It is no small thing that wood dust particles are carcinogenic, most likely due to the chemicals used to treat and preserve lumber against moisture, decay, termites, and fire, to name a few. Wood dust that is less than 10 microns in size is most dangerous to humans because it stays airborne longer, penetrates deeper into the lungs, and is the most difficult for the body to expel.
To deal with getting wood dust out of the air and away from employees as well as motors and other mechanisms, woodworking dust collection systems can be customized for any wood shop, for the hobbyist as well as commercial shops. A proper dust collection system should include all of the following:
- Hood. The hood acts much like the hood over a kitchen range, capturing dust at the source, small and large, and drawing it into the collector itself. The size and number of hoods needed is dependent upon the number and size of tables in the shop itself.
- Duct size and type are important to maintain good air flow as well as to avoid corrosion, dust build up, and static electricity which can ignite dust and cause an explosion.
- Collector. A 2-stage cyclone dust collector is the premium choice for woodworking shops due to its ability to filter fine wood dust and output quality air. Dust is drawn into the hood and through ducting before being safely deposited. Heavier particulates settle into a drum or bag (stage 1) before reaching the filter (stage 2). Finer particulates are captured by the filter and what doesn’t cling to the filter is deposited into a canister.
- Filter. A pleated filter is preferred for use with the 2-stage cyclone dust collector due to its ability to capture finer dust and keep airflow, air speed, and air volume to a max.
- Blower. The size of the blower is also important to airflow and speed. The overall resistance of your system as well as the airflow requirements needed by the largest tool or tools in the shop will help determine the smallest size blower necessary to maintain air quality within the shop.