Hot answers tagged

50

Short answer: A shop-vac is better than nothing, but barely adequate for dust collection on almost any stationary power tool. On the other hand, a dust collector would be inappropriate and wouldn't work very well for most handheld tools. Long answer: read on... The others mentioned that a Shop-Vac produces low-volume air flow with high static pressure, and ...


25

Is working MDF bad for your health? Yes but only if you are ignorant of your tools and materials. It certainly can be. However the answer of "Yes" is misleading as the concerns surrounding MDF are more than just the potential presence of hazards such as the release formaldehyde. Working MDF creates dust particles much like any other wood. It is ...


20

PVC is commonly used in dust collection systems. Typically for longer runs you should use 6" or larger pipe, regardless of the material. If you're using PVC, the larger, less expensive pipe is commonly available as sewer drain pipe. As of May 2015, there have been no known fires caused by a static discharge in a PVC pipe from a dust collection system. ...


18

One good use of sawdust is to make into a fire starting device. Sawdust is quite flammable, and obviously has a lot of surface area. WARNING: Be safe. Certain glues (such as may be used in plywood), most finishes, and most pressure-treated woods may be dangerous to burn, due to the release of poisonous chemicals. Be sure that you are only burning wood ...


16

Short answer: always wear a properly-fitted, high-efficiency respirator so you can reduce your chances of developing respiratory problems or certain types of cancer of the respiratory system later in life. There are many levels of protection when it comes to filtering the air you breathe, from cheap paper masks that provide very little protection, to ...


15

I've a dust mask but I wonder if it worth wearing it when working on pine wood. I do wear it when working a piece oak or beech. First off, let's be clear: a disposable paper dust mask may be slightly better than nothing, but even a fancy $5 disposable P100 dust mask with a breathing valve will not perform as well as a properly-fitted respirator with ...


15

Shop vacs pull a smaller volume of air (cubic feet/minute) than dust collectors, but with a higher pressure differential. That might not mean much to you, but what it amounts to is this: shop vacs are better at sucking dust from a close source (hooked into the exhaust of your handheld sander) and dust collectors are better at collecting from a diffuse source ...


12

I do not know what wood is common in Portland. Common woods will differ between locales. If you have lung issues then I would imagine you should't be working unknown woods. If you are fortunate enough to know the wood you are working then I would refer to the Wood-Database as it has an extensive database with details about "Allergies and Toxicities" for ...


12

I remember hearing a while ago that sawdust and wood glue can be used as a wood filler to fill in gaps and imperfections. Yes you can do this, but note that the term "sawdust" might be slightly misleading here. Commonly when this sort of thing is done at home it uses sanding dust, not actual dust from sawing which would tend to have a range of particle ...


10

A beard will cause leakage around a standard half-mask "passive" respirator. The respirator's effectiveness will vary depending on how thick your beard is and how tightly the respirator fits over your beard, but keep in mind that air will follow the path of least resistance. Your beard won't provide anywhere near the filtration of a P100 cartridge which ...


9

Dust collectors have higher air flow but lower static pressure than a shop vac. In other words, dust collectors are better at sucking in all the dust chips and fine dust. They will have a harder time with heavier objects (rocks, metal, etc...). With that being said, you shouldn't collect those heavier objects with your dust collector; you could damage the ...


9

@bowlturner and @rob gave some excellent responses and I'll add a couple of thoughts: Remember there's a big difference between collecting chips and collecting dust. "Dust collectors" are often good at collecting chips, but allow the fine dust to escape. What that means is that you can have a visibly dust-free shop and still have major dust problems. You ...


9

As with Rob, the short answer is to always wear a dust mask to reduce the risk of respiratory problems. The long answer is, it depends. Visible dust is less of a hazard than very fine particles. Dust particles smaller than 10 microns can bypass the body's defenses and can reach deep within the lungs. Particles larger than 10 microns tend to be trapped by ...


8

Most miter saws don't have very good dust collection. You can buy or build a hood to catch the dust. (Source) (Source) Some hoods can be connected to your dust collector, while others funnel the dust down into a bucket.


