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The Ultimate Disaster...Well Almost


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I just did the dumbest thing in the history of rodmaking, and need to share it so it will never happen to you.

My shop is in my basement, and the ceiling was sagging. I hired a contractor to put in a steel beam. They told me that they would have to chip out some of the concrete for support posts. My reason for hiring them was that I did not want to spend the summer doing the project, and wanted to devote more time to fishing and rodmaking. One of the assistants decided that it was going to slow, and brought in an industrial saw to cut holes in the concrete floor for the new footers. I was away at the time, but by the time I got back, it looked like someone had taken about 100 pounds of flour and blown it all over the basement. And of course, I had not put away a single tool. My copy of Garrison was on the bench, and the dust was so thick you could not read the title. Bottom line is that every tool, jar, reel seat, plane blade, and saw is covered with the stuff. I have been using the shop vac with a Hepa filter, but  everything is going to have to be hand washed to get rid of it. It would not have done any good to put the tools in cabinets- even things in cabinets and bins were covered with a fine layer.

The contractor was pretty upset and promised to clean it all up. I was pretty nice about it, and he later admitted that he thought that he was going to be sued (never crossed my mind). I think he will make good on the promise, but it will be a long time before I get the courage to dip rods. And it will take me until the end of June to get it all cleaned up.

I should have moved as much stuff as possible out of the area, and should have asked them about dust. It never occurred to me that it could end up like it did. I expected some dust and dirt, but not the flour mill treatment. Of course, when this is all over I am installing a dust control system, and I will have the best finishes ever because the entire basement will be vacuumed then washed down. But not for a long time, and not without many hours of work.

I nominate myself as official heir to the throne currently occupied by Bob Nunley.  (Jeff Schaeffer)

    Nah, not even close to a Nunley-ism!  You didn't even get injured (yet)!   (Todd Talsma)

      I don't know Todd.  That clean up would probably scar me for life.  Maybe Jeff will fare better.  (Ed Riddle)

    You're a braver man than I am.  I did something very similar, only didn't tell anyone. <G>

    My shop joins our carport.  It's 6' x 18', and the ceilings are 8 feet high.  In Louisiana, there's no such thing as a basement.  Dig down about 8 feet, and you hit water almost everywhere in the entire state.

    My dip apparatus sits in one corner of the shop, housed in 12" pvc pipe much like the one in Wayne's book.  With only 8' of clearance, the longest 2 piece rod I could make was 7'6", and that was touchy.  Soooooo..... I decided to drill a 1.5" hole for the varnish tube in the concrete floor.  Borrowed a friend's hammer drill, and got busy.  I've never seen so much dust in my life!  It was just like you describe from drilling only one hole, 8" deep, in the concrete.  I ran the shop vac for several hours, and ran the room-sized hepa filter for weeks. 

    First dipping afterwards went fine.  There is hope.  (Harry Boyd)

    But, Jeff…it only counts as a “Nunley” if you actually do it yourself. You were the victim so that doesn’t really count!  (Bob Maulucci)

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