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Fine Dust and general dust extraction

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bp122

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Hi All

I know, I know, this topic has been the bane of the site moderators and members alike, it has been done, "dusted", fossilized, resurrected, done again a few times over.

But from a newbie's perspective, it is an information overload and my head is about to explode!

For my axminster 8" table saw, I bought an axminster chip extractor with a 1 micron filter as an afterthought (as I hadn't known or accounted for the pain that is dust collection!)
When I had to buy one, I did some research, although clearly not a lot, and bought one which had more airflow than the table saw specs listed as minimum.

But now, I came across fine dust and its ill effects on health and safety - the detailed work by Bill Pentz.

Reading up on his explanations and research, it has now made me feel like unless I meticulously plan the system and spend £1000s on it, I'll not be safe. Since I'm only a hobby woodworker (or was aspiring to be one) I cannot justify that much expense on it. In his website it specifically states that hobbyists are at greater risk than people working in factories as the systems both parties incorporate are vastly different and a few hours of exposure for the hobbyist in a small workspace is more harmful than the people working in regulated work areas with state of the art dust collection systems.

It has put so much doubt in me that I am considering giving up on the table saw, sell it off along with the extractor and stick to hand tools and working outdoors.

Since my garage space also accommodates the washing machine, my wife also has to get in and out of harms way (in terms of dust and its effects), and to add to it, she is pregnant with our first child.

Am I overreacting here? From many sources online, Bill Pentz's work seems to be unbiased and thorough without exaggeration. He also states that most commercial products claim figures which aren't even half true in terms of airflow, pressure and filtration grade.

All I want is to enjoy a craft that I've always wanted to do without having to remortgage the newly bought house. Is it really this hard to start out?

Please share your thoughts.
 

Deadeye

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I went through the same (I'm new too).
I ended up with a 1u filter like you and a cyclone (home built) prior.
I bought a £30 air monitor that does 10, 2.5 and 1u counts - it was quite reassuring.
Also I don't use MDF.

Worth considering that any table saw tends to chuck out some dust no matter how good the extractor. If I'm doing a lot of cuts or using a sensitising wood then I stick a mask on too.
 

Inspector

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Some are going to tell you to poo poo Bill's research and findings. Others like myself will mix the Kool-Aid.

What I would suggest for now is to cover the washing machine with a tarp to keep it clean and don't do the woodwork on wash day. :wink:

Get a good rated mask and wear it until the dust has been collected/filtered/ventilated/cleaned up. To do that you can get a particle counter and see what the dust levels are so you know when you need to don the mask and when safe to remove it. They have become increasingly less expensive from your favourite online sellers. Example below. From there as you develop your woodworking you can make the incremental improvements to the dust management of your hobby.

https://www.amazon.ca/Temtop-Quality-De ... 04&sr=8-12

Wear coveralls when in the shop and remove them before returning to the house so you don't bring the dust in with you.

The Australian Woodworking Forum has a very good area in their forum devoted to dust extraction if you are into reading and learning more. I will link it but if the moderator deems it in violation of the rules he can remove it.

https://www.woodworkforums.com/f200

Pete
 

beech1948

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bp122,

We have all been through those thought processes. So a few ways to get a better balance.

1) Understand that Bill Pence is right if a little biased since he has a lung disease caused by breathing in too much dust. His research is fine if over detailed his conclusions are broadly correct.
2) Pence's statement that hobbyists get the worst deal are subjective. eg Your not using MDF is great decision.
3) From your viewpoint you have a couple of decisions to make. First is whether or not to spend more on your DC. Consider the size of the space you have and what will fit in since items like a larger Cyclone will take up a lot of room and you may not have that space available. If you choose to go the cyclone route then you also have two choices. 1) A smaller traffic cone sized gadget on top of a collection bin driven by your existing DC will remove fine dust and most shavings at the penalty of more frequent emptying of the bin OR 2) Make yourself a Thien Baffle also driven by your existing DC which is a cyclone a like approach. Option 2 is possibly the cheapest and most effective. Which ever you choose to use both will be Two Stage dust extractors. That is first extraction is via the cyclone a like and second is via your existing DC
4) A third approach is to go look at the web site of Mattias Wandel and look for his pages on smaller DC where he uses quite small DC machines almost at a one per machine approach. He seems to be pleased with this method although he still uses a larger DC for some things.

