Dust collecting in part time workspace.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by CSte posted 07-01-2019 10:50 PM 306 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View CSte's profile


1 post in 110 days

07-01-2019 10:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dc dust collection school

Good evening!

I work for a small charter school called FlexTech high school. One of our cornerstones is “project based learning”. If that’s a new term to you as it was to me this year it means instead of showing you’ve learned by taking tests, you show it by demonstration. The nature of the demonstration is ideally left up to the student. For a history assignment one student might build a diorama while another might write a poem, etc.

Which brings me to my issue. The intent from day 1 was that the school would develop a full on maker space, including wood working tools. This fall I’ve been asked to give a class on safety and basic use of the equipment we have so far. This includes several benchtop tools including a bandsaw, scroll saw, drum/belt sander, and drill press.

The catch is we don’t have a room that can be permanently setup. I’ll be teaching in the art room with it’s excellent lighting and easy to clean floors. When it’s art time, or other classes, all the tools go away. They will either be in cabinets or on mobile carts.

I want to keep the room as clean as I can but cannot setup the room with a large dust collector and ductwork. Everything we do has to be put away or rolled away at need.

I had a couple thoughts, I’d love to hear more. I think it’s been proven this is about the best collection of effective/crazy ideas relating to woodworking.

My first thought was to have a small dust collector at each tool. Even if underpowered a small dc could be under each cart.

My second thought was to run ductwork in the carts, connect them with flex duct, to one main dc, itself on a cart.

Related question on air cleaners: I normally see them mounted on the ceiling. If I installed one in a cart on casters, so no higher than bench height, would that provide any benefit?

Thank you all very much. I hope to post pictures of the workspace and student work as it becomes available.


6 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5754 posts in 3004 days

#1 posted 07-02-2019 10:32 AM

With most of the tools you named, I’d just go with a shop vac(s). The one exception (maybe) would be the sander. It might be best served with a vac, but sanders often generate mountains of dust and require real DC.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View LittleShaver's profile


586 posts in 1130 days

#2 posted 07-02-2019 12:34 PM

Shift to teaching hand tools.

-- Sawdust Maker

View HackFabrication's profile


159 posts in 222 days

#3 posted 07-02-2019 04:05 PM

FWIW, I ran my PowerTec air filtration system sitting on a pair of saw horses for a number of months before mounting it to the ceiling. Worked good, but in my shop floor space is at a premium, so it was better to mount it to the floor joists.

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

View controlfreak's profile


212 posts in 112 days

#4 posted 07-02-2019 04:10 PM

I know what happens in my small shop when I forget to turn on the shop vac. It is bound to happen so I second the hand tool recommendation and maybe batch cut wood for a project out of the room and work on hand jointery in the classroom.

View Dwain's profile


597 posts in 4369 days

#5 posted 07-02-2019 04:36 PM

I have a smaller 1HP dust collector for my shop. It is on wheels and moves around quite easliy. Now, it isn’t the most aggressive dust collector, but it does well for me and most of my tools. While I love the idea of hand tools, and I think they should be taught as well, I think you will need at some point to use some power tools. Good Luck!

-- When you earnestly believe you can compensate for a lack of skill by doubling your efforts, there is no end to what you CAN'T do

View Delete's profile


439 posts in 882 days

#6 posted 07-02-2019 04:44 PM

For the small bench top tools you referenced, all on rolling stands, shop vacs mounted into the base of your mobile stands would be the most convenient, if more than one tool will be operated at one time.

An air filter mounted on top of a mobile stand with a larger shop vac mounted inside the bottom of the stand would work well. You can move it around to where it is most effective and the installed shop vac could be used for general floor clean up and around your machines. If you get more or larger machines you would also have a larger shop vac you could roll up to service it.

If however you plan one getting larger machines that will produce copious amounts of sawdust, a larger DC with pleated filter, available in 1 – 2 HP and mounted on casters would be more suitable, you could store it away like the tools on mobile stands. The problem is without duct work you would be limited to one tool at a time. If you could mount all the tools on one long mobile bench then it would be easy to incorporate appropriate sized ductwork connecting all the tools on the bench and connecting the mobile DC would be one simple connection.

The air filter with shop vac underneath would take care of general shop clean-up and keep the air clean of the fines.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics