WoodCentral's Book Reviews
Controlling Dust in the Workshop

Controlling Dust in the Workshop
by Rick Peters

Sterling Publishing, 2001
Paperback, 128 pp, $14.95
ISBN: 0-8069-3689-4

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Reviewed by Jim Halbert

     This is the best book written on this subject; nothing else comes close. This book was written using the KISS principal for the home shop. Well done, and easy to follow. An excellent, well-written book, which you must buy if you are going to build in a DC or even, buy a small portable.
    I do take exception to a few items especially the PVC/metal-vs.-duct controversy, but that's OK. It's a personal preference thing that has no effect on performance. There are some extremely important things in this book never mentioned in print before that you might gloss over, like motor class, impeller diameter or bag replacement.
    Believe what he says on motor class -- stay away from class A. As to impeller size, he's right here as well -- ignore all other specifications that come with a DC. Twelve inches is the minimum diameter for a built-in DC. This is an important number, remember it. Also, heed his advice on replacing the filters on a dust collector. Replace the woven bags with felt ones. A must. This increases CFM and dust control at the same time. This is covered many times in the book and is extremely important.
    God is in the details. As clear and concise as this book is, I am still flabbergasted by Rick's attention to details. What a great book! A very important note is at the bottom of page 115. Tighten the impeller bolt! When you get a new DC remove the bolt, apply Loctite, and retighten. If you have an installed DC this is a bit hard to do but worth it. I know of one case where the impeller came loose and completely destroyed the DC. You don't want to be around when this happens. Murphy lives.
    There is also a very nice set of plans for a DIY dust filter. Save yourself $200 and build this using a free blower from a used furnace. These are available from any HVAC installer/contractor. Try to get the smallest diameter blower they have. Some even have multiple speeds. Take yours tools along.
    Buy this book today; it's a breath of fresh air on a very confusing subject.

... Jim Halbert

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Dust collection has been one of the perennial hot topics on the WoodCentral messageboard. Jim Halbert, "the Dust Hound," of Branson, MO, is an experienced engineer who has concentrated a great deal time and effort on demystifying dust collectors and systems for the home workshop. This review is his unrestrained--and only lightly edited--report on a new book by former Taunton and Rodale Press editor, Rick Peters. I think Jim liked the book. :-)]