Ignoring the above for a moment it seems to me that the real issue is to "start" to think in terms of capturing dust at the point of creating it. Always.!! Some machines are much harder to do this with than others. Partly because of the type of dust they produce. The worst in a workshop will probably be a powered Chop/Mitre Saw which spews dust everywhere and needs an enveloping hood over the top/back/sides and some of the front to capture 80% max of the dust produced. Simpler are table saws and bandsaws which often need to have workshop made "things" inserted underneath or inside to divert dust to the collector. A bandsaw might need 3 DC feeds....one at the bottom, one under the lower guides and one on the edge of the table. Small tools produce finer dust and can be quite problematical. Recent innovations in "hoover" style DC eg Festool midi can cope well with sanders, circular saws, plunge saws etc. Here I suggest you buy second hand.

Enough for now. Hope this is helpful.

Alan
 

lurker

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Regards air monitoring.

In a past life I was qualified to perform air monitoring in industrial settings.
We used very expensive samplers plus laboratory techniques to comply with HSE requirements. This cost the clients a bomb and was very lucrative work for very little effort.

However...
You can achieve near identical results in your workshop for nothing.
Wipe a horizontal surface (if you want to get fancy ,a sheet of glass is good), at about shoulder height, clean of all crud.
After a couple of days work, see how much settled dust there is.
A smattering is fine, any more and you need to be looking for solutions.
Repeat as required.

"Dust" is not a major issue, it's the respirable dust portion that is the problem.
This is very fine, and airborne at mouth height.
 

Trainee neophyte

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I'm in the same boat, as in needing dust collection suddenly, having only just learned (here) that I may die without it (I have been known to exaggerate for effect).

Oddly, I don't need to collect dust - I just need to get it out of the building. It can join the great outdoors, make a compost heap or waft away in the breeze - I'm not bothered in the least, I just want it out. Does this make a difference? Can I just buy/ make a big fat extractor with hose and vent it outside? Would a huge commercial floor-standing cooling fan be as good? (I assume not, but have to ask). Not needing collection will save money, but will it have consequences?

Apologies if I have muscled in on your thread - hopefully the answers may help...
 

Deadeye

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Well, if you're truly that far away from your neighbours, then you can just get a powerful extractor and vent it outside rather than into a collector.
I started with a setup that did just that (or nearly). 2 issues:
1. If you are planing, routing or turning, you get chips and shavings not dust. It would get very messy outside. Hence I put my homemade cyclone ahead of the extractor, whic h then only vented fine dust outside.
2. I was really happy with that setup...in summer. In winter it pulls all the (warm) air out of your workspace and sucks in cold.
Consequently I decided I neeeded a systemt hat re-circulates the air. Hence now: cylone prior to fan that blows into 1u filters, masks for when it's messy (table saw and sanding mostly) and a monitor lest I forget
 

bp122

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Thank you all for the responses, it has put me at a bit of an ease.

Based on what you all suggested, I thought of this plan:
1. Get a good rated mask for the application- Any recommendations?
2. Overalls for garage use ONLY and not move it into the house.
3. Finish my traffic cone Cyclone (I'm half way through) and connect it to my DC
4. Look into the Thien Baffle design (upon a brief look, when people have compared it with cyclone, the latter seems to retain better airflow - is that your experience too? What is the exact function of this over the cyclone?)
5. Have my garage door open when I'm cutting messy stuff (not sure if this will help as that is the only opening - don't know if that'll push dust back in.
6. Not use MDF unless I absolutely have to (then do it completely outside)
7. Look into a good Festool kind of unit as a secondary solution to my portable tools and also maybe connect the hose from the crown guard on my table saw to this instead of the main DC - maybe a used one as I don't want to splash out a lot on this.
8. Take over the laundry duty, which I already have, to be honest.
9. Get an anemometer and dust particle-o-meter to assess the situation factually.
10. Most of all, enjoy the craft and the process without worrying too much about it.

