Wood Working Shop Air QualityRecently I have been looking at smaller Cyclones for my shop.  I have a large personal shop with a late model Oneida cyclone.  It has an internal air filter which is a pain to clean.  I have grouped the 3 biggest duct producers in the shop.  My 10″ miters saw goes without and that’s a problem.  I have been considering a small Oneida Dust Devil with a stand alone shop vac underneath the miter saw.


Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and non-allergic respiratory effects, and cancer. Contact with the irritant compounds in wood sap can cause dermatitis and other allergic reactions. The respiratory effects of wood dust exposure include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and chronic bronchitis.

Potential Hazards:

Both the skin and respiratory system can become sensitized to wood dust. When a worker becomes sensitized to wood dust, he or she can suffer severe allergic reactions (such as asthma or dermatitis) after repeated exposure or exposure to lower concentrations of the dust.

Other common symptoms associated with wood dust exposure include skin and eye irritation; nasal dryness and obstruction; and prolonged colds.

The OSHA permissible exposure limit for nuisance dust is 15 mg/m3 , total dust (5 mg/m3 , respirable fraction) 8 hour time weighted average. NIOSH has set a recommended exposure level of 1 mg/m3 total dust. The ACGIH has recommended a 0.5 mg/m3 Threshold Limit Value for western red cedar based on its asthma effects. Certain species of hardwood—such as oak, mahogany, beech, walnut, birch, elm, and ash— have been reported to cause nasal cancer in woodworkers. This is particularly true when exposures are high.

Possible Solutions:

Engineering Controls

Wood dust is emitted at high velocity by moving or spinning machine components. The primary method of controlling wood dust is with local exhaust ventilation (LEV), which removes dust at or near its source (Fig. 31a&b). LEV systems can often be integrated with machine guards. Exhaust hoods should be located as close as possible to the emission source, either on the woodworking machinery itself or near to the machine. The local exhaust systems should have an efficient air cleaning device.

For LEV systems to provide maximum protection, they should be properly maintained. Check and clean ducts and dust collectors at regular intervals. Inspect ducts to ensure that they are not loose, broken, or damaged. Check the V-belts on the drive units of belt-driven exhaust fans for slippage or breakage. Make sure the duct velocity is maintained at a minimum of 2,500 to 4,000 feet per minute to effectively remove light, dry saw dust, heavy wood chips, and green shavings, and to prevent these from plugging the system.

Local Exhaust Hood for Table Saws.

Sanders, shapers, and routers generally produce the greatest amount of dust. Conventional means for exhausting these machines are not very effective. NIOSH has developed new, innovative means for controlling dust exposure from these machines, but these methods are not yet commercially available. These methods either increase the exhaust volume or velocity, or supply pressurized air to help blow dust particles from the machine into an exhaust hood.

Improved Hood Configuration for Shapers.

Work Practices

See the control of fire and explosion hazards section for information on work practices to control dust accumulations.

Cyclones use centrifugal force to separate particulate out of the airstream. There are no moving parts inside a cyclone body and no filter media.

Air and particulate enter the inlet at a high velocity along the inner wall at the top of the cylindrical cyclone body. This starts a spinning path as inertia forces the particulate against the inner wall, resulting in a relatively clean area in the center.

This clean air is exhausted through an outlet chamber that starts in the center of the cyclone and exits out the top.

As gravity starts pulling the spinning particulate down, the taper of the cyclone body helps keep the spinning (cyclonic) effect in motion until it drops out the bottom of the cyclone body and into a hopper.


Typically, air is pulled through the cyclone from a fan located downstream of the cyclone, but it can be pushed through as well.

The cyclone design makes it suitable for extremely high concentrations of particulate. Efficiency increases with larger (coarse) particles. So does a decrease in cyclone diameter. Two smaller cyclones running in parallel have a higher efficiency than one larger cyclone with an equal pressure drop.

Oneida – Competitive Comparisons

Oneida’s Competitive Advantage

We present this section on our website because every day our customers ask us to compare our systems with competitor’s products. Our intention is to provide the consumer with accurate specifications before the sale so they can make an informed purchasing decision. Our numbers are well-researched. If any of our website visitors or competitors can show that any of our published specifications are inaccurate we will gladly apologize and remove it immediately.

2Hp Competitive Comparison

3Hp Competitive Comparison


If you take the time to compare Oneida against the competition you will see Oneida is the best in terms of air performance, air quality, noise levels, filtration and overall design and quality. Since our inception we have won every independent tool test to date. Oneida will not artificially inflate performance specs to look good. You can verify this by numerous third party tests that have been done on our products. If you compare us by performance (CFM) in most cases we are about the same price or sometimes less than our competitors. (In actual performance, not false HP ratings.)


Horsepower vs. CFM: Don’t be fooled by advertising hype. Example: just putting a big motor on a poorly engineered or undersized dust collector does not achieve real performance. Our 2 or 3Hp units outperform most of the import 5hp units on the market. Independent Airflow Tests done by American Woodworker Magazine.

• See the 2 & 3Hp Gorilla Series vs. Competitor’s 5Hp Comparison Chart.

• Photo Comparison of the Oneida Super Dust Gorilla and a competitor’s 5hp system.

Cost Comparison: Don’t compare horsepower; compare performance curves. Also look at what you are receiving as part of the total system.

Construction Material: Oneida’s dust collection systems are constructed of heavy gauge steel and meet applicable woodworking codes including NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) Code 664; Prevention of Fires and Explosions In Wood Processing and Woodworking Facilities, which states “The collection equipment shall be designed and constructed entirely of noncombustible material suitable for the use intended.” “Non conductive material such as PVC shall not be permitted.”

Cyclone Body Thickness: Oneida is ALL SEAM WELDED for strength and to eliminate dust leaks. Competitor uses stitch welded seams. This is a much cheaper construction style and causes dust leaks. Take a look and compare for yourself.

Motors: Some competitors use offshore manufactured motors that have no UL listing or other agency approvals. Oneida uses only Baldor Motors, manufactured in the United States and carries both UL and CSA listings. Baldor motors are TEFC, have serviceable grease fittings and high temperature class H wiring.

Impeller: Oneida’s impeller is a one-piece engineered cast which is extremely strong with no rivets or welds and is designed for high performance/low noise. Oneida uses an aluminum alloy that is non-sparking as required by woodworking codes.
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