i build a guitar once in a while
i read somewhere that wood dust is a major health hazard
is it true will it be bad if occasionally i do sawing and sanding
i am using indian rosewood back and sides and himalayan cedar as top
lots of hand sanding and finishing is involved
and what is lumber lungs

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It would be best to place the wood piece on a sanding vacumn easel. Most all 'serious' wood works make and use these.
thanks a million will look for it on the net
Good Morning Happy.

The secret is controlling the dust. I make a lot of it, from spruce/ pine/ fir to padouk/ bubinga/ zebra. I once thought I had to call 911 because a board of fancy South American something wood caused a severe bronchial reaction.

Essentially, you must hook a good vacuum or dust collector up to every device in your shop that generates dust. It is not as hard as it seems. The HD shop vac on sale will be too loud, and will burn out too fast to make it viable for sanding or table saw usage, but a decent dust collector from Jet or Delta will do the trick. You run hoses to the primary spots in your shop where the tool bases will live, or you move everything around as you need to.

Right now, I have a Jet dust collector hooked up on a smart switch that comes on when I turn on the table saw. I have an oldie vac from Craig's LIst connected to the palm sander, and doubles when connected to the belt sander/ oscillating spindle sander station. You can hook a discount shop vac up to your chop saw, because the run time is so short, but the constant ons and offs may burn it out faster.

An air cleaner mounted to the ceiling is an excellent way to control the environment. You can get a HEPA filter too. A window mounted exhaust fan will suck everything out too. There are dust pans that sit on the floor which when hooked up to the system, collect the dust swept into them. You can make any of this stuff, or get it from Rockler and the plumbing aisle at HD. There are a few good books out there on the subject.

Essentially dust is part of the deal, though I have seen huge shops with very little dust on the floor, because EVERY tool is hooked up to either individual vacs or a huge system of flex tubing that collects it all in a drum outside the back door. Once you spend a day getting your shop together and making the dust mind you, your shop will be a much happier place to work in. Good luck.
very good morning to you rick
thank you very much for your detailed reply
will do everything possible to control dust from entering eyes ears mouth and nose
having read what it can do sure we all should try our best to keep it at bay
thank you once again
Dont forget N95 dust masks too. Even with good dust collectors going, some procedures can still raise a lot of dust.

thanks a million -- i am major psyched now --- i wanted to give up guitar making alltogether but with dust vacuum system for the shop and for individual machine and mask --- may stick to guitar making
Exposure to the aluminum oxide dislodged from sandpaper is a major concern as well, perhaps more so than the wood dust itself (assuming no allergies). I 2nd Rory's response, ALWAYS wear a dust mask especially when using sandpaper. Typically it takes years and years of exposure to cause any problems, but less exposure is always better. Always breathe through your nose as well as it gives some additional filtering before air hits your lungs. Then when you blow your nose take a look-see at what would have ended up in your lungs otherwise :)
hey mac
sandpaper aluminium oxide issue would have never come to my mind
one of my friend showed me how they handle toxic items
they put it in a glass / acrylic / plastic container then put their hands with sealed gloves through holes in the sides of the container - i was thinking of doing just that for small hand sanding jobs
also thinking of puting glass enclosure for machines
i know it sounds very impractical but we dont have nine lives
Hi Happy
But do try to control dust.
I am like you, making a couple of guitars a year max. I don't have a fancy shop or industrial dust collection. I use a domestic vacuum as much as possible. I plane or scrape instead of sanding whenever possible. Shavings are much better than dust. When sanding I use surgical gloves and dust masks. Some dusts will cause sensitivities, and it is personal and idiosyncratic. I have bad reactions to cocobolo. Even an invisible amount of it on my hands and then touch my eyes - panda eyes for days. I was coughing for weeks before I realized that it was cocobolo dust acting as the trigger. Ebony also upsets a lot of folks, and western red cedar is well known to all respiratory physicians.
Now I manage it a lot better. Be tidy and careful and you can enjoy your hobby and be healthy too.
hey mark thank you very much
will not give up guitar building
but will shave and scrape and never sand
have found a polishing unit who are well equipped and will leave sanding to them
i dont have any allergies yet but was just a bit concerned when reading about beech cocobolo and western red cedar being worst
will try and give one day break between sawing also
cannot do without sawing but i have given up sanding
the professional place is equipped to handle dust and they are very reasonable and give it very good finish then i could do it


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