2019 Woodshop Dust Collection Vote

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Zack Sasnow, Gary Newhouse


  • Open for discussion.
  • Language Locked: TBD
  • Vote: TBD


In 2014, PS:1 purchased a ClearView cyclone dust collector (DC) for the Woodshop area. The vote and details of this can be found at: https://wiki.pumpingstationone.org/Wood_Shop_Dust_Collection.

Since 2014 PS:1's membership has increased substantially, and the Woodshop remains one of the most heavily used areas of PS:1. Some of the dustiest machinery in the shop (sanding equipment particularly) have not been connected to this system, and there is not adequate suction at farther machinery to collect dust effectively. As such, the current DC system has proven to be inadequate for current use.

A good reference for the dust collection theory discussed below can be found in Woodshop Dust Control by Sandor Nagyszalanczy.

General Motivation

Sawdust is a well-known respiratory irritant. A summary of health risks posed by sawdust can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sawdust#Health_hazards. OSHA's permissible exposure limit (PEL) is 15 mg/m3 over 8 hours. In addition, general cleanliness around the Woodshop helps members have space to work on and store their projects, as well as reduce the extra cleaning time more diligent members have to spend to use machinery.

Current Situation

The dust meter in Hot Metals has frequently been read far above the OSHA PEL- for members who use Hot Metals and the Woodshop frequently, the current DC system is allowing an unhealthy amount of dust to remain suspended in the air.

In addition, many complaints have been brought up from members alleging other members are not cleaning tools after using, or sweeping the floor. Blast gates are often not opened or left open, hindering the efficacy of the DC to collect what dust it can collect. Given the ever-increasing membership of PS:1, it is likely that unintentional negligence will continue, and willing members have to spend extra time at the space cleaning sawdust up. Sawdust also often drifts into Hot Metals, becoming a potential fire hazard.

In addition, when used the current DC is often left on when not needed, left on overnight, or other power-consuming situations.

Lastly, sawdust obscures items on shelves, and reduces the usable space of areas without extra cleaning. Especially in hard-to-reach areas substantial layers of sawdust have settled and are re-suspended when bumped.

Phases of Proposal

For the reasons mentioned above, an upgrade to the dust collection system is being proposed. This is mainly comprised of purchasing a larger, more powerful cyclone, re-working the piping to reduce pressure losses an optimize airflow, and install an automated blast gate system to automatically turn on the dust collection system when tools are being used and to prevent substantial pressure losses from open blast gates. Appendix A comprises a CAD drawing of the proposed moves and piping. This will involve several phases.

Moving DC Closet and Some Tools

The current piping layout in the Woodshop results in a long reach of piping between the DC and the table saw, lathe, and sanding areas; thus adding the lathe and sanders to the system would significantly reduce the pressure in the system that is already inadequate. Most light commercial models that PS:1 can fit in the Woodshop cannot provide adequate pressure for the current layout if multiple tools are used. The new piping layout will reduce the pressure drop at the sanders by 4-5 inches, drastically improving dust pickup; Appendix A includes spreadsheets showing the pressure calculations for a hypothetical system where the DC is installed in its current location, and with the proposed layout.

The DC will be located where the plywood rack currently is, and the plywood rack, ShopBot desk, and computer shelves will need to be moved to the left. This will require a 220V hookup to be installed in the new location.

In addition, to reduce congestion around the 20" bandsaw and drum sander, an additional 220V line will need to be installed where the bandsaw is located on the CAD drawing. This will also reduce wear on those tools' plugs since plugs will not need to be switched out to use the 220V lines.

Purchasing new DC, ductwork, and blast gates

Need to include estimate from electrician here when received

The cyclone being proposed for purchase is the Grizzly G0638.


This DC can provide ~4000 CFM and 16 inches of static pressure, which is more than PS:1 is likely to require. It should be noted that as systems become 'worn in' and dust is entrained in bends, this pressure capacity will decrease somewhat. An 'oversized' system is better to reduce the maintenance needs.

The cost of this model is $4894, including shipping.

An inventory of the current ductwork at PS:1 was conducted, and it was determined that the list of ductwork provided in Appendix A is needed. Purchased from Oneida Air Systems, the total cost of duct work, a crimping tool if needed, and shipping will be $2000.

Ecogate provides an automated system called the 'GreenBox 12' that allows 12 tools to be hooked up to small 24V sensors that will trigger the DC system and blast gate when tools are used. The wires run along the ductwork and do not require any additional electrical work besides that needed at the DC. The system also comes with a netbook that allows the system to track power and tool usage. Ecogate claims their system can reduce power consumption of DC systems by up to 75% by selectively turning on the DC only when needed. Ecogate has agreed to give PS:1 a 10% discount, bringing the quote for the entire system to $8700. Appendix A includes an estimate from Ecogate.

This brings the total estimate to the project to $16,000plus electrical, rounding the price up for incidentals such as ducting tape, tools, or other incidentals encountered during the installation.

Installation of the system

Should the vote pass, a more detailed work plan will be written to provide a order-of-operations for moving tools, installing the electrical for the new system, installing the ductwork for the new system, and other phases needed in the project. Volunteers will be solicited to help, and minimal disturbance to use of the space will be the goal. It is anticipated that there may need to be a small number of days where the Woodshop is either closed for use or restricted in some way to allow volunteers to safely install the ducting.


We believe the best course of action is to allocate $16,000plus electrical to allow the purchase of a new DC cyclone, automated blast gate system, and necessary ductwork and incidentals for installation of the ductwork. Undertaking this will improve air quality at PS:1 and general cleanliness in the Hot Metals and Woodshop area.

Vote Language

  • Authorize the board, or an individual deputized by the board, to spend $16,000plus electrical new dust collector cyclone, ductwork, blast gates, and related expenses.
    • Authorization to spend these funds will expire 6 months after the vote approval.
  • Once machine is purchased, authorize the board or an individual deputized by the board to draft a basic 'task list' or work plan to lay out tasks for installing the system, and to solicit volunteers for each phase.



Appendix A

All the files references above can be found at this Google Drive link: