Moral question: selling something I don't think is safe

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Forum topic by Douglas posted 06-11-2011 05:49 AM 2371 views 0 times favorited 50 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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424 posts in 3164 days

06-11-2011 05:49 AM

Here’s a moral question I’m wrestling with. I have a Rockler 3/4 HP bag type dust collector that I just replaced with a HF 2HP DC and a Wynn canister filter. The Rockler came with a 30 micron bag, which I replaced with the 5 micron bag. But after learning more about DC, I now understand that even the 5 micron bag isn’t safe, as a 5 micron DC is just a “fine dust pump” if it’s not catching 1 micron stuff. But the Rockler is shiny and new with only a handful of hours of use.

I’d like to sell it and get some $ for it, but am I doing the new owner a disservice by not warning them about the health risks? Or do I say, “here it is, by the way, it’ll kill ya!”? Do I say, “here it is, get a 1 micron bag too or you’re in trouble.”? Or should I just let the buyer get it and not sweat it?

Just curious what the community has to say.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

50 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3279 days

#1 posted 06-11-2011 06:14 AM

I think if you have to ask advice you know the correct answer. Tell the truth always

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3164 days

#2 posted 06-11-2011 06:30 AM

I would never deceive anyone, absolutely. I am honest to a fault, and the money is not that big of a deal. Every used car I’ve ever sold I’ve gone over the whole list of what’s wrong with it up front, with the final price affected accordingly. So this is more of a “should I list it with a caveat, or just list it and let the buyer decide if they think its for them” type of issue. Rockler sells it, and I don’t see a warning on their site (nor a link to a 1 micron bag).

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View rance's profile


4271 posts in 3764 days

#3 posted 06-11-2011 06:50 AM

“Woodworking” is dangerous. EVERYTHING we do. If the buyer is buying a DC, then they should know the risks anyways, otherwise why would they even be in the market for a DC? Tell them it came with a 30, you replaced it with a 5, but a 1 micron would be the best. That’s the best you can do.

Furthermore, is a 1 micron good enough? Scientifically maybe, but scientists have been wrong many times.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View rcs47's profile


213 posts in 3733 days

#4 posted 06-11-2011 07:16 AM

My Dad ran his custom cabinet shop for 40 years without any DC. When we had a house full of cabinets framed and were sanding, there would be a cloud of dust in the shop. We had a lot to sweep, but no DC.

I’ve moved toward DC with my tools mainly to reduce my cleanup. If I’m using any hazardous woods, I use personal protective equipment (PPE).

IMHO we have gone a little overboard for the typical hobby woodworker. If you are working with a lot of hazardous woods (you should be using PPE, not just relying on DC) or running 40+ hours a week while the DC runs continuously, then you might want to look at something with the finer filter.

Like you said, Rockler still sells the unit. I wouldn’t feel bad selling the unit because you have improved what Rockler sells.

Good luck.

-- Doug - As my Dad taught me, you're not a cabinet maker until you can hide your mistakes.

View childress's profile


841 posts in 4146 days

#5 posted 06-11-2011 07:23 AM

yeah, any dust collector is better than none. So if someone wants to buy it to improve their shop….And as long as you voice your own concerns and why you upgraded the way you did, then what’s the problem? The bottom line is whether or not you can sleep at night. If the answer is you can’t by selling it, then throw it away…. then there’s the issue of filling up the landfllls with unnecessary crap! ;-)

-- Childress Woodworks

View Greedo's profile


473 posts in 3564 days

#6 posted 06-11-2011 07:36 AM

just mention it filters to 5 micron, s there a law that says any filters under 1 micron are forbidden? as we say here, what is not forbidden is allowed.

