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  1. #1
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    Menlo Park, CA, USA.
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    Container for sawdust

    I've generally subscribed to the notion that sawdust being pretty flammable ought to be acculumated in a metal container before taken out of the shop. The problem is, my new dust collector needs something that I can easily and repeatedly make airtight to accumulate the dust in. I've found a couple good plastic alternatives and nothing easily available to me in metal. So just what kind of a risk does this pose?

    I notice that the vendor of my dust collector sells cardboard drums for the sawdust to go into.

    What do you guys think?

    Roger

  2. #2
    Member
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    Location
    Bradford, Vermont, MerryCanna.
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    RE: Container for sawdust

    It shouldn't be, in and of itself, likely to ignite by spontaneous combustion. I've never given it much thought, although my shop floor is typically littered with a good 6" of shavings & such, and me a smoker at that. When I clean up, I fill a bunch of 55-gallon garbage bags & carry it out. I've got a client who wants all the shavings I can generate...

    The best of all worlds. One man's trash is another man's treasure. :)

    What's good for the goose is also often good for a slap in the face, if she's a stranger... :) :) :)

    -- Tim --



    Woodworking.com...
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  3. #3
    Member
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    Jun 2004
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    RE: Container for sawdust

    Roger,

    The only observation that I would have is that plastic is more likely to maintain a static electrical charge than cardboard (thus the use of cardboard cannisters). How many times have you been shocked, albeit minor, with your DC equipment (vacuum, or whatever)?

    I've never had a fire, nor have I ever known anyone who has from sawdust (I DO, however, know a colleague that is an old-timer, who knew better and burned half his house down with spontaneous combustion from rags in a bucket...not the point though.).

    The best advice I could offer would be to just dispose of the waste as soon as possible to limit the amount of fuel for a potential situation.

    I don't honestly know if sawdust would go up in flames, but then I didn't think corn dust would either...and we've all heard about grain elevator explosions!



  4. #4
    Member
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    Jun 2004
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    RE: Container for sawdust

    When I was using my shop vac as a dust collector I never got shocked, but it did raise the hair on my arm. I think our relatively lower humidity here in central coast Calif keeps the sparking down.

    I installed my new cyclone last week, and while I am waiting for my ducting to arrive I am using something like 16 or 18 feet of black flex hose, moving it tool to tool. No sparks or static whatsoever - but then I ran 18ga. stranded bare copper in a spiral around the duct and have it screwed to the machines on either end.

    BTW, let me put in a good word for Larry Adcock and his excellent Woodsucker cyclone. This is one nice piece of equipment, and Larry is always available to help with questions where the assembly instructions are...vague. Let me just say that his product *sucks* and I mean that in the best possible light.

    http://www.woodsucker.com

    Roger

  5. #5
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    Jun 2004
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    Colorado.
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    RE: Container for sawdust

    Roger,

    First off, you did the RIGHT thing by effectively grounding your DC system. A tie to earth ground might be even better.

    Glad to hear that your set up is working :)

    I'm looking to put in a cyclone, so I'll have to check out your link in detail when time permits.

    Best regards,

  6. #6
    Sonny Edmonds
    Guest

    RE: Container for sawdust

    Bob,
    Dick Laxton and I both have Woodsucker Cyclones.
    My viewpoint is from my industrial electrical maintenance background.
    Having said that, that is why I choose Larry's cyclone over all others, the closed wheel design.
    Not one of the quietest designs, but one of the most effective and strongest.

    There is only one more thing that I think ALL of the current designs need. Any motor that has it's shaft in a vertical configuration should have thrust bearing to take that weight load of the rotor. Like deep well pump motors have, for example.
    But probably not economically warrented for the limited size and use for woodworking.

    I boxed in my Cyclone and made things a whole hell of a lot quieter in that area, but I boxed up my compressor, too. :7

    :D

    [link:www.sonnyedmonds.com | Sonny Edmonds] http://home.earthlink.net/~sonnypie/vortex_smiley.gif
    "Precision Firewood Specialist"
    God Bless America !
    One Nation Under God!

    [h3]The real problem is the fool behind the tool.[/h3] :o*
    http://home.earthlink.net/~sonnypie/...es/dumfart.jpg

  7. #7
    Sonny Edmonds
    Guest

    RE: Container for sawdust

    Roger,
    I use a 55 gallon, open top, steel drum for my collection barrel.
    It's like what they use for hazmat disposal.
    I don't do it for fire protection, but for the shear volume it will hold. That way I don't have to fiddle with emptying it so often.
    And any sawdust or bark fires I have witnessed around sawmills are smolderers. Stubborn and taking flooding to effectively put them out.
    My drum often weighs more than the contents. And I just send it off in the green waste can on trash day when I do empty it. :7

    :D

    [link:www.sonnyedmonds.com | Sonny Edmonds] http://home.earthlink.net/~sonnypie/vortex_smiley.gif
    "Precision Firewood Specialist"
    God Bless America !
    One Nation Under God!

    [h3]The real problem is the fool behind the tool.[/h3] :o*
    http://home.earthlink.net/~sonnypie/...es/dumfart.jpg

  8. #8
    Member
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    RE: Container for sawdust

    But your drum isn't actually open, is it? It has to be air-tight or all the sawdust ends up in the plastic bag....

    I found a 20gallon heavy plastic trash can with a tight-fitting flat lit that ought to do the job for me.

    Now, to find out if our local green recycling will take sawdust....

    Thanks,
    Roger

  9. #9
    Member
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    Saint of the Louis, Of Confusion, U.S. of A..
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    RE: Container for sawdust

    Heh,
    All you guys are carefull with your stuff :)
    I just sweep the shavings out the door into the yard. When my Vacuum gets full, I empty it in a dirt area behind the shed where the bunnies like to dig around.




  10. #10
    Member
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    RE: Container for sawdust

    If I just swept mine out the door, I'd get ... a kind word and a two-by-four. :) :) :)

    -- Tim --



    Woodworking.com...
    Know deposit,
    Know return.


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