Dust collector

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Blog entry by BubingaBill posted 01-07-2014 09:32 PM 2324 reads 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi All,
I have been working with exotic woods for 2 years now and even though I have no allergies I have had some extreme health issues. The last few months have involved some expensive tests with little or no results. My wife is set on the idea of breathing the sawdust as the culprit and she could be right. Another round of blood tests are required for that. I do wear a mask when working with this but not as often as I should.
On a lighter note I received my Christmas bonus (much less then the cost of a new band saw) and decided to start looking into a used dust collector. I scoured the LJ posts of old to see what you all liked. Then hit Craig’s list and E-bay.
Luck would have it that Friday I found one about an hour away in the western burbs of Chicago. A few year old JET DC-650 with no accessories. I looked it up and found several customer reviews telling the pluses and minuses of this model. So I went and checked it out. It was quieter then I expected and had more power then described in the reviews. Zero damage and looked barely used! It came home with me but not before a stop over at the local WoodCrafters store!
I got a separator lid (in the hope it will fit a garbage can I have at home) and 10’ of 4” hose and some clamps. I have already designed how I want to set it up but for now just hooking it to my table saw and seeing the results was amazing!
My 47th birthday is Thursday and I’m hoping to get some gift cards to buy the additional pieces needed to hook up the DC to all my tools. This includes the sanding (yet to be built) table so I can sand my boxes and not die! This unknown medical issue(s) has been keeping me from my shop and it’s driving me nuts! I cut up a few things and had the DC hose right there and it really did help. I’m looking forward to getting back to working on my boxes. I have attached a picture of the Jet in action. “Everyone say ooohhhh!”

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

6 comments so far

View RHaynes's profile


113 posts in 2702 days

#1 posted 01-07-2014 10:51 PM

Sorry to hear about your health problems, Bill. I hope they clear up for you and turn out to be something simple!

My wife worries too—pretty smart actually since it’s well-documented that breathing this stuff isn’t great for you. And the guys like you who are into exotics even more so. I have allergies—pretty severe ones. In fact, I have at times taken weekly injections. I am so allergic to trees of various species that I got one shot in the left arm with grasses, molds, and everything else I’m allergic to but a separate shot in my right arm for just trees. Those allergies have at times given me some pretty serious breathing problems, requiring steroid inhalers, etc. . . . the whole nine yards. And yes, I know how stupid it is to be a woodworker given this—I don’t need anyone else calling me stupid . . . I have a wife already. But, I built this air cleaner for the cost of the attic fan and some furnace filters (approx. $80). It moves 1,340 cfm, which means it’s strong enough to circulate all of the air in my shop every 40 seconds. It sends the air through three sets of filters, a #3, a #7, and a #10. The #10 is fine enough to stop odors and smoke but the #3 catches most of the particulate (which is good because it’s the cheapest one to replace). I built the whole thing in about 2.5 hours. I wear a mask when sanding, when cutting plywood, and a respirator when finishing. But other than that, I am maskless in the shop. No watery eyes, coughing, or sinus irritation—it’s a simple fix that works absolute wonders. It’s a little loud, but it does a good job and I wear my hearing protection at all times in the shop (I have the ones that have built in speakers to listen to the radio).

-- "Sometimes the creative process requires foul language." -- Charles Neil.

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3757 days

#2 posted 01-07-2014 10:53 PM

Congrats on the new to you DC!

Many bag filters only filter down to 5 microns. Do you know what yours filters down to?
It is these fine particles that are the real danger!

To further improve the health benefits of your DC….
You should consider a Wynn Environmental canister filter.
They have several that filter down to 0.5 microns.
This keeps the “fine” dust out of your shop & hence your lungs.
The other unit to consider is an ambient air cleaner.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View BubingaBill's profile


297 posts in 2766 days

#3 posted 01-07-2014 11:08 PM

I think the bag is the original and I have no paperwork on anything. I have a plan of putting up a small shed just outside a back window of the garage to put the DC in. Then the fine dust can stay out of the shop. I know it will pull the warm air out and suck in cold air but it’s a small price to pay for my health.
I like the dust box and I have a stack of filters for an old furnace just sitting here. I guess I will have to make one!!

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3354 days

#4 posted 01-08-2014 02:57 PM

Happy Birthday!

Hope that new (to you) DC eliminates your health issues. Sawdust is the only downside to woodworking that I’ve encountered, unless you count not ever having enough clamps. ;-)

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View BubingaBill's profile


297 posts in 2766 days

#5 posted 01-08-2014 05:08 PM

Thanks Grandpa Len!

I read all about the health issues involved with the exotic woods before buying them and not having any allergies of any kind I thought I would not have any problems. Someone here once wrote about the cost of working with exotics. They said “it’s not a matter of if you are allergic, but more of when you become allergic”.

Tomorrow is the big 47 and I hope to get more clamps!!

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

View Boxguy's profile


2897 posts in 3349 days

#6 posted 06-22-2014 07:17 PM

Bill, it never hurts to catch sawdust at the source. Check out this hook-up to the sanders themselves. It is made of CPAP hoses, an electrical box, a delay switch, and a Fein shop vac. It really cuts down on ambient dust.

-- Big Al in IN

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