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Forum topic by Joel_B posted 01-04-2016 10:22 PM 906 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


01-04-2016 10:22 PM

Over the past year I have gotten more into woodworking.
Recently I have become VERY concerned about dust.
In the past I have had virtually no dust collection.
Currently I use a Shop Vac I can connect to some of my tools, but not my old Craftsman TS.
I use a 3M respirator mask, but only while using tools, now I plan to wear one full time.
I plan to get a HF dust collector and add the Wynn filter and Thien separator.
I am 58 and have had a lot of health problems, non related to dust AFAIK but do have allergies which I get shots for. I am very concerned about lung damage to the point I am questioning if I should continue with woodworking.
I am a cyclist and need my lungs working 100%. My shop is a two car garage, I work with the garage door open and there is a side door in the back so there is some cross ventilation. In this case would the ventilation just stir up the dust or help to clear it out? Would it make any sense to have an ambient dust collector? I am sure the dust collector fittings on my power tools only get a fraction of the dust, some could be modified / improved. Is it even possible to think that dust can be mitigated to an acceptable level? I ask these questions because I need to decide if I should continue to do woodworking and spend a sizable amount of money on dust collection as well as tools. It isn’t my only interest in life and could give it up but other than the dust issue I would continue.
Thanks for any insight.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA


13 replies so far

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sawdustjunkie

343 posts in 1181 days


#1 posted 01-04-2016 10:39 PM

I also have a 3M and wear it much of the time in the shop.
TI currently have a HF unit with a Wynn filter and a Super Dust Deputy sitting on a 55 gal drum. It works well, but there is still plenty of dust flying about.
With the doors open. the dust should move out of the garage quickly.
I have a large fan I use in the summer when the big door is open. When that is running, I don’t see any dust in the air.
Your health is more important than anything and if I thought it was hurting me, I would quit tomorrow.
With decent dust collection and the respirator, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Make sure you keep the filters clean on the dust collector and the 3m mask. I change mine about once a month and the dust collector about every 3 weeks if I am in the shop alot.
Good luck to you!

-- Steve: Franklin, WI

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AandCstyle

2571 posts in 1721 days


#2 posted 01-04-2016 10:53 PM

Joel, having the doors open “should” mitigate your dust concern, especially is there is a breeze. However, if you want to know for certain, then consider an air quality monitor such as this one. Then you will be able to make an informed decision. HTH

-- Art

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Joel_B

294 posts in 845 days


#3 posted 01-04-2016 10:57 PM



Joel, having the doors open “should” mitigate your dust concern, especially is there is a breeze. However, if you want to know for certain, then consider an air quality monitor such as this one. Then you will be able to make an informed decision. HTH

- AandCstyle

Yeah I was considering the Dylos monitor, would probably be good to know what is going on inside the house as well. My allergies seem to be worse this time of year when the doors are closed more. Its some money but i think worth the investment.

-- Joel, Encinitas, CA

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JAAune

1643 posts in 1781 days


#4 posted 01-04-2016 11:26 PM

Ventilation is better than filtration but it’s not a replacement for dust collection at the source. If dust is a major concern and you don’t want to sink $3,000 into good dust collection, I’d recommend wearing a mask at least while the machines are running and for 20 minutes after they go off. The Dylos monitor will tell you how long it takes for the dust to settle after you finish machining or sanding.

-- See my work at http://remmertstudios.com and http://altaredesign.com

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Willque

6 posts in 304 days


#5 posted 02-07-2016 05:08 PM

The hf economy with a cyclone seperator and Wynn filter works wonders for me. I have a couple of fans recirculating fresh air all time also.

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JBrow

818 posts in 384 days


#6 posted 02-08-2016 01:48 AM

JoelB,

Your question is a tough one. It is inevitable, in my opinion, that if you woodwork, you will be exposed to wood dust at some level. However, only you can determine the level of risk to your health you will tolerate and at what cost in exchange for the enjoyment and satisfaction you derive from the pursuit. As you obviously already know, steps can be taken to reduce your risks, but those risks will never be zero.

There are three risk mitigation strategies. 1) Reduce the levels of dust that make it into the shop air. Collecting dust where it is generated does this. Effective dust shrouds on the various tools and powerful and optimized dust collection with fine filtration further reduce the amount of dust making it into the shop air. 2) Preventing dust that makes it into the air from entering the lungs further reduce health risks. Ventilation, ambient air filtration and a NIOSH 95 dust mask all help. 3) Being careful about the woods used to build projects is the last risk mitigator. Some woods generate noxious dust while dust from other woods much less so.

There are several articles written regarding safety and toxicity of various woods which may help inform your decision. I found these at:

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/

http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-dust-safety/

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledgebase/DangerintheWoods.html

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hairy

2384 posts in 2996 days


#7 posted 02-08-2016 01:09 PM

Tape a furnace filter to a box fan.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#8 posted 02-08-2016 02:43 PM

There is a lot of debate out there about organic dusts and if they are a problem or not. Allergy wise is a separate question of course. I use my respirator a lot as well, and an HG DC with garbage can separator and Wynn filter. I get some fugitive dust of course. I have been thinking about a wall mounted air cleaner to run after I am done working for a while.

There are a lot of old farmers and I’ll wood workers who have been breathing dusts for a long time…of course there are some who didn’t get that far too. Who knows if the dust is a problem for you or not?

