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Newbie concerned with dust in basement shop!

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Rob Fridenberg, Feb 28, 2018.

  1. Rob Fridenberg

    Rob Fridenberg

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2018
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    Location (City & State):
    Novi, Michigan
    I've been reading all of the posts/articles on here and the web regarding dust and its impact on health. Frankly - it is making me take a step back regarding buying a lathe and setting it up in the basement. Since this is an area that you can not go on the cheap (pay now or pay later) it would appear that I would need to budget several thousand dollars for a proper dust collector/air filter and respirator.

    Am I getting overly concerned for this as it will be a hobby for me - at most 8-12 hours use per week (maybe more when I retire??)? I would prefer to put it in the garage but the Michigan weather would make this a pain and I would probably never use it. The basement creates concern for dust in the house for family/pets.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts on this. Thanks
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  2. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Be precautious. don't panic over it. I have been working in wood for 40 years and my best friend for 50. For many many years neither of us had any dust collection. for the last 15 or so I have had a dust collector but still when I leave the shop and blow my nose I get dust. When I do power carving I do wear a respirator but I'm still covered with dust and end up breathing some of it anyway. So yes you should read what you can and do what you can to keep the dust down. But don't panic and think it's going to kill you tomorrow. I know we need to keep safety in mind but frankly think we go a little too far when people are scared to take up our hobby. I know I'm going to take some flak for this but like I said. I know a lot of older guys like me who have been working in wood and around wood dust their whole lives and we are still here.
     
  3. Martin Groneng

    Martin Groneng Dances the Gouge Jig

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    Location (City & State):
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    I have had an only woodturning shop in a sealed room in the house basement. I use a square standed fan with 2 square furnace filters on intake side and 1 on the outtake side all boxed in on sides and wear a dust mask at all times in the shop. So far no problems and always double check by blowing my nose on leaving shop. Fan runs for 1/2 hour after leaving the shop and then leave the door open when not in use. No dust in rest of house or downstairs. I might add that I have a woodturning buddy who is on "death row" as a result of breathing some exotic wood dust about 6 months ago and only after his visit to our Guild last month did all our membership realise how important NO DUST BREATHING really is. Sure we all have breathed "run of the mill" dust for years, but any of the exotic wood dust we all turn will likely kill you sooner. Do not take breathing dust lightly and my Doctor agrees!! Amen!
     
  4. George Rousis

    George Rousis

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    Location (City & State):
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    I started turning about 3 years ago in my 25 x 20 basement shop. I have a Jet 1221VS. I've had the shop longer than that for small furniture projects.

    I believe the lathe produces less fine airborne dust than the (portable) table saw and miter saw I use, except for sanding on the lathe. For sanding, I have a "Big Gulp" dust shroud mounted near the lathe bed and connected to a Jet dust collector fitted with a Wynn canister filter. It does a good job of capturing the fine dust from sanding on the lathe (I also use a dust mask). I find that the amount of airborne dust produced from turning is no more than that produced by the other work I do in the shop. I also have the Jet air filter and an exhaust fan mounted in a basement window. This combination works for me in keeping dust at bay. I think I have about $2K invested in dust collection equipment, hose, blast gates and fittings for 5 machines.

    But, yes, tracking dust into the living area is a problem, but more so from the dust clinging to my clothes and shoes, rather than the dust wafting through the air up from the basement. My strategy for that is to get as much dust off as I can before going upstairs, turn with a smock that comes off before going upstairs, etc.
     
  5. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Your assessment of the cost of dust collection is a little high.
    small dust collector 215 to 800
    central dust collector (maybe too large for basement) 350 and up
    Hooded respirator 500 (may be able to find bargain) and up.
    Air cleaner (do not confuse with dust collector as this will remove dust from the air) 126 and up.
    So you see it is not that expensive and you do not have to start with top of the line. I would recommend dust collector and respirator to start but could use motorcycle type dust mask instead. Remember it is not necessary to get everything at once. In deference to John's comment yes there are people who have done this for years without dust protection but how much healthier and longer lived would they be with protection? You could also start on the cheap with a shop vac and dust mask , like I did in the basement.
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Location (City & State):
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    My shop was in the basement 1987-2005

    First let me tell you about the virtues of turning wet wood -very little dust.....

