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Dust Controle

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  • Dust Controle

    I know this is a topic that has been posted in the past but I believe this is a subject worth discussing from time to time. One of the things new carvers and some of us older ones may not pay enough attention to is dust control. Many woods can be harmful to toxic. As can be bone and antler dust. Safety measures as simple as a dust mask can save you a tip to the doctor or stay in the hospital.
    You can make a very simple, cheap and effective air filter with a 20” box fan, a 20” home air filter and a couple of bungee cords. Just strap filter to the back of the fan set it in front of you. I found a washable filter was best saved money on buying filters. Google box fan woodworking filters there are many plans and ideas. I sat in front of one for years when sanding or working with my dermal tool or Foredom tool, as well as wearing a mask.
    Back when I started carving I was working with a piece of 8”x 8”old growth oak timber that had come out of an old barn. It was a beautiful piece of wood. I was nonchalant about wearing a mask and just did not take the time to put one on. I had work with oak be for and had not had any issues with it. Three days later I was very sick and headed to the hospital. Turn out that the wood had a lot of old chemicals in it from all thoughts years in a barn. It did not bother the skin but the fine dust got in the lungs and real made me sick. So I became a very chausses carver where dust control is concern. Reaction to different woods is different for many people. You can check on a number of wood data sites for information on toxicity of the woods you may be working with. But as a rule all wood dust is not made for our lungs. And it’s just not that hard to protect our selves.


  • #2
    Good advice Randy, I am sure we all breathe more dust than we are aware of. I even notice on my carving apron that there is a lot of fine dust on it after I get rid of the big chips. I have surely ingested some of it.

    Carve safe, Tom
    If I took the time to fix all my mistakes, I wouldn,t have time to make new ones.


    • #3
      Great advice. I couldn't agree more.
      Photos or youtube videos on making the masks and air filters would be great too. Thank you.


      • #4
        Not having a regular shop I do most of my carving in my man cave (otherwise known as my den). However, when it comes to any power carving, sanding , sawing, or drilling, I either take the work out front to our porch bench where there is a good air exchange or to the lawn shed where I have a bench for my power saws and a fan in the window. During any of these operations I always wear an OSHA approved mask such as a 3M or TEK Half Mask with canisters. If you don't believe that your work creates dust just check your A/C filter regularly during high usage months.


        • #5
          I don't generate much dust so I don't have an active dust control system. But I come from an industry that made me acutely aware of the fire and explosion hazards of fine organic dust. So I am pretty careful not to let dust accumulate in my work areas. The main piece of power equipment that I am really careful with is my bandsaw. I open it and clean it out after each use (as well as all around it, of course). If I used power equipment that creates dust daily, I would have a power dust control system. Right now I rely on good housekeeping practices.

          And I concur with the above - some of the wood dusts I have breathed while sanding have triggered my usually seasonal allergy symptoms. I have disposable dust masks available for when I feel them coming on when sanding or sawing.