Static Electricity

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Forum topic by lalkie posted 06-15-2017 02:42 AM 2715 views 0 times favorited 49 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 1588 days

06-15-2017 02:42 AM

I have a Dewalt DW734 planer. When I run boards thru it and touch the metal out feed table I get a mild shocks of static electricity. I generally have it hooked to a dust collector. Is there a cure for this. It is just aggravating and possibly a safety hazard as it could ignite the dust. Anyone experience this or have a solution to? Thanks Larry

49 replies so far

View Jack Lewis's profile

Jack Lewis

573 posts in 1686 days

#1 posted 06-15-2017 03:02 AM

Ground the machine, add some moisture to your shop, DON’T TOUCH THE METAL, ground yourself before you touch anything. In late spring to late fall here in Arizona it is constant static shocks every time you touch metal. The shock is probably you and not the machine.

-- "PLUMBER'S BUTT! Get over it, everybody has one"

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5811 posts in 3852 days

#2 posted 06-15-2017 09:30 PM

I wouldn’t worry about igniting sawdust. Dust has to be super fine, like flour to ignite. Sawdust just isn’t fine enough.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3976 days

#3 posted 06-16-2017 12:46 AM

Ground your DC system like the manufacturer said to!

View alittleoff's profile


545 posts in 1885 days

#4 posted 06-16-2017 01:02 AM

Even if it grounded its going to happen no matter what you do. It’s you not the machine. I usually slap my hand to metal before I touch it, if I think to.

View Lenny's profile


1647 posts in 4135 days

#5 posted 06-16-2017 01:46 AM

Larry, I don’t know if there is a “cure” for it but I know it is quite common and happens to just about all of us. My planer is in close proximity to my table saw (TS). I often place a hand on the TS before reaching to retrieve the board from the planer, thereby grounding myself. As MrRon states, you need not be concerned about sawdust igniting. From what I have read, there is no recorded instance of sawdust ignition/explosion. Some go as far as to say it is a myth. If interested, do a Google search on the topic and you’ll see what I mean.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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3584 posts in 3976 days

#6 posted 06-16-2017 01:53 AM

You guys are ignorant, static shock is completely preventable. Your saws and planers don’t shock you because they are grounded. The moving air over the plastic pipes or tubes of the DC causes static. A shop vac will cause it too. Ground the ductwork for your DC and you wont get any static shocks. That’s the Cure, Lenny.

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3907 days

#7 posted 06-16-2017 02:31 AM

You can also ground your planer tables directly if for some reason they aren’t electrically connected to the ductwork. A very small wire is all you need.

View SanderBash's profile


8 posts in 969 days

#8 posted 06-16-2017 08:30 AM

As some have suggested, the static probably comes from your dust collection (many dust particles travelling at high speeds can cause static buildup, especially in dry conditions). Try planing a few boards with the dust collection off to check if it is indeed the culprit.

Also try wearing other shoes. In a particular university building I (and others) have found out that wearing shoes with a specific rubber sole causes static shocks everytime you touch a metal door jamb, handle or window frame.

While annoying, it should not be a safety hazard.

View Lenny's profile


1647 posts in 4135 days

#9 posted 06-16-2017 11:14 AM

Ignorance implies lack of knowledge. I have plenty of that papadan. The problem is navigating all of the info available. Many “experts” say it’s a waste of time to “ground” pvc ductwork. Others say it’s worth the time, just in case. Some say a copper wire inside the ductwork is sufficient, others, you should run it both inside and out. Most of these articles are addressing the explosion issue more so than the static electricity one. Again Larry, what I’ve read indicates the likelihood of an explosion is practically nil. But I think we all agree grounding is worthwhile regarding static electricity.

While I am not ignorant, I will admit to being an idiot at times. My DC system IS grounded with 18 gauge copper wire running from the DC, through the ductwork and terminates at each tool. Well, almost each tool. This discussion made me realize I never added the ground to my new-ish planer! No wonder I am getting shocks. DUH!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3976 days

#10 posted 06-16-2017 05:45 PM

Lenny, I have to say that the “experts” (I have read their reports too) are also ignorant. They base their opinion on their own experiences. ALL manufacturers of DC equipment say to ground the system. There are plenty of commercial systems that have blown up because of static or an electrical short. They say there are no reports of home systems ever having a problem, I say there are some that just didn’t know what caused the explosion or fire. Remember, the internet is not that old and there are still lots of people that don’t use it. I started in the late 80s with computers, but I still don’t have or want a “smart” phone. I have never sent a text to anyone. To communicate with someone, I call them or knock on their door. Anyone can prove the existence of static, just use a shop vac for a few minutes without touching anything, then touch one of your machines with the vac running, do this in the dark and you can see the spark between you and the machine. And that is just a small shop vac, not a big DC system.

View scr5008's profile


26 posts in 1595 days

#11 posted 06-16-2017 06:37 PM

I haven’t tried this yet, but a guy at work says he ran a bare copper wire INSIDE his shop vac hose, fastened to the hose at the user end (so it doesn’t get sucked through), then ran a small rivet through the other shop-vac end to extended the wire externally and ground it to the machine he was running.

The corrugated plastic hoses of shopvacs also stir up a lot of air, and little particles in air create the static, when you touch it, zap. If you give the static a chance to ground, it won’t hit you.

View papadan's profile


3584 posts in 3976 days

#12 posted 06-16-2017 06:40 PM

The guy at work is correct!

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3584 posts in 3976 days

#13 posted 06-16-2017 06:43 PM

I apologize if my posts in this thread seam short or mean. This subject has been covered hundreds of times and argued by the best. There is only one true answer. Ground your DC system like the manufacturer suggests and you will prevent static shocks and avoid any possibility of static explosion.

View ScottM's profile


747 posts in 2755 days

#14 posted 06-16-2017 06:53 PM

I just use a Dust Deputy and it came with a grounding wire for just this reason…

View pintodeluxe's profile


6038 posts in 3421 days

#15 posted 06-16-2017 07:00 PM

I had this issue on my 735. It was related to a large volume of air moving through flex hose. I grounded the spiral wire to my metal DC duct work and it completely solved the problem. If you don’t have a convenient way to ground the hose / pipe you might try anti-static flex hose.

The shorter the length of flex hose, the better – both in terms of static shock generation and general dust collector performance.

Good luck with it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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