Wood Floor Sanders with Vacuum Dust Control

A wood floor sander with vacuum dust control is a dust capture and control device that reduces airborne wood dust during wood floor sanding.

Description:

Vacuum dust control for wood floor sanders is an engineering control that can reduce exposure to wood dust. Wood floor sanders with vacuum dust control are large machines with a rotating sanding drum or random orbiting sanding disks that are enclosed to allow for the removal of dust created by the sanding process. Air is drawn from the floor and the sanding drum or disks and into the dust port within the machine by an internal fan and a vacuum attachment, capturing dust near the point of generation. The wood dust is then collected and removed from the work environment, reducing the concentration in the worker's breathing zone and the opportunity for skin contact.  Cyclonic pre-separators, either as an integral part of the vacuum or as a separate unit, should be used to collect the majority of the particles before they reach the filters.  A cyclonic pre-separator spins the air and dust, forcing particles to the outside of a cone-shaped vessel and then down into a bag, hopper or vacuum hose.  Use of a cyclonic pre-separator reduces the amount of dust that collects on the filter, which increases the useful life of expensive filters and helps to maintain the vacuum’s initial airflow rate.

A wood dust capture and control system is recommended by OSHA and is commonly used in the form of a vacuum dust collector, which allows for the safe removal of most airborne dust particles generated by sanding. Using a vacuum with filters, instead of a dust bag, greatly reduces the risk to operators and other workers on a site.

Bona Belt Wood Floor Sander
 
  • Compatible with Bona Dust Collection Systems and the Oneida-Bona Retrofit Handle and Vortex Vacuum (shown below)
  • Cost: $5,800 (verified 6/2011)
  • Sanding Drum Width: 8 or 10 inches
  • Abrasive Sleeve Dimensions: 7 7/8 x 29 ½ inches or 9 7/8 x 29 ½ inches
  • Sanding Drum Speed: 2,300 revolutions per minute
  • Power Requirements: 230 volts, 30 amps, single phase
  • Weight: 175 - 183 pounds
  • Sound Pressure Level: 98 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Bona Portable Dust Collection System


The Bona Portable DCS uses a cyclonic separator and a HEPA filter.
  • Cost: $3,100 (verified 6/2011)
  • Dust Capacity: 18.5 gallons
  • Airflow Rate: 140 cubic feet per minute
  • Maximum Static Pressure: 132 inches of water
  • Power Requirements: 115 volts, 14 amps
  • Weight: 95 pounds
  • Filtration: primary coarse filter and secondary HEPA filter, capable of removing 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles (the most penetrating size)
  • Sound Pressure Level: 80 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Oneida-Bona Universal Retrofit Handle
 
 
The Oneida handle installs on the Bona sander and attaches to a Vortex vacuum (shown below). Using the airflow provided by the sander, the dust-laden air is passed through the cyclone on the handle, removing the majority of wood dust, before passing through the handle’s HEPA filter. The Vortex vacuum pulls the dust captured by the cyclone through a hose to the remote cyclonic separator where the dust is collected in a waste container. The air is passed through a HEPA filter at the vacuum before being exhausted.
  • Cost: $180 (verified 5/2011)
  • Uses a cyclone pre-separator, eliminating the need for cloth dust bags
  • Filtration: HEPA filter, capable of removing 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles (the most penetrating size)
  • Weight: 6 pounds

Kunzle and Tasin Taurus Wood Floor Sander

 
  • Compatible with the Oneida-Kunzle and Tasin Retrofit Handle and Vortex Vacuum (shown below)
  • Cost: $4,900 (verified 6/2011)
  • Sanding Drum Diameter: 7 1/4 inches
  • Abrasive Sleeve Dimensions: 8 x 29 ½ inches
  • Sanding Drum Speed: 2,000 – 2,200 revolutions per minute
  • Power Requirements: 220/230 volts, 30 amps, single phase
  • Weight: 188 pounds
  • Disassembles into 3 parts
  • Sound Pressure Level: 88 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Oneida-Kunzle and Tasin Retrofit Handle
 
