The thing that bugs me most about having a wood working shop in the garage is the sawdust building up everywhere. Piles of sawdust on the floor. Piles of dust in every nook and cranny.
Now I am not a great cleaner, but I try. The fact is that I can’t seem to keep ahead no matter what I do. I sweep around the machines, sweep off the desks, try to get a fine brush into the corners, but it is always a mess. The fact is there are just too many places in a garage like mine for dust to collect.
I have tried to use my shop vac as a dust collector, but that only works a little bit. It is just not a real solution to the problem. The time has come for me to think about woodshop dust collection.
Not only is wood dust a nuisance, it is also a health hazard. I know that sounds like a Nervous Nelly talking, but the fact is I have friends who are having breathing problems as they are approaching retirement and I have no desire to fight to breathe as I am trying to enjoy my declining years.
I have been around wood long enough to know just how damaging wood dust can be, and also to know how irresponsible I have been for years to not pay attention to these things. I have got to the point where I will at least wear a dust mask when the dust gets too bad. But I will admit that my version of too bad is probably at lot looser than other peoples’.
So I have been looking into collectors. I have checked the specs of all the different shop vacuum systems. I have looked into building my own system using a shop vac and that isn’t much better than just hooking the vacuum up to the machine.
I am going to get a couple horsepower cyclone system. One that will come with a pleated and really fine filter. I get the sense, though, that just a dust collector isn’t going to clean the air as well as I would really like to have it cleaned. So on the list is also a shop air filtration system. You know, one of those boxes that hang up by the ceiling and filter all the air. After doing more research, I have found that those boxes actually contain three different filters, from course to fine, and will cycle all the air from a room the size of a standard garage in about 20 minutes.
That combination won’t keep the dust out of all the corners, but it will keep the air cleaner than any I have normally been around when working with wood. I wonder if I will feel the same about cuttting and sanding without the smell of wood in the air and a nose that needs blowing every 5 minutes or so.