Dust production at the lathe

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Forum topic by ed13 posted 11-29-2016 03:18 PM 627 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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13 posts in 699 days

11-29-2016 03:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection air quality lathe turning

Does anyone know how much dust production is associated with using gouges, chisels, and scrapers on the lathe? Is it sanding that produces a dust problem, or is there a lot when using cutting and scraping tools?

The basis of my question is that I use hand tools in the basement and would like to add a lathe. My interest is in spindle work, not bowls. I doubt that I can add a dust collection system, so I am wondering if I could still do spindle work if I avoid sanding on the lathe.

Any chance someone has looked at this with a meter like the Dylos?

5 replies so far

View Woodknack's profile


12369 posts in 2528 days

#1 posted 11-29-2016 04:23 PM

You can sand with oil and eliminate dust.

-- Rick M,

View Bill7255's profile


427 posts in 2433 days

#2 posted 12-04-2016 01:43 PM

To answer your question, yes you will create dust along with chips when turning. I don’t have a Dylos meter, but can see the dust on my face shield. I wear the faceshield and a respirator when turning and have a 3hp dust collector running at he same time. When sanding on the the lathe the DC does do a good job. It would be a pain to not be able to sand on the lathe. A shop vac may work for sanding.. Some put shower curtains around the lathe to try and contain the chips and dust.

-- Bill R

View dhazelton's profile


2789 posts in 2445 days

#3 posted 12-04-2016 01:53 PM

You will make plenty of dust. If you have a furnace or gas hot water heater or dryer down there it will be a problem.

View ed13's profile


13 posts in 699 days

#4 posted 12-04-2016 02:00 PM

Thanks, everyone for your answers. I am comfortable working with a half-face respirator, so given your answers, I think the way forward is to put the lathe in the one-car garage, sweep and vacuum what I can, and then use a big fan to blow out the space for a couple hours after the work is done.

View ed13's profile


13 posts in 699 days

#5 posted 12-04-2016 02:07 PM

You can sand with oil and eliminate dust.

- Rick M

Rick, I wanted to respond to yours separately. Sanding with oil is an excellent idea. I’m just learning turning now after a one week course, so can I ask a couple questions? Suppose I’m making something with both turned components and not-turned components, like a chair (turned spindles, carved seat), bed (turned posts, not turned apron), or table (turned legs, not turned apron and top). I’d need to have the finish match between the turned elements and the flat work. Sanding with oil is really going to start the finishing process and I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on whether it is going to be hard to get everything to match up. On many pieces, I like to use water based dye. Could I sand with water to keep the dust down, fully recognizing I’ll raise the grain and need a scuff later, but maybe it would keep the dust down without forcing me to start the finishing with oil? I’ve seen some videos of turners applying oil and then burnishing the work until the oil heats and polymerizes into a finish, which is something that cannot be done to the non-turned work.

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