    Wear a dust mask whenever you create dust. Rating of N100 or p100( oil too) is best.

    Sanding is the big dust producer. Collecting it at the source is the key.
    We used mini delta dust collectors we got for special sale price of about $40 each.
    They roll around with 1bag and ahave a scoop that was great for positioning behind a bowl or hollowform.
    A lot like this but this but afte 25 years the price went way up.
    https://www.amazon.com/Oasis-Machin...9840287&sr=8-12&keywords=delta+dust+collector
    You could run a shop vac.

    Wet sanding is an option. Messy but no dust. Actually better than dry sanding as far as a quality surface.

    We had a ceiling mounted air JDS filter. Basically what this does is make the air breathable without a respirator about 2 hours after the last sanding.

    when turning wet wood there is very little dust. When I would turn hollow forms or Natural Edge bowls Which I sand off the lathe, I would do the sanding outdoors in nice weather.

    I will also say small turnings - pens, bottle stoppers, ornaments require little sanding.
    First because they are small and second because spindle get a finer surface off the tools
    Most advanced beginners can start to sand with 220.
    When you get good 320or 400 can be starting grits.
     
  7. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Location (City & State):
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    Now I will say that I do use a dust collector all the time. It is a big one but still doesn't pick up all the dust and I breath it. I do wear a protective mask when turning anything exotic. Well most of the time. Quite often when turning wine stoppers I forget but I'm really not producing much dust with those. I still run the dust collector. I'm trying not to belittle anyone who uses dust collection to the max. I just think that we need to discuss it but not scare anyone away.
     
    William Rogers likes this.
  8. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Location (City & State):
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    I'm using a Shop-Vac for now. A DC system is in the future- depends on how generous the family is for Father's Day, birthday, etc. I do use a box fan with a furnace filter. I let it run a couple of hours after I'm done in the shop. Just need to remember to turn it off.
     
  9. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    Location (City & State):
    Jasper, Alabama
    In my small basement shop I have a Wen air filter system and a Jet dust collector system with a canister filter. I have about $600 or a little less in both systems. If I'm turning green wood I just use a face shield and of course 3M dust mask for sanding. The Jet system handles both my big lathe and also my midi lathe. Pictures below. Hope this helps Rob. Happy turning and welcome to the forum.
     

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  10. Rob Fridenberg

    Rob Fridenberg

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    Location (City & State):
    Novi, Michigan
    Thanks everyone - I appreciate all of the replies. I have a bowl turning class on Saturday at a local maker's shop to get a first taste of turning - they have Powermatic 3520B lathes, so this should help to see if I should proceed with additional classes and eventually buy a lathe.

    I have restored cars in the past (doing all of the bodywork, paint and mechanical) and I am a hot rodder (Deuce Coupe) - so getting into wood turning will be quite a twist for me (wife says I should start golfing again and leave her basement alone....).

    Of course the next question is - what will I do with all of the bowls/spindles/etc that I will producing??? Another thread perhaps.
     
  11. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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    Rob, how come a chicken coop only has two doors ?
    Because if it had four doors, it would be a chicken sedan hahahahahahahaha
    Ok, I'll go back into my corner...
     
  12. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Had many discussions with golfing friends about woodturning being a hobby where people pay me to get better.
     
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I turn outdoors which mostly mitigates the question of how to get rid of the indoor dust issue. Of course, working outdoors means contending with the weather. I use compressed air and a shop vac to get the dust off my clothing before venturing indoors. I also use a powered air purifying respirator with a HEPA filter so that I am not breathing the super fine dust (smaller than one micron and too small to see, but you can smell it) which is the most harmful. The cheap paper comfort masks aren't suitable for filtering the harmful fine dust.

    If you are going to take a class, you will receive the greatest benefit if you have a lathe so that you can do your "homework". Woodturning is a body movement and eye coordination skill that has to be practiced in order to be developed. A good low cost way to start is to buy a used small lathe like a Jet mini which has a 10" swing. A mini lathe is always useful even if you have a larger lathe. I bought my Jet mini lathe a couple years after getting a full sized lathe and wound up using it as my primary lathe for several years.

