The woodworking industry produces a huge amount of dust from sawing, routing, planing and other operations. This is a health hazard and can be dangerous if it is not removed from the air before it reaches a breathing zone.
Fortunately, many new power tools have dust ports to control and collect this waste. You can attach a shop vacuum to these ports and capture much of the dust and chips.
A shop vac is a large vacuum that’s designed to clean up the dust from tools. It’s a little more powerful than a regular vacuum, with a larger hose and tank, and a strong motor.
Unlike a normal vacuum, a shop vac has a dedicated exhaust port that can be used to collect sawdust and other fine particles from your tools. This is a great way to keep your work area free from dust and protect you from inhaling it.
You can also attach a dust cyclone to your shop vac, which will help separate the large shavings from the fine ones. This will prevent the larger chips from clogging up your filter and causing it to lose suction over time.
Another great option is a wet/dry shop vac, which can handle both dry and wet messes. Some models feature a float valve that will close off the motor if the water level is too high, which helps to reduce the risk of the water damaging the machine’s components.
If your saw makes a lot of dust, you may want to consider investing in a dust extractor. These can be more expensive than shop vacs, but they typically come with better filters and suction power.
Whether you’re working in an industrial or manufacturing environment, a dust collector is an essential piece of equipment for the control and removal of contaminants and harmful matter. These include particulates, gas fumes and dust.
Table saws, bandsaws, jigsaws and hand-held sanders all produce dust and chippings from the cutting process that can be collected by a dust collector. Having a properly sized dust collection system for your shop is vital to the health and safety of you and your employees.
A dust extractor can be connected to a wide variety of tools that generate fine sawdust such as hand sanders, grinders and rotary tools. Many of them can be fitted with a shroud that fits directly into the tool.
Dust Mask or Respirator
Woodworking often generates dust, and a dust mask or respirator is a good tool to use to collect saw dust. These are available at many hardware and pharmacy stores, and can be thrown away after a few uses.
Some of these masks also have an exhalation valve to prevent moisture from clogging the filter. Whether you opt for a disposable or half-face respirator, make sure that the mask is comfortable to wear.
A recent study on filtration performance of commercially available dust masks found that they ranged from low-penetration (less than 5%) to high-penetration levels. They were tested against submicrometer NaCl aerosols using a polydisperse aerosol test (PAT) method, similar to the NIOSH particulate respirator test protocol.
The cost of the masks was not significantly correlated with filtration performance (r = -0.12, PAT). However, the high-penetration category masks were much more expensive. Depending on your personal preference, you may want to consider a more affordable mask for the occasional woodworking project.
Wood dust is a major source of air pollution and can be a significant health risk for employees and customers in facilities where woodworking machines are used. A well-designed dust collection system is an essential component for any woodworking shop.
To collect sawdust from a table saw, you can buy a table saw dust collector bag that fits on the saw’s dust port. These bags are designed to collect up to 70% of the dust that is thrown up by the blade, making it easier to keep your work space clean and healthy for you and your fellow workers.
Another way to improve dust collection on your table saw is by sealing the dust port. This is not easy and can be a bit time-consuming, but it will help to make it much less of an issue when using the saw.