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Dust Collection Systems


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I have been in search of a dust collection system for my garage shop.

If I am going to spend thousands of dollars on tools, I gotta spend that much on keeping myself safer.

I have developed asthma recently, so that is my priority.

17 years working for the Los Angeles Fire Depatrment doesn't help either.

In my search for information, I have come across numerous opinions about dust collection systems and their safety.

I've seen much internet information and comments about having plastic ducts grounded and how the dust can explode from static charges formed when the dust races throught the ungrouded plastic duct.

My question: How many really know of any of these accidents?

Are they just stories of other stories? Did those people just read them like I've been reading them?

Who has first hand knowledge of such occurances?

I ask this, because as a firefighter, and being to over one-hundred auto fires, I can tell you that cars don't blow up. They don't.

Sometimes the gas tank ruptures and the gas flows out and the fumes ignite to create a quick flash, but the movie type explosions? Not even close. Almost impossible. Such circumstances would have to be so perfect for that to happen.

Uninformed reporters even make those statements, and everyone believes that it happens.

I am wondering if the "explosive" dust collection systems (home type) are just rumor spread as truth.

Not talking grain elevators or massive commercial systems, just the home type.

Static charge? I'm sure sanding a fingerboard back-and-forth creates static electricity too...somewhere.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thank you,


I posted this question somewhere, but I can't find out where, so if you see it again, sorry 'bout that!

Edited by MP63
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Last thing I read was that the whole plastic ducting = fire thing is mythological. Have yet to see a first-hand experience thing.

Best website, hands down, on dust collection (sit down and start reading), is Bill Pentz's cyclone site. Tons and tons and tons of info:


I'm still semi-seriously considering building one, although since I can run my dust collection outside of my (small) shop, methinks I'll use a 'standard' one for a while, see how I like it, then possibly cannibalize it for parts. Not sure yet.

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Its enough to give you a shock on a very large system thats about it. Explosion? The situation would have to be perfect.Its possible, but unlikely. (but check your insurance on what you need to be covered)

Plastic pipe is almost impossible to ground effectively. The best solution I have seen is using aluminum tape on the inside of the pipe. Not Practical at all. If you are at all worried use metal duct pipe and seal it with aluminum tape.

The one thing I would be more worried about is getting a shock while using a 10000 rpm power tool.

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I'm glad you posted that site, mattia. I just bought a 2hp, 1600 cfm dust collector and I've been looking at 1 micron filters and garbage can seporators. Now I know that the garbage can seporator is a no go. I might try to contruct a cyclone like garbage can seporator that just hooks up via a hose to the input on the turbine. Thanks for the link.

And on the topic of grounding, I've heard of guys running bare wire through their pipes and grounding those. Obviously you'd have to fasten the wire somehow, but that's just a minor detail.



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Theoretically its very easy for a dust extraction system to explode.

Why aren't you allowed to smoke down a coal mine? why does custard powder explode? all the same theory. The smaller the stuff you're sucking up (ie dust rather than chips) the more likely it is to happen. Hence why most dust extraction tubing is made out of antistatic material and/or grounded.


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It can happen but as most would agree, it has to be a perfect situation. A grain elevator explosion would be a similar type of thing but that is on a very large scale. it does happen quite a bit though.

I wouldn't worry about it unless you got into a large commercial system. For home shop use, something like the Dust Gorilla from Oneida is spankin'.


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