    What to do with the things that you make actually isn't a problem. There are so many different things that can be made on the lathe that you'll never run out of new things to try. You will quickly learn what other people would like as gifts (or buy). I give away practically everything that I make (one possible interpretation would be people will take anything if it's free). I also donate turnings to charities like the Empty Bowls Project and Beads of courage.
     
  14. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    Fortunately, as built, my new house's ventilation system is sealed off from the basement. I hung cheap plastic tarps from the ceiling joists to help seal the dust into my little corner of the basement. I use a shop vac to filter the air. Definitely not the best, but it helps. I wear a respirator and wear a comfortable old oversized shirt with elbow length sleeves, that I take off when i leave the shop area. I change shoes also. I bought some inexpensive loafers to wear in the shop. Easy to change shoes and not track dirt up into the house living area.. A separate shop attached to a garage is in the planning stage, or I would have partitioned the basement already to seal off the shop from the remainder of the basement. when I turn green wood, there is little dust. Sanding the dry wood, is the problem. I wear a respirator anyway.
     
  15. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Clifton, if you take off the roof, would you have a convertible?
    After several years of contending with dust in the garage/basement, I built some walls to contain the dust in one place. Periodically, I go through the shop and actually clean the dust off the shelves. A DC system is in the future plans. Just need to find the floor space for it.
     
  16. Lamar Wright

    Lamar Wright

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    John,I think a air filter system will help a lot in your shop with fine dust that collects on shelves. My ceiling air filter works great for that. I sure don't have to dust off hand tools and shelves any more.
     
  17. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    This dust has accumulated over the years but haven't taken the time to clean in the shop and outside the shop in many years. This winter has been too cold inside without spending a lot of time heating those areas. The shop takes about 2 hours to go from mid 50s to mid 60s with two heaters. Going to build a wall over the metal garage door- studs, insulation, and OSB board. This can also give me some wall space for shelves and hooks. I do use a box fan and A/C filter to cut down on airborne dust.
     
  18. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    What you have a sort of three part problem.
    You have a basement shop and need to keep it clean. It's hard to find stuff in the shavings, dust messes up finishes
    Limit the amount of dust and chips tracked into the house. Dust will find it's way out through cracks and your clothes
    A Need to Protect yourself from fine dust particles.
    Collecting at the source with some sort of a vacuum system that ends with a HEPA ( or filter capable of 1 micron ) filter. From ShopVac to big canister/cyclone unit. Cheaper is usually noisier, this may be an issue in the basement.
    Ambient air filtration. DIY box fan with a Filtrete or a JDS, Delta, WEN air cleaner. Leave the air cleaner running for some time after you are done sanding/making dust.
    A good quality ( N95 minimum ) mask. Paper or an eclipse mask. An Airshield or equivalent can also provide eye/face protection.
    Be sure to vacuum your clothes, or at least remove the outer layers before leaving the shop. Leave your shop shoes in the shop.

    Dust control does not have to be expensive, but, is essential to health and domestic tranquility.
    Start small and cheap, and work your way to more expensive and effective methods.
    There are always trade-offs to accommodate your wallet, available space, noise.
    There are times when I don't turn certain things because I don't want to deal with the mess and noise and layers of protection.
     
  19. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    "remove the outer layers before leaving the shop"
    Good advice, Mark, but I hope we don't have company when I go upstairs from the shop. :eek:
     
  20. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    I was at our local Farm store two years ago and they were closing out on some clothes. A long sleeve shirt one size larger than I, was on sale for $3.00 because of a tear in the cuff. I bought it, cut the sleeves just below my elbows and use it like a shop smock. Hangs on a hook at the entrance of the shop. Normally I just take it off and fold it over so the dust is inside, take it outside and shake it, but also wash it with barn clothes 4 or 5 times a year.
     
  21. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    You could consider this as an automated floor dry system. Wood dust does a great job of absorbing moisture.
     

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