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    How to Handle Wood Dust Safely

    Wood dust, especially in high doses, can cause cancer in the airways. The key to working safely in the wood shop is to capture as much dust as possible, especially the finest stuff that hangs longest in the air and penetrates deepest into the lungs.

    Wood dust is also a nuisance, especially if you workspace is in or connected to your living space. Fine dust has a way of migrating and traveling, and your spouse won’t appreciate a fine layer of it on everything in the house. And if you don’t set up any dust collection in your shop space, you’ll forever be cleaning up piles of sawdust and chips.

    The best way to collect wood dust is at the source. That means connecting a shop vacuum or dust collector to just about every power tool, except maybe the drill press.

    If you are just starting out as a woodworker, you might start with a strong shop vacuum or small dust collector that you can roll over to whatever tool you happen to be using.

    Today’s power tools have much better dust ports. Don’t rely on the little bag attached to back of sanders and miter saws, for example. Take those off and attach a shop-vacuum.