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  • Fine Dust and safety concerns

    The fine dust is the dangerous dust isn't it? It's the dust that could explode and also the dust that causes respiratory issues isn't it? How come most dust collectors I see are covered in machine generated fine dust? Doesn't that suggest the collector will get the big stuff only? Does it also suggest an air cleaner is the only answer or should we be more in favour of Personal Respirators? Does anyone know if an air cleaner can in fact remove the dust out of the air before we breathe it in? If It can't clean the air in a timely fashion am I missing an obvious alternative.?
    "Do it Right!"
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  • #2

    Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

    All depends where the discharge of the collection system goes and what is used to remove suspended particles and what electrical charges are present.
    Last edited by Egon; 03-07-2019, 03:15 PM.
    Egon
    from
    The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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    • #3

      Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

      Hi Rusty, anything not removed at the cutting source will be in the atmosphere if it's the dangerous small particles. (the large pieces will be on the floor, hard to inhale a shaving from a planer or shaper)

      Once it's in the atmosphere, unless you use a suitable mask, you will inhale the dust. An air cleaner will eventually remove dust from the air.

      If you can hold your breath for 10 minutes, it would be a perfectly acceptable method of dust collection if you're not tracking it through the house.

      As to why you see fine dust at some dust collectors, that's because they're leaking fine dust back into the atmosphere after collecting the chunks, I call them dust distributors........Rod.
      Work is the curse of the riding class.

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      • #4

        Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

        I personally would not rely on any single element for dust control,it should be a systematic approach. Also agree with Rod about dust pumps,so many of us have fallen into that trap.
        then the best cyclone or filter system is only as good as the collection at the tool.
        a air filter unit will pull the fines from the machine through your breathing zone,as most dust is produced at waist level and most filter units are on the ceiling.
        when in doubt,a appropriate mask or respirator should be used,as dust can escape the best system,but catching as much at the soarse as possiable is ideal

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        • #5

          Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

          Great topic, Rusty.

          I agree with everything said here and would like to add a few things. if you look at some of my previous posts, you can see both my air cleaner and my DC system (Air Cleaner, DC install). I also have a Dylos particle counter which I run most of the time I am in the shop so I have a pretty good idea of the air quality.

          I don't have any measurable dust coming from my DC filters or any other part of the system, but I do at times have fine dust in the air when I can't collect all of the dust at the source. Over time, some of this dust settles on the floor and on my equipment so my shop is not always dust free. In those cases when I cannot collect the fine dust at the source or whenever the particle count is not low, I wear my respirator and I also have both of my air cleaners running. They are very effective at bringing the particle count down over time so I consider them an important part of controlling the dust in my shop. As alluded to in your original post, the air cleaner does not remove the dust before you have a chance to breath it (thus the importance of a respirator), but it helps to make sure that later in the day when you come back to the shop, you are starting with clean air. I believe it also helps to prevent the fine dust from going too far outside the shop. You can see that I am using a pleated filter on the output of my air cleaner. I can't speak about the effectiveness of other air cleaners that use furnace filters or similar.

          As mentioned near the end of my DC install thread, leaving the DC running with a blast gate open also helps to quickly bring the particle count down. Of course, this only makes sense if the DC is able to trap all of the fine dust.

          David
          gojaysgo2013 likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

            Thank you David. It's an important topic and it is often defended improperly in my opinion. To learn the fine dust which is the bad dust is in the air is critical to woodworkers. To defend that one's DC system will get the fines is incorrect. It's probably difficult to admit, after spending some pretty good coin, that you still have the fines to deal with but that is the reality. A respirator and an air cleaner work so well I don't understand why anyone would not have both of them before investing in a DC system of some sort. I think many of us could learn a thing or two by reading your previous post. I love that you can tell what's in the air.
            "Do it Right!"

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            • #7

              Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

              Originally posted by Rusty View Post
              Thank you David. It's an important topic and it is often defended improperly in my opinion. To learn the fine dust which is the bad dust is in the air is critical to woodworkers. To defend that one's DC system will get the fines is incorrect. It's probably difficult to admit, after spending some pretty good coin, that you still have the fines to deal with but that is the reality. A respirator and an air cleaner work so well I don't understand why anyone would not have both of them before investing in a DC system of some sort. I think many of us could learn a thing or two by reading your previous post. I love that you can tell what's in the air.
              Thanks Rusty. I believe that knowing what is in the air is critical to the learning process. Before I could measure the particle count, I had no idea how well my air cleaner was working and how long I had to leave it running to clean the air.