 
The Oneida handle installs on the Kunzle and Tasin Taurus sander and attaches to a Vortex vacuum (shown below). Using the airflow provided by the sander, the dust-laden air is passed through the cyclone on the handle, removing the majority of wood dust, before passing through the handle’s HEPA filter. The Vortex vacuum pulls the dust captured by the cyclone through a hose to the remote cyclonic separator where the dust is collected in a waste container. The air is passed through a HEPA filter at the vacuum before being exhausted.
  • Cost: $330 (verified 5/2011)
  • Uses a cyclone pre-separator, eliminating the need for cloth dust bags
  • Filtration: HEPA filter, capable of removing 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles (the most penetrating size)
  • Weight: 6 pounds
Clarke EZ-8 Wood Floor Sander
 
  • Compatible with the Oneida-Clark Retrofit Handle and Vortex Vacuum (shown below)
  • Cost: $3,500 (verified 6/2011)
  • Sanding Drum Diameter: 8 inches
  • Abrasive Sleeve Dimensions: 8 x 19 inches
  • Sanding Drum Speed: 1,800 revolutions per minute
  • Power Requirements: 115 volts, 14 amps, single phase
  • Weight: 105 pounds
  • Motor is completely enclosed
  • Sound Pressure Level: 84 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Oneida-Clarke Retrofit Handle
 
 
The Oneida handle installs on the Clarke EZ-8 sander and attaches to a Vortex vacuum (shown below). Using the airflow provided by the sander, the dust-laden air is passed through the cyclone on the handle, removing the majority of wood dust, before passing through the handle’s HEPA filter. The Vortex vacuum pulls the dust captured by the cyclone through a hose to the remote cyclonic separator where the dust is collected in a waste container. The air is passed through a HEPA filter at the vacuum before being exhausted.
  • Cost: $180 (verified 5/2011)
  • Uses a cyclone pre-separator, eliminating the need for cloth dust bags
  • Filtration: HEPA filter, capable of removing 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles (the most penetrating size)
  • Weight: 6 pounds
Cherry Hill Super Bee Wood Floor Sander
 
 
The Cherry Hill floor sander uses 4 circular sanding pads.
  • Compatible with the Oneida-Cherry Hill Retrofit Handle and Vortex Vacuum (shown below)
  • Cost: $3,500 (verified 6/2011)
  • Uses four, randomly orbiting, 6-inch sanding disks
  • Total Abrasive Dimensions: 16 x 16 inches
  • Sanding Disk Speed: 3,500 revolutions per minute
  • Power Requirements: 220 volts, 20 amps, single phase
  • Weight: 145 pounds
  • Sound Pressure Level: not available but likely to exceed 90 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average)

Oneida-Cherry Hill Retrofit Handle

 
The Oneida handle installs on the Super Bee sander and attaches to a Vortex vacuum (shown below). Using the airflow provided by the sander, the dust-laden air is passed through the cyclone on the handle, removing the majority of wood dust, before passing through the handle’s HEPA filter. The Vortex vacuum pulls the dust captured by the cyclone through a hose to the remote cyclonic separator where the dust is collected in a waste container. The air is passed through a HEPA filter at the vacuum before being exhausted.
  • Cost: $180 (verified 5/2011)
  • Uses a cyclone pre-separator, eliminating the need for cloth dust bags
  • Filtration: HEPA filter, capable of removing 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles (the most penetrating size)
  • Weight: 6 pounds
Lagler Hummel Wood Floor Sander
 
  • Compatible with the Oneida-Lagler Hummel Retrofit Handle and Vortex Vacuum (shown below)
  • Cost: $5,300 (verified 6/2011)
  • Sanding Drum Diameter: 7 7/8 inches
  • Sanding Drum Speed: 2,880 revolutions per minute
  • Power Requirements: 220 volts, 30 amps, single phase
  • Weight: 174 pounds
  • Abrasive Sleeve Dimensions: 7 7/8 x 29 ½ inches
  • Sound Pressure Level: 78 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)
Oneida-Lagler Hummel Retrofit Handle
 
