There is lots of good information on dust control all over the internet so this article is more about what I do in my workshop than it is about getting into the specific details and health hazards of wood dust which is already covered in detail on many other websites.
The most central part of my own dust control is my dust collector, which operates on a 110 volt system and consists of one filtration bag and one plastic reservoir collection bag. The dust collector is only turned on when I am using a woodworking machine and I have to manually plug it into each machine as I use that machine. It is the most manual system for dust control, but it works, and in my small shop it is not that big a bother to me. I have retrofitted the dust collector with a One Micron filtration bag and compared to the bag that was on the dust collector when I purchased it, the new bag does prevent the finer particles of dust from escaping the the collection system, I can see the difference.
The same dust collector is also used on my bandsaw, router table and reciprocating sander by using a 4 inch to 2 inch step down adapter to accommodate the 2 inch collection port on those tools.
The only tool that is still waiting for a more effective dust control system is my sliding mitre ... and I now have a solution, all I need is a bit of time to implement it.
For those who are currently not using any form of dust mask, and who are interested in working toward protecting their lungs, the unit I am using is RZ Mask (www.rzmask.com) If you sign up for their newsletter, you can get a discount on a mask, and as with any subscription, you can unsubscribe at any time.
One of the most useful dust control filters I have is the shop made filter that cleans the ambient air in the workshop by filtering all the air in the shop through a series of 3 furnace filters that I regularly clean and or replace. The idea for this design came from another woodworker who explained to me that dust in the air wants to "tend to fall because of the draw of gravity, so having a dust filtration system that expounds on this principal is a very effective way of cleaning the air". I have to admit he was correct. The filter I made from some re-cycled plywood and squirrel cage fan works exceedingly well. The air in my workshop is cleared very quickly, and depending on what I am doing, I leave it running throughout the time I am in the workshop.
Dust control and healthy living in the workshop need to go together. We go to great lengths to protect our eyesight, our hearing and our hands and fingers, but very often we don't pay enough attention to protecting out lungs. We can't know too much about dust control and how to manage and there is plenty of good information all over the internet ... we just need to take the time to read it and adhere to it ... out lungs will love us for it ...
Copyright - Colin Knecht