Once again, thank you all.
 

sunnybob

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1/Look for FFP3, anything less is a waste of your money. If you can afford a powered cap and mask, then thats ok, but look carefully at the filter pads. I have seen 100 quid plus respirators that use FFP2 filters (hammer) (hammer)
2/ Yes
3/ You might need to reinforce the traffic cone. if its flimsy plastic it will compress under vacuum. Reinforce the outside, keep the inside smooth or it wont work.
4/ personal choice, i think the thien is only better if you spend a LOT of money and time making it EXACTLY as designed.
5/ yes
6/ Yes
7/ This is you and your familys health we are talking about, spend what is needed, although brand names done always mean the best for the job..
8/ man card revoked! :D :D
9/ Dont get anal about this, if everything has a layer of dust before you finish working, you need better extraction.
10/ Very sensible.
 

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Regarding number nine.
Don't bother, the kit you will be able to afford will not be good enough and the results even if they were accurate are not easy to interpretate.
Sorry if this sounds a bit big headed but it's a complicated subject that requires a lot of knowledge.I have posted above my observations for a good subsitute based on 25 years industrial experience.
 

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With respect to #9. Don't get one of the cheap propeller driven anemometers. They are not meant for small ducting, can read 30%+ higher than actual and are not consistent. If you are going to do airspeed/flow measuring you would use a pitot probe type or a hot wire type and a section of test duct. They are quite a bit more money that would be better spent on a bigger DC. If you are going to do anything make a water tube manometer to monitor static pressure. Like lurker said it is a complicated process that when done incorrectly will send you chasing your tail.

Pete
 

Bale

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bp122":1qmr4ty2 said:
Am I overreacting here?
Yes. Massively. Just connect the saw to the dust extractor you have and use it. Simple as that. No need for anemometers, cyclones, baffles, secondary units or in-depth research on websites of dubious provenance. Just go with number 10 on your list, and enjoy the pride you'll feel from a job well done.

Pete
 

bp122

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lurker":3qq95ko3 said:
Regarding number nine.
Don't bother, the kit you will be able to afford will not be good enough and the results even if they were accurate are not easy to interpretate.
Sorry if this sounds a bit big headed but it's a complicated subject that requires a lot of knowledge.I have posted above my observations for a good subsitute based on 25 years industrial experience.
Inspector":3qq95ko3 said:
With respect to #9. Don't get one of the cheap propeller driven anemometers. They are not meant for small ducting, can read 30%+ higher than actual and are not consistent. If you are going to do airspeed/flow measuring you would use a pitot probe type or a hot wire type and a section of test duct. They are quite a bit more money that would be better spent on a bigger DC. If you are going to do anything make a water tube manometer to monitor static pressure. Like lurker said it is a complicated process that when done incorrectly will send you chasing your tail.

Pete
I take your point and will get the right stuff in the future.

sunnybob":3qq95ko3 said:
1/Look for FFP3, anything less is a waste of your money. If you can afford a powered cap and mask, then thats ok, but look carefully at the filter pads. I have seen 100 quid plus respirators that use FFP2 filters (hammer) (hammer)
2/ Yes
3/ You might need to reinforce the traffic cone. if its flimsy plastic it will compress under vacuum. Reinforce the outside, keep the inside smooth or it wont work.
4/ personal choice, i think the thien is only better if you spend a LOT of money and time making it EXACTLY as designed.
5/ yes
6/ Yes
7/ This is you and your familys health we are talking about, spend what is needed, although brand names done always mean the best for the job..
8/ man card revoked! :D :D
9/ Dont get anal about this, if everything has a layer of dust before you finish working, you need better extraction.
10/ Very sensible.
beech1948":3qq95ko3 said:
Suggested masks are first try the 3M designs and P3 filters. After that try JSP (Axminster) or Screwfix/Toolstation
Does FF stand for full face? If I get a half face and then some good sealed goggles, would that work?
 

Bale

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bp122":bx17zt6s said:
Does FF stand for full face? If I get a half face and then some good sealed goggles, would that work?
Until 5 minutes ago I knew nothing of FFP3, but a google search of the term "FFP3" found pretty much everything you need to know. You are overthinking all this. Just get on with it and have some fun!

