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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Good afternoon everyone!
As some of you may know I work for a dust collector company and I am in charge of blogging, social media, and marketing materials.

I would love to create an interactive project/blog post for the woodworking community.
I'm thinking of creating some sort of interactive PDF or video that shows what can happen if dust isn't properly contained.
What would it be like if you could no longer enjoy your craft due to health issues from dust?

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks!
-Kaitlyn
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 03:41 PM
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Excellent topic, Kaitlyn. Lots of the members here have compromised lungs, COPD being among the top issues.
A goodly number are also combat/Service vets, and were exposed to all sorts of nasty chemicals during their service. Probably smoked as well.
Adding wood dust to that mix is shall we say contraindicated?
More than a few threads here on the use of ventilated dust masks and upgrading dust collection and air cleaners.
What exactly are you proposing as a project?
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 04:53 PM
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Dan, you are exactly right at least as for me. I am a military veteran and I'm working with compromised hearing and recently diagnosed asthma. USMC & Vietnam combat veteran, and I breathed a lot of undesirable stuff: Agent Orange, muzzle blast, vapors from explosives, tear gas, smoke from burning garbage, probably asbestos, and other nasty stuff. So much for the lungs.

(Hearing is a mess as well, especially tinnitus. my main USMC job was mechanic on big amphibious tracked vehicles. Think of VERY LOUD 12-cylinder 1,176 cubic inch (19,271 cc) gasoline engine - no mufflers. And no such thing as hearing protection. And none for combat, either.

For my first decade or so in woodworking I was pretty casual about dust collection - it wasn't until I was working in a Naval Shipyard that my awareness of breathing protection was raised. Even then I more frequently used a dust mask while mowing the lawn than when cutting wood. I have only been really serious about it for the last 5 years or so, after discovering Bill Pentz's website. So this asthma just worked its way into my life. But now I have a roll-around DC, a shop vacuum and a powered air hood, & use whichever is needed ... most of the time.

Always interested in improving both knowledge and skill in woodworking, dust collection, hearing protection, & all related topics.

-Graeme-

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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 11:29 PM
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Good project. I think the problem is that people are thinking "It's just a couple of cuts, I don't need a mask or to turn on the DC just for that." The problem is the ultra fine dust that goes very deep in the lungs and doesn't come out. I am having breathing problems not caused by sawdust, but it sure as heck hasn't helped. Last month I have a bronchoscopy where the push a probe into your lungs and take picures and samples. Taking two antibiotics now, and they washed out my lungs during that procedure, which helped briefly. If you've ever smoked for any length of time, you are doubling up your likelihood of lung problems.

Today I have two dust collectors, one in my shop, the second in my garage. Even just going into the shop I wear a surgical style mask, and if I'm going to be making cuts, I put on the ventilated mask in the pix, and turn on the DC. I moved the DC for the shop into an enclosed space next to the shop. The DC has a 1 micron filter, plus a chip collector (cyclone type) that greatly reduced the dust that even reaches the filter. The air goes through an opening back into the shop, and passes through another filter on the way. See pix. My garage unit still has a 5 micron bag, but for now, is moved outside when in use. Will add a drum filter at some point to that one, but can't manage that now.

There are many DC units, starting from about $160 for the basic Harbor Freight model when it's on sale. It is listed at 2hp, but is probably less. The size and power of a DC unit you need depends on your usage, duct setup, etc.

The bottom line to me as an old PR guy is to tell a tale that makes consequences known in a way that moves the reader to buy some sort of setup before the damage is done. Once the lungs are compromised you cannot recover their full function. Just ask the guys who struggle to inhale and exhale with COPD. There is nothing manly or studly about toughing out sawdust. When you're older and sucking hard to get enough oxygen to make it to the bathroom, it will be too late to reform your ways.

A table saw or miter saw MUST have DC and a mask or you're gonna clobber your lungs. Period. The second picture shows the large shop DC setup. The intake through the wall, the cyclone that spins most all of the sawdust and all the chips down into the barrel. Then on top is the hose that carries mostly clean air back through the blower, where finaly half a percent of sawdust falls down and the Wynn brand 1micron filter on top where the air exist. Then back on the wall you can see another filter over the opening where the air gets one more filtration before returning to the shop. The enclosure is about 10 ft long by 4 ft wide and is perched between my shop shed and my outside office shed. it is fully enclosed and nearly air tight so all warm or AC air from the shop is returned back into the shop. Theoretically, you could just leave the DC and filter inside the shop, but this also cuts down the noise. Machine noise can cause hearing problems, or make them worse--which is the case for more and more young people.

This is a consumer DC thing. DC for industry and professional shops requires much larger DC units, 220 or higher volt power, and can weight a ton, not counting very complex ductwork, blast gates and huge filters.

There is a separate section just for dust collection that can serve as a great resounce for you. This was just recently set up and I think most of the strings on the topic have been moved there. Chip collectors are super important, so you will want to read about the many solutions for their construction.

