Dust Collection: Our Favorite Articles
It’s easy to think of dust collection as a “nice to have.” After all, sweeping up sawdust with a broom works to keep the shop clean, and you don’t mind being covered in sawdust after being in the shop all day. However, the more time you spend in your shop, the more likely it is to become a “must have.” In fact, dust collection has become less about a clean shop and more about safety. Not only does proper dust collection keep sawdust off the floor, it keeps it out of the air, and in turn, out of your lungs and out of your eyes.
The articles found in this collection cover all facets of dust collection–from finding the right dust collector to getting the most out of your current collector, from organizing your shop for efficient dust collection to designing a ductwork system.
Collecting and exhausting dust at its source, before it reaches you, is the most efficient way to deal with wood dust. That’s why woodworking machines—from tablesaws to disk sanders—come with exhaust hoods or ports. “A typical exhaust hood,” industrial hygienist Richard Supples of Applied Improvement Technologies in Shelton, Conn., explains, “creates a capture velocity and effectively ‘grabs’ the dust particle and transports it through a duct/filter away from the worker.”
by Asa Christiana
This article offers a number of tips on setting up a rigid-duct system for home woodshops. Large-diameter, smooth-walled rigid ducting generates less friction than flexible corrugated hose and brings powerful suction to every power tool in the shop. Upgrading to a solid-duct system isn’t cheap—adding it to a 600-sq.-ft. shop could cost more than $1,000. And it might take a few days to put it all together. But when it’s done, you’ll be putting more dust in the collector and less in your lungs.
by Randall Shuh
Everyone agrees that wood dust is a danger, but not everyone can afford the best solution, a cyclone dust collector with state-of-the-art filtration. So what do you do for more budget-friendly protection? Add a better filter and a separator or internal baffle to your single-stage collector. Better filters will filter the finest dust, keeping your airways cleaner, and a separator or baffle will trap the majority of dust before it reaches the filter, so you won’t have to stop and unclog it as often.
by Bill Peck and Asa Christiana
A dust collector performs an urgent and challenging task in the woodshop–it keeps the dust and chips produced by woodworking machines out of the air, off your tools and floor, and as a result, out of your lungs. This article aims to take the mystery out of choosing between a single-stage collector and two-stage cyclone collector. Both types will do the job if connected to the right setup of hoses and ducts. A test of the capacity of each type of collector gives guidelines on which type of system will best suit your needs, and gives suggestions for laying out ductwork in your shop.
by Steve Scott
The trouble with wood dust is that the most dangerous particles—the very fine ones—are the most difficult to collect. Under 10 microns in size, they hang longest in the air, penetrate deepest into the lungs, and are the hardest for the body to eject. Our corner of the woodworking world has been slow to tackle the problem of adequate dust collection, but more and more manufacturers are getting serious about the subject, and effective solutions are now available for every size shop. Learn the differences among the cyclone, the single-stage dust collector, and the shop vacuum, how to choose the right filter, and how to use a dust separator to make your system the best it can be.
by Asa Christiana