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Dust Control!

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Sh92

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Hi everyone, new member/DIY'er here. I've always had an urge for learning new skills and I'm fairly competent with using tools so I've wanted to get more into woodworking. I have set up a workshop area in a spare corner of my house (small utility room with the backdoor). I've been building a small amount of things out of any old scrap wood I can find/learning the tools and techniques. My question is dust! My mitre saw and sander produce an unreal amount, how worried should I be about the health risks? I use a P3 rated respirator, the backdoor is open to the outside and I have a hoover to clean in between sessions and afterwards (I've even left gaps behind the units, washing machine, freezer etc so I can fit the Hoover behind!). The research I have done points to the entire house being covered in invisble dust particles now but I don't have any outdoor space to use.
 

sunnybob

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theres a miilion dust threads on here, but it all comes down to one thing; fine wood dust can be lethal and it spreads on the wind.
Do as much as you can, as often as you can, to remove the dust.
 

AJB Temple

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You will make a huge difference by getting a decent vacuum and attaching it whenever you can. In my actual workshop I have a plumbed in system, but when I am working in the house as I am permanently at the moment, I use a Festool midi which is brilliant. Have also used the cheap Lidl ones with power take off (good) and a Nilfisk (less good).

I can use it on track saw, mitre saw, router, multitool, sander (Mirka - the system is almost dust free) and even when drilling I run a nozzle close to the tool (I recruit my wife as helper). It just saves so much time on clearing up.
 

Sh92

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Appreciate the replies so far, I'm well aware of the dangers of dust which is why I'm keen to minimise it. I had a look at air filtration systems however I am a 100% amateur weekender here. I have attached a vacuum to the tools however it didn't seem to help much maybe an upgrade on that front is needed
 

sunnybob

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you can breathe enough dust in a weekend to severely upset your life.
think of it like this;
you start a new hobby and build a racing car with all the go fast extras (your machines), but what you really need are the brakes to stop you from crashing (dust collection).

Allot money for dust collection now, not later.
 

Sh92

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I 100% agree with you which is why I have taken the steps I have listed above, but not every person who owns a drill for example has air ventilation systems and an outdoor workshop? I know people who have done this for 60 years without even owning a respirator or mask, but I'm 27 so I'd rather not risk it and sort the problem out earlier
 

thetyreman

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depends what kind of work you do, there is far less dust when using handtools but I still wear a proper mask and clean up regularly.
 

powertools

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thetyreman":mljpmkv4 said:
depends what kind of work you do, there is far less dust when using handtools but I still wear a proper mask and clean up regularly.
Are you really saying that you only use hand tools but still wear a dust mask all the time?
 

powertools

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Sh92":48gd2g10 said:
I 100% agree with you which is why I have taken the steps I have listed above, but not every person who owns a drill for example has air ventilation systems and an outdoor workshop? I know people who have done this for 60 years without even owning a respirator or mask, but I'm 27 so I'd rather not risk it and sort the problem out earlier
Why would anybody who owns a drill need an air ventilation system?
 

Sh92

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powertools":2c7hnhfr said:
Sh92":2c7hnhfr said:
I 100% agree with you which is why I have taken the steps I have listed above, but not every person who owns a drill for example has air ventilation systems and an outdoor workshop? I know people who have done this for 60 years without even owning a respirator or mask, but I'm 27 so I'd rather not risk it and sort the problem out earlier
Why would anybody who owns a drill need an air ventilation system?
They wouldn't but I was trying to make a point that although everyone recommends air ventilation systems they aren't viable for everyone! I don't know anyone that does DIY in their home that uses anything other than a mask. I made this thread to see if there was any other ways to manage dust and to get peoples opinions, there are hundreds of articles saying how bad it is to breathe in dust (and I believe them) however I know people who have done this as a full time job for years without even using a mask and disagree with my worries!
 

sunnybob

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I know people who have smoked for 50 years and not got lung cancer.
To quote a famous detective... Do you feel lucky? well, do yah?
 

Sh92

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sunnybob":3vywoa17 said:
I know people who have smoked for 50 years and not got lung cancer.
To quote a famous detective... Do you feel lucky? well, do yah?
Like I said, I'm well aware of the dangers. You haven't offered me any advice on how to combat it in a hobbyist/home workshop type area. I find it very hard to believe that you think everyone with a small weekend hobby of putting a picture frame together or building a small table rents a dedicated workshop, has air ventilation etc.

I use a mask, have a door open to let outside air in, have the door to the main house closed, vacuum between cuts and after I've finished. Are there any ways I'm missing? 1 person has suggested hand tools and 1 a better vacuum both of which are feasible in a normal house space
 

sammy.se

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I don't think there is much more you can do.
Get a good respirator, and make sure your hoovers have a good bag, like a HEPA filter bag, to minimise the risk to the rest of the house. (I use HEPA bags on my henry vacuum).

If we keep pulling at this thread, then we'd have to consider all sorts of pollutants we live with day-to-day.

Maybe one other thing to consider is researching the particular wood you will use before generating the dust - maybe some are more toxic than others, and you may wish to avoid those.
 

Nelsun

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Your options will also come down to what budget you are willing to throw at the problem. I know this all to well (hammer)

Sanders attached to most any vac will yield good results assuming you can match the port size to a hose. Vacs can suck too much (as in pull the sander down onto the workpiece causing it to scratch more than you'd like) so it's good to have a way of combating that: put your sanding pads on slightly covering the suction holes, fit some valve somewhere on the hose to allow air flow reduction or buy a vac with variable suction.

Mitre saws are rarely ever going to behave themselves with dust. Even your high end ones attached to similarly expensive extraction will yield plumes and puffs of dust that go where they want. The dust boot can be tinkered with to increase it's drawing range by adding a "saw stache" (google it) or similar but that's a faff and will likely end up just getting in the road of some cuts. Hoods are another thing to try and keep the dust plumes contained. There's no silver bullet here IMHO. At least with a hand saw the dust generally drops where you're cutting!
 

Geoff_S

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I have a bigger workshop and the first thing I installed was dust extraction and an air filter. But, you're right, the machines still kick up unbelievable amounts of dust that don't get "sucked up". So, a mask is a really good investment IMHO. I've got a downdraught mask and I find it much more comfortable and effective than the type that cover you mouth and nose.

Another trick I find useful. My workshop is a bit of a weird shape and the air filter unit is hanging at one end. So I have a normal domestic fan at one end of my workbench to direct the dust in the general direction of the air filter. Maybe that's an option for you in directing it out of the back door. I would also use dust sheets to cover any domestic appliances.
 
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