Does the installation of basic dust collection induce obsessive compulsive disorder?

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Forum topic by Lee Barker posted 01-04-2013 03:50 PM 2404 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3025 days

01-04-2013 03:50 PM

A recent post about dust collection for a drill press brought this question into sharp focus.

Several questions followed quickly:

Is there any danger from wood chips generated by a drill press?

Is installing more dust collection really more fun than making something in the shop?

Are we seeing the emergence of woodworkers who are phobic about small pieces of wood?

Do we not want the 5 minutes of reflective time assigned to sweeping the shop at the end of our time there on any given day?

Are we afraid to take a broom and clear away stuff from, say, the drill press, and leave it in a pile until the evening’s sweep?

Are we compulsed to go buy ducting and blast gates and hanging straps (instead of wood) just so we can turn on another electric motor every time we turn on a tool?

And finally,

Sometimes when I sharpen my pencil, wood shavings dribble on the floor. What size ducting is most effective in attaching DC to my pencil sharpener? Should I install a remote switch? How much CFM do I need?

Comments welcomed!



-- " 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"

34 replies so far

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2366 days

#1 posted 01-04-2013 03:58 PM

My pencil sharpening shavings go into the bin… not the floor…

-- My terrible signature...

View Grandpa's profile


3261 posts in 2850 days

#2 posted 01-04-2013 04:11 PM

Lee, there are different kinds of people on here. I can take tools and make anything I want. i am that confident. So I make those things. Not all the time. I get bored. I like the design aspect of it. I am also a tool collector. I like having them around me. I enjoy teaching people to use tools. I read a story once. The wide wanted new bedroom furniture. The husband said no way. I can build it for half that. The wife said Okay go for it. He said I need a table saw. Next gift giving occassion he got the saw. She said now my furniture. He said I need a planer. Next gift giving ocassion she got him the planer. No furniture. the story goes on. Finally about 10 years later he bought her the bedroom furniture for her birthday. He decided he was a hopeless tool collector. There is a lot of truth in this. I don’t know is that makes us ocd or anal abouth things but there is a lot of truth in this story.

View Swyftfeet's profile


170 posts in 2346 days

#3 posted 01-04-2013 04:17 PM


Too funny that you posted this today! I was standing in the shower thinking about how some of the threads here recently have gone a little past skill sharing into the absurd. I considered doing a review on one of those pencil sharpeners with the hex quick release that go into the impact drivers.

Pro’s: no more mamby pamby .001 HP pencil sharpening. Can whittle a pencil from new to nub in 3 sec.

Con’s: galoots wont like it, no dust collection.

-- Brian

View Ted's profile


2873 posts in 2386 days

#4 posted 01-04-2013 04:22 PM

Lee, have you checked the price of a decent dust mask lately? hee hee

I’m with you about the obsessive compulsive dust containment being a little over the top. Wood shops are dusty, plain and simple. And it’s saw dust, not asbestos.

-- You can collect dust or you can make dust. I choose to make it.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2859 days

#5 posted 01-04-2013 04:23 PM

Lee…in my shop it is much more than 5 minutes sweeping and that’s the primary reason I’m looking at DC (I’ll confess that I still smoke so you can figure out how concerned I am about the health aspects). I’m convinced that my radiant infloor heat sends the dust everywhere it can get and I seem to spend a ton of time chasing it (I even bought one of those 5’ dust mops they use in schools). And I find that even the sweeping puts it back into airborne status and I get to start over.

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 3100 days

#6 posted 01-04-2013 05:08 PM

You have a bunch of good questions, Lee. I don’t know all the answers but I can relate some of my experiences.

Dust collection in my shop is connected to my drill presses and I have never had any issue with the resulting wood chips ( I assume you are speaking of them possibly causing a fire).

I purchased my cyclone about 5 years before I unpacked and installed it. Never seemed to have time so the warranty was up before it was ever turned on. Since I did not know that much about dust collection, except that I knew it had to be healthier, I finally hired a contractor to assess and install the required ducting.
I didn’t really obsess over it though before it was installed.

I spent a little more money, but installation went quickly and my working area is very clean now. My shop is in the loft of my barn, my cyclone is on the main floor, the ducting is all run under the floor of my shop and comes through at the locations of the tools so it is very quiet too!

A little ashamed, but I use another motor as I have a motorized pencil sharpener…not sure about the CFM it needs either…

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View CL810's profile


3856 posts in 3163 days

#7 posted 01-04-2013 05:13 PM

Lee, my own personal experience indicates that dust collection does NOT induce OCD. It’s more like super fertilizer that enables OCD behavior to go into hper mode.

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View pintodeluxe's profile


5783 posts in 2988 days

#8 posted 01-04-2013 05:25 PM

I have CDO.
It’s like OCD, but the letters are in alphabetical order like they should be.

And yes, you can find my drill press dust collection table on my projects page.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Woodknack's profile


12399 posts in 2555 days

#9 posted 01-04-2013 05:35 PM

My pencil sharpener already has the best dust collection in my shop, a metal container I simply twist off and dump. But you can’t call yourself a tool guy unless you have a pencil sharpener like this complete with dust collection.

-- Rick M,

View CL810's profile


3856 posts in 3163 days

#10 posted 01-04-2013 06:38 PM

+1 pintodeluxe. I need help!!


-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

View Marcus's profile


1163 posts in 2194 days

#11 posted 01-04-2013 06:41 PM

My shop is in the basement, so I obsessively make sure my house does not see a spec of dust meander its way out of the basement. I’m more than ok w/ that.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2859 days

#12 posted 01-04-2013 06:43 PM

Marcus…you are obviously afraid of SWMBO (like most of us).

View JoeinGa's profile


7739 posts in 2181 days

#13 posted 01-04-2013 07:05 PM

I’ve got one like this in the shop. Same basic model but probably in a little better shape than this one. This is the first one that is similar that I saw on the Googly search :-)
Had it since I was a kid and it still works fine.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 3010 days

#14 posted 01-04-2013 07:18 PM

I can see where in the process of drilling a lot of holes someone may want some dust collection. I would make something like a top that sits on the table with holes in the top, has the added advantage of just sweeping the dust into the holes. I’ve started really cleaning out my shop and have realized i need to put a lot more effort into dust collecting as a part of shop organization and neatness.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2859 days

#15 posted 01-04-2013 07:39 PM

derosa…unless I had a drum sander mounted to the DP, I would think dust collection would be a PITA. A shop vac works for me.

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