Thursday, 27 December 2012

New Fan, New Aches but No Toxic Gases

Well I finally got the new fan installed on boxing day. The original plan was for a day off (I've heard of those) and go out, but it seems it's business as usual when OH got called to work instead, so I figured I might as well use the time productively.

I was going to get a boxed acoustic fan, to keep down some of the noise, and know they are quite popular with many lampworkers, although I wanted something with a bit more power. I'd almost settled on one when I came across some reviews on a hydroponics forum, for which many of these fans are made. The reviews were good, but many of the mentioned a TD-Silent being the best and most reliable they'd come across. Price-wise they seemed pretty good for the money too, the one I wanted only had a 19db level too, so took a deep breath and placed my order.

I didn't quite expect something that looked like it had fallen off a military jet! I didn't get around to taking a picture, so here's a quite You-Tube link for those considering one! TD-Silent video

 The one I got has a massive 200mm intake and outlet, so the first job was stripping out the old fan, which it turns out might have needed a bit of a clean!

Old fan from the original cooker hood
 I've kept and used the switches from the original unit, it wasn't until the new fan turned up that I found it has two speed so needed more switches to control it. At the same time I took out the lights (which were in the wrong place so never used) in the cooker hood and just about anything that might block the airflow.

Straight up and into the outside world for you Mr nasty toxic carbon monoxide!

From there it was time to seal up the sides of the chimney. Originally I'd intended to use a big 200mm pipe I'd bought for the job, but since the old cooker extractor had a nice chimney that was nearly the same size I figured it would do just as well. A quick trim of some spare aluminium sheet, then a little duct tape to seal any gaps and holes and the job was nearly done. Or so I thought! A joist was in the way so everything came down so I could move the whole canopy over just 3 inches!

Shiny! There really is only one exit, but the mirror inside of the chimney makes it look like three!
After another hour or so of clambering around in dark and dirty, and very uncomfortable, spots to get a small bend of flexible tube attached and sealed, the job was really finished. It's not a very tidy or as neat looking as I'd wanted (I went a bit overboard with the duct tape!) and needs a bit of trunking to hide away the leads. It is quiet though, and a quick test with an incense stick showed even on low power it whisked it away with no problems. On high power I barely even saw the smoke leave the incense stick, it was just gone! Not as quiet as I thought, there is quite a rush of noise from the air moving, however when stepping just a few feet away I could hardly hear it, a huge improvement on the low rumble the old one used to generate.

Needs a bit of a clean, but despite the bodging it has nearly doubled the amount of air this old cooker extractor hood can remove
I'd expected it to take two days to get everything in place, so was pleased to get it done, despite the odd set-back, in a day. However today I've woken up with so many aching muscles and bruises I've got hardly anything done, thus getting chance to sit and blog, so maybe my original schedule was right after all!

I still am not sure if I'll be back to Greenwich between now and new year, I am sure I'll get around to a break sometime in the next few weeks if not! I hope you have all head a great Xmas, and may I be the first to wish you all a happy 2013!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Put a chimney on it

I can't believe I've not even got Xmas over with, and I am already planning next year!

Ducting (centre) and one of the pair of Oxycons I use behind (right). Top left is one of the kilns I use.
The last few weeks have been quite busy, and I've still hardly managed to get my Etsy shop up and running again, but, fingers crossed, I hope to start working on that again in the dark days of winter. I am not sure if I will take a few weekends off in January yet, even if I do there won't be any let up as I've signed up for another big sci-fi festival in March!
I am getting used to the bench looking this untidy!

 This time it's Birmingham NEC on 16 &17th March for the joint MCM Expo & Memorabilia festival. If that goes well I'll hope to book for the one later in the year as well, not to forget the two London MCM shows as well! I'm already confirmed for the 24-26th May. Plus of course most weekends at Greenwich, which as you may/maynot have heard is now NOT being redeveloped, instead they are going to repair the roof and fix some of the cobbles to make them a little bit easier to walk and stand on - especially good for those who get to stand there for 9 hours or so!

Amongst all this I also need to do some work on the workshop space. Yesterday I took delivery of a new oxycon (for those who don't know what that is, it's an ex-medical oxygen concentrator that takes oxygen out of the air to help boost the flame I use.) After a few initial problems once I got it up and running I realised just how wheezy the oldest one I use had become, I use two paired together, already I am noticing how much hotter the flame is.

 The other job is also to upgrade the extractor fan as I've never been very happy with how well it works. I already have one part of the new chimney, a 200mm diameter steel pipe and connectors, and  I am just waiting for the fan and final parts. At the same time as installing that I'll take the opportunity to have a bit of a spring clean, put up a few shelves for jars of powered and crushed glass, and maybe even organise some better racking for glass rods.

Somewhere amongst all this I'll be trying to get plenty of new pendants and marbles made for the Expos, Etsy shop and Greenwich stall, plus I have a few sculpture projects I've been wanting to find time to have a go at. They say there is no rest for the wicked, but I certainly don't remember ever being so wicked to have earnt so much to do!