Dust collector tips & tricks share

erix

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This is a great thread, thanks for starting it!

I don’t have any dust collection right now but I will in my next shop.

In the meantime I am trying to develop a habit to wear a mask when I work, especially with exotic woods.
 

Jim_in_PA

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In the meantime I am trying to develop a habit to wear a mask when I work, especially with exotic woods.
This is a really good practice. Aside from the obvious that dust in general isn't good to breath, many of the exotics (and some domestics like walnut) can really be a health problem from as little as "sensitivities" all the way to full blown "I think I'm going to die!" situations. The sensitivities can grow over time, too. I had a locksmith at the house a number of years ago who used to be a carver. He suddenly got sensitive to walnut and as time passe, any wood dust started to affect him adversely. He had to give up the carving and while working his job as a locksmith had to wear PPE including gloves when even chopping out mortises with a chisel. Personally, I can't handle (literally) bubinga. It makes me break out.
 

Axis29

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I run my DC a lot these days... Been building a lot of (mostly kitchen) cabinets recently. I use it for my big tools as well as handheld stuff.

MY DC consists of a Harbor Freight unit, a big plastic barrel separator and some piping (that needs some upgrading!). I currently still have the stock cloth bag filter, but I am about to order a new paper filter.

My separator was made from a big blue plastic barrel (40 gallon, I think?) I bought off Craigslist for $25. I added an angled input, so the air comes in and follows the shape of the inside of the barrel. Then, I built a plate, that has a gap around the outside edge for about 270 degrees.... Output is straight up, above the center of the plate. The dust comes in and is spun around the perimeter of the barrel... It looses forward momentum and falls into the barrel. Relatively clean air is then sent to the dust collector motor and off to the filter and bag.

Most of my big tools have 4" dust ports. I have a big flexible hose with a Rockler Quick Connect kit... Getting ready to hard pipe more of the shop... Probably happen in the next few months. for my handheld tools, like sanders, I use a Rockler connector kit that has a flexible hose and some soft rubber collars that fit on the dust ports of the tools. The 4" quick disconnect handle form Rockler has a rotating port that opens up to balance the pressure and not overwork the DC motor. Works quite well, actually.

The barrel separator is a game changer... It makes the system so much more efficient, and will help extend the life of the impeller and motor as well. It's like my nome made version of a dust deputy... Just bigger.
 




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