Posted on

Hand Sander Dust Collection

Hand Sander Dust Collection

by John Calkin

Published online by Guild of American Luthiers, April 2021


Shop dust is a pervasive enemy that can cause damage to the lungs and sinuses. One of the silliest inventions ever is the dust collection bag that is hung on many hand sanders in an attempt to convince woodworkers that the manufacturers care about our health. They don't work, they might even blow off of the machine causing a dust cloud of their own, and the irregular port sizes make it difficult to improvise a vacuum hookup.

I broke down and bought a new DeWalt DWE6421 sander along with the DWV9000 hose-to-sander adaptor and a 20' length of 2" hose, all for about $110 from Amazon. The long hose is to keep me as far away from the noisy shop vac as possible, though I still wear earmuffs while working. The rig works very well, much better than even the powerful down-draft table I used at Huss & Dalton Guitars. It's not perfect, though, and a particle mask should still be worn for safety.

All photos by John Calkin

Remember that the filter in the shop vac will clog up and need cleaning long before the collection tub is full. As the photo illustrates, it is way too easy to put off cleaning it for too long. I intend to be more diligent. ◆