What dust collectors are really for

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Being relatively new to this avocation, I was beginning to think I had to go out and drop $1000 to keep the dust down, when all I really wanted to do was not have to spend 30 minutes every day sweeping the floor. It nice to hear an opposing point of view to recent posts. As for me, I just open doors at both ends of the gar...shop, turn on a big ass fan, hook the tools up to a shop vac and set it outside, downwind. I'm betting I'm more likely to buy the farm from the cigarettes I smoke, the fatty foods I eat, the alcohol I drink, the alcohol the guy coming the other way just drank, the extra pounds I carry, or from making a mistake in the small airplanes I like to fly.
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Mine has the standard bags and a cyclone. But it sits outside in the shed, so what it does get stays got, it doesn't get back in the shop air. I hold the hose right where I'm sanding when sanding by hand, and all the cutting and sanding machines are hooked up to it. Not perfect but close -- and quieter. I also have a free-standing filter setup with a furnace fan pulling air through them. Not for health reasons exactly, but to keep dust from settling on the shelves and tools.
LP wrote:

--

Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Considering all the crap well all breath everyday a few more particles can't make that much difference to me growing to be a old fart, I worked in a Autombile assembly plant for 31 years, just retired, the amount of stuff floating about in that place was amazing, still here though. all the best David
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A Big "HOOO RAAAAA" For YOU I Approve of your absolute fact opinion Hooo Raaa Again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LP wrote:

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[ Blah blah blah ... dust collectors don't help your health ... blah blah blah ]
Fact is, my wife and I have fewer problems with our breathing after time in the shop, now that we have a Oneida dust collector. We used to get mildly ill from inhaling the wood dust, and now we don't. Plus there's less cleanup to do, but that's a nit.
You only have to look at a ray of sunlight shing thrrough the air in the shop to see the difference.
So should I beleive this anonymous USENET post, or the undeniable evidence of our own first-hand exeprience ? Gee, let me think ...
--
Dennis M. O'Connor snipped-for-privacy@primenet.com



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LP wrote:

Sorry, I disagree. I worked below sea level. So what? Well, the job site was Homestake Gold Mine, Lead, South Dakota, about 1 mile above sea level. The Lead / Deadwood cemetaries are filled with miners who died in their 30's to 50's because they filled their lungs with dust and died of silicosus. Before we were allowed in the mine we had to go though 40 hours of classroom training that emphasized safety. No reason to die young if you don't have to.
IIRC, the cilia of the respitory system are responsible for getting junk out of the lungs. But if the particles are too small, or too sharp and dig into the lung tissue, the cilia can't do anything about it. The cilia are little itsy-bitsy hairs that bring the lung-junk up to the back of your throat where you can either swallow (especially if you're asleep) or hack and spit it up. If the particles are too small for the cilia to grab, you slowly and steadily loose square feet of lung surface area where the critical and magical CO2 -- O2 exchange takes place.
(Again, IIRC) By the time you're 19 years old your lungs have all the surface area they will ever have. Fill them with silica and asbestos particles which "dig in" or small particles (from tobacco or wood dust) that can't be removed by the cilia and your health will suffer because there isn't enough usable lung surface are for CO2 - O2 exchange to service the O2 needs of the body. Individual cells of the body die -- heart cells, muscle cells, lung cells, liver cells, brain cells -- and eventually *you* die.
I grew up on a farm/ranch in South Dakota. I butchered a lot of game and farm animals. The lung of an animal is an amazing thing to feel in your hand. It's about the same size of the liver, but compared to the liver it weighs nothing. I've sat here 5 minutes trying to think of a common item a lung feels like. I can't come up with anything exactly, but if you took small-bubble bubble wrap, cut it so each little bubble is separate, put them all in a ZipLock bag with KY jelly and cottage cheese in it as a filler, that's kinda what it feels like.
I don't know if it's caused by silicosis and/or small particles, but there are conditions where you can literally "drown" in the fluids in your lungs. The lungs lose the capacity to exchange the minimum CO2 - O2 for sustaining life, and the body says, "I'm outta here!"
IMO keeping the itsy-bitsy wood particles out of the lungs is a really good idea. A reasonable investment in equipment to do it is well spent.
-- Mark
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I agree with you that it should be called a chip collector and not a dust collector. Its no wonder that we park our cars in the drive ways and drive on park ways.
D.Martin

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LP wrote:

snip
Let's see, I've got a drum sander that, with out my "dust collector" attached to it, can spout fine sawdust like Vesuvius for the older crowd, Mount Saint Helen for the slightly less old crowd, volcano for the kids. Without a 4 inch "dust collector" hose attached to its dust hood everything - floor, walls, ceiling, all bench tops all power tools etc. would be under a quarter of an inch of very fine sawdust by day's end.
I've got an oscillating spindle sander that can generate a fair amount of float in the air if not caught before escaping saw dust. But hook my dust collector to its dusct collector port and very little gets in the air - even with a nice back light to see dust in.
I've got a 12 inch disk sander. It can generate sawdust at a pretty good clip. Hook my dust collector to it and it doesn't.
I've got a Sand Hog belt sander that, in addition to creating an ear splitting sound, generates a great deal of fine sawdust. Hook my dust collector hose to it and very little gets into the air.
I've got a couple of Dewalt orbiatl sanders that can crank out fine sawdust. Hooked up to my dust collector they don't put out much at all.
My "dust collector" has a garbage can lid separator and oversized 1 micron bags. It's also in it's own little closet with ply skinned walls with sheetrock between the studs and solid core door with weather stripping. The room vents to the outside of the shop via a flapper valved exhaust port and gets air through a screened flapper valved input port in the outer wall. The soundd proofing helps becuase the closet also has my oiled compressor in it.
So, from my experience, my dust collector does collect most of the dust generated by things that make fine sawdust. For the rest I've got another dust getter.
If I'm going to do a lot of sanding I'll use my home made ambient air cleaner/downdraft sandding tabe /roll around outfeed table. The furnace filters in it catch the big stuff and the spa and truck filters catch the really fine stuff. And, it blows enough air to sweep the floor when turned on to its highest speed. Set it on low and leave it running for an hour and almost anything still airborne gets caught.
Now big curlies - they're the problem. They'll fill the separator can quickly then get to the dust collector impeller and raise hell. I put a "Y" on the impeller intake, one capped with a rubber cap. When crap gets to the impeller I turn the unit off, unplug it and fish out the escapees by hand. With all the power tools on the market, a good push broom and a dust pan are still necessary - a plastic snow shovel is even better.
charlie b
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