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Dealing With Wood Dust
Finding a suitable dust extractor for a small workshop is not an easy job. On the one hand, you may not want to spend a lot of money, yet on the other hand, what is the price of your health?
In the UK the H.S.E. website has lots of great information on controlling dust in a factory environment and with a little care and attention you can bring the same standard of dust control to the small workshop.
Wood dust you can see from Routers, planers and sanders is a nuisance and you can mostly protect yourself from this with a simple well fitted face mask.
The dangerous wood dust particles are the one’s you can’t see. These can get passed your body’s natural defences and embed themselves deep in the lungs. The long-term irritation can cause anything from minor coughs to tumours. This is where proper dust control is needed.
It is accepted in the woodworking business that Class M dust control for hardwoods is the required standard. A Class M dust vacuum cleaner means that <1mg /m3 of air is emitted. Workplace exposure limits for wood dust is 5 mg/m3 . These are limits placed on the amount of dust in the air, averaged over an eight-hour working day.
Having a properly rated vacuum dust collector is one part of the story. The second is the placement and design of collection hoods to draw ALL the dust particles produced by a machine or operation.
The HSE has published some great short videos to illustrate how air flows around a vacuum extraction point and how to design and test appropriate “hoods” for your tools and sanding benches.
When I attended the European Guitar Builder’s conference in June 2017, one of the keynote presentations was about controlling dust. When hand-sanding, for instance, our top guitar builders use both a downdraft sanding bench and a P3 dust mask. The downdraft benches were simple, shop made items powered by small M Class vacuums. The P3 dust masks were half face masks with P3 filters to prevent even the smallest dust particles getting through.
The presenter, Jacco Stuitje, asked the question, “What is the most dangerous piece of workshop equipment”? He then showed a photo of a sweeping brush. The recommendation is, NEVER use a brush to sweep away wood dust. This simply throws the most dangerous particles into the air where they remain for days.
Investing in wood dust control is both an investment in your health, and in the comfort and enjoyment when working in your workshop.
Tonetech has sourced a good quality M class vacuum dust collector and a quality Moldex P3 half face dust mask. With these you can manage most of the dust hazard in your workshop. You can add to this with a fine particle filter to remove the smallest of airborne particles. These units are typically suspended from the ceiling.
Tonetech’s first “education” event was held on July 16th 2017. Guitar Maker, Jim Fleeting gave a fascinating presentation on the subject of the guitar soundboard. He covered all aspects of soundboard design and construction.
The audience were treated to some “insider” secrets that Jim had learned during his training at the Roberto Venn Luthier school in America, and during seminars given by Ervin Somogyi on soundboard voicing.
We learned about the relationship between soundboard thickness, soundhole dimensions and positions, and bracing patterns. The presentation was a helpful mixture of science and opinion and the attendees left the session knowing how they can control the voicing of the guitars they want to build.
We had a practical session on choosing a soundboard, both for it’s visual appeal and it’s sound properties. The whole audience was involved at one time practicing “tapping” the soundboard blanks so they can distinguish between “good and bad” soundboards.
After the session, the Tonetech Staff spent a happy half hour tapping all our stock of soundboards so we can help our customers choose their favourite.
In addition to the soundboard lecture we were treated to a demonstration of traditional log splitting by Tony Williams. Tony, a lifelong Antique furniture restorer, demonstrated the use of traditional log splitting tools on some laburnum logs that are now being dried to become fingerboards in 12 months’ time.
Throughout the whole event the attendees had opportunities to talk one to one with Jim and Tony, and to chat with each other to exchange views and opinions on guitar making. The feedback for the event has been tremendous so we’re looking forward to planning the next one!
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Here is a video featuring guitar maker, Rory Dowling, showing just how easy it is to bend Rocklite Ebano Binding
Tonetech Launch the all new Luthier Directory
Tonetech has provided a free of charge luthier directory, mainly aimed at UK luthiers, for the last 6 years. The site was a bit tired and hard to update.
We've invested in a new great looking directory which allows the luthiers to manage their own entry. You can change the images, re-word the text, change address and contact details, to suit your changing circumstances.
First apply for a TonetchPro account. Once this has been approved we shall email you access to the directory where you can load your profile. If you'd rather we do this for you, email a couple of great images, one of which should be landscape in the proportion 375 x 195. Let us have some about you blurb, contact details and we'll create your listing.
The directory is also open to luthiers around Europe. We'll create new category countries so your local customer can find you.
For more details:Read More