Dust Collection and laser Fumes Advice

Dust Collection and laser Fumes Advice

Dust Collection and laser Fumes Advice I have been looking at different options for this. There are several different ideas so I am going to ask anyone here on the forum if they have used these products or which way to go since I am new to the shop thing and only have $200 budget for this. But it also seems Wayyyyy important for using my machine in the basement to CNC using dealt 660 and laser using Jphotonics 3.8 Kit. There maybe options I do not even know about.

Harbor Freight
5 gal. Wet/Dry Vacuum/Blower

In Combination with this
The Dust Deputy DIY Standalone Anti-Static Cyclone Separator

Harbor Freight instead of ShopVac
13 gal. 1 HP Industrial Portable Dust Collector


70 gal. 2 HP Industrial Dust Collector <---- I am guessing this maybe WAYYY OverKill??

https://www.harborfreight.com/2-hp-industrial-5-micron-dust-collector-97869.html?ccdenc=eyJjb2RlIjoiNTY2Nzk5MjIiLCJza3UiOiI5Nzg2OSIsImlzIjoiMTY5Ljk5IiwicHJvZHVjdF9p ZCI6IjM4OTEifQ%3D%3D

Or some better idea???

Any of that will work for a majority of the dust but does nothing for the fumes, which are more nasty. Best to vent outside, if you were to stay inside I think you need at least a charcoal filter but have never done too much research on it.

Yea, the laser really needs to vent outside. Shop vac/dust deputy works great for the routers. Been eyeing the harbor freight dust collector though. My stuff is in a barn though, so the collection needs a re a bit different than the average garage build.

I just bought the HF 2HP dust collector for my shop. It is HUGE. It has a bag, and a 5 micron filter (which is decent for wood dust, but I’ve read a $300 0.5micron is what you should really have for wood dust… Yowzer). You can find 20% off coupons on the Internet, for any of the HF stuff. It doesn’t come with even one hose, so remember that with your budget. I probably spent another $100 on hoses and ports on amazon.

It has 2x 4" ports. If you wait, you can sometimes find a coupon to bring the DC down to $170 and find a combinable 20% coupon, but the normal 20% off won’t work with the $170 coupon.

Jay Bates has an article and some old videos on building integrated chip and dust collection:

Basically, the idea is that you move the motor to the output of the bucket separator, and ditch the bag and 5 micron filter. You would then vent the output from the motor outside, instead.

I think it’s way overkill for the MPCNC. The thing has a bigger motor than my table saw. It’s taller than me. I tripped the fuse running it and my table saw at the same time, so I have to improve my electrical before using it like that again. It also would do nothing for the laser fumes, except that it would vent them outside. You’d want this 2HP thing if you were cleaning up planar or jointer chips, or had a builtin setup for all your tools, like a table saw and a miter saw station. A shop vac will really be a lot more usable for anything smaller.

There are also several designs for dust chip separators that are cheaper than the dust deputy. I haven’t been impressed with reviews of the smaller dust deputy at all. If it were me, I’d just do a shop vac, and find a way to vent it outside. I wouldn’t even mess with a chip separator. You’ll get a lot of mileage that way. If your goal is to manage all your wood dust in a basement shop with a full outfit of tools, then I’d do what Bates does and vent outside with the 2HP guy.

I just bought a smaller trash can from Home Depot (20Gallon, I think) and I’m going to cut the baffles on the Low Rider for it (when I get a chance, which might not be for a month). I don’t plan on using that “belt” from the bags because it just doesn’t seem like it’s in great shape (there are leaks, to say the least, and it’s not perfectly round). I’m sure I’ll post some info here when I finish that. But, like I said, it won’t be soon.

Awesome info guys! Thanks Here a smaller dust collector @ HF

What system do you use to suck the laser fumes outside with?

You really don’t need all that much. A bathroom fan ducted to the laser would work(not the actual one in the bathroom). Just never engrave bone or antlers. You’ll piss off the neighborhood.

Actually, I bet one of these and some flexible dryer duct would work just fine.

I have the smaller dust deputy, it works great. The only things that don’t separate out are fluffy things. Plastic wrappers, leaves, computer backup tape, that kind of thing.

I maybe should have gotten the smaller one. I need to solve the power situation pretty soon.

Barry’s idea for a fart fan is a pretty good one for laser fumes. You’d just build an enclosure, make it sort of air tight and have the fan pull air and push it outside. You’d have it pull out on one end of the enclosure, and you’d have an intentional opening on the other end to let air in.

It sounds like you’re doing CNC work too. If you go the shop vac route, you can still duct the outlet outside. I’d you go the 1HP HF solution, you’d need a chip separator before the impeller, then vent the output outside.

I think that the necessity of an air filtering system vastly depends on what material you’re planning to engrave.
For instance, it it is wood, I don’t really see the point. It’s far less dangerous than cooking on a barbecue, for instance. Or living a regular day in China. People tend to get a bit paranoid about fumes.

If it’s plastic and you plan to engrave a lot, maybe.

Anyway, I would simply use some high powered 40mm server fans, a long duct and push the fumes outside through the window.

Says the guy who lives in the country with the worst air quality in the world. :wink:
Breathing sawdust is ungodly bad for you. Ryan knows this first hand. You also don’t want to smoke out the house. I still get a whiff of wood smoke in my barn after the lowrider bbq incident, and that’s with constant air circulation for a month or so now.

