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How should I set up a dust collector for a lathe?

4036 Views 40 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  calabrese55
Before I go out and invest the money in a dust collector system, I'm wondering the best way to hook it up to get the most benefit when I'm running my lathe. I have a lathe, bandsaw, table saw, thickness plainer and Jointer. All the tools besides the lathe I've been able to figure out a way to hook up the system system but I don't know what I should do to be able to collect most of the chips flying off my lathe. And. Any suggestions?
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Once freed of the wood spindle lathe chips are so angry they act like bees and will attack you.
I use fans to push and pull the fines away from me.
Unless it's wet wood then it doesn't matter
Other machines are hooked up to a cyclone
Good Luck
Rockler makes and sell something that works, sort of. It get's about 25% of the chips, but that's only if you keep moving it. I tried and tried to come up with something. You almost have to pull debris from underneath and towards the front but then it's either always in the way or your dropping important things into it like mandrel parts, bushings, etc. The way I looked at it - if I have to clean up 75% of the shavings, instead of messing around all day trying to get the dang thing in the right spot I'll just pick up 100% of the shaving and go on with my life. I would love to see other ideas.
DC is near impossible… shoot for containment. Many here have 'wrapped' the lathe area using tarps, sheets, shower curtains, etc… keeping the chips contained within their confines. Fancy setups have guides or tracks above so they can be moved out of the way easily when not in use.

Thanks for all the replies. Containment sounds the best. I can do that.
As all have mentioned, not easy for good dust collection with a lathe. Aj2 has a good suggestion to use a fan to blow the shavings or sanding dust away from you. Maybe add an Air Filtration Unit to the area you blow the sanding dust. I added a dust hood that connects magnetically to the back of the lathe. It only helps some. But, it does have a chip deflector on it. I got mine on sale for $19.95.

I also have a small workbench next to the lathe with a benchtop vise just left of my lathe. I'll clamp a 2 1/2" dust collection tube in the vise, so the tube is next to the lathe tool rest to draw in some shavings and sanding dust.
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Unless you're making pens or other small items you're out of luck. If you watch anybody who turns a lot of bowls you rarely if ever see DC. Too many large chips and with a bowl, the hose would have to be a foot away.
Be content if you can contain the chips & sawdust within 20 feet in all directions including up.
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Have used a scoop on behind the lathe on small projects and when sanding. Works to a degree as the above have stated. Use it more for sawdust when sanding than anything else.
anyone find the holly grail of lathe dust collection let me know,,,,,,,please !!!!
Sweep and shovel chips. DC is good for the fine stuff that hangs in the air. I have a neo magnet attached to the 4" hose, place it where I can, turning or sanding.
I hang a trap behind the lathe. I have three 12 gallon plastic storage bins on the floor that catch about 65 to 70 percent of the dust and shavings that bounce off the tarp. Some of the dust and shavings fall between, and on both sides of the bins, and underneath the lathe. But most of it stays in the lathe area.
About the only time I use my dust collector at the lathe is when I am sanding or turning resin. Otherwise, running my 5hp Oneida is just a waste of electricity.

I have shower curtains around the lathe to contain the chips and shavings. A brush to clean the lathe off and a broom and dust pan for the floor finish cleanup.
I have shower curtains around the lathe to contain the chips and shavings. ....

- TheDane
I have several slatted window blinds that I hung around the lathe to keep chips from flying everywhere. I can raise them when not needed.

Also, I saw recently that the guy whose utoob channel is "Fixing Furniture" (Wooden it be Nice) has invented something that he's still waiting on the patent for that helps contain chips and allows a dust collector to actually collect them. (Sorry I can't find the vid in which he introduces the fixture at the end…)
The fan idea blowing it away from you isn't the best idea. You may stay clean but now your entire shop will be covered under a layer. Instead of spending 30 minutes cleaning up the work area you will now spend hours. Not to mention all the fine particles you have introduced into the air that you will breath in. I wear a turners smock and a mask and let the chips fall to the ground.
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Also, I saw recently that the guy whose utoob channel is "Fixing Furniture" (Wooden it be Nice) has invented something that he s still waiting on the patent for that helps contain chips and allows a dust collector to actually collect them.
Might be okay for small stuff, but when I turn larger bowls, I generate enough heavy, wet shavings to fill a 35-gallon bag in my dc's bin.
I tried rigging a dust collector hood behind my lathe. Doesn't do that good collecting chips or dust off a turning, though it collects a little. If I hadn't already had all the parts, I don't know that I would have tried it. I don't know of any what works well, but that's just my opinion.
You'd need suction strong enough and a hole big enough to suck in a small child or pet.
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I totally agree with the containment idea. My small garage shop is so packed, My lathe is close to a shelve system that I store all my wood on. After battling the turning chips and other woodworking dust. I found that painters drop cloths worked well and look good. so all my storage areas in the garage now have drop cloth curtains. The way I am set up, the one closest to my lathe does a great job at containing it all to that area. I have use a DC set up on the back side just below my work piece when sanding. But honestly I don't feel it works well either. And a DC is simply not designed for the chips that a lathe produces. I just need to remember to turn on the ceiling mounted air filter when I am finish sanding. and let the chips fly.
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