Wood dust all over when sanding - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 06:01 PM Thread Starter
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Wood dust all over when sanding

I'm finishing up on my first sizable woodworking project and I'm in the sanding phase. I'm using an oscillating palm sander in my workshop which is about 10' x 12' in size. After sanding all the sides and top of my project (a toy box for my grandson) I noticed I had very fine wood dust all over everything in the shop.

I figured I'd get some things around my project full of wood dust but not the whole wood shop. What can I use to minimize and/or reduce significantly the amount of dust when sanding?

All I have for a vacuum system is a shop vac (which I did not have on when I sanded). A friend suggested picking up a cheap box fan and taping a pleated filter to the back side which would draw the dust into it. Would this keep my whole shop from getting 'dusted'?

Any other suggestions would be very appreciated.

Thanks,
Jeff
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post #2 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 06:05 PM
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I use a shopvac attached to my orbital sander and it seems to help reduce dust quite a bit. I have it fitted with what they call their finest particle bag. Who knows what that really means in terms of something quantitative.

I would caution though, that they are not designed for long usage. I was sanding down an entire kitchens worth of cabinets and basically melted the power head of my shop vac. Smelled like burning, lots of plastic oozed into the impeller etc. The shopvac people basically told me it was intended for something like a 10-20 minute use cycle max.

So, something to watch out for.

Brian
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post #3 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 06:25 PM
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Catching it at the source is definitely the best thing to do. If its already to late as in your case - time for the leaf blower. I start from the back of the workshop, blowing dust towards the rollup doors. It's pretty quick and works good. If you can get flow through ventilation, using the blower in the direction of the flow helps too. Don't forget to wear your mask - not a crappy one either.

Last edited by bb71; 03-05-2010 at 08:23 PM. Reason: can't spell
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post #4 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 06:49 PM
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Hook up your vaccum! That will significantly reduce the dust issue when sanding. You could also build a quick and easy downdraft table, or take your time and build a nicer one that will last. This will also catch a lot of dust at the source.
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post #5 of 16 Old 03-05-2010, 11:22 PM
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Shop vac with a drywall bag, and filter. Attach it to your ROS, and sand away.
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post #6 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 01:04 AM
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I use a good mask first,When sandingI open the side garage door and put a big box fan in front of the roll up garage door facing out and it helps quite a bit.I also need to get some sort of filtration system set up for all the lingering dust in the air.After a sanding job I let the dust settle then I put the mask on open the roll up and blow everything out with a garden blower,A little crude but so am I lol,Itchy

Last edited by Itchy Brother; 03-06-2010 at 01:07 AM.
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post #7 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 01:52 AM
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I keep a fan blowing out a window. It helps.

(remove the screen when doing this)
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post #8 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 03:11 AM
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Welcome to the world of woodworking!! Sawdust is part of the trade or hobby, you can find ways to cut it down but it won't go away. In your small shop it has very little place to go without a door or window open and fan. I stopped worrying about it years ago myself ,now once a week or so I open both doors turn on my leaf blower and away it goes from everything the shop. (except I sweep first)
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post #9 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 07:57 AM
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There is nothing in my garage that does not have a coating of dust. The leaf blower does help but obviously you cannot aim it in all directions. It is something I have learned to live with.

George
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post #10 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 08:06 AM
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"After a sanding job I let the dust settle then I put the mask on open the roll up and blow everything out with a garden blower"

So do i

"A little crude but so am I" lol,Itchy

So am i
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post #11 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 08:49 AM
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I open the garage door and use the air compressor blower. I would use the leaf blower but I find the compressor is much more easy to use for getting behind stuff.
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post #12 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everybody for your feedback. Most of you suggested opening the doors and using a blower to blow out all the residual dust. Won't work in my case because my workshop is in my basement and I have no windows for ventilation.

I'm thinking about investing in a small cyclone vacuum system that hooks up to my shop vac...but, as one post mentioned, I noticed my shop vac gets really hot when letting it run for an extended period of time.

I've had the downdraft table suggested to me a few times but not sure how that would work when, in most cases, the pieces I'm sanding will probably be larger than the downdraft table. Does this downdraft concept still work regardless of the size of what I'm sanding?

It sounds like my best bet may be to build the box fan with filter as well as hooking up my shop vac directly to my sander. If anybody else has a basement workshop without doors and/or windows for ventilation please let me know what you use for dust control.

Thanks again folks.
Jeff
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post #13 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 10:53 AM
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The box fan / pleated filter will help. I made a wooden box with a bunch of old computer fans in it with a pleated filter on the side. It hangs from the ceiling in the center of my shop. I have to clean the filter periodically, so I know it's working.
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post #14 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 01:51 PM
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"There is nothing in my garage that does not have a coating of dust."

Yep me to including my wife's dedicates that she hangs on a clothes rack in my shop/her garage ! Why is it I never have to sand anything until she she does the laundry ??? To say the least , she gets mighty pissed off at me. I just don't understand why ?


Chili

I nailed my wood-shop test.
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post #15 of 16 Old 03-06-2010, 03:55 PM
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make your next project an air cleaner plywood box. maybe you can find a small dual squirrel cage type fan, that's what i like to use. port the outlet of the fan(s) out of the box. then on one side make a groove aroud the edges where a furnace filter can slide in. i make room for two filters, a fiberglass type first, then a pleated type behind that. hang it rom the rafters. it keeps up with any tool in my shop. you can blow the filters clean a few times even.
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post #16 of 16 Old 03-07-2010, 12:23 AM
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If it is in your basement you may just want to invest in an air cleaner that hangs from the ceiling or one that sits on the workbench by you while you work. There are variations to the downdraft that may work. Instead of holes underneath you could have an intake on the side of the table to suck the dust in. Like in this plan from Wood magazine.
http://www.woodstore.net/dusiwo.html
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