Take some precautions and have fun. Don’t let fear kick you out of the hobby. You are a cyclist and that is risky too.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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clin

513 posts in 460 days


#9 posted 02-08-2016 06:02 PM

Have a look at Bill Pentz’s web site. He’s put together a lot of info on dust collection and health effects.

http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

Ventilation is a great idea, but you do need air to actually move through the shop. For example, just opening the overhead garage door won’t necessarily help that much unless you have some other opening like a window or other outside door towards the back of the garage.

I actually don’t think there is any real debate, within the health community, about the hazards of wood dust. There are of course always knuckle draggers in any activity who will deny that there is any harm to these things.

You know, real men don’t worry about eye and hearing protection, and certainly only a real wuss would wear a respirator. They can always point to someone who worked in a choking, dust filled environment their whole lives and lived to be 100. There are chain smokers who lived long lives too. But this doesn’t mean it’s not an issue, just that some people are luckier than others.

-- Clin

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bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#10 posted 02-10-2016 06:37 PM


They can always point to someone who worked in a choking, dust filled environment their whole lives and lived to be 100. There are chain smokers who lived long lives too. But this doesn t mean it s not an issue, just that some people are luckier than others.

- clin

That’s the gist of it. The flip side is that some people did something (breathed some dust, had butter instead of margarine, or margarine instead of butter) and died early. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who did the same thing got the same result. The logical extension of this is that life is full of risk. There are more things we don’t understand than we do, and there are risks we never see coming. The headlines all read ‘X exposure is linked to Y disease’, and that is because in most cases the data only show CORRELATION, and not CAUSATION. It takes a long time and a lot of study to get to causation (incidentally, this is why we sometimes swing back and forth between things like eggs being good for you, butter vs. margarine, health superfoods, etc. Some data correlates, then later some other data doesn’t or correlates the other way. Eventually, with enough study you can get to causation). To avoid all the possible risks, you have to lock yourself away from as many exposures as you can. And most folks don’t find that kind of life very fulfilling.

There are lots of fear mongers in society. Some are that way because they were taught (or learned) to be, some are that way because they profit from it. What it all boils down to, is how much risk you are willing to take. If a $10k dust collection system is what it takes to make you feel comfortable being a hobby wood worker, then you can either shell out or find another hobby. I would say it is not a stretch that a few guys with 10K dust collection systems engage in other activities in life that have similar or stronger correlations to health impacts as wood dust. They may not even know it.
It makes a lot of sense to take some precautions on wood dust.
Some dust collection, some ventilation, a respirator. All smart things to do. It is my personal belief that the hobby can be made safe this way at a reasonable cost. Others say the only option is very expensive large capacity dust systems. We all have to decide for ourselves. Most of the studies that I have read on organic dusts are based on 40+ hour per week exposures (i.e. workplace exposures). If I were spending that much time around dust, my minimum requirements would be much higher. There is not as much (any?) out there that I have seen on intermittent exposures hobbyists see.

-Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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clin

513 posts in 460 days


#11 posted 02-10-2016 11:03 PM



It makes a lot of sense to take some precautions on wood dust.
Some dust collection, some ventilation, a respirator. All smart things to do. It is my personal belief that the hobby can be made safe this way at a reasonable cost. Others say the only option is very expensive large capacity dust systems. We all have to decide for ourselves. Most of the studies that I have read on organic dusts are based on 40+ hour per week exposures (i.e. workplace exposures). If I were spending that much time around dust, my minimum requirements would be much higher. There is not as much (any?) out there that I have seen on intermittent exposures hobbyists see.

-Brian

I agree. And, I don’t think it has to be a choice between safe, safer, safest n terms of $$$ spent. I think you can be very safe, with low cost, but it is less convenient. If there were no cost, $$$, space, noise, whatever, we would all have systems that would keep shops like semiconductor clean rooms with no effort on our part. But there is a cost, and we all have to decide where to draw the line.

If nothing else, you could just wear a respirator all the time and keep the shop as clean or dirty as you can tolerate.

For example, I’m getting by with a shop vac (with HEPA filter) and dust deputy, a Jet room filter and respirator. Using a Dylos particle meter, I’m seeing this as working well. Average dust level, when working, is perhaps 3 to 4% of EPA limits and max is very rarely above 10%. I also, vacuum the machine (usually the table saw) and vacuum the floor, myself, and whatever else I feel the need to, at the end of every session.

I’m relatively new to this, and time will tell if I feel the need to go with a full size DC.

Aside from the possible long term health effects, I find an immediate negative impact when exposed to dust. Things like a running nose, and coughing hours afterward.

-- Clin

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clin

513 posts in 460 days


#12 posted 02-10-2016 11:12 PM



I have been thinking about a wall mounted air cleaner to run after I am done working for a while.

Brian

- bbasiaga

Just notice this specific comment, and I would encourage you to give this a try. I have the Jet filter and using a Dylos particle counter, I can see that it works very well at keeping the levels down while working (though I still wear a respirator) and it pulls the levels down pretty quickly after making the dust. Shop is noticeable cleaner.

P.S., my table saw is the biggest issue for me, and I’ve positioned the air filter overhead, with the intake near the table saw. This seems the best for getting the most dust that comes off the TS, though it has the disadvantage of drawing the dust up from the saw and past my face. But that’s what the respirator is for.

-- Clin

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cut50

10 posts in 2492 days


#13 posted 02-15-2016 03:11 PM

Tried to post this here, hard time with photos. And it was not much easier over at Break Time 3, if link does not work, look for” table saw dust collection” in Woodworking and Cabinets.

Hope this link works

http://forums.delphiforums.com/Breaktime_3/messages/?start=Start+Reading+%3E%3E

-- FUN IS GOOD Smithers BC

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