Dust Collector Reminder

Hey everyone,

Just a reminder that it’s very important to check both the main dust collection bin as well as the tray on the cartridge filter side when you empty the DC. I was showing a student how to empty the DC today, and the main bin was empty, but the tray was overflowing (see pics). Typically the tray overflows when the main bin is not emptied and dust and chips start to collect on the cartridge filter side instead of the cyclone side. So this can be prevented by frequent checking of the main bin. Nevertheless, please double-check the tray window when you empty the main bin to make sure the tray isn’t full.

When operating properly, the tray should only be collecting the finest dust that gets knocked out of the pleats on the cartridge filter (the awful noise you hear occasionally and on startup/shutdown of the DC). When dust and chips start overflowing from the tray itself, they clog up the cartridge filter, shortening its life. The cartridge filter for the DC is one of the more expensive consumables in the shop at around $1000 apiece, so it’s important that we make it last as long as possible.

Please ask me or a steward how to empty the DC and check the tray if you aren’t sure. We’ll be more than happy to show you. The more eyes we have checking, the better our odds of preventing overflows like this from happening. If the shop is busy, the DC can fill up pretty rapidly, so try to make a habit of checking it whenever you take a quick break. Same goes for the intermediate chip trashcan for the planer.



I can attest, taking the filter down to clean it is a dirty, unfun laborious process. Keeping both bins from overflowing slows the frequency of cleanings.

Thanks for this head’s up…. I find that I’m often there when there are no stewards around (or if they are I don’t know who they are). Would it be possible for someone to record videos on how to do all these sorts of expected shop operations (per area) and post them somewhere very prominent (front page of the wiki?)

I’m not using the main shop dust collector much…. But when I do I’d be happy to check this - I just don’t really have any idea how to operate it…. And teaching everyone at once with videos (and reminders/updates) seems better than trying to get us one at a time. Especially with how often people are making awesome improvements to these systems…