Thank you for not being promotional about your company. We're generally very happy to be helpful. So, just for me, and at my request, what is the name of your company? I'll look it up. You might also want to identify the filter you folks make that fits on the Harbor Freight unit, which is made in China and sold under many different names. Or you can PM me with that info if you want to stick with the rules around this joint.

You might also want to look up YouTube and other sites that talk about Thien's shop made chip separator. Someone also just posted some tests of a trio of dust separator devices that use cyclones, blowers and in one case a filter.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-16-2019, 11:50 PM
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No longer sure where I read this, but the EPA found that nearly all commercial shops in the U.S., have low dust levels. But home shops were a different story. Most home shops have dust levels far above the danger level. You might check out the EPA material on sawdust control and collection. It is actually a complex topic, but for what you're trying to do, better to keep it pretty straight forward. You could do the PR outreach and provide a more detailed pdf. I'd develop one of these for amateur shops and another couple for larger shops. Lots of handy hints and how to pictures (woodworkers eschew reading instructions).

BTW, I did PR for Kawasaki and again for a foundation. I've taught it as part of our consulting work for the last 38 years as well. So I hope my posts and the others will be helpful. You actually have a challenging bunch of people as your target audience. Personally, I'd make sure I found out the warning first symptoms and signs of breathing problems. I'd lead with some of those because if you can trigger recognition (Gee! That's me!!), you can more easily move them to do something about it. And don't forget wives of woodworkers. Maybe some special stories in select womens magazines about how you man is ruining his lungs every time he visits his shop. A nagging spouse concerned about having a breathing compromised system as they age, will help move a husband to buy something to safeguard the lugs.

Again, the early signs, running out of steam after a short period of activity, wheezing, gasping for breath after running after the kids or grandkids, these could be signs you need to guide your guy toward dust collection, and eventually, to filters. Your company might also want to expand their product line to include masks and other breathing protection products. One source for respiratory safety. Can't help myself, always thinking as a marketer, can't stop it.

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 06:43 AM
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Excellent idea! I belong to a woodworking club and one of our members died at the beginning of the year from lung cancer. I have been to his shop or as I called it a dust bin. He had no dust collection system and he used mostly a fine-tooth bandsaw blade. Horrible place. It was his basement which I'm sure the dust went throughout the house.

I finally got a dust monitor and I watch it closely. I have also installing two air filtration systems.

I would like to see more discussion on dust and noise problems and solutions in our shops.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 11:12 AM
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Tom do you have problems with wearing the "Power Mask" and wearing your glasses, vision and/or fogging up?

I tried the Elipse P100 Dust Mask and it was a big problem, for the above stated reasons.

Don

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Dee View Post
Tom do you have problems with wearing the "Power Mask" and wearing your glasses, vision and/or fogging up?

I tried the Elipse P100 Dust Mask and it was a big problem, for the above stated reasons.

Don
Not a problem. I have a fairly narrow face and the mask fits tight except at the top of my cheek, where a little filtered air leaks out and keeps my glasses from fogging up. I think this is kind of an indivudual fit situation. I like the mask because it's fairly light. The battery pack fits on my belt or in a pocket. I keep a couple of sets of rechargable batteries around, and they last between 2 and 3 hours per charge.

I get the medical masks in bulk from Harbor Freight. They are for residual airborne sawdust only when I'm not making cuts. I also have an active ceiling mounted dust filter that runs a couple of hours after I leave the shop and filters down to 1 micron. The position of the unit is important. You place it to one side so it sets up a circular air movement. Mine is made by WEN, and I got one on sale for just $99 on special at Walmart.com, delivered to my local store. The other in my garage was about $130.

I thought Malcolm's comment about a dust bin described a lot of dangerously dusty shops I've seen. The old carpenter who first got me using tools in my early years, had a dusty shop, and died a miserable death from COPD.

Luckily the last years of my business produced ample income, so I was able to manage buying two separate DC setups. I didn't need or buy top tier DC gear, but I'm pretty good about using them. My shop is too small for hard ductwork, so I have to move a flex hose from one tool to the next, but i have disciplined myself to move it as needed. The worst offender, of course, is the sliding miter. I keep thinking I should build a covered porch onto the shop shed and roll the SCM saw out there for use, but my budget isn't so fat anymore, and that sucker is really heavy!
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Last edited by DesertRatTom; 12-17-2019 at 12:36 PM.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-17-2019, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaninVan View Post
What exactly are you proposing as a project?
Hmm. I'm not sure yet. But I'd love to create something that has an interactive part to it.
(Interactive PDF, interviews with the woodworking community, etc.)

Still brainstorming on it but I would love to learn more and hear stories from the community about wood dust and how it has effected or can affect the craft they love.

Last edited by WoodWorkerNewbie; 12-17-2019 at 01:03 PM.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-18-2019, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertRatTom View Post
... And don't forget wives of woodworkers. Maybe some special stories in select womens magazines about how you man is ruining his lungs every time he visits his shop. A nagging spouse concerned about having a breathing compromised system as they age, will help move a husband to buy something to safeguard the lugs ...
Only quibble is ... SPOUSES of woodworkers. I know most of us are guys, but there are also lots of ladies active in the craft as well.
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Graeme C. Payne
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