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Another dust collection idea- What do you think?

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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 02-10-2011 07:10 PM 2703 views 1 time favorited 74 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2266 days


02-10-2011 07:10 PM

I got some great advise on my homemade dust collection thread this week (about using 2 HF collectors and building my own square ducts), but all of that got me thinking… Maybe there’s an easier, cheaper AND better way!

All the experts say you need a powerful cyclone with a big expensive filter and large 6” ducts, not to mention difficult to modify attachment hoods on every machine- AND perhaps as overhead filteration system… all to capture that fine dust that is so dangerous to your lungs.

That all adds up! I have a good medium duty collector, but only 4” ducts and a 5 micron bag. That makes for a good way to keep the shop clean, but not my lungs. So I’ve been looking into the difficult and expensive process of upgrades. If I upgrade my ducts it’ll cost at least $200-400 for my personal setup which is a bit complicated, PLUS at least another $100 for several short lengths of that hard to find and pricey 6” flex hose. Add a couple hundred more or less for a good filter, and another $100-200 to build my own cyclone, $100-200 for the overhead filter… that’s $600-$1000 IF I do it all on the cheap, and THEN if the collector I have doesn’t end up giving enough suction for this setup I’m in bigger trouble.

So I started thinking- my dust collector and its 4” PVC ducts with it’s 5 micron filter keeps the shop pretty clean. That’s half the battle. The second part is keeping my lungs clean, and THAT can be done with one of those Trend Airshields, can’t it?

So my question is, why put all the money in an upgraded collection system that may or may not get all the dust before my nose does, when I can get gaurenteed 0.3 micron filtration of every breath I take with a shield?

Granted, these things aren’t cheap. The standard model is over $300 and the much better Pro version is over $400. But that’s still cheaper than my upgrades at the low end, and this would be more effective.

Or am I missing something here? Any suggestions?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/


74 replies so far

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2640 days


#1 posted 02-10-2011 07:12 PM

If you’re good with wearing a powered device, OR … simply … something like the 3M 7500 series respirator, then … yup: that’s plenty to protect YOU.

-- -- Neil

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#2 posted 02-10-2011 07:13 PM

Hobby shop or full time pro shop? Sometimes I think we tend to create situations that allow us to use the interesting word “overkill.”

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2266 days


#3 posted 02-10-2011 07:18 PM

Neil- All the reviews say those shields are light weight and quiet. Plus they offer less vision restriction that safety glasses. And many say the little bit of air blown by your face is pleasant, especially in a hot shop. Have you ever tried one?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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hairy

2384 posts in 2998 days


#4 posted 02-10-2011 07:19 PM

A dust collector is not going to do the job of an air cleaner.
They are 2 different tools for different purposes.
In my opinion, you need both.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2266 days


#5 posted 02-10-2011 07:20 PM

Lee- I work part time in there right now. But studies have shown very clearly that even modest exposure to sawdust often causes a whole host of problems from allergies to cancer. Many old timers who have just done it as a hobby for decades are finding themselves unable to work in the shop at all anymore. It adds up over time, and I’m just looking at the future…

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2266 days


#6 posted 02-10-2011 07:22 PM

Hairy- I base my comments above on Bill Pentz site which is very well researched and widely accepted as credible. He insists that the only way to get that fine dust BEFORE your lungs do is at the source because air filters draw it away, but not before you breath it in.

Of course these new face shields were not widely available when he did all his research.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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NBeener

4808 posts in 2640 days


#7 posted 02-10-2011 07:27 PM

I’ve never tried one.

I have to constantly add either surgical loupes (see my avatar) or my flip-down magnifier visor, when I’m in the shop. I haven’t been able to figure out an easy way to do this, wearing a PPAD (Personal, Powered Air Device).

And … my 3M 7500 … is cheap !

-- -- Neil

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2266 days


#8 posted 02-10-2011 07:31 PM

Niel- Do you wear that 3M outfit for hours at a time? How’s the comfort level? What about on hot days?

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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HerbC

1592 posts in 2325 days


#9 posted 02-10-2011 07:31 PM

Jim,

I think you’ll find that it is difficult to become accustomed to wearing a work hood full time. I think the money would be better spent on improvements to your dust collection and filtering systems.

