Incra was secured via a couple of bolts through holes drilled in the top. I’ve lost some range, but only with the TWC where it is.  If I need more router table range, I can switch it around the the old securing points, or simply pull the TWC further away from the wall.

The router table fence is not encroaching on the TWC as much, and although I have sacrificed about 700mm of the overall TWC range, I can get this back if ever needed.  The dust extraction (that is now coupled into the cyclone) also plugs directly into the router table fence, like it was made for it.

So another of a long list of refinements, as the shed slowly conforms to my will.

The cyclonic culprit

New Router Table Orientation

Note the extra length of the router table – 5 tablesaw wings.

Dust extraction from router table fence (to cyclone)

Same dust extraction coupled to the TWC

The slow-assembly of a TWC

Finally, this is just a photo of the TWC I am currently assembling (and documenting for the new assembly and operation manual I am writing).  Finished drilling the holes for the top (not secured down).

Cleaned up all the MDF with the cyclone – very effective!  My only criticism that is coming to light is the top of the unit.  It seems to be made from too-thin a material as it gets sucked down very easily, not enough to break the seal, but more of a deflection than I would have thought acceptable.  Would have though it would have been made strong enough to resist the vacuum generated by a standard small shop vac.

So with one thing leading to another, who knows where the current steps will fit into another bigger picture!

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