Dust Control

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Blog entry by Justin posted 04-26-2010 03:49 PM 1559 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello all,

It’s been a while since I posted anything but that’s because I’ve been super busy. I just inherited a new shop and I am having a heck of a time with dust control. Basically the shop is 4 years old and has never been cleaned before I got it. Really want to smack the guy who was in there before me.

I gave it a massive cleaning, fixed the dust collector, but I am still dealing with a healthy settling of dust on the floor every morning. I am getting an air filtration system soon, but I am wondering if any of you could suggest some other things I could do in the meantime. A good portion of my afternoon is spent cleaning up and I’d like to see if I can limit that a little so I can get more work done. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch,


-- I'm into rough carpentry, are you?

9 comments so far

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 3073 days

#1 posted 04-26-2010 04:17 PM

Sweep up all you can. Then, if your shop is in a setting where blowing the dust outside won’t be harmful, that might be a good next step. With the shop being as dusty as you say, you would need to suit up and have good eye and breathing protection, but several times around the shop with a good yard blower would do wonders.

-- Dave O.

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4174 posts in 3164 days

#2 posted 04-26-2010 04:37 PM

Be sure to look on top of everything, meaning pipes, DC hoses, etc and clean them all. Before you stir up a lot of dust, make sure there are no ignition sources around. We just had a real educational post started by Rich Greer about fire safety and one of the fire savvy LJ’s gave us good information, especially about Combustible Dust.

Part way down this post, you will see a long structured post by PocketHole69. Be sure and check it. You may be safer using a hose connected to your DC system to vacuum the dust, rather than blowing it, especially if there are ignition sources around. Be sure to get in the corners, get things off the floor so you can get underneath things, etc. Shops like that are a fire or an explosion waiting to happen.

Be thorough and be careful.

Alaska Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3308 days

#3 posted 04-26-2010 04:53 PM

I have a flexible 4” hose connected to my dust collection system that is used with a 3 ft length section of plastic pipe connected to it and used to clean my floors in the shop. I can hook it up at both ends of the shop with a quick disconnect fitting and thoroughly clean every nook and cranny of my shop. It works great for me and the power of the dust collector makes quick work of a thorough cleanup every night when I am finished working.

View Woodcanuck's profile


128 posts in 3000 days

#4 posted 04-26-2010 07:21 PM

I had a pretty big dust problem after my buddy routered some MDF in my shop….cough hack choke….

I started by sweeping up what I could, vacuuming up as much as I could get to easily, then….

The best thing I could do for it was open a window, stick a fan in the window blowing out into the yard, then take my air-gun nozzle with the compressor and just got as much of the dust up into the air (wearing mask, goggles, hat) and get as much as I could sucked out into the yard.

This got most of the mess out of the way, then I left it running for a couple of hours and things were pretty good.

To keep things under control after that I banned MDF from the shop. :-) I’m now in the process of getting the rest of my DC system working. I built a Thien separator (which is awesome!!!) and hooked it up to my little Rockler dust collector…both of which I put outside of the shop with the hose running in through a partition wall. I have an ambient filter as well, which I crank on whenever I see dust floating in the air and it does a pretty good job of keeping things clear.

My own goal is to have some sort of dust collection port for every tool and hope that keeps things to a minimum.

Incidentally, I picked up the Rockler downdraft table inserts and plan to build a downdraft box for sanding/routing….I don’t know how effective it will be for heavy sanding, but I’ll post an update once I get around to building it.

-- Ian - Life's a game, if you don't play, you can't win.

View Justin's profile


20 posts in 3019 days

#5 posted 04-27-2010 01:07 AM

Thanks for all the advice. Unfortunitly I have no way of getting this stuff outside, the shop is inside of the store in a very poor location for that. Also cutting MDF is a large part of my day. I’ll be giving it a super deep cleaning over the next couple of days to get as much as I can. hopefully I’ll get that air filter soon.

-- I'm into rough carpentry, are you?

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2983 days

#6 posted 04-27-2010 05:05 PM

Until you can build or buy an air scrubber. Try taking a couple of box fans and put furnace filters on the draw side and hang from the ceiling. They will draw the dust from the air, the downside is you will want to clean them often to keep from blowing finer dust around. This is a temporary deal but works to help eliminate air borne dust. I use the pleated filters as they catch the dust better.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Chipmonk's profile


6 posts in 3793 days

#7 posted 05-02-2010 08:25 PM

Hi Greg could you explain the construction of your box fan and furnace filter idea please?

-- I need more tools...and a place to put them!

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3885 days

#8 posted 05-02-2010 09:11 PM

FYI – Here is a link to making a box fan filter:

And you can Google “box fan filter” for more information.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View Chipmonk's profile


6 posts in 3793 days

#9 posted 05-02-2010 09:45 PM

Thanks John

-- I need more tools...and a place to put them!

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