Hate to do it, but dust help... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 02-15-2013, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Hate to do it, but dust help...

Guys, I have looked in the Dust Collection area as well as done research online, but still lost.

I have a garage workshop with a Ridgid TS that is my main point of work.

I would prefer to have a portable dust collector. If I buy a portable one, do I need a separator? Is there a benefit in a stationary system or a portable system?

And as for air filtration, what can I get away with using box fans and air filters? I don't have an opening to push the air from inside the shop to outside, so does that's me a difference?

I've started to really notice lately the amount of dust I am producing, as well as breathing in. Lots of sore throats!!
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post #2 of 16 Old 02-15-2013, 01:09 AM
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A lot of variables come into play when talking dust control - but one standard guideline - get the best you can incorporate and afford! Clean air is vital. That being said, I had to do some serious compromising with my dust control system.

I live in NH and my shop is closed in, insulated, and heated in the winter. My shop is also located in a dug out area (dug out by hand by me) and living in NH, I ran into some serious granite ledge that cut short my ceiling height. So I needed a dc system and had to keep it a "portable" because of the height limitations. I bought a Jet portable 1+1/2 HP units. It works fairly well and I don't have a separator unit. When working at my bench, sanding, I have a house box fan with a furnace filter taped on the front. I also have a good mask on my face.

Its' never hot or cold in New Hampshire... its' always seasonal.
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post #3 of 16 Old 02-15-2013, 12:58 PM
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You can get away with just using a portable dust collector and no separator if you are using the bags and not a cartridge style filter. If you are using the cartridge style, the fine dust particles tend to clog them up if you don't use a separator.

I have a Ridgid R4512 and a 1 HP Penn State Industries DC with the cartridge filter. I also got one of the Rockler dust right separator kits and installed it on the lid of a metal trashcan. My setup does a great job of keeping the dust down in my single car garage. I noticed a big difference in suction power when I installed the cartridge filter, and by making my own cheap separator, emptying the dust is much easier. I also run a box fan with furnace filters. I also use a respirator when using things like the ROS, but it is not needed most other times.

I would recommend getting a 1HP portable unit with a bag/ bags at the very least. You can always start with a unit like that, then save up to buy the cartridge, then make your own separator. I built my system over a few months, and I'm still adding to it.

I'd be happy to post some pictures or tell you more if you are interested. Just let me know.

-Sean
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post #4 of 16 Old 02-15-2013, 01:03 PM
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I have the HF unit with felted bags from Highland Woodworking. Has worked well for me. I also added a quality filter to the Ridgid vac for smaller machines.
Bill
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post #5 of 16 Old 02-15-2013, 05:05 PM
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Get the dust before it gets you, and it will eventually get you.

I bought a Delta drum type DC in the mid 90's and used it for years connected to 4" DWV that runs through the shop to 8 blast gates. I quickly tired of the bag so I cut in a 4" dryer vent and vented it outside. Almost everything ended up outside but it vastly improved the suction at the ports.

Last year I built a cyclone for my DC. Now everything but the fine dust ends up in the drum. No more raking the chips into the grass.


About a month ago I bought a couple of box fans and made up holders for a 5" HEPA filter and a 1" cheap filter.


After running the fans for two days here's the comparison between a new and two day old cheap filter:


So it does work. I figure that dust didn't make it to my lungs or settle someplace in the shop or house. That's a good thing. One fan is mounted on the wall, the other I move around to where it does the most good.
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post #6 of 16 Old 02-16-2013, 02:24 AM Thread Starter
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Captain, I would love some pics.

Julie, this might be a stupid question, but where do you place the fan and filter in the shop? And which direction is the fan pointing?
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post #7 of 16 Old 02-16-2013, 11:03 AM
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I just move the 10' clear hose to whatever tool I am using. As long as the box fan is running with space behind and in front of it, it is doing its job. I usually leave mine running for about an hour or two after I leave the shop. I hope this helps!
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post #8 of 16 Old 02-17-2013, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtred9 View Post
Julie, this might be a stupid question, but where do you place the fan and filter in the shop? And which direction is the fan pointing?
My favorite place for the roving fan is in the doorway blowing filtered air out into the basement. I have two 30" sliding doors to the shop so I close them against the fan and turn it on high. That kind of creates a vacuum where filtered air is blown out of the shop and basement air is pulled in. It seems to keep the dust trail that leaves the shop to a minimum.

If I'm sanding on the workbench, I'll put the fan up there blowing away from me. I have taken the second fan and placed it on the other side, also blowing away from me. Another kind of a vacuum of sorts, with me in the middle and clean air coming in from behind me.

It's not perfect but it seems to keep the air cleaner and my dust mask shows it. No more hacking and sore throats, unless I yell at myself for screwing up.
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post #9 of 16 Old 02-17-2013, 03:21 AM
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Sorry for this amateur question....with the filter/box fan idea, are you putting the filter on the backside of the fan or the front side?

