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What does "adequate dust collection" mean?

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Forum topic by Dan Thomas posted 03-18-2019 08:41 PM 593 views 0 times favorited 41 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan Thomas

153 posts in 323 days


03-18-2019 08:41 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection

I know I’m opening a can of worms, but that’s OK. And just to be clear, I may decide to upgrade my shop vac-based dust collection system regardless of this discussion, so don’t feel like you have to convince me. I’m just trying to understand.

I’ve read plenty of scholarly articles that talk about CFM and Static Pressure, etc. And all of the ones I’ve read say things like “in order to provide adequate dust collection”, then state that you should use a true dust collector, not a shop vac, for things like table saws and other large equipment. I would assume that mostly applies to table saws with 4” or more dust ports, but I could be wrong. But that’s besides the point.

What I want to know is, what does “adequate dust collection” mean? The articles make it sound like if you use a shop vac-based system, it won’t collect any dust. But that’s clearly not true – I have a shop vac-based system (with a Dust Deputy), and it collects a LOT of the dust. In fact, I’d say it collects most of the (visible) dust. (Admittedly my current, soon-to-be-replaced table saw has a 2 1/2” port).

I realize there’s fine particles that need to be collected, and my shop-vac systems doesn’t do that very well, if at all. So I concede that point. But other than that, what does “adequate dust collection” mean, if not “collect the dust that would otherwise end up on the floor”?

Thanks.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker


41 replies so far

View HackFabrication's profile

HackFabrication

97 posts in 38 days


#1 posted 03-18-2019 09:04 PM

What I want to know is, what does “adequate dust collection” mean?

I believe you’ve already found out that ‘adequate’ is a subjective term. It’s been quantified by OSHA, but that might still not be ‘adequate’ for the truly discerning (anal) individual.

I had zero dust collection, other than the floor, walls, shelves, etc. This gets broomed up, or sucked up in my shop vac. Since I work in a basement workshop, I’m in the process of ‘cleaning things up’ a bit. My most horrendous tools are the power miter box, the radial arm saw, and table saw. The hand tools nasties are the router, sanders, circular saws. My jointer and planer, although producing a lot of chips, doesn’t toss the fine sawdust like the formerly mentioned. And I have Hack Fab’d a decent solution for the DeWalt planer to keep the chips from being blown ‘everywhere’.

If I can collect, filter, dispose of 90% of the sawdust that gets spewed on the floor by use of adequate dust collection methods (other than broom and shop vac), I’m a happy guy.

I’m presently working on my upgraded HF dust collector, that will eventually see duty on the messier machines. But even then, I don’t think I’ll eliminate 100% of the dust. I’ll still be brooming and shop vac’n a couple times a day.

And I also recently got a PowerTec dust collector that still needs to find a home on the ceiling (joists). The PowerTec does a really good job of sucking up the fine airborne particles.

Eliminating 100% of the dust is going to be the ‘Holy Grail’. Eliminating what is satisfactory to YOU, is the goal.

-- "In the end, it's all Hack..."

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clin

1020 posts in 1322 days


#2 posted 03-18-2019 09:14 PM

I think adequate is subjective and it comes down to what adequate means to you. This is the problem with artcles and their authors that use phrases like adequate. Because adequate is in their opion and their circumstances are not yours.

As I mentioned in your other thread, I use a shop vac on my table saw and it gets almost all the visible dust, except if I’m making a trim cut. I wear a respirator to protect my lungs from the fine dust while cutting and until my room filter cleans out the air.

So for me this is adequate. I currently do not have a problem I need to solve. However, if I were doing a lot more work, I might find that dust is a bigger issue. For example, that I’m having to empty my Dust Deputy too often. Or that dust builds up in my shop too much or clogs my room filter too quickly.

I’ve no experience with a true big-boy DC system. But, I’d be surprised if anything got all the dust and therefore didn’t require me to clean the shop on occasion.

