The discussion today was a continuation of the dust collection information from April 2022.
Jerry has a small shop where floor space is at a premium, so his usual system is the best way to collect dust: with a broom and dustpan, which he’s quite qualified to use.
How do you get rid of sawdust? The trash seems the most common place. Some people have used chips in horses’ stalls, but some woods are toxic. Some recycle into gardens, but not walnut since it’s dangerous for plants. A
vendor at the Farmer’s Market collects plain chips (no pine) and makes compost that he sells at the market.
A dustpan with a long handle makes the job of picking up chips easier. (Such as the ‘quickie jobsite jumbo dustpan with handle’ at Amazon)
Jerry has attached a Rigid vacuum cleaner to a cyclone system as the basis for his dust collection system when using his lathe. He made the counter on casters with PVC pipe for the legs.
He uses headphones for ear protection from the noise.
The white panel that collects dust from the lathe was made by forming plastic coated cardboard which was attached to the hose of the cyclone system. A piece of wood was turned to fit between the hose and PVC to attach the funnel in the panel to the hose.
The hardest part was attaching the pieces together, but lots of duct tape helped with that.
Sucking objects into the dust collector system is a problem. Bruce has placed a wire basket inside the funnel to catch larger items such as sandpaper, pencils, paper towels, rulers, etc. and keep them from going into the duct. This was a shampoo holder that he’d found at Bed, Bath and Beyond that was the right size for the opening. Another member had taped a plastic mesh bag from oranges to the outside of the funnel to catch large items. It was decided that a strainer wouldn’t have large enough holes to be useful and would affect the air pressure in the system.
The panel is mounted on a stand that allows movement up and down or closer to the lathe as needed. There isn’t a lot of suction in the system, but it keeps most of the dust from going into the air. It’s functional and provides a backsplash for CA and stain occasionally.
Another member stated that he uses a broom and dust pan to sweep up larger pieces from the floor before using his Rigid vacuum cleaner, which has a HEPA filter, to vacuum the rest of the sawdust. The motor is undersized in his dust collector but it does collect finer particles when sanding.
Using an air filtration system, broom and dust pan, and cleaning on a frequent basis are better for health and breathing.
An inexpensive way to build a filtration system that is often used in schools is the Corsi-Rosenthal box. This is a cube made from furnace 20X20 filters around a fan. Instructions and information can be found at https://cleanaircrew.org/box-fan-filters/. A member recently made one for around $100 to filter and reduce the pollen in his house.
Another member mentioned that a shower curtain helps collect material when wet sanding with resin. He hoses it off to clean it.
Jerry has an Oneida dust collection system connected by 7” pipe that narrows to a 6” pipe using Ys and elbows to connect the system. Parts of it were custom made by Empire Metals of Phoenix. Flex hoses run to the machinery in his shop. A 4” hose is connected to a funnel by his bandsaw. He empties the Dust Deputy in his system weekly.
A shower curtain is hung from the ceiling behind his lathe. It contains the dust and keeps heavy debris from being thrown beyond the area.
A shop vac and Dust Deputy are effective dust collectors in Jerry’s shop. He also has a fan with a filter near the lathe that he runs the whole time he’s turning at the lathe. This photo also shows where Jerry keeps his tools and some of the organization in his 20’X24’ shop.
The fire extinguisher for safety reasons and the wall phone were noticed by all. The landline phone will work for emergencies if power is out or cell
phone service is unavailable.
This view is from the back side of the lathe. The pipe on the left is attached by Ys to tubing and blast gates are used to isolate the flow of the system.
A funnel on the floor under the lathe is used as a floor sweep. He runs his system all of the time so it’s trying to pull the dust downward and not into the air.
It’s easier to leave the larger shavings on the floor and scoop them up than to empty them out of the system. There’s not a blast gate on this part but
he can put a piece of plywood over it if needed.
This closeup of the hood by the lathe shows the plywood that’s attached below the banjo so he can move it as needed.
He cautioned that care should be taken when using the cyclone system because metal, such as bolts or screws, can cause sparks. Also, the dust collection system should not be used when woodburning. The area should be cleaned well first.
This top view shows the upper part of the chute mounted under the banjo. A piece of ¼” hardware cloth was placed inside the chute to catch larger items. This is a good position, and he rarely moves the plywood piece along the lathe.
The discussion progressed to the safety aspects of using copper wire wrapped around PVC for grounding it. One member has 4” PVC pipe wrapped with copper wire every 3 feet. He has screws screwed into the PVC so that about ½” extends into the pipe. The screw acts like a lightning rod that discharges static electricity to ground. Air rushing past the PVC in the dust collection system generates a static charge. Grounding prevents sparks from happening in the system. Dust can be explosive. An example is dust accumulation in grain elevators that ignite when the dust is concentrated.
Aluminum duct doesn’t spark but galvanized steel can spark.
One member was shocked while using his planer. He attached some 14-gauge wire to some bare metal to ground it.
Static charges can also cause problems with buffing systems. One member fried his lathe control system due to a static charge. A rubber fatigue mat on the floor can help. One member wears a conductive wrist strap when buffing to bleed off the electrostatic charge. He attaches it with blue tape to the lathe bed and tapes it to his lower leg. He has less mobility but it’s worth it to avoid an unexpected shock. Those static shocks can affect implants such as hearing aids and pacemakers. Another member runs a wire to a copper bracelet to prevent a shock.
Pete stated that the best way to avoid dust is to grab it at the source. He has a vacuum with a DeWalt HEPA Filter that’s attached to his drill press with a Rockler fence and attachment. The vacuum has two dials, a variable speed on the left and one on the right that’s on the auto setting. The vacuum automatically turns on when he starts the drill press and runs a short time afterward to suction off the dust that could be sent to his lungs.
When his dad was young, there were no dust collectors and, due to smoking and dust from his shop, his dad had to use oxygen the last years of his life. To avoid that, Pete usually wears a mask and uses his dust collection devices.
This is a closeup of the Rockler attachment to the back of the fence. Small wood chips are gathered by the suction and carried through the 2” hose to the vacuum.
Pete has a Laguna 2-stage dust collection system with a HEPA filter. The 4” flex lines are branched in a Y but he wants to do some hard ducting of the system. Members noticed the heater above the dust collector. He said it’s an infrared heater to help raise the shop temperature in the winter. He’s not concerned that it’s a fire hazard.
The canister collects the heavier chips while the finer dust collects in the bag. The red coloring in the bag is padauk sawdust that is as fine as cayenne pepper. That fine dust is the most dangerous to our lungs. The blast gates on the flex line (lower left) are butterfly valves that are described later in these notes. (closeup photos below)
Pete bought Ed Jones’ Oneida dust collection system and mounted it on his wall. It’s very noisy so he wears ear plugs when it’s on. It’s a 220 unit so he added the necessary outlet for it. His four flex hoses systems come off of the Y sections. It’s a single stage system with the canister on the bottom. The suction is strong; he still has adequate suction along the 4” hose 100’ away from the unit.
A wire along the top goes from a sensor to a light that indicates when the drum needs to be emptied.
These next few photos are closeup views of the blast gates purchased from Woodpeckers. (https://www.woodpeck.com/fullthrottle- blast-gate.html
) Inside each gate is a stainless-steel disk that rotates to close well. The photos show the baffle open or closed in various views. Pete was impressed by how well they work at a fairly low price (~$25 each) and replaced all of the gates that clogged the most with these.
This is another example of capturing the dust at the point of source. The hose is connected to the saw and the dust extractor turns on when the saw is used. Wearing a mask helps collect the finer dust that may not be drawn into the hose.
Dean has a Grizzly 3 HP dust collector with a HEPA filter. It’s in a small area of his shop and he barely had room to fit it into the area. He has to pull it out to do any maintenance on it. The hose from the cyclone goes into a ring in the canister and pulls a vacuum on the outside of the collection bag so the
plastic bag doesn’t get suctioned into the system.
The red handle is a broom that he moves through the element each week to release the dust from the filter. There is a lot of heat from the system, so he has a vent up high above it.
He also collects dust using this fan with a 20” furnace filter built onto an old hand cart. The filter has been used for a while and he periodically vacuums it off.
The duct work from his dust collector has branches that are at a 45° angle and narrow from an 8” to 6” pipe as it goes to his sanders and planer.
The (B-52) propellor is on a section that’s capped off with caulk to prevent air leakage.
The ducting in this area branches to his router, drill press and bandsaw. He also has a 6” duct that goes to the table saw. The saw is totally enclosed so the motor gets the sawdust and has to be vacuumed occasionally. He has an aluminum blast gate and other parts that were collected from yard sales.
His ducting was made by Empire Metals and is sealed inside with caulking.
Two Jet air filtration systems are mounted from the ceiling. One intake is above the table saw and the other is pointed in the opposite direction to create a circular air flow. He washes or blows out the filters monthly and replaces them as needed. (One member suggested https://filterbuy.com/
for a source of filters.) Having to change filters is a good thing; it means the system is working.
One problem with the remote is that fluorescent lights interfere with the remote transmission. Dean has added a Kasa switch, turned on with his phone, to bypass the problem. Other members have had similar interference problems with the Jet system.
The ductwork was placed low so that more space would be available on the walls for storage. This shows how the system is connected to the drum sander. The flex pipe was purchased from Woodcraft. The flex under the sander was purchased from Woodworker’s Source. It’s not as flexible but is very durable. It wasn’t possible to poke a hole in it with a screwdriver.
Another member shared a warning about belt sanders. There’s no dead man’s switch for the feed belt, only the rheostat switch. His hand had been pulled into the gap and took a chunk off his finger. He suggested everyone add a switch that could prevent this problem.
Keep a broom and dust mop handy. It’s hard to clean chips out of a vacuum.
The dust collection ducting goes to the lathe, but he doesn’t have it secured as well as he’d like. Chips collect under the base so he needs to move it to clean or use a vacuum. The yellow sweep (from a garage sale) works well. He uses a strong magnet on a stick to run through a pile of chips before turning it on to find any metal, such as screws, so they are not suctioned up into the impeller of the dust collector.
This view of the top of the Jet air filter shows how super fine dust accumulates in the shop. Running the dust collector and air filter are helpful, but dust masks are critical to protect the lungs. The dust collector, brooms, and filters catch the big stuff, but they also circulate the fine dust. Using an air hose at the lathe, for example, just blows dust elsewhere in the shop.
Wind blowing through the shop can be the best air cleaner since dust settles in a closed system. Dust settles on lights,
This closeup from the previous photo shows the mezzanine where Dean stores wood and other items. His intent is to enclose it to keep dust from accumulating there. Another member has used 6-8” strips of clear vinyl from Joann Fabrics to hang down over areas and keep dust out. He overlaps the pieces so they keep the dust out, but he can still see what is stored there and can reach through to get items.