-Seth
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post #10 of 16 Old 02-17-2013, 05:00 AM
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Juli, did you have any plans for your cyclone?
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post #11 of 16 Old 02-17-2013, 12:16 PM
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An old furnace fan works much better than a box fan. Enclose the blower in a box and install filters on both sides. angle the discharge so it causes the air to flow around the room. This set up was the best I've ever had.

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I use this contraption for machine dust collection and sometimes a shop vac on tools not often used.

Al

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post #12 of 16 Old 02-17-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth View Post
Sorry for this amateur question....with the filter/box fan idea, are you putting the filter on the backside of the fan or the front side?

-Seth
You want the filters on the intake side of the fan so dust doesn't have to pass through the blades and motor.

The 5" filter I use is a HEPA, MERV 13 rated filter. That's hospital grade filtration. I use the 1" cheap filter to get the bigger particles out and whatever is left is collected by the 5". Here's some more pics:

Front view


Rear view. I removed the factory grille so the filter frame would sit flush.


With just the 5" filter in


With the 1" filter added and after some use.



These are the only pics I have of making the cyclone for the DC:


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post #13 of 16 Old 02-17-2013, 05:15 PM
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I have a similar setup to that of Captianawsome.

My shop is in a garage and the garage door is open when I am working in the shop. Dust hanging in the air doesn't seem to be a problem with the door open.

The actual dust collector is a Jet with top and bottom Penn State Industries, 1 micron bags. (A good investment IMHO.)

I use a modified trash can separator. The top on the trash can is from Woodcraft and inside there is a 4" right angle DC pipe to create a vortex. It seems to work rather well.

I move the hose from machine to machine as needed. The only machines that I don't connect to the DC are the drill press and a SCMS. I use a shopvac on the SCMS and drill press. Connecting them to the DC just isn't practical due to the geography of the shop.

There are about a zillion other methods and devices that probably work better than my kludge. I'm sure that a true cyclone or a Thein all work better than my $50 separator. (Can, top and angle)

Here is what I can say about my kludge set up. I only see wood flour in the bottom DC bag. (1 micron) All that I can see of the larger chips appear to be trapped in the separator. The trash can gets emptied every 4 o 6 weeks depending upon usage. The flour bag gets emptied when there is 10 to 12 inches of flour in the bag. This works out to every six or eight months.

When I was setting up the DC system, the sales guy at the store asked me, "How many people are going to work in the shop?" Well one and only one machine running at a time. He convinced me to drag the hose around as needed. It ain't the most elegant of solutions, but it works. And he was the guy that would have been selling me all the plumbing. At this point, I would exactly the same thing again because it works and is not a very expensive solution. I do a lot of business with that store because the guy was so honest.

Use the right tool for the job.

Rich (Tilting right)
Huntington Beach, California
Remember that when we have the "BIG ONE" everything east of the Rockies falls into the ocean.
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post #14 of 16 Old 02-21-2013, 11:12 AM
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If reading dust collection information provided by Bill Pentz doesn't get your attention then nothing probably will. I don't think dust collection is 1 of those topics that can be taken seriously enough. Of course most hobbiest woodworkers may not see the effects of fine dust for many years, if ever, but I really don't want to wake up 1 day and have someone tell me I only have 6 months to live because of my exposure to fine dust. So, having a good DC system is probably the cheapest insurance policy you can buy as a woodworker.
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post #15 of 16 Old 02-22-2013, 12:13 AM
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Thank you for the kind words... I was just asked to put in my two cents. I don't and can't post much, just don't have the time.

Good collection of the same chips and sawdust you would otherwise get with a broom is easy. Just about any 1hp or larger dust collector will work fairly well. Good fine dust collection is tough and for most limited time woodworkers is probably not worth the trouble and expense.

Until you are ready to step up to good fine dust collection I recommend you use whatever dust collector you want. Buy a good properly fit NIOSH dual cartridge respirator mask like the 3M 7500 and a strong commercial grade fan, not a cheap box fan. Our particle meters show the mask and fan need to go on before making fine dust and stay on for a half hour after finishing making fine dust.

When you are serious about putting in good fine dust collection, most of what you need to learn is on my Cyclone and Dust Collection Research web pages. Don't be stupid like me and buy a top magazine rated system and expect much if any fine dust protection. No matter what you do, before you stop using the fan and mask make sure you get access to a meter like the Dylos 0.5-micron units and test.

bill

Last edited by billpentz; 02-22-2013 at 12:17 AM. Reason: fix link
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post #16 of 16 Old 02-27-2013, 10:47 PM
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No Bill, THANK YOU for all of your efforts to share that info. My family thanks you too.
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