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Dust extraction system

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 67
Hi all, I am really getting on with my first build and although I am encountering the occasion learning curve, lol, I feel pleased with how things are going ... apart from the dust!

I am asthmatic and proned to bronchitis so dust is a real issue. I wear those paper face masks all the time in the workshop but it is still effecting me.

I was wondering, on account that I cannot afford a real extraction system this side of my passing to the great workshop in the sky, could I construct something using an old vaccum cleaner and a few pipes?

My workshop is indoors and is 15ft long and 10ft wide and about 7ft 6inches high.

Your thoughts would be appreciated. I am currently not working so cost is a biggie!!

Mar 10, 10 | 1:28 am

Total Topics: 4
Total Posts: 74
I grind tools for a living, but when our dust collector's go down we use a shop vac. with a hose, but There not meant for more than a few hr. at a time the bearings will burn out .Also on a few jobs I use a mask with the sm. filters on the side of it, there way better than paper masks.There maybe 25.00 at homedepot. I know business was bad here for a while, but getting better in wisconsin good luck. Dave

Mar 10, 10 | 4:00 am

Total Topics: 18
Total Posts: 165
not sure what the weather is like there, but could you do any sanding in a driveway, or garage with a large fan blowing your dust away from the work area?

Mar 10, 10 | 4:42 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
I also plug the hose from my shop vac into my belt sander when I'm running it. I've just duct taped a piece of the shop vac hose onto the outlet of the sander and turn it on when needed. Otherwise I simply vacuum up the dust after I sand.

You might look in the Grizzly tool catalog for ideas (not saying you need to buy their stuff, but it is good quality at a reasonable price)

Last idea would be to build a "sanding booth" (kind of like a spray booth). Enclose an area of your shop (I used a couple of old cardboard guitar shipping boxes), put a box type window fan in it to pull air out, maybe a few layers of furnace filter material to trap the dust) and actually work in the booth. I don't sand in mine but it is sure nice when it comes time to finish.

Btw - when sanding I also wear a paper dust mask, but when I spray I use a full on canister type mask - you might want to consider one of those while you work.

Mar 10, 10 | 5:52 am
Ken C

Total Topics: 30
Total Posts: 554
I don't have asthma, but I find sawdust from these exotic woods is very irritable. If you don't mind used, you can search on Craigslist. I have a PC shop/tool vac as well as a portable Delta dust collector with a single hose that I move to my table saw, thickness sander, band saw, and belt/disc sander as needed. However, the dust that is the biggest problem comes from hand sanding, which I really have no way of controlling, so I wear a paper mask and run my air filter. Your shop is of modest size, so an air filter or a fan setup as suggested by Freeman might go a long way to helping you out. You would still need your mask when sanding, but the air would clear quickly.


Mar 10, 10 | 8:02 am
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
I plan on, maybe this summer, building a sanding station. I have seen somewhere someone did one using an old dryer motor they mounted under a box. In the top of the box, they drilled 1/8" holes every half inch or so, and created a downdraft table. Your choice to either pipe to a bag system or just outside. I have the perfect spot left over in my bench to build it right in. You could probably easily find an old dryer with a motor that still works.

Mar 10, 10 | 11:38 am

Total Topics: 21
Total Posts: 190
Paul, dust is a problem for me as well. I just finishing up my shop and have been looking around for an answer to this problem.

I too cannot afford some of the high dollar stuff available and even if I could I'm doubtful it would be warranted.

Here a few links to some of the ideas I've found. I THINK I have settled on constructing a "Built in" collector of my own design for my bench top to retain as much space as I possibility can.

It will incorporate some of the features found here such as a "Pegboard type top" set level with the bench top on a 2"X 4" frame with 3 center supports all of which will measure about 24"X30" above a "V" shaped masonite lined (Ultra smooth) feeder floor that dumps into a fitting for my shop vac.

I can hook it up when needed and otherwise have the hose out of the way.
You CAN construct a "Box" shaped table top unit that will work just as well.
Hope this helps should be able to be done for $30 or less if one is careful ..Good luck.

Mar 10, 10 | 1:31 pm

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 65
Thanks for all the thoughts guys.

dviss ... I live in England need I say more. The weather is usually cold and wet this time of year and RH is fairly consistant around 55% - 60% indoors and around 70% or more outside so I dont want to be moving my materals in and out too often. Besides I dont have a garage and it wouldn't really be convenient to move the gear I need from a third floor workshop to the outside. Nice thought though.

Some good idea from you all. Will look through the many links and see what comes up.

Mar 10, 10 | 2:11 pm

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
Paul, be really really careful building in that high a humidity if you are going to keep the final guitars in 40 or so in your home.

Mar 11, 10 | 8:09 am

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 65
High Freeman ... I have a hygrometer in my workshop and in my living room and they tend to be pretty much in agreement around 55% - 60%

Just the nature of the Sounth West of England I am afraid!

Mar 11, 10 | 8:43 am

Total Topics: 27
Total Posts: 668
OK, Paul. Here was my lesson in humidity and humility

Most of our centrally heated homes can get down in the 30% RH in the winter - all of my gits have a little baggie humidifier in the case year around to try to maintain 40.

Mar 11, 10 | 1:48 pm

Total Topics: 28
Total Posts: 65
I hear what you are saying Freeman and I have thought long and hard about humidity but unless I totally miss-understand something we don't have the same humidity issues that you do in the States.

My home is always between 55% and 60%. Outside can be as high as 90%

This link is for Birmingham which is about 90 miles from me and very similar weather conditions.

Mar 11, 10 | 2:31 pm

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 165
I posted a pic of an easy homemade collector 3/28/10 - and it works pretty well - a simple box fan with a furnace filter taped to the intake side. I leave it running all the time and no longer find a film of dust all over. I sand next to it and it draws very well.
Dave B

Mar 28, 10 | 5:19 pm

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