Better way to keep turning area clean?

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Forum topic by Rink posted 11-14-2019 05:07 PM 1345 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Rink's profile


217 posts in 1277 days

11-14-2019 05:07 PM

I do woodturning in my basement and the wood flying off the lathe builds up quickly. Maybe once a week I do an 80% cleaning, blowing all the dust and chips off the walls, the equipment and the floor and sweeping up. Then the next day, after turning, everything is dusty again with a pile of chips on the floor. Is there a way around this cycle? Or is this just part of the process? Leaving the area piled with chips is not an option for me. Psychologically I can operate better in a clean room, and I’m less likely to track wood detritus into the house.


22 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile


8771 posts in 3438 days

#1 posted 11-14-2019 05:12 PM

I have never seen an effective dust control system for a lathe, although that doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. I just shop vac up everything I can at the end of the day and call it good.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1980 days

#2 posted 11-14-2019 05:28 PM

The main advantage I’ve found to working on my lathe, as opposed to other tools, is that the majority of the waste produced is easier to pile up and dispose of. That said, it also occupies more volume unless you take time to compress it.

In terms of dust and finer shavings from sanding/scraping, you may be able to mitigate that a little if you were to rig up a DC/vac nozzle to use.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View ocean's profile


232 posts in 2073 days

#3 posted 11-14-2019 05:29 PM

I new a old woodworker who created a complete enclosure around his lathe that was made of a heavy weight plastic sheeting. He would blow low pressure air into the bag to inflate this bag (it had zippered door) to keep inflated and it had a dust collector that was sucking out the fine wood dust as he worked. When he was done, he would exist the bag, zip the door closed and begin using a tube extended from the opening to the dust collector to pick everything else. It was not perfect but it did contain the mess inside the bag. I really don’t know how well it worked as I never saw him do a final cleanup. Also working inside that cloud of moving dust had to be uncomfortable. He did where a full face dust mast. By the way if you come up with THE SOLUTION, you can make a fortune marketing it.

-- Bob, FL Keys

View HokieKen's profile


19349 posts in 2378 days

#4 posted 11-14-2019 05:44 PM

I have never seen an effective dust control system for a lathe, although that doesn t mean one doesn t exist. I just shop vac up everything I can at the end of the day and call it good.


- MrUnix


-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View bigJohninvegas's profile


1095 posts in 2701 days

#5 posted 11-14-2019 08:49 PM

My shop is small, and my lathe is close to other tools. My table saw, and my wood storage shelves take a direct hit while I am turning.
While nothing keeps it all clean, I do throw a drop cloth over the saw, and have a drop cloth curtain in front of the shelves.
This keeps the bulk of the mess out in the open. Makes for a little easier clean up.
I know for a fact that I spend more time cleaning than I do woodworking.

-- John

View edapp's profile


347 posts in 2669 days

#6 posted 11-14-2019 08:57 PM

I have been trying to find a 6” port to rig up near the work piece when sanding. I see a lot of 4” on the market but 6” would be much better.

View TEK73's profile


334 posts in 947 days

#7 posted 11-14-2019 09:30 PM

You may try this:

Or this:

-- It’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end. - Ursula K. LeGuin

View OSU55's profile


2829 posts in 3229 days

#8 posted 11-14-2019 09:57 PM

I use the 4” hose to my dc, with a magnet attached, and stick different places on the lathe depending on what Im doing. The primary goal is to capture as much dust, not chips. Mainly helps when sanding. For chips, I made a roman blind from heavy window screen material, mounted to the ceiling. I roll it down when needed in that particular direction, then roll it up out of the way when not. Comes down to about lathe bed level and is 6 ft long I think. Its about 3-4 ft from the lathe, enough for me to work in between. Stops all the chips from shooting across the shop, and the screen material allows airflow but stops the chips, so heat and ac are not blocked. Has been an excellent solution for me.

View hairy's profile


3317 posts in 4772 days

#9 posted 11-14-2019 11:34 PM

I have an air cleaner near the tailstock end of my lathe, it gets a lot of the dust. Those are old pics, I don’t have that lathe anymore, the workbench is long gone, and the air cleaner now has a RAS on it.

I have another air cleaner mounted on the ceiling 10 – 12 feet away. Together they get most of the dust, I’ll never get it all.

I clean up the mess as I go, I see shavings on the floor as a trip hazard, and stepping on shavings just kicks up dust.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View Hockey's profile


182 posts in 1652 days

#10 posted 11-15-2019 01:05 AM

Rink, as you have asked, it is “just part of the process”. A dust collector does help while turning. I also use my dust collector after turning to clean up the mess.

View LesB's profile


3092 posts in 4683 days

#11 posted 11-15-2019 01:42 AM

I suppose a plywood box around 3 sides of the lathe (possibly with a top) would help contain the flying shavings.

For the sanding dust I use a hood and dust collector. I also run my shop air cleaner to help remove the fine airborne dust before it settles.

-- Les B, Oregon

View gwilki's profile


367 posts in 2713 days

#12 posted 11-15-2019 01:30 PM

I have a track on the ceiling that goes around 3 sides of my lathe. On the track, I have clear shower curtains. I pull them around the lathe and they capture the shavings and let them drop to the floor inside the curtained area. It reduces the floor space that I need to sweep to a very small area. When sanding, I have a 4” duct on an adjustable platform, hooked up to my dust collector. It captures almost all of the dust.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View Rink's profile


217 posts in 1277 days

#13 posted 11-15-2019 02:29 PM

Thanks for the ideas! I do have a dust collector with a 4” hose that I use when sanding. I can’t imagine how bad the dust would be if I didn’t have that.

I do like the idea of some kind of curtain or roll down screen to minimize the spread of detritus. I’m going to think about how to use that idea.


View t3steve's profile


30 posts in 1129 days

#14 posted 11-15-2019 03:10 PM

A 6” hose with a good bell mouth connected to a 5hp cyclone (turn a bell mouth on your lathe and build the stand to hold it yourself) is very effective in collecting both fine dust and large chips.

View Kelly's profile


3795 posts in 4184 days

#15 posted 11-16-2019 10:25 PM

Because most of my lathe work is spindle work, dust collection is far more easy and effective than for bowl work.

I use my 4” hose on a piece of plastic pipe and it collect ALL the dust and much of the stuff tossed off during turning. It’s on an adjustable stand behind the collector.

To improve the efficiency, the pipe can be moved to be under the piece, rather than behind it.

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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