              David

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              • #8

                Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                Thank you David. It's an important topic and it is often defended improperly in my opinion. To learn the fine dust which is the bad dust is in the air is critical to woodworkers. To defend that one's DC system will get the fines is incorrect. It's probably difficult to admit, after spending some pretty good coin, that you still have the fines to deal with but that is the reality. A respirator and an air cleaner work so well I don't understand why anyone would not have both of them before investing in a DC system of some sort. I think many of us could learn a thing or two by reading your previous post. I love that you can tell what's in the air.
                Hi Rusty, I use my cyclone as the air cleaner, like David I use a particle counter to determine how things are working. My cyclone and collection works very well, particle counts are below ambient air level.

                Using an air cleaner and a mask doesn't protect the other people that live in my house, or in a shop, the other people that work there. That's why collection at source is always the first approach.

                The machine that's the worst in my shop is the band saw, or hand sanding. When hand sanding I try to use a 4 inch hose close to the work and wear a mask.

                Switching to a Festool ROS and dust extractor also significantly improved my dust collection compared to the previous ROS.

                It's always a quest for improvement............Rod.
                Work is the curse of the riding class.

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                • #9

                  Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                  I have a cyclone filter, an overhead air cleaner (homemade) - last summer bought a festool sander & vac.

                  I tend to leave the over head one of if I’m doing something really dusty- sanding at the lathe, cutting plywood etc.

                  The festool sander is first a really great sander and second great at collecting the dust.

                  I don’t bother to try to collect from the drill press or lathe.
                  I don’t try to collect from hand sanding/ using hand tools at all.

                  i have a good 3M mask but I seldom use it because I have a beard - no mask works properly with a beard.

                  I have never felt the need to improve upon what I currently have, except maybe to add another festool sander ;)

                  Nathan
                  Last edited by nnieman; 03-09-2019, 05:38 AM.

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                  • #10

                    Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                    If I am sanding I have a household cyclone vacume with a hepa filter that helps a lot,and I open a couple blast gates and leave two 5" flex ducts on the floor.i would rather pull the dust down than up,and my Oneida has a true hepa filter,not going to beat that with a ceiling mounted scrubber,and I wear a mask , I have a couple good options for dust masks
                    Last edited by al.m..; 03-08-2019, 06:12 PM.

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                    • #11

                      Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                      Don't over thing it guys or scare away new woodworkers. Just use some common sense and you'll be ok. 1000's of old woodworkers died of many things other then from sniffing a piece of wood.
                      gojaysgo2013, and 2 others like this.

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                      • #12

                        Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                        I love the subject but I totally agree about overdoing it. You get beat up over opinions and then down the line you get a pic of a guy's shop and it's covered in fine dust.

                        I use a respirator and today I will spray lacquer. You bet I'll have on my respirator for fumes so why not for sanding dust? Maybe some of us are closet "Glue Sniffers." LOL
                        "Do it Right!"

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                        • #13

                          Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                          I don't believe anything is being overthought,much of this is using what you have to its best advantage.
                          no need to be scared about a sensible conversation about protecting yourself the best you can,case in point,a resperator for dust,overkill,but you own it anyway,for sure use it if you are comfortable wearing it,no issues

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                          • #14

                            Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                            I have 3 or 4 respirators and lots of spare cartridges. I wouldn't be without them. Dust can and will cause health issues but I agree with Al and Sam don't overthink it. Just use some common sense.
                            "Do it Right!"

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                            • #15

                              Re: Fine Dust and safety concerns

                              Originally posted by Rusty View Post
                              I have 3 or 4 respirators and lots of spare cartridges. I wouldn't be without them. Dust can and will cause health issues but I agree with Al and Sam don't overthink it. Just use some common sense.
                              overthinking and common sence could be applied to most any topic on this forum,lol,at the end of the day take what you can use from a topic

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