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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Plywood dust really disagrees with me. I decided to make some bench hooks yesterday, and I had a couple scraps of plywood I decided to use. Since it was cold, I left the garage door down when I ran it through the table saw to cut it down to size.

Pretty much immediately, my lungs felt like they were closing off and my throat felt scratchy.

Moral of the story: if you must use plywood, do everything you can to keep the dust from it out of your lungs. Make sure you have dust collection, ventilation, and a mask.
 

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Hi Chris

Plywoods use resin glues (urea formaldehyde, resorcinol formaldehyde, melamine formaldehyde, etc) and it could be that you are sensitised to formaldehyde.

Regards

Phil
 

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Discussion Starter #3
probably. i recently made that router table out of plywood, and even though i had the garage door up and had a fan behind me, it still got all over, including in my lungs i'm sure.

that dust is some potent stuff.

from now on, whenever i use plywood, i am taking it out to the driveway and wearing a mask when i cut it.
 

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Chris-meister, I am sorry to learn of the recent misfortune of your lungs! Yes, plywood dust is aggravating; but the truth is that all dust is harmful to your lungs. Didn't you make a leaf-blower based dust collection system recently or was that just a day-dream of mine? Hopefully your leaf blower is of the [electric] motor driven variety rather than of the [combustion] engine driven variety. Even with no dust collection, most outdoor construction people that do cutting of plywood, OSB and the like will wear a respiration mask of some type. And indoors, it can be MUCH WORSE. Be safe my friend, Otis
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Otis, I was thinking about it, and talking about it, but it was a pipe dream, because a leaf blower loses suction very easily. Then there is the issue of catching the "above the table" dust from the table saw, ie the dust that does not go into the bag under the table. With a sled (or a zero clearance insert, it really seems like a whole lot more of the dust stays above the table and gets airborn.

The dust is just one of the factors leading me to lean towards doing most of my work the traditional way, using hand tools much more, and going to power tools only when absolutely necessary. The other factors are the satisfaction I get doing it with my own hands, and the cost and space usage.
 

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I know what you mean there Chris. I was thinking you might have had one of those leaf blowers that also functions as a leaf vacuum. It sounds as if your best bet is to work with a mask on and with your garage door open as often as possible. I am not extremely tall (5'-8") and therefore do not have a great reach. I find myself doing sheet goods breakdowns mostly with a good saw guide and hand-held circular saw OUTDOORS as much as possible.
I know what you mean about the traditional tools and methods, my skill level would be sorely lacking if the power tools were abandoned. Joy's [late] dad had skills with hand tools that were amazing. He "took-off work" for about a year in 1963-1964 to build a new house for (his soon-to-be new wife) Joy's Mom and Joy's older siblings. Joy's (bio) natural dad was killed several years earlier in an automobile accident, so the new house. Not only did he build the entire 4,400 s.f. house, he built all of the furniture, cabinets, 4- stairways, trim, etc. Anything wood, he built. Chippendale chairs were hand-made and carved to an amazing level of detail - it is one of the coolest houses I have ever seen. The great room fireplace has a very large heart-pine mantel 16' long that is entirely hand chiseled. Personally, the amount of committment required to do all of that work is beyond my capacity to understand! The dining room table seats 10- people comfortably and all have their butts in those Chippendale chairs. Built-in china cabinets are amazing and just a few days ago we were there celebrating Christmas with "her side of the family" and again everyone is talking about the work he did. That dining room table was built using hand tools and the top is as smooth as glass ALMOST 50 YEARS LATER!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Otis, it is one of those that vacuums as well. But if you cover the inlet with anything, it loses suction too easily. With all the tubing and turns in a dust collection system, it would end up providing very little air flow at the tool.

Maybe if I came up with a way to hook it up directly to the took, then it might be OK, but lately, I'm focusing more on learning how to use hand tools.

My goal is to make furniture that my family would be proud to have in their homes.
 

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All wood dust is toxic, some worse than others. Man made materials can compound this because of the glues and resins involved in their construction. This is why I encourage members to use dust collection accessories and masks.

A simple 20" box fan with a 20 x 20" pleated furnace filter taped to the back side will remove a great deal of the dust from your shop air at a minimum cost.
 

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Mike, I use the fan and filter thing plus a mask. I use a bungee cord to hold the filter in place. Easy to remove the filter and vacuum it.
 
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