Having a dust collector is a must for every wood shop. It’s very important to keep the air in the workshop clean and free from dust. With a dust collector in place in the shop, you can just make that happen.
However, dust collectors like every other machine, can cause harm instead of good if not handled with the correct safety measures closely followed. The following tips will help you choose the right dust collector for your workshop and also maintain an existing one while putting safety into consideration.
Use a properly equipped and maintained ductwork
When talking about dust collectors, most users usually consider only the dust collector unit itself while overlooking the ductwork. Your dust collector unit is equally as important as the unit itself. So, keep the unit properly maintained and equipped with good dampers and quality valves in order to minimize risk of explosion occurring within the ductwork. Doing this will improve the overall safety in the workshop as you use your tools and keep your dust collector running.
Choose dust collectors equipped to handle high pressure
The pressure rating of dust collector is a very important factor you need to consider if you going for a dust collector that is very safe to operate. Dry dust from a thickness planer and other dust producing woodworking tools in a wood shop are very flammable and can cause explosion in case of sparks or ignition of any kind. That’s why the dust collector unit you choose should be made of heavy gauge metal so as to withstand dust explosion.
Use long lasting filters
One thing that improve the efficiency of your dust collector system as well as increase the lifespan of the entire system is the kind of filter it’s equipped with. In order to reduce you and your worker’s exposure to dust and always maintain a clean air around the workshop, you need to use long life filters to reduce how often the dust filter is replaced and ultimately reduce maintenance cost of the unit.
Equip dust collector with safety monitoring filter
Sometimes a leak might occur in the primary air filtering system of your dust collector unit. When this happens, the collected dust in the dust collection unit might re-enter the workspace and re-pollute the air.
However, with a safety monitoring filter in place, you can prevent that from happening. The safety monitoring air filter is especially require in a unit where air is recycled and recirculated into the workspace. This extra filter acts as an additional block of safety to ensure the safe use of your dust collection system.
The hopper must not be used to store dust
This particular one is a very important safety measure you must follow when operating a dust collection system in your workshop. Dust store in the hopper increases the risk of fire and explosion. That is why it should not even be considered in the first place.
Instead, the hopper should be fitted with a device that helps to discharge the collected dust into a separate storage container.