What should I do tomorrow?

I have tomorrow to myself and my hobbies, and I decided to try a poll to see what I should do.

#1 I have a LASER attached to the LR, but I haven’t gone through tuning it. I need a monday garfield on a cereal box!
#2 I could cut some LR2 plates and start printing parts for the upgrade. I also need to design and/or build a smaller table.
#3 I’ve been cleaning out the shed because I had some mice decide they needed the space more than me, so I would keep cleaning that up and hopefully start on my table saw build. This is the current state of that design:
[attachment file=“screenshot-2019-02-21-1550772604.png”]
But before I start on that, I need to make sure the mice are 100% gone, including their mess.
#4 There are several issues in sandify that could use some of my help, and I just haven’t had the energy or time in the evenings. I could spend the day getting some of these knocked out.

Alright hive, Make My Day!

What’s your current bottleneck? That’s the way I’d approach it.

Having said that, getting rid of rodents would be hard to put off…

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I voted before reading through your whole post. I’d tackle the biological problem first, as that’s the only one that will get worse over time.

Then, if there’s extra time, do what will bring you the most joy, after cleaning up mouse turds, you deserve it.

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I don’t really have any bottlenecks, beside this pesky career and children asking for food all the time. My projects are all focused on making it more pleasant to work on my projects. This is all an escape from stress for me.

The rodents are passed the point where they are getting worse (I think). I closed up some holes, and I cleaned out most of the shed. I have a few cabinets in there that I looked in and didn’t see anything, but I will probably pull all of that out, just to make sure. Then there’s the question of if I should paint in there after I clean it out, which would be a lot of work, but make it feel cleaner and make it easier to see new mice mess. I hate painting, so I’d probably pull absolutely everything out, and just spray everywhere like Al Pacino at the end of Scarface.

For those with strong stomachs, I found three nests. One was behind a cabinet, which I was going to remove anyway. Two were up in the “attic” which is a 8x10 area above a ceiling (the shed is 16x10). I keep long boards there and something had brought in a bunch of dried up apples (we have an apple tree). These nests had a bunch of mouse poop, a bunch of leaves, anything that was paper in the shed (including sand paper) and 2-3 pieces of larger poop. And one rabbit’s foot (I don’t need good luck that bad). My theory is that something like a squirrel brought in the apples, then the mice moved in. Then something ate the mice (and made the bigger poops). I’m guessing a snake, but that’s just because I’m not that creative. There’s still a lot that isn’t solved, but since I plugged the holes and installed traps, I haven’t seen any new poop or things in the traps.

Kids are like that … once you start feeding them you will never be able to stop. Or at least not until they grow up, move out and start getting hungry enough to try feeding themselves. :slight_smile:

A cat can be real good at keeping the mice down to a workable limit, though not fully to zero. If they dropped to zero you’d have to start in with the cat just like you had to with the kids.

My weekend project, assuming the snow doesn’t hit early, is likely to be getting the new live center chuck in the lathe, so I can chuck both ends of a pool cue butt. I’ve got a junque cue that I’m going to experiment with before I try anything with a good one. I’m hoping to test for what is the finest grit sandpaper I can use for cleaning off old finish without digging much into the wood. The junque cue is too big around at the butt, so lets me do a bunch of minor mistakes while potentially still working as a player when I get it done and down to size. I still have to get my steady rest drawn up so I can cut it out before I can do the rest of the cue work I want though.

While it’s snowing I’ll work on the design of my MPCNC-Lathe project. It has grown since I started and now includes a cue wrap installer and a inlay cutter as well as the base CNC lathe (I think I can have two different places to chuck up, so only one set of electronics). I’ll use Y for the inlay rotation and for the slow turn for wrapping and add a fourth axis for moving the linen thread spool to match the slow rotate. Still got to figure out how I’m going to tension the thread while wrapping…

Our neighbors had a cat they let out every once in a while and it liked my shed. They moved though, so that’s probably part of the problem.

No way am I getting a barn cat for the shed though. I am not really a cat person. They would probably want other food, and want to not be outside overnight when it’s 15F. They would probably poop somewhere, and I’m back where I started. I just need to buy my neighbors a cat.

As you know I am in Colorado as well. My housing development is bordered on two sides by huge empty fields. You know the kind full of Prairie dogs, mice and snakes. Yeah I was using traps for the first 3 years. I had 9 traps I would set daily. I was killing an average of 6 mice a day constantly for months on end. Especially in the colder months. I kept thinking it would eventually get better but it never did. Then I switched to poison. I have kids and pets so I have to use the safety houses so the mice go in get a last meal then leave. MUCH better. A lot less work and now when I see mouse droppings they are few and far between. Side note. I also have chickens. I have seen the Chickens chase, capture, kill and eat mice. Yeah! Crazy!

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So I should build a chicken coop as well?