Pete
 

Rich C

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FF stands for filtering facepiece. They are usually half masks, which is all you need for wood dust. The P3 is particle level 3 which is 99%.
 

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I took a 3M class on fit testing masks to people for the company I worked for once upon a time. One of the things they said about their masks was that they said the way of looking at the protection they offer was. A disposable paper mask was a 100. A half mask was 1000. A full face was 10,000. That isn't a filtration or particle rating just how much better each is compared to the other.

There are good disposable masks that have a spun fabric filter material with a soft rubber face seal and the exhalation valve in front. They are actually good for a week of 8 hour days of wear in a dusty job. So don't just chuck them willy nilly unless you have someone else paying for them. :wink:

The half masks are liked and hated by many but are relatively inexpensive and with the ability to take a number of cartridges can be used for dust, finishing or paint stripping and other nasties.

The full face mask offers better sealing on your face and eye protection too at an increase in weight and the problem of wearing glasses. You can't wear them with glasses but there are special frames that can be clipped inside with your prescription or you can do as I do and wear contacts. They are obviously the most costly, but I find it easier, it is a personal preference, to don the full face and if needed the ear muffs rather than a half mask, goggles and ear muffs.

Pete
 

sunnybob

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I really dont know what the FFP stands for. I did look it up several years ago when I got into woodwork but my brain is a lot older than my body nowadays and I cant remember, but its not full face because they only cover mouth and nose.
I believe its being superceded with EN numbers, but if brexit actually happens that might change.
FFP 1 is as good as tying a hankie around your face, 2 will actually stop large heavy dust like brick, but 3 will stop almost all dust provided you fit it properly.
If you wear the mask and glasses, and the glasses steam up, then its too loose. If you wear a beard, you might not get it to fit properly. You have to get something that fits you and that you will wear all the time youre cutting wood.
But dont ignore dust, it IS a killer.
 

bp122

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sunnybob":30eg2622 said:
I really dont know what the FFP stands for. I did look it up several years ago when I got into woodwork but my brain is a lot older than my body nowadays and I cant remember, but its not full face because they only cover mouth and nose.
I believe its being superceded with EN numbers, but if brexit actually happens that might change.
FFP 1 is as good as tying a hankie around your face, 2 will actually stop large heavy dust like brick, but 3 will stop almost all dust provided you fit it properly.
If you wear the mask and glasses, and the glasses steam up, then its too loose. If you wear a beard, you might not get it to fit properly. You have to get something that fits you and that you will wear all the time youre cutting wood.
But dont ignore dust, it IS a killer.
Rich C":30eg2622 said:
FF stands for filtering facepiece. They are usually half masks, which is all you need for wood dust. The P3 is particle level 3 which is 99%.
Inspector":30eg2622 said:
I took a 3M class on fit testing masks to people for the company I worked for once upon a time. One of the things they said about their masks was that they said the way of looking at the protection they offer was. A disposable paper mask was a 100. A half mask was 1000. A full face was 10,000. That isn't a filtration or particle rating just how much better each is compared to the other.

There are good disposable masks that have a spun fabric filter material with a soft rubber face seal and the exhalation valve in front. They are actually good for a week of 8 hour days of wear in a dusty job. So don't just chuck them willy nilly unless you have someone else paying for them. :wink:

The half masks are liked and hated by many but are relatively inexpensive and with the ability to take a number of cartridges can be used for dust, finishing or paint stripping and other nasties.

The full face mask offers better sealing on your face and eye protection too at an increase in weight and the problem of wearing glasses. You can't wear them with glasses but there are special frames that can be clipped inside with your prescription or you can do as I do and wear contacts. They are obviously the most costly, but I find it easier, it is a personal preference, to don the full face and if needed the ear muffs rather than a half mask, goggles and ear muffs.

Pete

Thank you all for the detailed explanation. I really appreciate it. No disrespect to others, but I know a Google search will give me a flood of info, but I was after exactly what you guys gave - information backed with experience and possibly a story or two :D (homer)
 
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