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Another Belt Sander Thread:Dust Collection

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  • Another Belt Sander Thread:Dust Collection

    I just got my auction purchased belt sander cleaned up and running. I had to fabricate a dust collection manifold, and a mistake I made allows me to see the flow heading off to my shop vac. When I aggressively cut steel on the zirconia belt, I can see a lot of sparks heading down the hose toward the vacuum. I assume that they flame out by the time they reach the vacuum, but I'm wondering if there is a fire risk there.

    What do other folks do for dust collection off the belt sander? Ever had an issue?

  • #2
    dont ever do any wood with this setup. i once had an explosion in a vac used on the tc grinder exclusively. must have been dust.


    • #3
      Its a fire risk, especially if any part of the system is made of plastic. Like, say, the collection bin of a shopvac, or a pleated paper filter. Been there, done that, lit my shopvac on fire. Didnt even catch most of the dust to boot, ended up deciding it wasnt worth it. Things going to throw grinding swarf everywhere, may as well come to terms with it. A bucket of water on the floor in the belt travel path is all i need now.

      As mentioned though, good cleanup if you ever switch from wood to metal on a grinder is a must. Probably a good idea to put the same care in if you go from steel to aluminium, never heard of it happening but its worth remembering that fine aluminium powder + rust makes thermite. Not something you want on your floor.


      • #4
        This was recent topic about it:
        Location: Helsinki, Finland, Europe


        • #5
          Mattij, thank you for the link. I never thought of searching. That's a consequence of reading the site when I should be sleeping.


          • #6
            I use dust collection for wood working tools, but for my metal sanders, I'm only planning on attaching collection sack(s) to the ports and just use the shop vac manually with a wand to clean up after I'm done. Anyone else using metal sanders without active collection? I don't actually plan on using the sander very much so manually cleaning up after use seems fine to me.


            • #7
              I made a dust collector for my belt sander that can be popped on / off easily when switching between wood & metal.

              It's made from a PVC threaded end cap, an angle bracket, salvaged hard-drive magnets, and a piece of 0.030" polycarbonate.

              It works very well for wood & plastic. For metal I pop it off and it sticks to the cast iron base. In either case I try to always wear my respirator as well.

              And I can't say enough good things about the cyclone either. Really saves vacuum bags & emptying hassles.

              In place for wood sanding;

              The details;

              The view from below;

              My homemade cyclone, again only for wood & plastic;