I haven’t seen any mice in the house (knock on wood). I had about a 3" hole in the wall where I ran the extension cords through. I covered that (with two split boards so it hugs the cables), and I added another latch to the door to keep the thing shut tighter. I found another hole in one of the corners where the frames didn’t quite meet up, and there was a wiggly path wider than 1/4". I shoved some scrap wood down there and banged it into place with a hammer to get a tight fit.

I tried one of the matthias wandel traps, the bucket of water with a pop can on top with sunflower seed butter on it (we have a person here with peanut allergies). I saw some teeth marks in the sunbutter, but the water had frozen. So I added a bunch of ice salt, and I haven’t seen any activity since. I went ahead and bought a couple of traps and baited those, and they haven’t moved either. I probably need to rebait them.

But I think something got in and ate them. If they come back, how much to borrow a chicken or two? Are the trained to stay off of the table saw?

Well, if you need to feed the kids, then clearly you need to do garfield monday cereal box first. Once they are getting their daily ration of fiber, the rest of the day is yours :slight_smile:

Other than that, I agree with the others - take care of the squatters first. If the weather isn’t conducive to outside work for cleaning up the shed, then you’ve got the option to work on sandify in the comfy confines of your house.

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I feel like a nicely adjusted laser could take care of a few mice… 2 birds, 1 stone.

Plus I am getting ready to dial in my new JTech 2.8W laser, so I’d love to learn from your experience!

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Great Stuff foam has foam that has a bitterent in it. It’s made to keep mice and other burrowing critters out. I’ve been using it in the house anywhere I find mice have been traveling. So far they haven’t come back through the foam. I need to start using it in the barn. I used a bunch of the pond foam because it’s black and doesn’t show up in the timbers as much, but I found that mice will burrow through the stuff.

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I’ll second the cat.

Barn cats != house cats. A barn cat may need additional food put down, but they’ll use the bathroom in the yard, so nothing to clean up there.

Our house cat spends about half her time outside. We don’t have a rodent problem. She’s barely a house cat in that I can pet her, but the kids are afraid of her.

Good luck with your plans for the day.

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I got some surprise conference calls today, but I’m freeing up. It snowed last night, it’s overcast, and it’s 20F outside, but you guys said to tackle the shed! I’ll put on some long underwear and head out, hopefully I make it an hour and come back in for some more coffee and some laptop work (TS design or sandify work, probably).

Thanks for the help you guys/gals, that was a fun day of cleaning out the shed. It’s a lot of hard work to do. Everything is hard, cold, and dusty, but I think I crossed over the threshold today. I cleaned from top to bottom and front to back. If there’s any more mouse poop in there, I’d be shocked.

If there’s any more mouse poop in there I am going to Great Stuff Foam seal everything like Barry said. And add some poison like Aaryn said.

Here are some more pictures from today:

The “Attic” before:

The “workbench” before:

The thermostat (still broken):

One half after:

Door side after:

Attic after:

There aren’t any good hiding places on the floor. The loose tools are in those boxes (one is vacuum stuff I haven’t installed yet and one is random things that probably don’t belong in the shed). I cleaned out the table saw, completely cleaned and moved the bench, threw away a ton of crap and some more crap.

I have some more of the table saw stand designed I just need to figure out the wheels, and I think I already have all the material. :slight_smile:

[attachment file=“screenshot-2019-02-22-1550878625.png”]

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With all these moving boxes and stuff in two places I am sooooo envious of anything being tidy! There was (past tense I hope) a rodent problem in my new shed as well. I need to get in there and clean it up. That shop seems like a pretty good size, it would be cool to roll stuff out into the lawn on a nice day and work in the sun.

It’s 16x10. It should be nice and big, but it always has felt cramped. About a week ago I got rid of some cabinets and that has helped.

It would be awesome to have a little patio outside the door. There is a sort of beer garden feel right outside with the trees and gravel. The ground goes up though, so I’d need to dig, I guess to get it flatter.

Well, that is better than working outside, a fantastic place to take a break from working.

Some updates on the TS table. I’ve gotten a little away from the CAD, but I think it’s for the best. The biggest trouble I’ve had is actually figuring out how to move it into place, since the saw hangs from the top. Anyway…

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I first got the top rails cut and the joints cut. Those seem good. I think they won’t be enough supoort for the outfeed. I will add some supoort. I am going to find a way to get the router to cut the rabbet for the sheets.

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I build a solid base and this is super sturdy on some serious wheels. I think I am ready for the saw. It’s been hard, since I need the saw intact to make the stand.

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These vertical support pieces are from a 2x12 I used as a temporary workbench, so I’m happy it’s getting incorporated here.

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This side is made from LSL, or LAM, or something. I like the looks and I like how stable it is.

The little chamfer detail, love.

I also found out that these 5/16" 2" bolts that I have approx. 1M of can be used to attach these casters amd thread right into the wood with an appropriate predrill.

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Just predrill and then use an impact driver to drive them in. IDK if they would hold up after multiple attempts, but I won’t be removing these anytime soon.