Dust. I hate it. What do I do? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Default Dust. I hate it. What do I do?

Hi Chaps,

Im an occasional poster here- I last asked about birch ply (I had warped sheets/ & as recommended ditched the supplier- fab results/ far better stock).

I make guitar amp cabs for a major hobby/ part time work, and about to embark on a whole new workshop, I hope soundproofed (another thread for ideas on this I'll do).

My 1st issue is dreaded dust. I use 2 portable routers, one set up for fingerjoints in a metal jig = the main culprit. The dust & wood chips completely cover me: so much so I lump it & go head-to-toe in masks & waterproof overalls so i can brush myself off. An absolute horrible situation. Sweat & covered in wood (80 x 1/2" fingerjoints for each cabinet.. means a heck of alot of wood extract/ piles of dust). I use a shopvac attatched to the router, but the jig & the solid baseplate & tight bit underneath leave no room for any vac effectiveness + me covered in extract.

What do I do here to eleviate the situation? Im thinking a more powerful 1Hp Clarke dedicated extractor.. bit this has a 5" pipe.. so how on earth Im meant to A) somehow connect to a 2" std router pipe, and B) actaully get my jig (& its hardwood block its attatched to/ I keep this unit 5" x 12" call it on a shelf I whip out to do the F-joints, then sling it back swearing with sweat in my eyes) vented to then try & think somehow of sucking the extract out the backside, away from me, down a pipe to connectto the 5" thing. Ive never seen a proper wood workshop you see, or anyone usung a F-joint jig at all to get any ideas.

Is the usual / std wood workshop dust extractiion method follow this 1Hp system with a 5" pipe? if so how do you use the huge 5" pipe onto the few various machines I would use? IE router as said, 2nd router to cut 10" circles/ holes in ply, general similar portable router ways, and also a circular saw (i dont have a tablesaw), a chopsaw & a sander (awful fine dust from this) with its vac pipe-out-the-back thats a royal pain to keep attatched moving the sander around.. it invariably comes off as it has weight & tension in the long plastic shopvac pipe.

Thanks BIGj.

Last edited by BIGjiLm; 06-12-2016 at 09:51 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 10:40 AM
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Big, going up and down in pipe size will not be efficient. If you have a 5" opening at the vac impeller then you need a total of 5" of opening at the other end(s) or you'll have a restriction. While velocity increases, total air volume reaching the vac decreases so that you have less air to float the debris with. Also, unless the the neck downs are long and smoothly tapered you'll get turbulence at the transitions and particles drop out of the air stream at these points.

Part of the problem sounds like from what you describe is that there isn't enough air flow around the bit and base plate to pull the debris into the air stream going into the vac pipe. I would try and improve on that first. I have a home made fence on my table that has about a 3" x 3" box built around the bit opening and with a 1 1/4" vac hose I capture about 95% of all dust and debris when edge routing which is why I suspect lack of air flow is your problem.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 10:49 AM
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Hey, Big; lots of questions there!
You don't mention what brand of routers you're using(?)...
I can't speak for all brands but the big name brands have accessory dust port attachments.

for example...Bosch 1617 kit https://www.boschtools.com/ca/en/bos...172at-27258-p/
But whether or not it's practical to use with the FJ jig I can't say.
On the 5" pipe thing, the two most common sizes for the main run are 4" and 6", mostly because PVC pipe and fittings are relatively inexpensive compared to some of the alternatives.
5" is certainly a better choice than 4" if your dust collector has the capacity to move that much air efficiently. What kind of piping and fittings are you (planning on) using?
Other members will bring up the subject of an intermediate chip separator; the size of that will be largely determined by both the DC and the piping size. Dust Deputy isn't sized for 5" let alone 6" pipe.
If my 1HP DC is typical, I doubt it has the muscle to power a 6" system.

Expect lots of opinions on this topic!
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 11:05 AM
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I've struggled with this over time and have come with solutions at that work fairly well. These might not all apply to your situation but at least you can see that there are ways to route a lot cleaner!

First thing to do might require a change to your approach(es). I like to trim my pieces to minimize the amount of material the router removes. This helps cut down on the dust significantly. I know some guys use the router like a saw, if you you are doing that you will create a LOT of dust.

Secondly, I've moved to routers that have good dust collection. While not the forum favorite, I really like my DeWalt 618 with plunge base - very good dust extraction built in. To back this up I built a dust collection cart for all my 2 - 2.5" port devices. Works great. I've added a couple of pictures of it. The bucket contains a thien baffle to get the big stuff and the shop vac has a HEPA filter. I use a controller for the vac - plug the router into it and the vac runs when the router runs. Works really well.

Secondly, part II, I've incorporated dust collection into my router table and use plate inserts that improve it's efficiency. Hooks up to a 4" line to my DC system. Here are some pix Note the use of the Incra clean sweep inserts - makes the down draft DC work really really well.
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Last edited by PhilBa; 06-12-2016 at 11:08 AM.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 11:07 AM
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I'm in before this goes to 17 pages!

If you are only using one or two machines that make dust, bring the extractor to the machine. Every foot of trunking is losing you suction.
use the biggest tube you can for as much of the distance as you can, but 6" is large by any home workshop standards.

I suggest downsizing to 4" (100 mm) straight out the vac. then use a 4" flexible hose of 8 foot or less, straight to your working machine. Build a trolley for the vacuum to allow you to move it.

