A dust collector can be a very valuable part of your workshop. In terms of cleanliness and safety, a dust collector might just be your most valuable asset. When you use heavy machinery, you necessarily create dust. This dust usually contains particles that are harmful to you and others around you if they breathe too much of the dust. For their sake and for yours, invest in a dust collector.
That dust collector need not be as big as a house — although it can be if your machinery emits that much dust. Rather, your dust collector will probably be the size of a desk or a furnace. The dust collector is a device or system that removes the machinery-created dust from the immediate vicinity of the machine and those operating it, either by venting it elsewhere or by collecting it for later disposal.
The dust collector works using a motor that acts as a sort of suction device, sucking the machinery-emitted air into a pipe that connects the motor to a collection bag. The size of the motor, piping, and collection bag will vary according to the needs of those using the dust collector. Some dust collector models are customizable; others are not.
Most dust collector models are designed to be connected directly to machinery, to ensure proper removal of dust. Many models are designed to be portable, with wheels on the bottom, so they can be shifted from one machine to another. Others are designed to be hooked up to multiple machines, to maximize the dust collection efforts. In most models, the collection bag is enclosed in a cabinet of some kind. Some models, however, have free-floating bags.
A dust collector can be purchased commercially or manufactured individually. Many people have successfully made their own dust collectors from materials commonly available. Two keys to doing this are to have a bag big enough to collect all the dust being blown off the machinery and to change the bag regularly. This goes for the commercially made dust collector as well. Many people don’t realize how much dust comes off machinery and how much space that dust takes up in a dust collector bag.