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IWF Woodworking Today

Dust Collection: a Big Priority for Your Small Business


July 12, 2023 | Dan Wellens

In smaller wood shops, maintaining a clean and healthy work environment is of the utmost importance.  But how? A reliable dust collection system is your forever solution. Dust Collection Systems keep your shop tidy and safeguard the health of all. But choosing the dust collection system scaled to your operations can be confusing. Let’s explore the different types of dust collection systems suitable for small wood shops with a focus on CFM efficiency, two-stage cyclone systems, and the Rotary Air Lock system.

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) efficiency is a critical factor to consider when selecting a dust collection system. CFM is a measure of refers to the volume of air that a system can move per minute. CFM directly impacts the system’s ability to capture and transport dust effectively. It is important to choose a system that can provide sufficient CFM to meet the needs of your woodworking machinery. This ensures that dust and debris are effectively extracted from the air, minimizing the risk of respiratory issues and improving overall air quality in the shop.

One popular type of dust collection system for small wood shops is the two-stage cyclone system. This system utilizes centrifugal force to separate larger wood particles from finer dust. In the first stage, particles are spun around in a cyclonic motion, causing the heavier particles to settle into a collection bin. The remaining finer dust is directed into a secondary filter–typically a bag or cartridge–where it is captured before the air is released back into the shop. Two-stage cyclone systems are highly efficient in removing a significant amount of dust. They also prevent clogging and extend the lifespan of the filters.

Oneida Air Systems Two-stage cyclone system

Oneida Air Systems is one of the most reputable dust collection system manufacturers in the industry. Oneida offers a wide range of systems specifically designed for small wood shops, with one of the most exciting technologies on the market. The Rotary Air Lock System is an innovative solution that enhances efficiency. Unlike traditional systems, the Rotary Air Lock eliminates the need for an air-tight seal with the waste container below the dust collector. Waste is automatically deposited by a motorized valve while maintaining continuous air suction. This saves time and ensures uninterrupted dust collection, keeping your shop cleaner and safer.

Oneida Air Systems Rotary Air Lock System

Laguna is another manufacturer that offers reliable dust collection systems suitable for small wood shops. Their lineup includes compact wall-mounted units as well as larger, high-capacity systems. Laguna’s systems incorporate features like efficient motor designs, self-cleaning filters, and durable construction. These features ensure reliable performance and long-lasting operation.

Laguna Tools T|Flux:5 5HP 220V Single Phase Industrial Cyclone Dust Collector

In addition to an efficient dust collection system, I recommend outfitting your shop with a modular steel ducting system. This is crucial for longevity and overall safety. Norfab Ducting and Air Handling Systems are two manufacturers known for providing high-quality modular ducting solutions. Quality ducting systems are designed to maximize airflow while minimizing resistance and pressure drop. It should also be easy to install, adjust, and maintain. By investing in quality modular ducting, woodworkers can optimize the performance of their dust collection systems, ensuring efficient dust extraction throughout the shop.

Most importantly, remember dust collection systems are the first line of defense to maintaining healthy lungs. Be sure to utilize IWF’s Product Finder Tool to search for your first or next system.


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