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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Practical Dust control for "part timers"

Each time dust control comes up the first thing that is discussed is fan operated dust collectors and expensive and bulky cyclone systems.
Some people have even made a study of the efficiency of these machines and a further study of maximizing the air flow through the collection tubes.
This is good.
I can see it the helping a dude building a dedicated shop but it's total fallout for most of us huddled in the spare corner of the garage trying to wack out a fruit dish.

Not too helpful for a weekend warrior but good. :D

Most of us that do actually expect to stagger out of the shop with some type of finished project will be faced with trapping dust from several sources.
The table saw, the planer, the jointer are easy. - just hook em up to a DC machine. Even a bad 2 hp machine will clean up after these babies.

The router presents two problems:
The first catching trimmings from wood edges is easy either with a hand held or a table mounted router and a DC or shop Vac.
Plowing, dadoing and pattern routing etc present other problems that are not that easy to solve. (certainly not resolvable with a big ass cyclone!)
Now what?
The easiest answer for my shop is to wear an air powered dust helmet.
I use the self contained style but there are many out there.
When I am done routing, sanding and CMS'ing I turn on the overhead dust collector, leave the shop for a coffee and let the dust collect in the filters.
My lungs are safe when I'm cutting and the overhead filter does a great job of removing the fine particles that even the best cyclone system leaves behind in a practical environment.
So, for you newbies...
Get good face protection first, reasonable dust collection second, and save up for a cyclone for the big stuff.

Yes, I still use a broom and yes I still vacuum round my band saw. :D

What's your method?

Bob
 

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Bob, some of the newer routers have dust collection built into the base plate or an adapter that fastens to it. These devices are not perfect but do catch the bulk of the debris. Inexpensive disposable dust masks are a reasonable choice for members on a budget. An inexpensive method for removing fine particulate dust from your shop is to buy an old HEPA filter somebody got tired of using at a garage sale or flea market. I'm sure you can adapt one of the many dust collection devices to fit your bandsaw too.
 

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I had an idea about mounting an old vacuum cleaner motor over a trash can, maybe with holes drilled and a filter attached to the side of it. Haven't done it yet. I picked up an old Kirby off the street (trash day). Maybe someone else will have a chance to experiment with this. I've also got a squirrel cage blower out there somewhere - took it out of an old furnace.

I just moved a few months ago so I have 1/2 the garage space I used to have. I think I'll have to do my progects in the driveway!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
aniceone2hold said:
Bob, some of the newer routers have dust collection built into the base plate or an adapter that fastens to it. These devices are not perfect but do catch the bulk of the debris.
Hi Mike:
I actually started this thread to get the conversation going for the light duty woodworker with a limited budget. That let me out as I am a tool junkie at heart and more of a fiddler than a woodwrker.
I noticed that across the web forums there is a concensus that nothing short of a professional dust collection system is worth bothering with.
I don't disagree but I am interesed in what a reasonable set of alternative should be for the little guy.
I most recently purchased a Triton with the attached dust collection and I really like it for hand held tasks.
I have not used it in my router station as yet as I am concerned with bit changing with the dust sheild in place under the top. I have a LV top built into a router table that makes bit changing a challenge even with my Hitatchi M12V.

Rgds Bob
 

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I have three routers so the routine is a little different for each one.
In all instances though I use a small Shop Vac Hang-up. I currently have the blue one and it's been working so well I'm going to get the yellow one which has a little more capacity and power. I chose this unit because of it's very small footprint since my space is limited.

My router table has collection at the router and on the fence. I alternate depending in the bit and type of cut I'm doing. At some point I'd like to make a Y-connection so I can do both at the same time. Since my vac hose is 1 1/4" it's not always easy to find connectors and parts.

For handheld routing I use a DeWalt 621 with a built-in dust collection port. I also use a Hitachi M12SC router on an EZ Smart guide system. I ordered a dust shroud for the Hitachi but haven't received it yet. I recently picked up a Bosch dust collector attachment to mount on the underside of the router when doing edge work.

So far this system is working well for me. I'm not routing 8 hours a day so the smaller Shop Vacs are fine.

Michael
 

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Toolie, the trouble with designing your own dust collector is the filter bags. The expense of a custom bag means you are further ahead using a large capacity shop vac with a high performance filter or HEPA filter catridge installed. And for the price you would pay for that you can buy a nice dust collector from HF. ($79?) I sure know what you mean about space limitations. I have to push my wood cart outside to have room to walk in my garage.
 

