Well, it’s a new month and it’s time to make my 30-day appearance. Be forewarned–no photos today.

Not sure if I made mention of the new furnace that I was forced to purchase in December. Our local utility company switched out the old meters (yes, I have two–a legacy of my house’s multi-family history) with remote-readable meters. When they came in to relight all of the gas appliances, the installer nixed relighting the upstairs furnace (and, yes, I have two furnaces as well). He was very nice about it, even going so far as to show me why he didn’t think it was the best of ideas. Once the furnace burner kicked in, flames started shooting out the front of the unit. Apparently the flames were so starved for oxygen they decided that coming out the front was the best choice. Carbon monoxide concerns aside, it’s amazing the d*** house didn’t burn down. Four days later, it was goodbye to the old unit (inspected in 1970) and hello to the new high-efficiency unit. Considering that the temperature never went below 62 degrees upstairs even in the dead of winter, I think we fared well.

So what has this to do with anything?

Now that the new unit is in place in the basement, adjacent to my shop but separated by a wall, it seemed prudent to consider investing in a dust collection system. It’s one thing to have the dust floating around furnaces that are 40 years old; they’re already disgusting beyond words. It’s another once your wallet has hemorrhaged to the point of issuing a Code Blue; the desire to protect your new investment at all costs wells to the surface. So I find myself in a position that I feel compelled to spend money to save money.

The wainscot up the stairs and trim for one window remains uncompleted. As a result, many hours of wood prep, milling, and construction remain before those projects can be put to bed. Under normal circumstances, I would simply wait until the weather is more cooperative (warmer) but with the holidays over, only one birthday in four remaining, and an impending high school graduation party in May, these delayed projects must be given a higher priority.

Does anyone out there have suggestions regarding or experience with using a dust collection system? It seems relatively straightforward, but oftentimes what seems from the surface to be simple oftentimes turns complicated because of an unpublished learning curve.

Here’s to the next step in the maturation of the wood shop…