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Using water to reduce dust (Read 417 times)
 
Rob Corriveau
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Using water to reduce dust
Feb 23rd, 2018 at 8:42am
 
Was wndering if anyone has ever used a water filled catch basin for dust collection in a wood shop.  The Rainbow vacuum uses this principle and is highly rated for it's patented ability to removes dust from the air.  Basically it blows dust directly into a basin of water therefore trapping any airborne particles in the water.
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Ed Weber
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #1 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 9:48am
 
The one problem I see is that most wood floats.
The surface of your container will become coated with the initial dust and chips almost immediately. Now you have created an impenetrable layer of wood pulp (sludge) and any subsequent chips or dust will not stick.
I would think an experiment or two is in order, plus you need to consider how/where to easily remove the sludge that's created.
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robo_hippy
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #2 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 10:58am
 
The water filtration method is used commercially, and I was told once it is common in hospitals as anything that bubbles up through the water will stay in the water. To get as much dust out of the air in your shop as possible, first you have to trap it at it's source, which is what ever you are sanding. A dedicated dust collector rather than a shop vac is the best option. A hose will get a lot of dust before it escapes. A hose with a big gulp type funnel or a bowl where you went through the bottom, will get more. I have a sanding hood I made where maybe 75% of the bowl is inside the hood, and with a 3 hp DC, it gets pretty much every thing (video up on You Tube). Dust still escapes into the air though. Just sweeping up shavings and chips stirs up a lot of dust. I have actually been wondering if a common house hold heating/cooling vent system might work for air scrubbing....

robo hippy
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Rob Corriveau
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #3 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 1:57pm
 
Ed Weber wrote on Feb 23rd, 2018 at 9:48am:
The one problem I see is that most wood floats.
The surface of your container will become coated with the initial dust and chips almost immediately. Now you have created an impenetrable layer of wood pulp (sludge) and any subsequent chips or dust will not stick.
I would think an experiment or two is in order, plus you need to consider how/where to easily remove the sludge that's created.


That does seem logical and makes some sense, but I know that the water in a Rainbow vac can get pretty full of crude, especially with dogs and get nearly to the point of a wet solid mess yet it still seems to filter.  It basically pushes  the solids out of the way and forces the dust down into whatever water remains and I thnk as long as the airflow was sufficient to keep the chips and dust pushed away from the impact area dust would still be collected.  It would require regular water changes as water would get pretty nasty pretty quick.
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Louie Powell
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #4 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:06pm
 
Purely speculating here - but would this not suggest that keeping the humidity level higher would help manage airborn dust?  We live in a cold region, and have a humidifier to increase the humidity of the air in our home during the winter.  Seems to me that if the air is humid, water will be attracted to dust particles in the air, causing them to be heavier and more likely to fall to the floor rather than remain suspended in the air.

Of course, having higher humidity air in the shop means that tools are going to rust more quickly.  Win some and lose some.
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« Last Edit: Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:07pm by Louie Powell »  

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Rob Corriveau
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #5 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:06pm
 
robo_hippy wrote on Feb 23rd, 2018 at 10:58am:
The water filtration method is used commercially, and I was told once it is common in hospitals as anything that bubbles up through the water will stay in the water. To get as much dust out of the air in your shop as possible, first you have to trap it at it's source, which is what ever you are sanding. A dedicated dust collector rather than a shop vac is the best option. A hose will get a lot of dust before it escapes. A hose with a big gulp type funnel or a bowl where you went through the bottom, will get more. I have a sanding hood I made where maybe 75% of the bowl is inside the hood, and with a 3 hp DC, it gets pretty much every thing (video up on You Tube). Dust still escapes into the air though. Just sweeping up shavings and chips stirs up a lot of dust. I have actually been wondering if a common house hold heating/cooling vent system might work for air scrubbing....

robo hippy


My concern is the bags that collect the dust.  How  often do they require replacement/maintenance?  I know from when I was a Rainbow vac salesman LOL the time it takes for small particles to line the inside of a bag full of tiny holes and drastically reduce airflow.  As fine as sanding dust is I just see that being an inefficient way to maintain the amount of air at the inlet, and unless you use some sort of HEPA filter I would think that some percentage of dust finds it way right thru the bag.  But maybe I just don't understand exactly how dust collectors work as I never seen one other than pictures!  HAHAHA Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy
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Ralph Fahringer
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #6 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:07pm
 
Ed...I would think the outlet end of the dust hose should be IN the water at the bottom of the bucket so the air has to bubble up thru the water and the water catches the dust.

Until the bucket is completely full of wood sludge, it should still trap dust. Just blowing the dust at the water won't do it.

That all assumes that your collection system is strong enough to catch everything that comes off your lathe..which is doubtful.

Personally, a major dust collector at the lathe would be best augmented with a hanging system over or right near the lathe so anything that drifts away is sucked into that collector.

I hung one to the left of my lathe and am amazed at how much less the layer of dust is on everything in the shop. Smiley
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Rob Corriveau
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #7 - Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:11pm
 
Louie Powell wrote on Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:06pm:
Purely speculating here - but would this not suggest that keeping the humidity level higher would help manage airborn dust?  We live in a cold region, and have a humidifier to increase the humidity of the air in our home during the winter.  Seems to me that if the air is humid, water will be attracted to dust particles in the air, causing them to be heavier and more likely to fall to the floor rather than remain suspended in the air.

Of course, having higher humidity air in the shop means that tools are going to rust more quickly.  Win some and lose some.


Makes sense to me on both points, I live in Michigan and have a "Michigan basement"  If you don't run a dehumidifier most all summer you will have many problems with mold and rust.  I do see the need for a humidifier in winter when the air is dry and gets even drier from the radiated hot water pipes that heat the house.  Dry your sinuses up in a New York minute!   Huh Huh
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robert baccus
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #8 - Feb 24th, 2018 at 12:10am
 
A 30" wall fan close behind the lathe is hard to beat--with a handy switch--gets dust and lacquer spray--solved my severe sinus problems.
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Mike Nathal
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #9 - Feb 24th, 2018 at 7:58am
 
Rob Corriveau wrote on Feb 23rd, 2018 at 2:06pm:
My concern is the bags that collect the dust.  How  often do they require replacement/maintenance?  I know from when I was a Rainbow vac salesman LOL the time it takes for small particles to line the inside of a bag full of tiny holes and drastically reduce airflow.  As fine as sanding dust is I just see that being an inefficient way to maintain the amount of air at the inlet, and unless you use some sort of HEPA filter I would think that some percentage of dust finds it way right thru the bag. 


Nowadays the better dust collectors do not use bags as filters.  They use a cyclone separator in front of a HEPA canister filter.   The cyclone captures 99% of the dust  before the air is filtered. 

The problem I see with the water-based system is the amount of shavings and sawdust created by woodworking in general and wood turning in particular.  I am filling those big yard waste bags twice a month.
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Paul Gilbert
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Re: Using water to reduce dust
Reply #10 - Feb 25th, 2018 at 11:26pm
 
Air washers in textile mills and spray booths in auto assembly plants are a chemical salesman't holy grail.  They generate sales in static control, bacteria control and dispersants like no other water handling device. 

An air washer passes air horizontally through a rain of falling droplets of water.  The water is recirculated and the basin rapidly becomes a gunk of stuff that depends on the industry.  You should see what comes out of a paint booth!

Air washers for operating rooms in hospitals are rather problem free, but they are cleaning air that has passed through a HEPA filter.  They mostly just regulate the humidity in the operating room and in conjunction with a reheat coil the temp.

If you want an unholy mess to clean up after each turning session, I suggest that you build something like this.
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