Introduction: A Guy's Guide to Dusting

I'm in the process of setting up a home workshop in the basement. My first project is to build a workbench. (Building a Real Woodworker's Workbench)

Now many woodworkers have sophisticated dust collection systems. I've got a shop vac. I've been as conscientious as I've been able, in using dust collection ports on all of the equipment that has it, and in vacuuming up the sawdust off the floor and various surfaces where the saws, sanders, routers, etc., had thrown it.

But despite this, my POSSLQ was complaining about the dust, The problem is the really fine dust that settles on surfaces far removed from the source, hours after it was created.

She insisted that something be done, so while she was out one afternoon I decided to dust.

Of course, I'm a guy. A tool user. I wasn't about to try to deal with the problem with a feather duster.

Step 1: The Solution Involves Duct Tape

The solution, of course, involved duct tape, as every solution should.

I took an industrial air blower I had lying around, a cardboard box, some duct tape, a box cutter, and two furnace filters, and built an air scrubber.

One was the highest-quality filter they had on the shelves. The other was the cheapest. The good one cost more than $15, the cheap one cost $0.56.

My hope was that the cheap filter would catch some of the larger particles, so that the expensive filter would last longer. I'm not sure that that's the case, because most of the larger particles had already been swept up by the shop vac. Still, at $0.56 a piece, I could afford to experiment with them.

I cut a hole in the bottom of the box that fit over the intake of the blower, and cut the flaps on the top of the box to fit the filters. Then I duct-taped the blower to the box, duct-taped the two filters together, and then duct-taped the filters to the box.

Total construction time: seven minutes.

Step 2: Turn It on and Let It Go

Turn on the blower.

Plug the hose of the shop-vac into exhaust port, so that the air is blowing out of the wand. Then go to town, blowing all that dust up into the air. It takes almost no time to blow every surface in the room free of dust. Much of which dust, of course, would be caught in the furnace filters.

The blower I was using had a capacity of 300 cubic feet/minute - which would completely exchange the basement air in about 20 minutes. So about ten minutes later I moved the blower to another position and did it again.

It proved a very effective and extremely labor-saving method of dusting. Just be careful with the shop vac. It puts out a pretty strong stream of air - enough to move larger and heavier objects than you might think it would. I found myself picking up more than one object from the floor and putting it back on where it had fallen from. Nothing fragile, fortunately.

This weekend, when she's out again, I may dust the living room.