Reply To: Dust in a handtools environment!

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Michael Evans

Hello Paul,
Hand too woodworking is famous for greatly limiting the total dust produced as compared to power tool use but it is inevitable that some dust will be produced especially during sawing, sanding, rasping and scraping. Fortunately, most of the particles settle out pretty quickly with the biggest offender being dust from sanding operations.There are commercially produced air filter systems which are normally mounted on the ceiling and generally clears the shop air. Some woodworkers will just take a portable box fan fitted with a fine filter, normally used as a house HVAC filter, and use it as either a general air filtering system or to direct any fine dust away from the woodworker. Downdraft tables connected to vacuum cleaners work well for scraping and sanding. I don’t know of any dust collection system appropriate to hand tool woodworking other than just general cleaning so the next level would be for personal protection equipment. I haven’t had a great deal of problem from the dust issue but I have used a simple dust mask when sanding. Dust exposure and sensitivity to some woods have been more of an issue and I would recommend doing research on any woods (and other materials) you might be inclined to use and avoid fine dust inhalation.
Instead of blowing away dust on edged tools, I just use a inexpensive “chip” brush. The bush has the added advantage of being able to extricate shavings in the plane mouth with risking cuts to fingers. Have fun.