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Why is Woodworking
Dust Collection Important?

I found out early that Woodworking Dust Collection is imperative. Are you concerned about your health? Do you want your home filled with a dusty cover? Are you concerned with Safety?



Respiratory Health

Research identifies the health consequences of long-term exposure to woodworking dust. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) used this warning in its introduction to the topic of Wood Dust and Health:

"Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer.

Adequate dust control is critical to your health!

Safety Hazards

In many shops, "dust collection" means breaking out a broom and dust pan at the end of the day. Too many woodworkers spend years climbing over wood shavings or standing on a slippery carpet of sawdust while they push the last couple of boards through their table saw.

It's easy to put off clearing away a hazardous mess when you're busy working. You know that it only takes a second to slip or stumble over a pile of debris. You can end up with an injury that could keep you out of the shop for a long time. Dust Collection keeps your shop safe and clear of debris. This helps you concentrate on your work. Now that is important!

Not only will you have an easier time finding and getting to things in your shop, you'll spend more time woodworking and less time picking up dust.

Controlling Two Kinds of Dust

The dust a wood shop produces is divided into two general categories: (1) Large dust particles, chips and shavings, and (2) fine wood dust. These two kinds of dust require a different strategy for adequate control.

How I started

Woodworking Dust Collectors

My current woodworking shop is in my basement. Previously, I installed a central vacuum system for my entire home, including the basement. The 1ΒΌ" plastic hose requires moving to each piece of equipment and connecting to shop-built dust ports.

Here is what I found:

  • I got shocked when turning on a machine. No one likes that! On non-metal pipe static electricity builds up on the surface. When you touch it, you provide a path to ground and this causes shock.
  • The smaller dust particles are hard to catch in small pipe.
  • A light cover of dust accumulated on shelves. This did NOT make my wife very happy!
  • Dust Collection in Woodworking is far different than vacuuming a home! It takes a large volume of air.

For additional information on the best setup for Woodworking Dust Collection, visit these pages. I listed them in chronological order. It makes the most sense to read them in the order presented.

Part 2: The Best Woodworking Dust Collector:
This lists the best way to select the proper control of Woodworking Dust!


Part 3: Improving the Dust Collector and Conclusions:
This page discusses several improvements to make a Woodworking Dust Collector even better. More importantly, it presents the Conclusions on Quality Dust Collection.
This page won't make much sense unless you understand the Part 2 page.




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