8

Would you consider cutting some wood species wood without mask safe ? I do all the time. However, I also have a dust collection system and 2 different kinds of face masks that I also use. Exposure makes a difference. Some people are susceptible to different things vs. others. Do you use mask with every wood species ? For me two things make a ...


8

If you do composting in your garden, sawdust is good to add to your compost bin. You will need to balance it out with enough "green" items to compost it though, so it will not work for large quantities of sawdust.


7

Sawdust in general is very bad for your health. The smaller bits that float around (especially from sanding) become little particles that act just like asbestos, they can get into the alveoli and damage them. So right there is a good reason to have a dust mask and/or a good dust collection system. There are many woods that have toxicity on top of the ...


7

Unless there is a space concern within the shop area, I'd keep the dust collection bin inside the shop, but run the PVC piping up through this crawl space. In other words, run the PVC directly up into the ceiling and then through the crawl space over to a central point where you'd have a down pipe going to your collection vacuum. There are two potential ...


7

I tend to agree that compound miters have horrible dust collection design. Mostly I've given up, even though I have hose connected to my dust collector. My dust collector doesn't have enough static pressure and the little port tends to get clogged. I'm sure that this is one tool the Shop-Vac actually works much better on. However, I do have one ...


7

Is there a better/recommended way to do this? All the methods you list are recommended ways of removing dust from the workpiece. Brushing is actually a very good way to get dust off wood, and for many woodworkers it's the main method they rely on. It's just that you usually can't do it properly with only one brush. You can use a large soft hand brush to ...


7

Your item #3 is called a tack cloth and is quite commonly used for removing dust, because, as you noted, it's quite effective, and it's a highly recommended solution. According to the linked Wikipedia article, there may be some VOC concerns, however, with increasing environmental regulations, those are either A) listed on the packaging, or B) being phased ...


6

Adding to Matt's answer, all sawdust is bad for your lungs. Some is just worse than others. It is the small particles that get in them and cause physical damage, very similar to how asbestos works. After that you get woods that have different chemicals that can cause different reactions. The wood-database does have a list of woods and their 'danger' ...


6

Instead of sucking it up you can blow it away using compressed air (or just your lungs). A moist (not wet) cloth will minimize the water you apply to the wood. A micro-fibre cloth is dry but will also have a very good dust grabbing properties.


6

For reference regarding toxicity, http://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/ is a pretty good resource, but as with any allergy, some people are more allergic than others. Bear in mind it's not just toxic particles that are dangerous; for example, bakers are known to have health complications from inhaling flour. In general, if ...


6

Standard test for respirator seal; put it on your face without the straps. Cover the inlets with your palms.. Suck in a breath and hold it. It should maintain the resulting partial vacuum for a reasonable time. If it doesn't, some air is sneaking in around the mask every time you breathe in; the better the filters the more leakage past them. Better than ...


6

I don't believe anyone actually tested how sawdust contamination affects flammability of glass-wool or cellulose insulation. Just installing a vapor barrier on the bottom will help prevent dust accumulation on the insulation.


6

My hope is that in general hand tools will not produce fine enough dust to be concerned with. While it is now fairly widely known that the finer dusts are the most hazardous (as produced primarily by certain power tools) this can tend to obscure the fact that all wood dust is a potential health hazard. This position is considered overly cautious by the ...


6

Yes, that is a method still in use. You can use it to fill gaps. But, the unfortunate thing about this method is... You create a place on wood that is different in absorbing the oil/stain that you apply. But it depends on your stain colour and wood's colour also. If they are both darkish, it will not be a problem. But if your wood is lightish and the stain ...


6

Lots of people have shops in their basements with no big problems, so it is possible to work inside. Dust will be a concern, as you've noted, but noise will as well. Make sure to wear hearing protection and a dust mask. I'd check the noise levels outside the room, as it may be unbearable for others in your apartment or in other apartments. If that's the case,...


5

It will depend on your city and what they accept in the various garbage collection programs, but in my area at least, saw dust can be disposed of in our "green bin" program along with other organic materials like food, small dead animals, etc.


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