I’m like you, getting by with a shop vac, but I don’t exclude the possibility of getting a DC system someday. If I do, I’m not going halfway though. I will get a 3+HP system as recommended by Bill Pentz. I see no point in making small changes and prefer to skip the Harbor Freight step (though I get why this is often the first step for many). If I get a DC, I want it to be as good as it gets for single machine operation.

-- Clin

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3878 posts in 2315 days


#3 posted 03-18-2019 09:14 PM

Are you trying to justify not collecting the fine dust? Based on what I have read, the most hazardous dust for your lungs is the fine dust. I think adequate starts with the health risks and not how clean the floor is.

But….for you adequate is whatever you think works for you.

View fivecodys's profile

fivecodys

1382 posts in 1962 days


#4 posted 03-18-2019 09:20 PM

Have you been here yet Dan? http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

This was a big help to me.

Have a great day!

-- When you leave your shop for the night, make sure you can always count to 10.

View diverlloyd's profile

diverlloyd

3434 posts in 2183 days


#5 posted 03-18-2019 09:28 PM



Are you trying to justify not collecting the fine dust? Based on what I have read, the most hazardous dust for your lungs is the fine dust. I think adequate starts with the health risks and not how clean the floor is.

But….for you adequate is whatever you think works for you.

- Redoak49


Ditto. How adequate are your lungs to you? The more dust collected the better period. I like breathing and have experienced not being able to a couple of times, cheap out now and then you can experience not being able to breathe later.

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

153 posts in 323 days


#6 posted 03-18-2019 09:45 PM


Are you trying to justify not collecting the fine dust?

- Redoak49

It does sound like that, doesn’t? I don’t know, maybe I was. My bad. (Seriously – my bad!)

So, let’s say that dust collection isn’t adequate unless it collects the fine particles (and if that’s the definition, then I’m fine with that, by the way).

But here’s the thing: Lots of people recommend the HF dust collector. Its bag is rated for 5 microns. But apparently you need to collect down to 1 micron, at the minimum.

So just upgrading to a true dust collector doesn’t appear to me to necessarily solve the fine particle issue. Am I wrong? I mean, if I’m going to upgrade, it seems like I should be going for the gold, right? Except that there’s no way in the world I have room for a HF DC and a set of filters, in my half of our two-car garage. AND I can’t vent outside.

I’m still confused. Honestly confused – not trying to be a troll or anything. I really do want to understand.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

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pottz

4676 posts in 1310 days


#7 posted 03-18-2019 09:51 PM


Are you trying to justify not collecting the fine dust?

- Redoak49

It does sound like that, doesn t? I don t know, maybe I was. My bad. (Seriously – my bad!)

So, let s say that dust collection isn t adequate unless it collects the fine particles (and if that s the definition, then I m fine with that, by the way).

But here s the thing: Lots of people recommend the HF dust collector. Its bag is rated for 5 microns. But apparently you need to collect down to 1 micron, at the minimum.

So just upgrading to a true dust collector doesn t appear to me to necessarily solve the fine particle issue. Am I wrong? I mean, if I m going to upgrade, it seems like I should be going for the gold, right? Except that there s no way in the world I have room for a HF DC and a set of filters, in my half of our two-car garage. AND I can t vent outside.

I m still confused. Honestly confused – not trying to be a troll or anything. I really do want to understand.

- Dan Thomas


yeah your right 5 microns is letting the most hazardous dust into the air so if your not going to upgrade to the best fine particle collection why bother,i agree.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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Dan Thomas

153 posts in 323 days


#8 posted 03-18-2019 09:51 PM


Ditto. How adequate are your lungs to you? The more dust collected the better period. I like breathing and have experienced not being able to a couple of times, cheap out now and then you can experience not being able to breathe later.

- diverlloyd

I admit I made a mistake excluding fine particles. But come on, saying “the more dust collected the better” doesn’t help at all. I have limitations. Space, money, the fact I can’t vent to the outside, etc. So help me quantify what “adequate” is, rather than saying the only thing I should aim for is “more”.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

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pottz

4676 posts in 1310 days


#9 posted 03-18-2019 09:52 PM


Are you trying to justify not collecting the fine dust?