Remember, it would be effective only when your actually using it…

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

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hairy

2384 posts in 2998 days


#10 posted 02-10-2011 07:32 PM

Is your shop inside your house? I use a dust collector and 2 air cleaners in my basement shop, and I still don’t get it all.
I’d love to have one of those Trends, but it’s only good while you are wearing it.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

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8iowa

1546 posts in 3227 days


#11 posted 02-10-2011 07:36 PM

Thanks to the magazines, their reviews, and pressure from their advertisers, most home based shops have dust collection systems that are “overkill”. Only a large industrial type shop with several workers would need 6” ducts & hoses, not to mention a lot of HP as well.

A dust collector only has to do two basic things; keep the velocity in the tuburlent airstream above 3500 ft/min in order to keep dust particles suspended in the flow, and have enough volume capacity, cu ft/min, in order to take away dust & chips as fast as the tool generates them. A common mis-conception, that most people can’t get past, is that increasing the diameter of the pipes worsens the situation. This is because the velocity drops off according to the square of the difference in diameter. If one insists on larger diameter ductwork, then far more HP is required in order to keep the velocity up. A small 200 to 400 sq ft single person shop can get along just fine with 1 HP or less and 2 1/2” hoses.

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#12 posted 02-10-2011 07:38 PM

Jim, I didn’t mean to downplay the seriousness of dust. My concern was your spending more than was necessary to remove the bad guys from the atmosphere.

So in a perfect world, there would be three things at work: Your dust collector, picking up stuff at the site of its creation; an air cleaner, filtering the ambient air in the shop; and your PPAD.

Or more than three?

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2316 days


#13 posted 02-10-2011 07:42 PM

Excellent point, 8iowa, and I appreciate your supporting my notion about overkill.

However, this sentence confuses me:

“A common mis-conception, that most people can’t get past, is that increasing the diameter of the pipes worsens the situation.”

Did you mean the misconception is that increasing the diameter of the pipes improves the situation?

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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StumpyNubs

6856 posts in 2266 days


#14 posted 02-10-2011 07:44 PM

8iowa- I wish that were all true, but the studies done by Bill Pentz (who sells nothing) and others say otherwise. You can get enough suction through small pipes to move table saw dust. But I used to have a 2 1/2” system with blast gates and it did very little good on machines that create heavier dust like the Joiter and Planer. Even the router table would plug it up if the chips were big enough. You need larger pipes to get enough volume of airflow to move both the chips AND the fine dust.

That’s not my opinion, it’s been studied by professionals who don’t sell dust collection equipment and they’re smarter than me.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications: http://www.stumpynubs.com/

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dbhost

5607 posts in 2698 days


#15 posted 02-10-2011 07:49 PM

Not sure where you got your #s for building your own cyclone. A Thien baffle equipped separator will cost you a little bit of scrap, wood, and PVC, or metal duct, and a recycled trash can or drum. I actually bought my drum, but there are lots of guys that get theirs for free… So let’s say you have 4” duct and hose right now. If it were me I would…

#1. Build a Thien cyclone separator using a free vessel of whatever you can find, metal trash can, metal, plastic, or fiberboard drum, and some scrap ply, or whatever sheet goods you have in the shop. I used tempered hardboard. Get some 5” metal HVAC duct from the Borg, I assume you have some caulk laying around from home repair projects? Total cost should be about $7.00 for the piece of metal duct… #2. Order a 10’ joint of 5” flex from Grizzly. $25.00 delivered. #3. Split your 5” into 2 4” lines AFTER the separator so that BOTH lines have to go through the cyclone separator. #4. Upgrade your filter in the DC to at the very least a 1 micron bag. $30.00 from Highland Woodworking (+ S&H). A Wynn cartridge flows better, but this will work… #5. Run a 4” line with blast gates to each machine top, and bottom where applicable. Blast gates can get expensive, but there are LOTS of guys here that make them from scrap.

This is of course assuming you have the scrap, and were already set up with 4” S&D piping and 4” flex hose… You have a grand total of what $62.00 additional?

Ambient air filters can be as simple as a spare box fan drug out of the attic (I have 3 up there now) and a Filtrete Ultra Allergen 20×20x1 filter duct taped to the intake side. I did this for a LONG time, it works well, just slow is all… You do have duct tape don’t you? The top level Filtrete filters around here go for around $18.00

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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