Any issues with Shop Vac and Sawdust? - Router Forums
 
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default Any issues with Shop Vac and Sawdust?

Stupid question here, I know shop vacs are widely used, but is there any concern for a dust explosion? I remember the printer repair man having a special vacuum cleaner for toner because of the risk of a spark and dust? Is that a concern with a shop vac (Home Depot Model)? Perhaps a special filter?


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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:36 PM
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Not that I am aware of, I use two to augment my DC system and all seems fine.

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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 11:27 PM
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It is improbable, but not impossible for it to happen. For a dust explosion, it takes the proper mixture of dust to air, and a spark. You really don't get that in a shop vac, and I wish I still had the site which did a review on it (was a bookmark on a dead pc).

If you are really worried, then some people will penetrate the hose (or can, etc) with a screw, and have a copper wire running from it to ground (like the cold water pipe)

Now, sucking up gasoline with a shop vac, is another matter. (kaboom) So if you have used the vacuum for flammable liquids, you have another equation.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 01:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjg202 View Post
Stupid question here, I know shop vacs are widely used, but is there any concern for a dust explosion? I remember the printer repair man having a special vacuum cleaner for toner because of the risk of a spark and dust? Is that a concern with a shop vac (Home Depot Model)? Perhaps a special filter?


Thanks
Hi Ray - As an ex-printer tech, 23 yrs at Xerox, there is very little comparison between the toner and developer encountered vacuuming up the "clean, dry, process". To begin with the toner was a thermoplastic, which is something of a fuel, and was about 1 micron in size. The developer was steel shot, 10 - 20 microns in size which built up a heck of static charge in the plastic hose so the chances of a static discharge were very high. Moisture level was 0 the norm. Even at that, toner explosions were extremely rare even with standard super suckers.
Sawdust, or even MDF dust, will have higher moisture levels and, as Randall pointed out, the volume of dust and oxygen at the time an ignition source is introduced is actually pretty narrow with materials that are normally considered non-flammible.
I've been away from it for about 15 years now but I am not aware of any brushless vacuums issued to the field. They may have field tested some but the resolution that was implemented when I was there was a conductive hose and a ground clip. That was as much to keep the tech from static shock as it was to prevent explosions though.

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-08-2011, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I just had to ask my curiosity was getting the best of me. Some very useful/helpful answers.
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