Look ... if you think it could be a problem, grab some wire and connect the
two together. You only get the spark where there is a difference between the
two conductors. Wire keeps them roughly equal.
If you then blow a breaker (or fry the wire) when you turn the saw on, that
aint static ... that's 'real' juice and you need to find out where it's
coming from and fix it.
This issue is a perpetual football here on the wreck and the simple answer
is the complete one. Ground it. The cost is small, the effort relatively
trivial, the peace of mind immeasurable. (My plastic pipe lays on a cement
basement floor and stays drained.)
The person who said that kits for bleeding the static from plastic pipe were
hokum doesn't understand capacitance. They do work ... but they are solving
But the whole issue is probably moot since 1) you probably don't have dry
enough circumstances to allow you to build up sufficient static charges to
matter 2) you don't deal in a dense enough cloud of fine enough dust
particles to matter even if there was a spark plug every six inches in your
ducting and 3) your machines are not running long enough to build up those
charges even under Arizona humidity / worst case scenario.
Relax, cut some lumber. Have fun.
Bill Pentz has done a lot of research into dust collectors:
and has some info on static concerns:
After reading much on the subject my feeling is that a shop system will
not be a problem. A dust explosion is a rapid burning. The static spark
will have to produce enough BTUs to start a spec of dust burning then
(almost instantaneously) the spec of dust must be close enough to
another speck and produce enough BTUs to get that burning, and so on and
so on. Impossible, no but not very likely.
The real danger in a shop situation is what happened when YOU feel the
shock from a static discharge. Does your hand suddenly and involuntarily
jump into that spinning saw blade? Do you best to eliminate static for
This topic has been hashed since I was a regular over 6 years ago on
the wreck. I can tell you that I had a similar occurrence with my
original setup (which is similar to yours). I grounded everything and
never took the chance. Could it happen? Under the right circumstances
- sure. Do you have the right circumstances for it to happen? Why
take the chance. $10 for the ground wire and attach it to your TS or
whatever and it's done. I had a sanding table that created some
extremely "fine" dust and never had a problem. The $10 was just an
insurance policy that gave me that added peace of mind. Lew Hodgett is
a very well read and versed guy who give can you probably all the stats
you'd ever need. I've read some of his responses and he's correct in
his writings. If there's a doubt - remove it and ground them. Best of
luck to you.
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