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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, so yesterday was my first experience in (circular) sawing a piece of MDF and - despite the info I have read regarding such - I still couldn't believe all of the dust particles lingering in the air for a decent period of time after finishing the cut.

My novice-level question is this . . . What methods do you use to try to aleviate (as much/best as possible) the lingering airborne MDF dust particles after a cut is made - be it with a saw, a router, etc.??



Looking forward to furthering my education with your responses, insight and ideas.


:smile:
 

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I've tried a lot of different options and this is the best I've found... cut it outside... in a disposable jumpsuit... then throw away the tool...

All kidding aside, this stuff is best cut outside for the reason you mentioned, but whenever I have to do some cutting inside I use a lot of dust collection. Take extra time setting up a shroud or hood of some sort that will surround where the cutting is taking place. I usually run my dust collection with a big gulp hood, and my shopvac with the hose held right up to the cut.

I always run a 20x20 box fan with a furnace filter behind it to catch as dust as possible floating around the shop.
 

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MDF is not pleasant to work with. As you experienced it makes a huge amount of dust. No chips, all dust.

Do a search for posts by forum member Marv in the Dust Collection forum. Marv works a lot with MDF and so has needed to improve dust collection over time.

We cannot always work outside, so we need to do the best we can to cleanup the inside air.

I use a combination of my dust collection system a Jet Cannister 1 1/2HP unit and a Jet AFS-1000B air filter/cleaner.

The dust collection system collects the vast majority of the debris and dust from my router table, planer, bandsaw, and drum sander with little airborne dust.

The table saw manages to make some airborne dust, since I do not have overhead dust collection. Marv made a nice system for his table saw.

My lathe makes the most debris and when sanding a turning, the most dust.

I mounted the air cleaner about the lathe. With the dust collection and air filter/cleaner on, I am not noticing airborne dust when sanding.

If you get an air filter/cleaner, and look at the inlet filter, it is good to know these particles are in the unit and not in your lungs.
 

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I've tried a lot of different options and this is the best I've found... cut it outside...
That's the only I'll deal with as well (I'll add: on a windy day). The one exception might be with my tablesaw where I have an overblade dust pickup. then the dust just clogs my DC's filter; which I guess is still better than having it all over the shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Trouble is, I live in somewhat of a tight neighborhood with an overly annoying HOA.
Not sure how well received being out in the open - out in front of my house/garage - would be.

However, I can probably get away with having the garage door open and, perhaps, get myself a big ole fan to position behind where I'm cutting - to blow the dust toward the outside. Might that be a viable method as well?
 

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All you can do is try it, be very close to the door when you cut. You might want to ask the neighbors to put their cars in the garage that day.:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All you can do is try it, be very close to the door when you cut. You might want to ask the neighbors to put their cars in the garage that day.:laughing:
Fortunately - the way my suburban neighborhood is layed out - most cars are either in garages or parked at least 25 yards away. For the most part, the only thing people would see coming from my open garage would be the cloud of mdf dust being blown out into the open air for everyone to breathe in.


:devil2:
 

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It's some bad stuff! I can look at it and get a sinus or respiratory infection!! Never will I use it again! I don't mind melamine or partical board, no more mdf.
 

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For about 30 years I wear a paint respirator when working with MDF. Now at my age it's gotten too heavy for me to work with so I don't use it anymore. My customers look at it like it was particleboard anyway and frown on it.
 

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Okay, so yesterday was my first experience in (circular) sawing a piece of MDF and - despite the info I have read regarding such - I still couldn't believe all of the dust particles lingering in the air for a decent period of time after finishing the cut.

My novice-level question is this . . . What methods do you use to try to aleviate (as much/best as possible) the lingering airborne MDF dust particles after a cut is made - be it with a saw, a router, etc.??



Looking forward to furthering my education with your responses, insight and ideas.


:smile:
As Dave mentioned I machine a lot of MDF these days and IMO the key is to capture as much dust as possible at the source rather than waiting for it to get into the air. I have improved my system with a cyclone, 5" pipe, less than 1 micron filter etc however I believe the biggest benefit I received was from the custom hoods etc I made for machines as well as using a tool vac/dust deputy cyclone on all hand held power tools (most of my hand held tools have dust ports/hoods however it's not too difficult to fashion your own for things like circular saws etc and attach to your vacuum cleaner)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As Dave mentioned I machine a lot of MDF these days and IMO the key is to capture as much dust as possible at the source rather than waiting for it to get into the air. I have improved my system with a cyclone, 5" pipe, less than 1 micron filter etc however I believe the biggest benefit I received was from the custom hoods etc I made for machines as well as using a tool vac/dust deputy cyclone on all hand held power tools (most of my hand held tools have dust ports/hoods however it's not too difficult to fashion your own for things like circular saws etc and attach to your vacuum cleaner)
I would be VERY interested in seeing an example of such a hood for, say, a circular saw.

:smile:
 

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Use box fans with filters attached

I use 2 box fans in my basement shop, each one hanging from the ceiling and pointed at an angle toward the opposite corners. I am trying to create a cyclone breeze around the room. Each fan has a furnace filter attached to the intake side. You will be amazed how quickly this method will clear the air.

I see others have replied about using a fan, but using 2 fans is the key to getting the air to rotate around the room and get sucked through the filters.

At all costs, do not breath that crap. It is toxic.
 
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