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.
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.
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
[ 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 email@example.com
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
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.
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
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
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.
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