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Bob, I love to tinker as well. I have an assortment of shop vacs, a dust collector from a machine used to grind glass lenses for eye glasses and the large HF dust collector.
Michael, I like the small Shop Vacs too. I have inherited a couple of them and had one hooked to my miter saw, the other for bench clean up. The wall mount trays make a big difference on storage.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
That's a good point Mike about the small dedicated shopvacs right at the tool.
By the time you figure the investment in thundering central vacs and the real estate used for properly piping to each machine, a smaller dedicated vac seems to make a lot of sense in a small shop.
I have 2 shop vacs in my shop now and a small cyclone system for the table saw and planer.
The shop vac runs into a 20 gallon can, in which I have a dust bag off a leaf blower attached to the inlet side.
Most of the coarse stuff gets caught in the bag leaving only the real fine stuff to go on to the shopvac filter.
Sanding and bandsawing make the biggest clouds of dangerous dust in my shop.
Routing debris is easy to control today except for pattern work and this still has me stumped.

Bob
 

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I think it comes down to " do as I say don't do as I do " most of us are lazzy deep down.

It's like don't drive without insurance,don't speed,don't run yellow lights, and the one that no one should do DON'T DRINK and DRIVE ,but we all do it and no we should not.

Like most of the small wood shops we all would like to keep them clean and safe but we all buy face shields and vac pickup systems ,most of us have 5 or 6 pair of safety glasses but we don't use them most of the time.

I hate to clean up so I do use the vac, systems I have but I have made many jigs to catch the chips like from a dado slot cut the one that's the hardest to do, by the way I do have a fix for the "pattern work" on the top of the router table,that will pickup 90% of the chips.

The helmet is a great tool but most would not use it unless they go out and pay 200.oo bucks for one, than it's like all safety equipment it will get used a time or two and then find a spot on the wall to hang out because the user is to lazzy to wear it every time they turn on the router.

I guess it's time to get off the soap box :)
and this is
Just my 2 cents

Bj :)
 

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aniceone2hold said:
Michael, I like the small Shop Vacs too. I have inherited a couple of them and had one hooked to my miter saw, the other for bench clean up. The wall mount trays make a big difference on storage.
Mike, when I first tried it out I wasn't sure if it was up to the task. I've been very pleasantly surprised at how well it works. My next step is to get a tool activated switch that both items can plug in to. Then when I turn on the router, the vac will automatically turn on as well.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You know, I think you fellows are on to something with small dedicated dust traps.
Complete freedom to set it up and tons less hardware and remotes etc, etc, to bother with.
I can't see the overall cost being even a fraction of a dedicated, plumbed system.


Bob
 

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Are we speaking strictly "dust control" or chip control?
If just dust, a simply house fan in a window will control a decent amount of dust. However, if you're speaking of using DC for "clean-up", chips, etc. Then a shop-vac, of DC unit is the only way to go, providing a person has the room for one.
For myself, it all depends on the project I'm doing. Sanding vs routing, etc. etc. If I'm working on something that is going to produce a large amount of "dust", I use a simple house fan and let the fan bring the "dirty air" outside. For chips, I use a shop-vac and my DC unit. Just a small note about chip collection, since I don't burn wood, I scatter the wood chips finely throughout the yard or graden and let it turn into "mulch".
 

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Hamlin,

You do it the hard way..... I just roll my tools outside and do my work, that way I blow my dust directly onto the yard from the machine :D :p
 

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Hi Bob

I converted 2 home vacs into shop vac.
Both are capable to remove all the dust from the TS or router (I don’t have planer/thicknesser).






niki
 

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Hamlin,

You do it the hard way..... I just roll my tools outside and do my work, that way I blow my dust directly onto the yard from the machine :D :p
LOL, it's only the hard way 'til it rains. :D :p
Have a good day.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good practicle stuff as usual Niki.

I really admire how you are able to break down a problem into its smallest parts then solve it with common sense.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I hear it's one of the best out there from Bill Pentz.
Bill has done a lot of work with efficiency studies and I have no arguments with his research.
I just don't want to deal with a commercial piping system in my tiny shop.

Bob
 

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bob oswin said:
I hear it's one of the best out there from Bill Pentz.
Bill has done a lot of work with efficiency studies and I have no arguments with his research.
I just don't want to deal with a commercial piping system in my tiny shop.
I use half my garage and have no room for piping either.. I just plug the shopvac into whatever tool I'm using.. I figure the mini cyclone and shopvac can be mounted on a board with wheels, then stuffed under the work bench.. It would sure beat having to clean the filter every other day.. Did you look at the video of it? Looks pretty slick..
 
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