I bet your woodworking hobby started when you were a child, doing some simple project in your school’s wood tech class. Then came the workbench, and an arsenal of tools that just kept on growing. Once you buy a duct collection system, your partner might tell you things are getting a little out of hand! Using this piece of kit can be a little tricky, so here’s some handy advice for it.
With a duct system, you’ll have a convenient way of linking a dust collector to several pieces of other equipment. Usually, the fittings are designed to make installation easy for anyone. However, things can and do go wrong. There are a few general pointers for installing the system for the first time. For any extra piping, use PVC drain pipe. This is usually completely adequate for purpose, and the alternatives are usually heavy and expensive. Use screws rather than glue to fasten the joints. This may feel like a hassle, but you’ll thank me for it later. When you glue joints together, you won’t be able to open the piping, and dislodge any jams that may occur.
When setting up the system, smooth out the sharp curves wherever possible. Think of all that sawdust as cars speeding down a motorway. The dust will be moving at speed, and will flow more quickly if there’s a smooth curve, rather than a sudden 90-degree corner. It may be a little more pricey, but a dust collection duct with smooth contours is certainly worth the trouble you’ll save yourself. You should also try and keep a straight line leading to the collector. A jam anywhere in the system is a real hassle. However, if it builds up in a bottleneck near the collector, you’ll find it much harder to sort out. Instead of using a single 90-degree bend, use a couple of 45-degree bends. Again, you’ll thank yourself later!
When you start using a dust collection system, you may get quite the surprise. You may have been doing woodwork for years, and never considered the amount of sawdust you produce in your work. Instead of throwing it all out, why not find a better use for it? There are many ways to recycle sawdust. One of the easiest is turning it into fire starters. Simply pack your sawdust tightly into some paper muffin cups, an egg carton, or any other mould you’d want to use. Then, melt some old candles using a double boiler, pour it over the sawdust and allow it to cool. It may be worth using some small weights to make them even more compact. Leave them out to dry, then pop them out and wrap them up. These make great fire starters, and burn much slower than your standard store-bought ones.
I hope this advice will help you make good use of your dust collection system. Install it properly, and your system will make your woodworking much more convenient and enjoyable. Mess it up though, and it will only be a burden!
Blog Posted: 28th April 2016