Old Age, Old Batteries, New Plans, Orphans, Cold and Moisture

Old Age, Old Batteries, New Plans, Orphans, Cold and Moisture

Old and Older

When Rob quoted the Old Farmer’s Almanac, this reader had something to say about it. – Editor

“That old saying from the Old Farmers Almanac didn’t originate with them because I am over 70 years old and my grandfather used to tell me that one when I was about 10 or 12 years old and he always stated it as being from his grandfather. I don’t think the Old Farmers Almanac is that old.” – Walt Morgan

Don’t be so sure. The Old Farmer’s Almanac was first published in 1792 while George Washington was president. – Editor


“Why would people waste their time and money ordering a 24 dollar box to ship dead batteries when they can go to their local office supply or building store and drop these off without having to spend a dime? Maybe I should start a business recycling junk mail. I could send you a large box for a fee and you pack it and mail it to your local dump.”- Lawrence Dutton

We’re not sure about where you live, but the local office supply and building stores in our area charge for collecting unwanted batteries. For that matter, our local dump charges for putting boxes of junk mail in the landfill. On the positive side, our city government just created a free recycling center for certain items, including computers and CRTs. Perhaps batteries won’t be far behind. In any case, do check both the stores, trash haulers and government in your area for recycling guidelines, since at present, they vary greatly across the country. – Editor

“Home Depot and Lowe’s® both used to have battery recycle boxes, but they have disappeared in recent years. Now it takes a 45-minute drive to get rid of old batteries. This is going to become an increasingly important issue as more and more items become battery-powered.” – R L Hoyle

Workbench Helper Free Plans

“I used this item many years ago and called it the bench donkey. I even got the kids at school to make one so they could take it to work with them.” – Kris Frampton

While most of our letters refer to our most recent issue, some come in a bit late or deal with tangential issues that we feel are nonetheless worth discussing. Here are a brace of such orphan notes. – Editor

Hot Biscuits, No Gravy

“One way to prevent biscuits from absorbing too much moisture and swelling is to store them on top of shop lights.” – LeRoy Johnson

Surface Sanders

“I am intrigued with the Sand Flee but have yet to see any reviews. Do you have any opinion regarding this machine?” – Jack Waddington

We covered the Sand Flee in eZine 204, and also introduced you to the V-Drum sander, a similar though competing machine, in issue 202, in a piece that highlighted the differences between the two. While they appear very similar, they actually work quite differently. – Editor

Bearing Up to Cold

In our last feedback section, Shelley Hays asked what impact cold has on belts, bearings and motors while operating tools in winter in an unheated shop. Someone who understands bearings was kind enough to answer. – Editor

“My day job is for a major bearing manufacturer. The potential problem with low temperatures is not the bearing but the lubricant for the bearing. Single-digit or lower temperatures would mean that for the startup and early run the bearing would be running without lubricant because the oil or grease is too thick. While the bearing is running un-lubricated it is also pushing the stiff lube out of the way of the rolling elements. This can generate enough heat at the contact areas inside the bearing to damage the bearing before the lube warms up and begins actually lubricating. In a larger, lower speed bearing this would be a cumulative effect that would result in a lower than expected life of the bearing. In smaller, high speed applications like a router or dental type handpiece this could be fatal for the bearing on the first use. If speed control option is available, start and run the motor at a very low speed for 10 minutes or so. If not, I believe you are notably reducing the life of the bearing at very low temperatures.” – Larry Giust

Naturally, some folks suggested Shelley bite the bullet and buy a heater for the shop, but even that has its pitfalls. This writer aired a warning about propane shop heaters. – Editor

“Using an unvented propane heater in a shop has a disadvantage. The result of propane combustion is CO2 and H2O. The water vapor will condense on cold machinery and cause rust. I experienced this when my shop was in a non-insulated garage.” – Glenn & Peggy Yingling

Typo Corner

Speaking of moisture, this typo unintentionally reminded us what dew can do to furniture, thus giving us a heyday with this triple homophone: do, due, dew. – Editor

“This furniture will get some extreme weathering dew to salt water”

It also gets water exposure due to morning condensation. – Editor

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