Woodshop Dust Control (part 1)

Woodshop dust control is important if you plan to spend extensive time in your woodworking shop. Wood dust is related to many health hazards, including irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; skin rashes; asthma; allergies; and some serious lung diseases. It has even been linked to a rare form of nasal cancer. Estimates indicate that up to 13% of woodworkers have dust-induced asthma. Breathing wood dust can also cause chronic bronchitis or emphysema. During their lifetimes, one third of all woodworkers experience some adverse health effects from contact with wood dust.

While shop vacuums are extremely popular among woodworkers, they may not be the best solution for systematic dust control. First and foremost, their capacities are generally much smaller than that of most large, stationary machines. Second, their filters usually don’t trap some of the micro-particles that can aggravate allergies and irritate the respiratory system. There’s no doubt: For most shops, a complete dust collection system is necessary to protect your health.

The books below contain tips, techniques and plans for minimizing your exposure to wood dust and particles.

Woodshop Dust Control: 

A Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Own SystemWoodshop Dust Control: A Complete Guide to Setting Up Your Own System
by Sandor Nagyszalanczy

Topics include:

from portable power tools, your ductwork, felted polyester, central dust collection, fine wood powder, lateral tees, reusable respirators, fine sanding dust, portable collectors, your shop vacuum, rigid ductwork, fine wood dust, blast gates, flanged hood, main hood, large shavings, shop cleanup, central collection systems, spiral pipe, sanding tables, your sawdust, chip collectors, ductwork system, dust helmets, stroke sanders

Table of Contents:

Introduction

Chapter 1: The Problem of Dust in the Woodshop
Different Forms of Dust
Sawdust and Respiratory Health
Fire and Explosion Hazards
Disposing of Sawdust

Chapter 2: Strategies for Controlling Dust
Masks and Respirators
Shop Ventilation
Air-Filtration Devices
Passive Collection
Portable Shop Vacuums
Portable and Central Dust Collectors
Combining Dust-Control Measures
Alternative Means of Controlling Dust

Chapter 3: Respiratory-Protection Devices
Disposable Masks
Reusable Respirators
Choosing the Right Filtration
Fitting a Mask Correctly
Powered Air-Purifying Respirators

Chapter 4: Shop Ventilation and Air Filtration
Shop Ventilation
Air-Filtration Devices

Chapter 5: Portable Dust-Collection Devices
Shop Vacuums
Portable Dust Collectors

Chapter 6: Central Dust Collectors
Central Dust Collector Basics
Choosing a Collector
Preseparation of Sawdust
Collector Filtration

Chapter 7: Designing a Central Collection System
The Design Process
Step 1: Making Shop-Layout Drawings
Step 2: Locating the Central Collector
Step 3: Basic Layout of the Ductwork
Step 4: Refining Duct Layout and Connections
Step 5: Determining Correct Duct Diameters
Step 6: Calculating Static-Pressure Losses
Step 7: Selecting the Right Collector for Your System
Good Examples: Three Real-Shop Collection Systems

Chapter 8: Installing a Central Collection System
Ducting Materials
Cutting and Installing Pipe
Grounding the Ductwork
Testing and Tuning the System
Switching the Dust Collector On and Off

Chapter 9: Collection Hoods and Other Devices
Hoods for Stationary Machines
Capturing Sawdust from Portable Tools
Capturing Fine Sanding Dust

Sources of Supply

Index

Introduction:

Up until just a few years ago, the primary means of dust collection in most woodshops was a simple broom and dustpan. But 21st-century woodworkers are much more aware of the impact of wood dust on their respiratory health. They are also aware of the fire danger that sawdust poses to their shops -- and the homes that are often attached to them. Hence, woodshop dust control has become a hot topic, and the devices and strategies used to collect chips or filter dust now receive almost as much attention in the woodworking press as the latest and greatest machines, portable power tools, and shop gadgets.

Since Woodshop Dust Control was first published seven years ago, hardly a week goes by when I don't receive an e-mail query or telephone plea from a puzzled reader: Can I design a ductwork system using my computer? Should I replace the bags in my portable chip collector with advanced filter media? Are there affordable ways I can automatically control my central system? Is there some new way I can ground my plastic ductwork? Which disposable dust mask is best for me, according to the new guidelines of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)? Can I make the power sanding of wood parts a cleaner task? Keeping up on the latest collection equipment and methods is essential to providing the best answers to such questions.

Fortunately, technology and product design have kept pace with the current trend to make dust collection as much a standard part of a woodshop as electricity and lighting. Lots of noteworthy innovations and improvements in dust equipment and accessories have come to market in the last seven years, including: better filters for dust and chip collectors, disposable bags for portable power tools, advanced electronic systems that make central collection systems easier to control, air-filtration devices that are more convenient to use, affordable downdraft tables to capture fine dust while sanding, and easier-to-use shop vacuums with better fine-particle filtration. One of the goals of the new and updated version of this book is to acquaint you with the complete range of dust-control devices and methods available to outfit your small (or not-so-small) woodworking shop.

