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Thread: Dust collector debate, questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Dust collector debate, questions

    So my saga with my shop continues. I need to retain a little of my sanity so I thought a bit of discussion here would help. Not looking for sympathy just want my sanity back so your opinion or experiences count. This is one crazy world when you try to do the right thing and come unstuck.

    Background.
    I have a dust collector 3HP which i bought and have not as yet hooked up. Luckily or i might not be a hobby woodworker it seems.

    It appears the local code is structured such that should you have a dust collector in excess of 1000cfm then it falls foul of all sorts of additional code requirements if it is stored indoors and not in a separate building to the working environment. Regardless of whether it was designed for this purpose. Putting it outside falls foul of the ministry of environment and so we aint going there.

    So here are my questions/thoughts/understandings after all that i have read before buying this unit. I don't want to get into which unit it is cause that just brings the whole debate about which one is better etc.

    I am more interested in discussing here the understandings you have, yeah i know Bill Pentz site and have read that and others but there are times when info overload takes place and my pea brain is getting somewhat shriveled lately besides i value the opinions of the down to earth common sense practical and honest people here.

    Ok so my primary outlook for buying a dust collector was not to avoid picking up chips or sweeping the shop but to operate in as clean air as possible an environment.

    My understanding was that after hook up to several machines etc one would have a increased static pressure caused by pipe bends and reduction etc and therefore the effective volume of air being moved measures in cubic feet per minute or CFM would be substantially reduced. Thus if one starts with a unit that has a CFM of say 1700 at 2 inches of static pressure you might end up
    no more than 400 cfm if one inserts piping and bends to the point where you have 12 inches of static pressure. 400cfm being the minimum required for effective dust collection from our worst case hobby machine.

    Furthermore i came to understand that if we were not able to move sufficient volume of air there was the chance of dust being left in the ducts thereby clogging the ducts and causing possible hazard.

    The above would surely drive you to buy the largest you were prepared to buy based on your machines and need. Hey i also hoped or dreamed that maybe just maybe one day in the distant future one of my sons would venture to dabble in the shop with their old man. Unlikely but dreamed and if so wanted the dust collection unit not to struggle when two blast gates were open simultaneously.

    In addition with the emphasis being on safety and air quality we have all become acutely aware that the filter is critical if the system is not vented outside. We also know that filter area needs to be matched to the volume of air being moved or we will merely move the blocking from the ducts to the filter and find ourselves cleaning out the filter more frequently and in effect it would be ineffective or inefficient. Added to that we understand that the tighter the filter is in terms of filtering particles the more surface area there is going to be to allow the same air volume movement

    We also have within our code the ruling that dust collector systems shall be design to have a minimum velocity of 3503 feet per second in the ducts.

    So if one examines the small units under 1000 cfm which can be placed in doors then you are not meeting the minimum velocity in the duct. This seems set up to prevent a guy like me from having a dust collector period.

    Now if i dispose of my unit and have no dust collector and kill myself through excess dust exposure i am still foul of the law for having dust in the air which could potentially cause a dust explosion. Again working to do away with me having a shop.

    So i would like to ask

    Whats your take and understanding of the points i have raised.

    Am i out to lunch/incorrect with any thing i have stated and if so please set me straight.

    Do you have a dust collector? If so what HP just want to get a feel for who has and what size you guys have even if you built it yourself.
    Have you had it inspected by your local fire marshal/ discuss it with him or read your local code? What was your experience getting this approved. You can pm me if you dont want to be public.
    Whats your take on the understanding of what we need to have a healthy environment and explosion free as far as dust collection is concerned.

    Hey i have an air scrubber as well.

    Anyone by chance installed explosion preventing vent to the outside and care to share with me what they did to achieve this?

    Thanks in advance for any replies my main aim is to hear your view and approach to this topic.
    Last edited by Rob Keeble; 03-03-2010 at 09:54 PM.
    cheers

  2. #2
    Well don't that just bite. My post disappeared. Mine is a 5 hp home built cyclone that I upgraded from a 1 hp bag unit. My take is that the more cfm available at the machine your using the better. I can tell the difference in air quality when I'm to lazy to turn it on for just one or two quick cuts. Might not seem like much but when you wake up in the morning stuffed up and your eyes are crusty along with your nose you start not being so lazy and just run the thing.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,998
    Enclose the DC in a closet inside your shop. That separates it from the work environment, provides the possibility of additional filtering and makes the system quieter.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Long Hill Township, NJ
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    467
    Rob:

    It SOUNDS as if the Code folks have you boxed into a corner.

    I'd like to think that if you reached out to your local code officials and partnered with them on coming up with a legal and workable solution it would be the best. They might be willing and able to help you interpret the requirements (as Bill gave a possible solution also) that drop some of the roadblocks.

    Given your NN issues, slipping it in unannounced (so to speak) isn't a good idea.

    Are you sure those requirements are not for commercial establishments? They sound too organized and formal for residential applications.

    Good luck

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    8,529
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Mattheiss View Post
    Are you sure those requirements are not for commercial establishments? They sound too organized and formal for residential applications.

    Good luck

    Jim
    I agree with Jim on this a simple phone call to the planning department will get you an answer.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Thanks guys but you gotta understand the aim here aint co existence on one side of the equation. I am getting treated like i was a business cause of the guy on the other side of the fence and whos driving the case.

    The unit is already in my shop and planned for its own closet in the corner. I only wish i did enough woodworking to get to the point of being able to generate enough dust for a problem

    Man right now i wish i had never moved out of the basement.
    cheers

  7. #7
    What has changed to make them think your a business? Talk to the inspectors to see if you can find out what has changed or the basis for you being declared a business.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    I guess I missed something in your initial post. Is this because the NN complained to the town or are you trying to cover your bases. If it's the later then I would suggest you call the planning department and talk to them. The regs may not even apply to a hobbiest shop. If' it's because of further action from NN I have a .44 mag, I can loan you..
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Posts
    170
    Geez, talk about things aligned against you Ron. Sorry you have to deal with this. I agree with Jim as well. Have the code spelled out for you in simple terms and who it applies to.

    Best of luck!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    8,529
    Rob,
    Since you haven't installed the DC there's no problem. I'd get by with the air scrubber for now and persue the harssment thing in the courts.
    Wait a minute, with hand planes there's no need for all this fancy smancy stuff...
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

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