Summary: These Cyclone and Dust Collection Research web pages share more than most ever want to know about fine dust hazards and how to get good fine dust collection and protection. These pages share plans to build my dust collection solutions that protect my family and me. These pages also help you choose, upgrade and set up your dust collectors, cyclones, ducting, shop vacuums, air cleaners, tools, hoods, filters and downdraft tables for better fine dust collection. They also share how to inexpensively test your air quality, airflow, and filtering. You can use the included free plans to build a cyclone of my design for your personal use or purchase my cyclone design from Clear Vue Cyclones. These easy solutions let you get good fine dust protection and collection without having to master the air engineering science that air engineering firms who guarantee customer air quality use to provide good fine dust collection.
Applicability: Although woodworking dust inspired this site creation, many respiratory doctors now recommend small shop owners and their family members, fiberglass workers, stone finishers, sand blasters, concrete cutters, coffee roasters, granary storage workers, and others with fine dust exposure read and follow the recommendations shared on these pages. Two major commercial dust collection vendor air engineering groups recommend their staff and customers read these pages.
Challenge: Woodworking and many other small shop activities create huge amounts of fine invisible dust particles compared to how little it takes to create dangerously unhealthy air. Our particle meters show even working with hand tools and making no visible dust still makes huge amounts of fine dust compared to how little it takes to harm our health. Fine dust is so light that unless we move lots more air than it takes to collect sawdust, normal room air currents blow the fine dust all over before it can be collected. Wood dusts last years unless they get wet so the same dust gets stirred airborne again and again. So most fine dust exposure comes from fugitive dust which is previously made dust that escaped collection. Our particle counters show in most shops that vent their dust collection systems inside our shops build up so much fine dust that just walking around without doing any woodworking stirs enough dust airborne to fail an EPA air quality test. Our particle meters show even the best rated small shop vendor designed systems work too poorly to pass air quality tests. Getting good fine dust collection takes lots of planning, work and expense.
Bottom Line: Please do not get overwhelmed and forget your goal is to protect yourself and those close to you from fine dust. I strongly recommend good fine dust collection and these pages share how, but until you can install good fine dust collection it is easy and affordable to get good fine dust protection. The best protection is to wear a good properly fit dual cartridge NIOSH approved respirator mask and make sure we don't build up lots of fine dust. The best way to avoid fine dust build up is to vent our cyclones and dust collectors outside and work with our main doors open a bit and a strong fan blowing out a side door or window to create a good airflow through our shops. Our particle counters show for best protection we need to put on our respirator mask and start venting our shop before we start making fine dust and both the mask and fan need to stay on for about a half hour after we stop making fine dust.