Some things about dust control haven't changed since the earliest days of woodworking. Sawdust is still a woodshop nuisance: a messy by-product that's hard to avoid. Our machines churn out great heaps of chips and shavings that combust all too readily. They also throw a ton of fine wood dust into the air, which, as medical studies continue to reveal, can pose a significant health hazard. Do we really need more to convince us that capturing and controlling woodshop dust is an essential duty?

Probably the hardest part of dealing with dust is knowing which devices and methods to choose from among the extensive assortment of collection, filtration, and ventilation devices currently available. One class of devices, including shop vacuums and central collectors, is designed to capture dust at its source -- at a woodworking machine, a sanding table, or a workstation where portable power tools are used. These devices provide the most direct and efficient means of dust control since the majority of chips and dust are captured and collected before they can escape. Airborne dust can be abated by several different secondary control methods, including ventilation and air filtration or by wearable protection devices such as disposable masks, replaceable-cartridge respirators, and powered air-purifying respirators.

Unfortunately, buying the right respirator to protect your lungs or picking a collector powerful enough to handle your shop's sawdust output isn't as straightforward as the process of buying a handplane or table saw. If you've browsed a woodworking supply catalog or website lately, you've likely been confronted by a confusing array of information about particle size, filtration efficiency, airflow and ductwork sizing, cubic-feet-per-minute (cfm) and static-pressure ratings, etc. This kind of technical data is usually more befuddling than helpful. A troubling result is that many woodworkers end up with equipment that provides only a poor or partial solution to their dust problems.

This updated version of my book presents all the latest information you'll need to choose and implement dust control in your shop with a minimum of head scratching. Everything you need to know is explained in layperson's terms that you don't need an engineering degree to understand. Better still, there are lots of suggestions for how to achieve your dust-control goals without breaking your bank account.

This book's chapters progress from simple and inexpensive dust-control measures, such as wearing a dust mask and ventilating the shop, to more complex and expensive means of capturing and filtering dust, from shop vacuums and portable collectors on up to full central collection systems. Because installing a complete central system is an extensive undertaking, the last four chapters are devoted to all the necessary steps, from choosing a collector and designing the ductwork, to hooking up machines, to fine tuning the system for best performance.

Whichever dust-control measures you choose, you'll end up with a shop that's a cleaner and healthier place to work. After you take the plunge, I'm sure you'll never let a little thing like sawdust get in the way of your enjoyment of woodworking again.


" dust a by-product of the woodworking process, sawdust occurs at practically every phase of a project: when dressing lumber (with handplanes or thickness planners and..."

A complete guide to setting up your own system; revised and updated

Wood chips and sawdust in the woodshop are not just a nuisance -- they can also present a significant health hazard. But the good news is that this completely revised, color edition of Woodshop Dust Control provides all the information you need to protect yourself from wood dust.

Sandor Nagyszalanczy presents a complete overview of solutions to woodshop dust problems -- including up-to-date information on the latest products. Sandor covers everything from simple, inexpensive shop vacuums and portable collectors to full-blown central dust collection systems with cyclic pre-separators.

You’ll learn how to protect yourself from respirable wood dust using masks, respirators, and air-filtration devices. You’ll also discover ways to control dust and capture the mountains of sawdust produced by portable power tools and stationary machines. When it’s helpful, Sandor uses charts and graphs to illustrate the information. With the advice in this book, you’ll get practical information on designing, building and installing a system that’s right for your shop.

"Takes a comprehensive look at dust control issues and solutions for small-shop woodworkers…a thorough guide to matching a shop’s needs to available solutions."

-- Woodshop News

From Book News, Inc.
Illustrated with color photos, this guide provides information on dust control and dust collection products that can be used in woodshops, and shows how to design and install a custom dust-collecting system. The author, a professional furniture maker, is West Coast editor of American Woodworker, and has written other books on woodworking.

Book Description:
Woodshop Dust Control provides all the information woodworkers need to protect themselves from wood dust -- a serious health hazard. With over 100 color photos, this completely revised edition includes charts and graphics, up-to-date information on the latest products and examples of actual shop systems.

Amazon Reviews:

"This book covers everything you need to know about Dust Control and prepares you for your own Shops system. It covers more that one solution to just about every problem a woodworker could be concerned with. One thing that I also like is that the book covers home made systems that compare to what you can buy commercially. Also, this book has plenty of well drawn figures and pictures that guide you through the reading. 5 Stars for this one, Its a must have reference!"

top of page


Controlling Dust In The Workshop by Rick Peters Controlling Dust In The Workshop
by Rick Peters

Controlling Dust In The Workshop
by Rick Peters

From Library Journal
Woodworkers often get in trouble with their families for messy sawdust. Worse, wood dust has been shown to be a grave health hazard, causing eye and skin irritation, allergic reactions, and a host of respiratory problems. Proper dust collection can prevent or minimize most of these problems. Peters shows the types of protective equipment and dust collectors available and provides instructions on designing a collection system. Plans to make fixtures for specific machines are given, as well as maintenance instructions. Every woodworking collection should include this title.

