Table Saws and Electric Garage Door Opener

Many of you know I have been planning my garage workshop. One thing that has occurred to me recently is the possible conflict in the existence of a table saw and my electric garage door opener. I have a 9' ceiling, the motor for the door (Chamberlain 1/2 hp), is just about in the center of the ceiling and I anticipate placing a Grizzly 3HP TS just about underneath. The room is 20' by 20'. Of course, lots of other tools generate sawdust too--and it seems that any of them are likely to create problems for the garage door system if I'm not proactive. I never had one before; I hope I'm worrying too much (but I doubt I am...).
I browsed through the garage door-opener manual and they didn't even mention table saws--imagine that! : ). My intuition throws up a warning flag though. At first I was thinking about a "dust explosion" and secondly I was thinking about accumulated dust on the mechanical parts of the door system. What's the skinny on this?
Thank you, Bill
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Bill wrote:

Never even considered it and my 25 year old opener still works OK. If you get a dust explosion you are in the crapper with other problems already.
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wrote:

A good DC and air filter will protect your shop and lungs, reduce chance of fire too. A blow gun will make quick work of removing the dust. Don't think I ever read about a dust explosion in a wood shop, although it could happen under the right conditions. Get a ABC fire extingusher for your shop.
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Thank you all for kindly reassuring me about my excess concern over the garage door opener!
How well should I expect my Craftsman ShopVac (6.5 Peak HP, 16 gal.) attached directly to the TS to work for DC, compared to a "real" DC? It seems pretty powerful (it made easy work of cleaning the gutters on my house).
I anticipate the TS will be a Grizzly 3HP G-1023 or G-0690.
Thank you, Bill
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I had the same ShopVac hooked up to my TS, before buying a true DC.
For me -- using a zero clearance insert -- whether using the vacuum OR the DC, more sawdust came over the TOP of the TS than anywhere else. The extraction from the 'cabinet' was pretty good in either case.
Now I see why people build hood thingies for over their blades....
Incidentally, Sears sells a few levels of replacement dry filters for their Shop Vacs. They seem to be a genuine "get what you pay for" for dust extraction and air filtration. Higher end = better job.
Lastly, lots of people recommend some sort of chip separation for use with a Shop Vac. Keeps it from filling/clogging for much longer periods of time.
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Would something as simple as a short bit of horizontal tube and a 'T' work for that? We had something like that in the suction pipe on the cotton gin I worked in for rocks. Had a spring loaded cover on the rock drop. Every once in a while we would walk by and open the cover to drop the rocks out into the trash can below.
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wrote:

Good question.
Though I am FAR FROM any sort of expert on the subject, I sort of doubt it.
Here is an EXCELLENT reference on dust collection that includes a number of different sorts of chip separators:
http://www.billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/equipment.cfm
I bought the garbage-can-lid variety, and it's working just perfectly ... for cheap!
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On 1/6/2010 6:39 PM, Neil Brooks wrote:

I haven't used it on the table saw yet, but I've found this DIY separator to work well with my router table:
http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/Projects/MiniCyclone /
Built of cutoffs and castoffs, the price was right :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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wrote:

Yeah, well ....
That's fine for people who want a damned fine result for not a lot of money, but ....
Nicely done!
On my trash-can lid model, incidentally, there is a 90* elbow on the intake side (where yuck and filth come *into* the can). Presumably, this generates something of a cyclonic action, allowing the bigger pieces to fall out.
Maybe somebody could take your plan and add an abs/pvc 90* elbow TO it.
I have NO idea whether it would work any better, but .... ;-)
Oh, and ... thanks for the link to your website. I was having difficulty spending enough of my free time on the Internet ;-)
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On 1/7/2010 9:37 PM, Neil Brooks wrote:

Easily done - but abrupt 90 turns are detrimental to good/efficient flows of everything - fluids, gasses, and even wood chips.

Glad I could be of help - but I guess I should warn you that most of the projects on my web site are only short-term time consumers, and only worsen the excess budget and excess free time problems once they're completed. :)
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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That ShopVac has a powerful blower too. I was out playing--I mean working, in the sub-freezing garage last night, and a small furry rodent showed his face, and the rest of him, tail, and all. It just occurred to me that I could use the shopvac to blow him right out the garage door. It's supposed to be below 0 degrees F. this weekend though so I'll let him stay in the cardboard box he found for the time being... I think if he brings many friends the parties over!
Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that the blower will be as easy way to dust off anything and everything. Handiest tool I've bought so far (works on car, gutters, leaf blower,...).
Bill
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wrote:

Didn't work worth the bother of attaching, with my Unisaw. I moved the shop vac to the SCMS and bought a DC for the Unisaw.

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Thank you. I guess it's time to start looking at entry level DC. Maybe I can explain to my wife that it came with the saw.. : )
Bill
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wrote:

I bought a 2HP Penn State Industries DC. I was thinking about the Grizzley, but was talked into the 1u bag by the folks here. It was pretty highly rated, too. Could have been packed better for its grand tour of the East coast, though. <squish>
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I use a shop vac on my tablesaw and it works fairly well. I have a contractor saw with a zero clearance plate and a closed off back end. In order for it to work for more than a few minutes you need a cyclone in between otherwise the filter clogs in no time. You can easily make your own or just buy a cyclone lid. http://www.woodworking.org/WC/GArchive04/2_7drewdust.html
I know it is not a true cyclone but it keeps all than big stuff from getting to the vac and a surprising amount of dust.
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On 1/6/2010 2:08 AM, Bill wrote:

I agree with the other's remarks ... there really is no need to be concerned.
I've had a table saw directly under a garage door in two shops and have never had a problem with the openers, or the doors.
What does happen in a wood shop with garage doors is that they do get dirty from the dust accumulating on the outside surface when opened, something you will undoubtedly notice after a while.
Just keep them blown off and washed down every so often and you'll be fine.
--
www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 10/22/08
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Your door opener assembly is going to get dust on it regardless if you cut wood or not in the garage. My Chamberlin lasted about 25 years and things like switches and a belt were my biggest problem, never a dust related problem.
That said because the opener assembly does restrict movement in the garage when moving large items like boards and furnature I finally replaced my opener with a Wayne Dalton i-Drive opener. It works on my Wayne Dalton door but there is a similar one that works on ordinary tortion bar doors also. Basically the spring loaded tortion bar at the door opening header goes through the opener. The opener spins the tortion bar to open and close the door. With this type opener there is more room and the entire opener is located on the door header.
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wrote:

If there were _any_ concern on your part, I'd think it would be a fairly straightforward proposition to build a box around it with filter-type material to protect it, but allow the mechanism to breathe the very little amount that it might need.
IIRC, there IS a proper "antenna" (often, a short length of wire) for reception from the remote. This could easily be fed through either box or filter material.
But ... my brother has /trashed/ his garage with dust from his woodshop for years, too, and never had a gdo problem, either.
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Never thought about the opener. However, I recently had to have two opener PC boards replaced because of a lightning strike. The service guy suggested cleaning the rollers from time to time and re- lubricating. He said they had seen a lot of bearing failures in wood shops or garage work shops. The sawdust gets into the bearing and starves the bearing for lubricant. Eventually they gum up or start squealing.
RonB
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