- Redoak49

It does sound like that, doesn t? I don t know, maybe I was. My bad. (Seriously – my bad!)

So, let s say that dust collection isn t adequate unless it collects the fine particles (and if that s the definition, then I m fine with that, by the way).

But here s the thing: Lots of people recommend the HF dust collector. Its bag is rated for 5 microns. But apparently you need to collect down to 1 micron, at the minimum.

So just upgrading to a true dust collector doesn t appear to me to necessarily solve the fine particle issue. Am I wrong? I mean, if I m going to upgrade, it seems like I should be going for the gold, right? Except that there s no way in the world I have room for a HF DC and a set of filters, in my half of our two-car garage. AND I can t vent outside.

I m still confused. Honestly confused – not trying to be a troll or anything. I really do want to understand.

- Dan Thomas

yeah your right 5 microns is letting the most hazardous dust into the air so if your not going to upgrade to the best fine particle collection why bother,i agree.

- pottz


PS – dont worry dan your no troll.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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Dan Thomas

153 posts in 323 days


#10 posted 03-18-2019 09:53 PM


yeah your right 5 microns is letting the most hazardous dust into the air so if your not going to upgrade to the best fine particle collection why bother,i agree.

- pottz

Are you being sarcastic?

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

153 posts in 323 days


#11 posted 03-18-2019 09:58 PM


Have you been here yet Dan? http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

This was a big help to me.

Have a great day!

- fivecodys

I can’t read this website – it’s too cluttered for me. I’m not kidding by the way – it’s just too busy for my mind to be able to focus on what it has to say.

I could pull the text into an editor of some kind and reformat everything so I can read it. Is it worth my time to try and reformat it?

Thanks.

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View Dan Thomas's profile

Dan Thomas

153 posts in 323 days


#12 posted 03-18-2019 10:07 PM

OK, I just looked on Amazon and they sell a HEPA filter for my Craftsman vac, which says it filters down to .3 microns. Would this be a better solution than the HF DC, with its 5 micron bag?

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

2194 posts in 2355 days


#13 posted 03-18-2019 10:13 PM

“Adequate” dust collection would involve collecting chips & close to all dust particles at the source (bandsaw, mitersaw, table saw, etc). A shop vac is better than nothing with the 1 1/4”-2” hose capacity to catch what it can. However, the bane of woodworking machinery are dangerous air particles at the source that are invisible due to the micron size. When a machinery blade cuts through a wood piece, the spray pattern of micron dust is similar to an expanding funnel. Meaning, the dust flies in all directions not just forward or between the gullets. To capture as much of this dust as possible, you need CFM to capture the large volume of space. A shop vac is inadequate to do just that because of the small hose size and small CFM, though a shop vac excels at velocity.
Basically, you are trying to capture blitzing fast chips & micron particles from a large area.
I’ve started out with a shop vac. Then jumped right into 3HP 6” ducting.
I really would wish for 5HP 12” ducting :) But that gets you into the industrial side of things.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

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Dan Thomas

153 posts in 323 days


#14 posted 03-18-2019 10:48 PM

Holbs – Thanks, and that makes sense. But if I got something like the HF DC with its 5 micron bag, wouldn’t that just change where the fine particles are spread from?

-- Newbie Dan, https://www.youtube.com/c/thenewbiewoodworker

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pottz

4676 posts in 1310 days


#15 posted 03-18-2019 11:00 PM


yeah your right 5 microns is letting the most hazardous dust into the air so if your not going to upgrade to the best fine particle collection why bother,i agree.

- pottz

Are you being sarcastic?

- Dan Thomas


no do i sound sarcastic? i agree with you, your sucking it up at the source then pushing the worst dust back out at the collector,which isn’t a problem if the collector is in a separate building,but if it’s the same room,not good.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

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