Computer in the shop?

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Forum topic by Suobs posted 12-04-2010 04:25 PM 2932 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 3377 days

12-04-2010 04:25 PM

Does anyone have experience with protecting or precautions for a desktop computer and monitor used in a woodworking shop or other dusty environment?

38 replies so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4820 days

#1 posted 12-04-2010 04:35 PM

If you are doing it, or planning to do it, I would rig a plastic dust cover of some sort to keep it covered at all times when not in use. Personally, I would not do it at all. The cooling fan will constantly be sucking ambient dust into the machine.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4424 days

#2 posted 12-04-2010 04:50 PM

I agree with Charlie’s comment. I periodically take the desktop apart to vacuum the fan and interior and it is always loaded with dust, lint, etc. Putting it in a dusty environment would make this worse.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3700 days

#3 posted 12-04-2010 05:25 PM

There are homemade enclosures with Hepa fiters that people have made for N.C. machines running in woodshops. Google around and I’m sure you could get some plans.

View Suobs's profile


26 posts in 3377 days

#4 posted 12-04-2010 05:39 PM

What is an N.C. machine?

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 4771 days

#5 posted 12-04-2010 06:00 PM

I have my netbook there all the time. Just cover it when I’m not using it. No problem so far.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View wwbob's profile


111 posts in 3477 days

#6 posted 12-04-2010 06:03 PM

Numeric or Numerically Controlled. Computer controlled equipment basically.

-- "I like the quiet I hear." - Channing, age 4

View jmichaeldesign's profile


66 posts in 3385 days

#7 posted 12-04-2010 06:05 PM

We ran them in our small cnc lab in school and didn’t have any issues. All we did was use cheap rubber keyboards, like these

Keep the machine blown out regularly. Should be fine.

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3599 days

#8 posted 12-04-2010 06:12 PM

We used them in Animal barns for running the feed systems. THAT enviroment was corrosive as well as dusty.
The rubber keyboard is good idea. Just don’t SEAL up the tower, it needs air to cool the inside.
Overheating will cause problems .

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Suobs's profile


26 posts in 3377 days

#9 posted 12-04-2010 07:21 PM

It looks like there are some inexpensive solutions out there, like:

View doyoulikegumwood's profile


384 posts in 4594 days

#10 posted 12-04-2010 07:22 PM

This may not be a solution for you but this is what i did. i have a large conduit chase between the house and the garage that i ran when i when i did the power in case i needed to run something else out there. so i leave the pc in the house and chased a vga cable and and a few usb extensions out there. so all thats out there is the a monitor, keyboard, and mouse.

-- I buy tools so i can make more money,so ican buy more tools so I can work more, to make more money, so I can buy more tool, so I can work more

View Suobs's profile


26 posts in 3377 days

#11 posted 12-04-2010 07:35 PM

Huh! I thought there was some limit on the length of USB and monitor cables (like really short). In my case, the shop is detached and it would be at least 150 feet . . .

View Paul C.'s profile

Paul C.

154 posts in 3847 days

#12 posted 12-04-2010 07:46 PM

I use a terminal that displays a running copy of linux. no moving parts, no viruses.

View A10GAC's profile


191 posts in 3680 days

#13 posted 12-04-2010 07:47 PM

USB specification limits the length of a cable between full speed devices to 5 meters (a little under 16 feet 5 inches). For a low speed device the limit is 3 meters (9 feet 10 inches). Unless you start daisy chaining hubs together; then you can max it out at about 88 feet. (This is with a maximum of 5 hubs)

There’s a company that makes CPU covers out of a filter material, most run just under $20 that work pretty well with only a minimal temperature increase. Shop Shield

-- Men have become the tools of their tools. - Henry David Thoreau

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3563 days

#14 posted 12-04-2010 09:48 PM

Builid a box and fit an A/C filter in the back. However, no matter how airtight, there will be dust. Like CharlieM1958, I wouldn’t do it.

View bigjoe4265's profile


52 posts in 3534 days

#15 posted 12-04-2010 10:26 PM

For a shop environment I would recommend something like this. I don’t have any personal experience with these, but there are other manufacturers that make fanless pc’s like this that are typically used in automotive applications.


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