Book Description:
“ Woodworkers often get in trouble with their families for messy sawdust. Worse, wood dust has been shown to be a grave health hazard....Proper dust collection can prevent or minimize...these problems. Peters shows the types of protective equipment and dust collectors available and provides instructions on designing a collection system. Every woodworking collection should include this title.”—Library Journal.

Amazon Reviews:

"When someone asks you a riddle, it is complex in trying to find an answer. Once you find it, or someone gives it to you, it seems so obvious, you may blurt out, "I knew that" Well that is what the author has done with every aspect of controlling dust in the workshop. This guy knows it so well, that he has reduced it to simplicity. No guesswork in his approach. He states it, and that is the end of it. It is a highly recommended read. No nonsense, simply put, this is the way to put the best dust collection system together.
Here is what I decided to do, after reading the book. Although the author recommends a cyclone dust collector, I am purchasing the JDS Dust Force, with the 1 micron kit, (be sure and get the optional 1 micron kit) and a Woodstock International separator. The price of doing it that way is one third of the cost of the a cyclone unit. Home made units can be made, and he points the way on how to do it, but I would prefer to not have to build one, since I have enough projects to do already. His penchant for the cyclone unit, is that chunks of wood, or even worse metal, won't be dancing off of the fan blade, which could cause a spark. The only thing that arrives at the cyclone filter is a little powder. Additoinally their isn't any vacuum loss with a cyclone, due to resistance. Well the JDS Dust force delivers more air at 1200 CFM, so the small amount of resistance created by the Wookstock International pre separator is of no consquence. Additoinally it prevents anything other than fine powder getting near the fan blade and filter as well.
Since the popular Oneida 2HP cyclone unit only gives you 1100, and their 1.5HP is rated for 750 as I recall, and at three times the cost.
This book gets into everything you need to know, to set up a complete system. In addition to the book, I noticed at the Onieda-air.com site, they had a sample room layout, with the proper pipe sizes etc. Proper sizing and layout, will give you the right amount of performance, and in proportion for the varying needs of different types of tools.
I guess I am getting a little wordy. Buy the book. It will save you way more than the purchase price in your quest for the dust free shop."

"This book could save you life. Dust can be very dangerous. This book will more than pay for it's self when you decide to collect that dust instead of breathing it. The book is aimed a small commercial or home workshop. My family joked and laughed at me for buying a book about dust. After looking over the book, my son said it is interesting, and he was glad i bought it. I am just about finished with the instalation of a dust collection system in my shop. I used a lot of great input from this book. Peters recommends metal pipe over PVC. I have a friend who has a nice PVC system, and will be replacing the PVC with metal. In the past I had a large commercial DC system that worked very well. I expect this smaller system will work well too."

"I ordered this book before setting up my 1000 sq/ft shop. It really cleared up a lot of things. I was considering buying 2 of the popular (Jet or Delta) bag collectors... one for each end of my shop.

However, after reading the book, I decided this would be a cheaper way to go, but not a better way. I ended up buying a cyclone unit and using all metal ductwork. More expensive, but safer and much more efficient."

"I like this book because for one the photos are very clear and in color. All too often woodworking books come with drawn pictures or black and white photos, which I hate. One of the best things I like about this book is Rick Peters shows you how to make simple dust collection hookup for each of your machines. I already made 2, which work great. The only thing I disagree with is the fact he tells you not to use PVC for your ducting. I live in a humid climate so static electricity is the least of my worries. This topic has been debated to death, and I guess Rick is on one side of the debate, but PVC is so much easier to work with and more readily available. Plus it is [less expensive]. All in all this is a fine book."

"This is the most clearly written book I could find on dust collection. The author makes it very clear that dust is dangerous to your long term health and then concisly states through pictures and words how to help you make woodworking a life long experience. I highly recommend this as a first and maybe only book on dust collection."

"I spent years trying to get my wood shop dust collection system perfect. Spent a lot of money buying stuff that didn't work. Finally a clear, concise book that not only tells you what to do but what not to do.The author covers hidden items to look for when buying a DC like, motor classes and what to avoid, the effect the impeller diameter has on CFM performance and the type of sawdust collector bag you never want to use.The only thing I didn't like was the discussion on PVC vs metal duct. And that's OK because it's a personal preferrence thing that has no impact on performance. If you are thinking about buying a DC this book is the best investment you will ever make in your shop. Brings order to a very confused subject. The only other major book on DC's will leave you so confused you won't know what to do."


Getting Tough on Dust: Woodshop Dust Control (part 2)

CLICK HERE for our Buying Guide to Dust Collectors

top of page

Back to Dust-Control.us home page