If need be, split the tube right at the router and use 2 x 3" pipes to catch as much dust as possible.

Cyclones are a different thing from your immediate problem. They greatly reduce the need to empty bags, but I dont think thats your first worry.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 11:40 AM
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I just purchased the Harbor Freight 2hp dust collection on sale a few weeks ago. It was on sale for $183 with the added 20% coupon. So I got a second one after testing the first. I have a 2 hp HF blower in my old system, which didn't produce sufficient air flow, but HF unit has a much heavier duty motor, and the impeller blades in it are much larger than the older blower. The suction on this thing qualifies for the "sucking a golf ball through a garden hose" status.

The HF unit at full price is about the price of brand name 1 hp units. And when I inquired about it, many Forum members endorsed it. Having used it, I can attest to its power. It also comes with a reducer from 6 inch to four, so you can attach both 4 inch and smaller collection hoses, which should work for your specialized work. I know that many speaker enclosures are made from MDF because of its unique audio characteristics. MDF dust is among the most dangerous of all materials, carcinogenic and such fine particles that the lungs are unable to clear them out.

I use a 20 foot long flexible, 4 inch hose rather than fixed hard plastic pipes.

The HF unit comes with a 5 micron bag/filter, which will be floating in the air in your shop. I am going to put mine outside the work area. In the garage, I'll roll it out onto the driveway for use. For the shop, I'll have it in a lean to, attached to the outside of the shed. I will probably buy a new cylinder filter for the shop unit, which should increase the air flow even more.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 11:49 AM
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BTW, you can get a flexible tape to seal the joints in the dust collection system. Gorilla makes a nice tape that is very flexible and doesn't leave residue when removed the way duct tape does. In my small shop (12x24), all dust producing tools are located on one end so hose runs are not that long. The HF unit comes with casters, which are fairly small, and you might wish to use 5 inch casters to make rolling it around easier.

The more I do, the less I accomplish.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 12:14 PM
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I have three dust collectors - a three horse, a one and a half and a one horse (soon to be replaced with a two horse). Operating these beasties I've figured out one thing I seldom see talked about in detail, which is attention to the pick up hood.

For example, a lathe tosses a lot of wood on the floor and the operator. For that reason, I made a dust hood from an 8" PVC pipe. First, I cut a hole in back for the four inch hose to connect to (had to build that up to over come the round part of the pipe. Then I cut the thing out in a kind of C shape and plugged the ends. When done, and when I take the time to position it, the C shaped hood grabs most of what the lathe kicks off. Importantly, it grabs ALL the dust.

In a similar vein, I built a sanding table. Unlike most, I put sides on mine. After all, if the thing is free to grab air from all around itself, it's not really going to be that efficient. My sides raise and lower and are locked in position with standard 10-24 knobs. Over the top is just a piece of nylon I had lying about. In the end, the station is one big collection hood and it's efficiency makes the ones sold for a few hundred bucks look like kindergarten toys. I even use it to router projects that fit in it. It doesn't catch all, but it catches a whole lot.

Finally, there is my carving machine (duplicator). Obviously, this thing can toss a lot of wood. However, with a four inch tube stationed at the carving point (supported from the top, so it doesn't get in the way, not much gets away during a project.

Each of the items I described are tied to the three horse and get to it by way of a Super Dust Deputy Cyclone.

Now jump to my band saw. While the horse and a half collector tied to its port does a fair job, an awful log never makes it over to the little throat plate. For that reason, I set up a second hose on a presentation easel and put that hose near the trouble area. In the end, most of the dust is removed.

The obvious common denominator in all of these situations is the collection point, or hood. Of course, and within reason, more powerful is better in the world of dust collectors. Because the sanding station works so well, I have contemplated making another, about three feet or so wide to accommodate bigger router projects. Because of the nylon top, I can stick long pieces out and still coral most of the air movement.
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The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 02:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnybob View Post
Cyclones are a different thing from your immediate problem. They greatly reduce the need to empty bags, but I dont think thats your first worry.
true, but once the collection issue is solved, that one will rise to the top!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Guys you're replies Im super grateful for (I only just got a mssg that s'one replied.. let alone 5 or 6 replies I dodnt know of! fantastic thx).

I will go thru them all in detail later today. I do see a shopvac + dust cylcone thing mentioned.. actually I made a cyclone thing similar: and it works & collects dust fwiw well enough. But it doesnt eleviate the problem -before- the pipe stage, or increace the vacs suction. It just collects dust more in the trapezoid cyclone chamber than the vac. Actually 1 prob is, I still even with this addition, get quite a bit of dust in the vac itslelf too.. esp at the thin 'gasket' filter before the motor: this gets ultra-clogged so often its more or less like so all the time (= vac only 60% efficient & prob straining somewhat too). I cant be done taking the dust-covered vac apart, dust covered myself sweat dripping under my full mask & goggles, 3x a day, undo the filter & whack it clean: this causes terrible fine dust/ worst of all.. then Im covered even more. Where do I whack it clean w'out covering myself even more??

Its an infernal situation I cant think how to eleviate. But I will go thru all replies later. Ive been thinking of some sort of front collector/ front chamber addition to the F-joint jig block so the dust & extract doesnt fire directly at me covering me head-to-toe but is mostly collected instead to them get sucked down thw vac pipe. This is PRIMARY consideration. But how/ what/ if one exists/ whether anyone else has done or made one/ whether I could buy s'thing along these lines.. lord only knows.
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