Screen and Blind


Screen and Blind:
Chris Grace builds a screen and blind to protect his tools from shavings and dust.

Chris Grace builds a screen and blind to protect his tools from shavings and dust

I can’t count the number of times I have had to clean up the mess on the shelves behind my lathe. In between, every time I pick something off them to use, I have to shake off the shavings and blow off the dust. Not exactly good for a healthy working environment, especially as I have athsma.
I have made progress in reducing dust in my workshop recently with a new extractor and better ducting, now my attention has turned to the biggest dust/shavings trap behind my lathe. The solution suggested
by a friend was a roller blind, however there were some installation challenges posed by no suitable hanging point and an up-and-over garage door. The solution was some more shelves – you can never have too much storage in a workshop, and this provided the perfect mounting point for my roller blind. I chose a light grey, as it would make a good background for me to use to see my woodturning against, instead of the previously cluttered background, and as an added bonus  it would make a perfect photographic backdrop for when I need to take pictures to illustrate articles. An all-round solution! I created a scale drawing to determine how many shelves I could accommodate in the available space, allowing for the garage door opening, and to determine how much timber I needed. 

Information and plans
Tools required
• Chopsaw
• Bandsaw
• Drill
• Screwdriver
• Wood
• Masonary drill bits
• 18mm MDF shelves 80mm, 380 x 2348 x  200mm
• CLS – (Canadian Lumber Standard) or other suitable timber
• Framing
• 8mm dowels
• Screws and wall plugs


1. Cluttered shelves – especially near lathes – that become clogged with shavings and dust every time work is undertaken can be a problem for everyone. The picture shows what had happened in my workshop and I decided it was time to deal with it

2. A series of N-shaped notched supports as shelving supports/brackets were used for this project. They were going to sit on MDF shelving that sits on top of a previous shelving unit – but you could make full rectangular or square version or use wall brackets for your shelving. I used a chopsaw to cut the vertical and horizontal pieces to length to suit my shelving and used a bandsaw to cut the longitudinal and cross-wise notches in the vertical pieces to house and support the horizontal supports. But a chopsaw in conjunction with a depth stop could be used for this process too. In this instance, I chose to use glue and screw to fix the uprights to the horizontal support section and once dry, used dowels to lock the MDF shelving to the supports – but you could use screws. If you use dowels, make a small jig from scraps of MDF to ensure you accurately drill into the middle of your uprights. The shelves can be created from many materials, but MDF – 19mm in this case – is inexpensive and suited my needs well. Build the shelves up alternating the frame pieces, and MDF shelves, using dowels to interlock them, screw the frame to the wall every couple of levels

3. Once the shelves have been constructed you can install the hardware required for the roller blind. Here one of the end supports has been installed on top of the shelf, overhanging slightly, so that the blind will readily extend down in front of the new unit. The roller blind can be installed once the hardware is in place. Ensure that the cord is in the correct position so that the stop prevents the blind being rolled up over the roller, then insert the plastic locking piece to secure it in place

4. The completed shelf unit and roller blind provides more space to store tools, materials and projects in a clean environment. It also provides a much less cluttered view of my work while I am turning and for photographing items


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