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A few weeks ago, I talked about using a spare paint brush in the shop as a chip brush, but what if the job is somewhat bigger?
I use this big (It's about 18 inches long) bench brush. It's similar to the kind of brush you might get with a dust pan. I got this great wood-handled one at the Harbor Freight. The larger number of bristles yields superior sweeping power, and the larger size enables you to cover more ground with each sweep. The forward rake of the bristles at the nose hels you dig in to get dust and chips out of crevices and slots. I also bought a big metal dust pan, so I can sweep all this waste onto the basement floor, then lift the piles into the trashcan.
Again, some of these mundane tools aren't very exciting, but having them around makes your life happier. A clean shop has more room for getting things done, and less chance of injury. You don't have to spend big bucks on a shop vacuum if you can manually keep mess under control.
Bonus vocabulary word: When you're machining metal, the beautiful and jagged scraps that come flying out are called "swarf".
2010.08.03 at 7:00am EDT
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