American Woodworker

Important Information >>


Oops! Dust Storm Disaster


Dust Storm Disaster

After reading about the health hazards of microscopic dust particles, I decided to retrofit my old dust collector with a canister filter. This was its second upgrade: I’d already wired my collector to automatically start whenever I turned on one of my stationary machines. I removed the collector’s top bag to get a precise measurement of the metal ring the canister would fit on. Then I phoned the dealer, confirmed that the canister would fit perfectly on my old collector and placed my order

Two or three days later, I went out to the shop to turn some legs on the lathe. As usual, starting the lathe automatically turned on the dust collector. Yikes! I’d forgotten to reattach the bag! In seconds my shop was enveloped in a dense cloud of red dust, all of the sanding residue from my previous project, a set of cherry kitchen cabinets. Holding my breath, I groped to shut off the power and ran for the door. I returned a half hour later to find everything covered by a thick layer of red dust. Even after a thorough cleaning, I’m sure I’ll be finding red dust for years to come.