Hi Guys - My husband loves woodworking and I love him, but the sawdust,
woodchips, and whatever else that is continuously tracked into the rest
of the house from the basement is making me crazy. It's not like he
doesn't try to clean up after himself, but there is a lot of small
sawdust that does not get vacuumed up. I thought I'd ask the guys who
would know, what do you do to keep the dust down? - Janice
wear overalls/aprons/sweatshirts/etc. and take them off in the shop at the
door. I also have shoes that I use only in the shop, and take them off
before going in the house (I have a detached garage as my shop). I also use
the shopvac on myself if I'm particularly dirty.
One of the biggest improvements was to get a good dust collector and make
sure I use it diligently. It helps a lot, but isn't perfect. A little dust
will always make it into the house, so I throw my clothes in the hamper and
take a shower right away.
That's about all you can do, I think.
The thing I've tried to get my wife to realize is that a little dust and/or
wood chips is not the end of the world and to try to chill out and not make
such a big deal over it. Hasn't worked yet hehe
A nice 30' x 50' heated and airconditioned shop out back would take care of
most of the problem. If that isn't an option a good dust colletor and air
cleaner will go a long way but I don't think there is anything that is going
to be 100 percent. If he has a compressor he might use it to dust himself off
but be sure it is set at a very low pressure. I also found that wiping my
feet on one of those door mats that have the prickly plastic things took care
of the odd chips on my shoes.
Red Oak, Texas
Two "equipment" solutions - a dust/chip collector - attaches to various
tools (or all of them at once with a fixed duct system if the tools stay
put) which keeps a lot of the dust and chips from ever getting out to
bother things. An air cleaner - which is basically a fan with a fine
dust filter that recirculates shop air to catch floating dust. A dust
collector with good fiters can do the job of both. A shop-vac is
Well, OK, the third, really big, "equipment" solution is the detached
shop outside the house. This may not be a fiscal reality, but it is a
Many "behavior" solutions - coveralls, aprons, hats, shoes that stay put
in the shop. All of which tend to be a pain if there is a lot of running
in and out of the shop. Foot-scrapers, doormats and foot brushes
(generally sold for outside doors, but...). A mirror just outside the
shop door. A good tight door on the shop.
Beer does a good job washing it down ;-)
Seriously, a shop apron keeps a LOT of the dust out of his clothes
(leather apron is easy to keep dust free). Blowing the dust off with
an air gun helps a lot. A mat at the top of the stairs that has
bristles so the dust on his shoes will fall into the bristles.
A dust filtration system is helpful but I think the bulk of your
concern is dust he carries on him rather than a cloud of dust
following him up the stairs. A dust collection system on all of his
power tools will significantly reduce the amount of dust that can be
tracked or get imbedded in his clothes - these tend to be noisy so you
need to make a tradeoff on which you prefer...
Hi you All
Yes using air to blow off works BUT we had a guy get KILLED that way,
apparently a sliver of steel got into the blow gun and then when
triggered cut a small cut in the guys neck and artery, air got into the
artery and killed him on the spot.
This was not a wood shop and we used high pressure, still
O.K. that never happens right, well it did, so take care.
have fun and take care
Leo Van Der Loo
Regardless, don't use the damn things on people. Tain't worth it. You
don't even need a sliver if you have an old (or user-modified new)
blowgun without the side holes - the air itself can open a hole. Use a
proposed a theory
......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
This was one of the first things I was taught NOT to do with
Jeeezus! IIRC we had a guy here saying he blows the dust off the
inside of his glasses (implication was that he was wearing them! Maybe
I thought he was joking.
I also work in a basement, and have the same problems. Here's what
works for me.
#1 - Keep the stairs swept or vacuumed!
#2 - Keep the shop floor swept. Painting or coating concrete makes it
easier to sweep.
#3 - A dust collector helps, IF you keep up with #1 & #2. This isn't
a cure-all, chips still occasionally get out of jointers, planers,
router tables, etc... and saws spit dust off the top of the blade.
It helps quite a bit, though. Dust collectors do nothing for chips
and dust created by hand tools and some hand held power tools.
#4 - Sweep the stairs again. <G>
All the suggestions for dust collectors and such are going to help but I
believe my wife came up with the ultimate solution. It consists of a
hook on the back of the door where a change of clothes are hung along
with a pair of slippers.
Of course there are times when I try to circumvent the solution but for
the most part.........................
I can't, so I keep it out. Workshop wear is smooth fabric trousers
(cheap mil-surplus combats) and similar shirts. I'm usually wearing a
sweater, and that comes off and gets left in the workshop.
For woodturning, I wear a French Cheesemaker's Smock in a smooth
This square pattern with armpit gussets is ridiculously easy to sew
up, and one of the most comfortable shirts for heavy "long reach" work
that I've had without spending over a day in sewing and fitting it.
Mum has a tiled kitchen and porch-like utility room. Dad doesn't get
let back into the carpeted part of the house until she's hoovered him
I also try to control dust in the workshop. There's a bench brush
hanging behind the bench and it gets used every couple of minutes. The
cabinet saw keeps most of its dust inside it, but the other machines
have dust extraction. The main culprit for dust is a router, and I
don't use that much, preferring hand planes.
Given the ribbald and unmoderated tenor of rec.woodworking, my reading
of this comment shows that your smiley is well deserved!
(remove all letters after y in the alphabet)
'been routing plywood last few days. Took me a good while to find
where I'd put the router table !
Last week I made a frame for a stained glass window (internal dorway -
indoors both sides). Like a total muppet I ended up hand planing
twenty four foot of complicated moulding. Good fun, but it's no way
to make a living.
I was also using shop-bought timber (the shame!) which was brand-new
pineywood. Obviously kiln-dried, the knots in it were hard enough to
chip my favourite carving gouge. Fortunately I did this while I was
cutting them back to save the irons in the moulders, or I'd be
I have to smile when I read about all these people who use aprons, smocks,
and other such garb while woodworking. I live in a rather warm part of the
world. We practically work naked for a better part of the year. Oh yeah
and its wet sometimes. In the last 24 hours, some surrounding areas are
reporting 20 inches of rain. Dry wood is a relative term around here.
Glub, Glub Gurgle.
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