Yup all bad, I always wear a respirator now, a good one. Swear I almost died, and that was probably just from resawing with my table saw. The cnc makes pixiedust sized particulates, all bad. The laser will really stink up the place something fierce. So much better to be safe than sorry a single 4" duct outside would be worth the effort. You could tie all kinds of things into it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that breathing crap is good for health!
Just saying that it’s not absolutely necessary for laser etching a few stuff in wood, basically you burn a very few amount of material, which is the same thing you are doing in a barbecue, except that the amount of material burned in a barbecue is far, far more, even if the BBQ is outside.

Sawdust is another concern, I’m well aware of it… Just look at that mess I made while cutting those parts and try to imagine the amount of dust it generated in my tiny garage… I could not open the door because I was afraid to disturb the neighbors and had no choice but to stay near the machine to make sure it was working fine… Did not have any filter or breathing mask at that time, so yeah, it was quite unconfortable.

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I thought this thread was only about laser etching anyway, but seems like I read to fast, my bad.

Just to show you I’m kind of knowing what I’m talking about when it comes to air filtering, this is a thread of me building a DIY air purifier a few years back.
Sorry, it is in French so maybe you people won’t understand much, but there are quite a lot of pictures. Maybe it could inspire some of you to build something similar for your shops, it’s not very difficult:

I’ve experimented quite a lot of things about air pollution and filtering, most people here in China own air purifying devices, it is a very common thing given the horrible pollution levels we get here.

You americans are sissies XD
(just kidding) :wink:

I do feel like a sissy wearing all my safety gear. eyes, ears, breathing…I wasn’t raised that way. Pops tried to get me to walk rafters real early, skills saws on the roofs with two hands because they were heavy. I don’t ever think he owned safety glasses.

But when I get done working now I feel great, ears aren’t ringing and no black boogers.

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Same as your father, I have not much protecting equipment…

But now I wear safety glasses sometimes: last year I’ve got a tiny chunk of aluminum right in my eye, had to go to the hospital. The doctor removed it using a scalpel digging into the eyeball pupil without any kind of anesthesia. Pretty scary experience.
But he reassured me at first, saying “as long as you do not move at all your eye while I’m putting the scalpel in there, everything should be ok”.
Just try to not move your eye looking at a blank wall, not an easy thing. XD

Oh man that is nasty! I do learn from others mistakes, Hearing things like that really will serve to remind me not to every skip putting on the safety squints.

I was using my circular saw a week or two ago, and my safety glasses fogged up, and I subconsciously started looking under my safety glasses and got a good couple of splinters in there. Luckily, my eyes can eventually eject chips, but I couldn’t drive because when it would rotate in just the right spot, I couldn’t open my eyes. I got the last of them out the next day. I have definitely increased the safety gear quality since having a son. That’s the reason for the mondo dust collector. He was complaining of sawdust in his eyes after spending a few hours with me in the shop organizing stuff the other day.

I don’t really know if the difference in particles is different between a laser cutting wood and a BBQ. But I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if a) the particles weren’t the same, and their smaller geometry or higher energy was somehow more carcinogenic, or b) it was a health risk to BBQ in a closed basement. Considering how cheap mitigation is (assuming it’s a rational and not over-the-top) it seems like a good thing to do. If you’re going to do it eventually, better to start early. It will be easier than cleaning everything afterward.

Dui, I believe you know what you’re talking about. I don’t read french though. Just words like “baguette”, and “croissant”, since we are being internationally insensitive :D. You make a good point about the BBQ. I just don’t know enough to be certain. I recently started burning wood scraps in a cheapo fire pit, and I wondered if I was going to be at higher risk for lung cancer, because I was running it every night.

Just one tip about eye protection:

The glasses are one thing, but the hands are actually pretty important too:
For instance, let’s say that you are milling aluminum. You wear your safety glasses and everything is fine. But your hands are full of tiny metal chips.
Later in the day, you wipe your eyes with your arm. There is a good chance that some of those chips will be caught in your eyelashes. At some point, one of thos chips can get in contact with your eye, and since they are very sharp and pointy, it can dig its way inside.

I suppose that is what happened to me.

My point is, don’t only rely on your glasses, clean your hands and arms and even your face after milling, whenever possible. Don’t forget that you have chips everywhere on you, and those things are super sharp. Anyway, don’t get paranoid about that either, just use common sense :slight_smile:

Aluminum produces in my opinion the best swarf material. Thing is, even with a proper calculated chipload, I lack the air compressor to blast away the chips fast enough. I do get some recut chips that end up becoming somewhat dust. They are pretty nasty. They are realllly sharp. Just taking out some aluminum stock from my machine, I almost always get splinters of tiny aluminum shavings. They stick in your skin and I have to get tweezers to pull them out :frowning: Shavings go all over the place. Inside my vac, it looks like just a pile of aluminum shavings. Maybe one day I will have the capability to produce those really coarse metal chips, that would make cleanup really easy and safe.

I network Sys Admin for a living that is exactly how I Dispose proper of our old backup tapes!

I picked up the HF dust collector too during the sale in early July. I haven’t actually assembled mine yet though. :slight_smile: I plan on plumbing up each of the pieces of equipment in my garage so I don’t have to move the shop vac from place to place.

Laser vs BBQ: I’m betting most of the laser work is done with laminates, most of the BBQ with briquettes made from softwood sawdust. You’re going to have much nastier stuff burning off the laminates than the ‘food safe’ stuff burning off the briquettes. (Not that the stuff used to make the briquettes is all that appetizing)