A Crafty Solution to Organization

 

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Another handy organizer from Michaels, this is the Recollections desktop carousel.

Clearly intended to suit the needs of crafter’s, this rotating, preassembled organizer may also be useful to scale modellers.

On the plus side, it’s fairly big, with thirteen separate compartments and three small drawers; there’s a lot of capacity available here. On the down side, it may be TOO BIG; at about 35cm in width, it takes up a big chunk of bench space.

Seven of the compartments are too deep for my needs. I’ll cut up some high density styrofoam to make inserts for these deeper compartments. The hooks, label holders, and elastic straps along the outside may serve the needs of some, but I’ll be removing them.

On sale for 60% off at Michaels, this unit only cost me $22 (CDN). Maybe it’s a bit too big. Maybe it’s not a perfect design. Nonetheless, I like having my most needed tools all in one spot, close to where they’re needed. With a little tinkering, I think I can adapt this organizer to work for me.

My review on YouTube

Update: I carried through with my plan of making some of the compartments a bit shallower. Using builder’s styrofoam, I reduced the depth of several compartments by 25 milimetres. I also removed all the hooks and label holders. Now this organizer is a whole lot more useful, and it looks quite a bit tidier too.

Sensing A Presence

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Here’s a handy little device I just installed in my workshop. It’s a Maestro Sensor/Dimmer from Lutron.   Lutron Maestro Sensor/Dimmers

The idea behind this device is simple enough: whenever you enter the room, it automatically brings up the lights. When you leave, it smoothly dims the lights down, then off.

The device’s function is highly customizable. You can vary its sensitivity and program in various timeout adjustments. I have my switch set to maximum sensitivity, maximum light level, and a one minute timeout. I can override the programmed settings, and dim the lights manually or turn them off altogether.

Wiring-in this sensor was no more challenging than installing any regular light switch. Programming it, though, does require having the instructions close at hand. I managed to program my sensor in only a few minutes. Playing with it will take much longer…  🙂

As I’ve mentioned, all my lighting comes from daylight LEDs. The (twenty step) dimmer in this switch is compatible with most LEDs or CFLs, as long as they’re rated for that function. Of course, all my Cree bulbs are rated to work with dimmers, so there’s no buzzing or flickering.

This sensor is just a really nice convenience in the shop. In Canada, they sell for about forty dollars, and I got mine from Home Depot. Highly recommended.

Thoughts About Hobby Room Lighting

As I settle into my new workshop, I’ve been fine-tuning the lighting. I don’t want to sacrifice valuable bench top space to task lights, so I installed a pair of ceiling mounted light fixtures, each fitting three lightbulbs. While rewiring the shop I took care to position the new fixtures where they’d do the most good, casting light where needed, without creating shadows.

I used six daylight balanced 60 watt incandescent bulbs to start with. They produced nice light, but, in my small space, gave off way, way too much heat. The plan always was to install more efficient LED bulbs (I intend to convert all our household lighting to LEDs over the coming months}, so I bought several Cree 11w bulbs.

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I already have about twenty Cree bulbs throughout the house, but this last batch are a newer design. The older version was more efficient, only using 9 watts of energy, but they’re no longer available. This new design is supposed to work better with a dimmer switch, which I intend to use.

On my next visit to Home Depot, I may pick up some 18w daylight Cree LEDs, which are equivalent to 100w incandescents. My thinking is I’ll mix and match 11 and 18w bulbs until I get the perfect light level. It’ll be okay if it’s too bright, because I can dial that back with the dimmer switch. I can have higher light levels for photo and video work, and back it down when I’m just working at the bench.