Dust Collection & Static Discharge (Myths)
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Thread: Dust Collection & Static Discharge (Myths)

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    RodW's Avatar
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    Dust Collection & Static Discharge (Myths)

    Supporting KennyD's comment in 'MIG Welder Table - To Ground or Not to Ground?' --
    "My Miller welding table in un-grounded, and will remain so. This reminds me of the dust collection threads on the woodworking forums-many say if you don't ground the plastic and metal pipe your shop will blow up."
    The following articles refute common fears and misconceptions regarding the use of PVC or other plastic pipe as part of a wood shop dust collection system. I found it very informative. I've used a combination of clear plastic tubing and "plumbing" PVC in my shop for over 20 years without incident (no grounding).

    "On PVC, static electricity, and the myth of home shop dust explosions"
    Why dust explosions in a home woodshop are just a myth

    Here's another, much more technical article with similar conclusions. (MYTHS are itemized at the very end.)
    "Grounding PVC and Other Dust Collection Myths"
    WoodCentral Articles & Reviews

    There is a small risk of fire within the dust collector itself (from embers landing in the bin or bag), but there's no need to worry about the plastic pipes. It's hard to believe there's so much hype about grounding them.
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Very nice, thanks! This site was very helpful when I was designing my DC system: Dust Collection Research - Home

    I built a CV1800 system with a 5hp motor and all 6” thin wall PVC pipe.

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    I've been a woodworker since I was in high school shop class. After many years, I installed a small professional shop two stage system with a very high quality filter. The company helped plan the system for free, sizing it for the machines I own and the size of the shop. They quoted system and metal ductwork needed in one price. The quality is outstanding - I've only had to clean the filter. I can run two machines at a time. The original still works. The only regret is I didn't do install one years earlier.

    The topic of PVC ductwork exploding has been literally raging on woodworking forums for decades. Since my garage is attached to my house, I tend to err on the side of caution. I paid extra for the metal ductwork and I always empty the system after using it. I don't need a fire while my family is sleeping. So far, I've not had any issues.

    I have experienced a sawdust explosion. Years ago I used to do my woodworking my parents basement. After one project, I put the last of the fine dust I'd swept up into a 5 gallon bucket and took it the barrel my father burned trash in. I didn't know he'd burned a few hours earlier and held it up and dumped it in. There were some small embers hidden among the ashes. Literally a fireball of burning dust about 5 feet above the barrel. A mixture of about 70% dust and 30% air is explosive. My arms, neck and face looked like they were sunburned. The hair was burned off my arms. My eyebrows and hair on my forehead were singed. I smelled like smoke. All in less than a second. Lesson learned - I started composting my wood shavings and sawdust.

    Warning: Installing dust collection can be addicting. I bought the collector to service a large planer and jointer. Then I hooked up the bandsaw and table saw. Suddenly I became obsessed with capturing every spec of dust. The shop vac was no longer sufficient for the routers and sanders. I will say it makes clean up a lot better and in the long run, its far more healthy.

    Fine Woodworking has an excellent book on small shop dust collection. It addresses many of the aspects from large machines to small power tools and air filtration.
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    In my last shop, I made my dust collection system from PVC drain pipe but to err on the side of caution, I ran bare wire in all of the long runs. The dust collector was a Jet with a bag and due to my crappy design the system never worked very well.

    For my current dream shop, I went with an Oneida 2.5 HP Dust Gorilla (not a current model) and had Oneida design the entire system. I told the designer I wanted to buy every part of the collection system from them as a package so I wouldn't have to chase parts down during install. And, it works really, really well. It will easily keep up with my 8" jointer-planer, thickness planer, etc. Money well spent .
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    Quote Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
    In my last shop, I made my dust collection system from PVC drain pipe but to err on the side of caution, I ran bare wire in all of the long runs. The dust collector was a Jet with a bag and due to my crappy design the system never worked very well.

    For my current dream shop, I went with an Oneida 2.5 HP Dust Gorilla (not a current model) and had Oneida design the entire system. I told the designer I wanted to buy every part of the collection system from them as a package so I wouldn't have to chase parts down during install. And, it works really, really well. It will easily keep up with my 8" jointer-planer, thickness planer, etc. Money well spent .
    Yep - I bought mine from Oneida also - I think I have the 2 HP model but I'm not sure. It eats chips from my 8" jointer and 15" planer with any issues. With the right shroud, it sucks all the dust from the bandsaw. Couldn't be happier with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAllen View Post
    Yep - I bought mine from Oneida also - I think I have the 2 HP model but I'm not sure. It eats chips from my 8" jointer and 15" planer with any issues. With the right shroud, it sucks all the dust from the bandsaw. Couldn't be happier with it.
    Now I'm wondering if mine is the 2 HP motor, it's a Baldor.
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    Captain Hook Kennyd's Avatar
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    Here are some pics of my setup if this link works, a few things have changed but you'll get the idea:

    https://get.google.com/albumarchive/...32IFO2sHVDEgBe

    They used to be on Picasa but got moved to Google a few years ago when they killed it, I think the descriptions are all still there.
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