I haven’t been doing much woodworking because I don’t want to get wood dust into my metal lathe and mill. The woodworking and metalworking are in separate parts of the shop, and I decided that I wanted a dust curtain between the wood and metal ends.
I had previously purchased vinyl that wasn’t as thick as I wanted (as a dining room table covering), and knew I didn’t want a flimsy curtain, so I bought 40 gauge vinyl, almost 1mm thick, to make the curtain. It’s definitely heavy enough that I don’t have to weight the bottom to make it hang straight to the floor, as I had thought I might have to do.
I enlisted one of my kids to help me make a minimal wooden frame and hang the curtain, and he joked that he felt like Atlas holding up the sections of dust curtain as we fastened them in place.
My first idea was to hold the vinyl up to the wood frame and staple it, and that went nowhere fast. It’s both heavy and flexible. So instead we stapled it to 2x2s while it was lying on the floor, and then carried them to the frame and screwed the 2x2s to the top of the frame. (I could have ripped the 2x2s into 2x1 lath — if I had already had the dust curtain up! )
I have two portals of some sort.
- One of the 54" wide sections has a shelf on either side, and I fastened the bottom of the vinyl sheet to a large cardboard roll which I can roll up and hold up with straps for an open doorway, and detach the straps when I’m woodworking and want to keep the dust inside. I plan to normally leave it open for easy passage when I’m not operating the woodshop.
- At the other end, one section is about 7 feet wide, and so has two sheets of vinyl. Each sheet extends past its respective end, and they overlap in the middle by about 15 inches. I can walk through that overlap easily, and while I’m doing woodworking, slipping through that gap will be the best way to keep dust out of the rest of the shop.
I have a dust collector with a cyclone and a 1 micron bag in the wood section behind the dust curtain, and a shop vac and separate cyclone in the metal section. I’m not sucking oil and metal shavings into my dust collector, and I’m not pushing air through the curtain due to the vacuum. I to plan to have the CW-3000 for the water-cooled spindle on the OX outside the dust curtain so that the radiator doesn’t clog.
If I were doing this again, I would probably be happy with 30, or maybe even 20 gauge vinyl. But I don’t really regret going with 40 gauge. I regretted it a little bit while holding it up, but the regret faded quickly. And It’s impressive how much ambient sound the 40 gauge vinyl absorbs!