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Arthur

Dust collector for metal

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After my bout with COPD ,if I want to keep making knives I'll need dust protection...anybody make or purchased a dust collection system for steel.

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I made one with an 800 CFM portable dust collector from Penn State Industries. It has a 3 micron bag. The really really important thing is to include a water trap in it. Some folks say you just need a "4 foot drop" and the sparks will die out, but based on that advice I blew a bag once, and it was really exciting. Fine steel dust is an explosive aerosol, globs of fine steel that collect and matt in the tube will ignite into burning masses that go flying down the hole later, and the burning bag with 800 CFM on it is a bit of a flamethrower. ;)

 

I made a water trap out of a 5 gallon bucket and some 4" flue pipe. The inlet goes to about 4" of the bottom, where I keep a few inches of water. It's cut and bent to encourage spiral inflow. The exit (going into the collector,) is at the top of the bucket. You can see it here: http://www.jloose.com/studio.html Third photo down, though you can't see the blower behind a cabinet, you can see the bag..

 

Things I'd change... go bigger with the CFM's, and possibly include a system with a cyclone and a double bag for more surface area. Also, a more enclosed funnel around the grinder itself. I kept the bag in the studio room to avoid 800 CFM of heat from going away in the Winter, but you could certainly put the whole thing in another room, or even outside if that wasn't a concern.

 

I also have an 800 CFM ambient dust collector from Penn State. And I grind with a mask. So far, so good. Had MRI's and X-rays and no one noticed anything lungy.

Edited by J.Arthur Loose

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I use a Oneida Dust Gorilla. It's piped from the grinder to the collector with metallic

tubing, aluminum and steel, about 12 feet long. The cyclone is steel and the dust bucket

at the bottom is steel also. No hot metal makes it to the filter. Very little dust escapes, but

the loss of heated air in the winter is significant. I have separate dust collectors for wood

and for metallic dust. My mother died from COPD, so I'm really aware of the need to keep

air clean in the shop. I have an Jet overhead dust filter in the shop as well as a shop vacuum

with a cyclone separator on it.

 

Bill

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I like J.Arthur's setup. I may replicate it in the future. What I've got set up at the moment is a water bucket under the grinder and an overhead set of suction tubes that feed into a hefty fan I bought at a <cough><cough> indoor garden shop - All right, it's a pot growers' supply shop. Hey - I live in Oregon OK? I don't know what Penn State Industries charges - but I saved shipping charges from Pennsylvania to Oregon, right?

 

The overhead suction tubes have individual shutoff valves - an intake over the grinder, the hand-sanding bench, and the welding area. And if I'm using the grinder I'm also wearing my Trend Airshield respirator.

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