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 4357 days

#7 posted 06-11-2011 07:48 AM

I think that you are good to go, 5 micron is way better than any of the mill workers around here have. I have the bags on my Jet DC, and am not to worried about it, but I have other things to worry about. Yes, I would like it to be finer, but cost and age, make it hard to do. 5 micron in a hobby shop is fine unless you are dealing with some woods, and if you are dealing with those you should know the risk.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View rsdowdy's profile


105 posts in 3800 days

#8 posted 06-11-2011 08:11 AM

DC…. I’d sell it and give him a copy of billpentz’s web address and suggest they read bill advice for dust collection safety. The dust collector they buy from you is better for them than the dust collector they didn’t have before. As rsc47 says we should all be using PPE if we really want to be protected. Be honest, give the best advice you can, love your hobby, and sleep well at night.


View Manitario's profile


2795 posts in 3487 days

#9 posted 06-11-2011 08:25 AM

As you can see, there are a lot of differing perspectives on this site and in the marketplace as to what constitutes appropriate DC. You pose a difficult question; part of me thinks that anyone buying a tool, not necessarily a DC assumes the responsibility for learning how to use the tool safely, as you have by upgrading you DC. That said, I’d feel pretty bad if someone got hurt from something I sold them. I guess you need to do what will allow you to sleep at night, that is probably worth more than any money you’ll get from selling your DC.

“A quiet conscience sleeps in thunder”

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

View knotscott's profile


8354 posts in 3979 days

#10 posted 06-11-2011 11:03 AM

Torch the thing and set your conscience free!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View gillyd's profile


136 posts in 3250 days

#11 posted 06-11-2011 01:46 PM

I would just tell the truth, that you just purchased it and you changed to a bag that captures down to 5 microns. That is the truth and the fact. You could go as far as to mention that they could buy different bags off the rockler site depending on their preferences and what kind of wood working they plan on doing.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4609 days

#12 posted 06-11-2011 02:05 PM

Moral dillema? Anything you sell carries some element of risk to the buyer. Which means selling your potentially thumb smashing hammer to someone is living in sin? Hmmmm….

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

11996 posts in 4032 days

#13 posted 06-11-2011 02:26 PM

Always tell the truth! But, in the end, it has always been and always will be “Caveat Emptor”!
BTW, I eliminated any concerns with “micronicity” by venting mine to the outside. Of course it helps that the closest neighbor is 1/4 mile away and up wind. And, the elk don’t complain.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3454 days

#14 posted 06-11-2011 03:19 PM

I think you have a two part process here. First, advertise the unit as having a 30 micron bag. That’s a fact. Link to Rockler to make more information available to the potential buyer.

The rest of your concerns seem to be built on conjecture and exaggeration. It’s entirely possible the theoretical buyer wants the unit to put downstream from a chop saw that cuts only aluminum extrusions. Perfect.

If the buyer attempts to dismantle the motor while it is running, he or she may be injured. If said buyer attempts to paint the vanes of the impeller while it is turning, severe chromatic contaminants may besmirch the environs. There’s just no way this can be your responsibility.


Quoting rcs47: “IMHO we have gone a little overboard for the typical hobby woodworker. If you are working with a lot of hazardous woods (you should be using PPE, not just relying on DC) or running 40+ hours a week while the DC runs continuously, then you might want to look at something with the finer filter.”

A LITTLE overboard? Way overboard! If we define “home shop” as one in which production runs don’t typically occur, then a dust collection system is a glorified broom.

The only tool I can think of that actually requires dust collection is a wide belt sander where the dust would foul the paper. The rest is optional, and a healthy option to be sure, but optional.

Do I have one in my professional shop? Absolutely. I turn it on without fail for the wide belt, edgesander, planer, bandsaws, and spindle sander. Hand sanding is done over a downdraft table. PPE? Of course.

I have my lungs checked every year and they’re both there and doing fine thank you lungs, after 30 years in the shop.

Sell the dust collector, Douglas. It will help someone else upgrade.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 3164 days

#15 posted 06-11-2011 03:40 PM

Thanks everyone for your input. Good points and very helpful. As a newbie to LJs, I’ve been appreciating the tone and content of the posts. Its helped me learn a lot, and i look forward to giving back as im able. Getting some perspective like this is greatly appreciated.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

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