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Forum topic by peggyraye posted 02-23-2010 03:22 PM 1511 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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8 posts in 3274 days

02-23-2010 03:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop safety dust collection tip

I am in the 7th week of fighting a very bad respitory illness after not wearing my respirator while running some moldy-mildew laden pecan through my Delta Planer. It was just a few passes to see what the patterns would be and I got caught up in the beauty of the wood. Before I realized it; my surroundings were covered in sawdust and a haze of airbourne particles that ended with me in the hospital with pneumonia.

I learned this:

No respirator=no lungs, always plane outside (if you have a small workshop) and get a dust collection system of some kind. It should be up there on your list like the tablesaw.

Just because you know what planing is and what it does to your environment; don’t assume the folks at the ER do. If they had tested me for the spores along with the wood chunk I carried with me from the beginning, I would not have lost 2 months out of my shop. Finally a Corpsman at the base who does woodworking understood the connection and got me the care I needed. I get to keep my lungs this time but marathons are off my list for a while.

Thanks for giving me a place to share this lesson. Feels like it was worth learing if someone else doesn’t have to learn the way I did. Now…Let’s see what’s on Craigslist for Dust Collection and Filtration systems!! I have to go buy something; I Love this country!!

5 replies so far

View DeputyDawg's profile


196 posts in 4171 days

#1 posted 02-23-2010 05:12 PM

First let me welcome you aboard. Very interesting story and first thought are. Isn’t it too bad that we usually have to learn things the hard way. I have a policy that I live by and it’s called “BE SAFE THINK TWICE” I wrote a safety program for a trucking company a few years ago and that was the topic. In the research for the program I found out that it takes a micro millionth of a secong to have a thought wave so why not have two. I made up triangles and put them all over the shop inclucing the entrance door. On the top of the triangle it says BE SAFE on each side of the triangle running up and down it says THINK TWICE

-- DeputyDawg

View lew's profile


12446 posts in 3961 days

#2 posted 02-23-2010 05:46 PM

Thanks for the post. We all need constant reminders to put our own health first. I know I constantly forget the dust mask or to turn on the air filter and my wife (a nurse) is right there to yell at me!

I really like your avatar. Our basset is named Quigley, He is a real hoot!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3438 days

#3 posted 02-23-2010 05:54 PM

Sorry to hear of your troubles… And thanks for your perspective on the issue. Some folks are more sensitive than others, but we are all vulnerable.

Before you go blowing money on a dust collector, you really ought to read Bill Pentz’ writings on the subject. They are deep, and unfortunately a bit biased toward an engineer’s perspective (I believe Bill is an engineer). He is right on base with most of his assertions, a bit extreme in other areas, but for good reason as you found out…

AT A MINIMUM, you will want… #1. An excellent flowing 1.5HP or 2HP dust collector, fitted with a 1 micron or LOWER cartridge filter. #2. A separator, Bill recommends a Neutral vane, I have found a Thien cyclone more effective, and easier to build. #3. Improved tool dust collection. I am still working on that. My table saw is a HUGE problem. I have 3 ports, and only DC support for 2… Working on fixing the issue. The bottom side of my saw gets cleared well, the top is a nightmare… Bill has some great ideas here, I have applied some, come up with one or two of my own, have a long way to go here, but progress is better than none… #4. Air cleaner. Doesn’t have to be fancy. I am working on a ceiling mounted air cleaner per the Shop Notes plan. Until it is done, I am using a regular box fan with a 3M Ultra Allergen filter… #5. Respirator with the best cartridges you can get. Mine is fitted with P100’s. I am considering a full face respirator for my lathe work as well.. Wearing a respirator under a face shield doesn’t work well…

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View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3695 days

#4 posted 02-23-2010 06:17 PM

Welcome aboard and sorry to hear of your troubles. I hope and pray that you recover quickly and get back into the shop ASAP.

dbhost: I got a airtrend for working on my lathe, and I love it.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View lilredweldingrod's profile


2496 posts in 3313 days

#5 posted 02-25-2010 02:16 AM

Peggy, So sorry to hear about your unfortunate run in with the dust and spores. I hope you are recovering nicely by now.
I was doing some paint removal and the wife brought home some real nasty stuff. I bought a charcoal face mask and even though the charcoal is most undoubtedly useless by now, the filters do a wonderful job of stopping the dust.
Unfortunatly we do not have safety engineers in our shops. We have to be ever so attentive to our own safety.
My best wishes to you and your family and get well soon, Rand

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