Building a Thien Baffle

For a while now I’ve been meaning to play with making a Thien Baffle for my garage workshop. The motivation is that whilst I have a quite nice 3HP dust extractor (for those in the market for such a thing — don’t spend $1,400 with some retailers — I am super happy with my $500 unit from Leda Machinery), I want to keep the number of times I change the bags to a bare minimum. I see the dust extractor as a way of controlling potentially dangerous very fine dust, whereas some of the machines in my workshop create a lot of very large shavings — the thicknesser seems like the most obvious culprit here. It would be cool to divert these larger shavings into a bin where I can just use them as garden mulch, and then save the dust extractor bags for the fine and more dangerous dust.

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Dirty wheel rims

It turns out that it basically doesn’t rain in California in the summer (or so I am assured by the people at work), so now that the weather is nice again I have been riding to work at lot more. I am suffering from a problem I hadn’t considered though, mainly because I normally only ride on paved surfaces.

About 10% of my work commute is across a car park with dirt roads, and they are producing a lot of dust. Apart from making the bike dirty (which isn’t so bad), the wheel rims are being coated in enough dust for there to be noticeable abrasion noises when I brake after the dirt road stretch of my ride.

This must be a common problem for mountain bikes, so, what should I do about it? I imagine that at worst it’s shortening the life of my rims marginally, but I’m not massively concerned as my current rims are cheap ones anyway. Apart from wiping the rims down each evening, is there anything else I can and should be doing?