 
The Oneida handle installs on the Hummel sander and attaches to a Vortex vacuum (shown below). Using the airflow provided by the sander, the dust-laden air is passed through the cyclone on the handle, removing the majority of wood dust, before passing through the handle’s HEPA filter. The Vortex vacuum pulls the dust captured by the cyclone through a hose to the remote cyclonic separator where the dust is collected in a waste container. The air is passed through a HEPA filter at the vacuum before being exhausted.
  • Cost: $300 (verified 5/2011)
  • Uses a cyclone pre-separator, eliminating the need for cloth dust bags
  • Filtration: HEPA filter, capable of removing 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles (the most penetrating size)
  • Weight: 6 pounds
Oneida Vortex Dust Collection Systems
 
 
The Vortex dust collectors attach to any retrofit handles from Oneida. Using the airflow provided by the sander, the dust-laden air is passed through the cyclone on the handle, removing the majority of wood dust, before passing through the handle’s HEPA filter. The Vortex vacuum pulls the dust captured by the cyclone through a hose to the remote cyclonic separator where the dust is collected in a waste container. The air is passed through a HEPA filter at the vacuum before being exhausted.
 
Model Name and Number
Cost
Airflow Rate (cubic feet per minute)*
Power Requirements
Weight (pounds)
Vortex 110V VSKOAA000
$4,200
210
110 volts, 17 amps
210
Vortex 220V VSKOBB000
$5,000
260
220 volts, 14 amps
230
*Approximate airflow rate were provided by the manufacturer but are not published
(verified 6/2011)
  • Cyclonic separator
  • Dust Capacity: 35 gallons
  • Filtration: HEPA filter, capable of removing 99.97% of 0.3 micron particles (the most penetrating size)
  • 1 ½ inch Static Dissipating Hose
  • Sound Pressure Level: approximately 75 dBA (OSHA’s Permissible Exposure Limit for an 8-hour time-weighted average is 90 dBA)

Risks Addressed:

Exposure to wood dust in the workplace has several associated hazards. Wood dust irritates the eyes, nose and throat, in addition to leading to pulmonary function impairment. Western red cedar dust is considered a human carcinogen and has also been shown to cause asthma. Significant accumulation of fine wood dust particles can also be a fire and explosion hazard in the workplace.
 
The woodworking industry creates significant amounts of wood dust. The dust generated from saws, sanders, routers, etc. is generally not controlled, and workers exposed to wood dusts have experienced a variety of adverse health effects such as eye and skin irritation, allergies, reduced lung function, asthma, and nasal cancer. Excessive amounts of dust can also reduce visibility within the work area creating hazardous conditions for not only the worker, but also others within the work environment. By using dust control methods, exposure can be significantly reduced. For example, sanding is one of the largest producers of dust, but with the use of controls, the inhalable fraction of wood dust emissions was reduced by 66 to 98% (NTP, 2000).
 
Spee et al. performed task-based monitoring of 26 carpenters at 13 building projects to measure exposure to wood dust. Eight hour time-weighted average (TWA) exposures to wood dust ranged from 0.8 to 11.6 times the occupational exposure limit (0.8 to 11.6 milligrams of wood dust per cubic meter of air, mg/m3, with a geometric mean of 3.3 mg/m3 and a geometric standard deviation of 2.1).
 
Numerous studies in various countries have addressed whether Hodgkin’s Disease (HD) is linked to wood dust exposures. Studies involving those who have already died from the disease, those who currently have the disease and woodworkers who were believed to be at risk of getting the disease were conducted. No study included sufficient information to find a correlation between length of employment, type of position, exposure to certain products, or contact with chemical agents that may be used in woodworking and HD. These investigations have shown that those with the greatest risk are among the carpentry and lumbering occupations. Researchers looked at twelve studies and five yielded statistically significant relationships between woodworking and Hodgkin’s disease (McCunney, 1999).
 
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) published a Threshold Limit Value (TLV) of 1 mg/m3 for wood dust, excluding western red cedar. The TLV for western red cedar is 0.5 mg/m3. Oak and beech wood dust have been confirmed as human carcinogens and birch, mahogany, teak, and walnut are classified as suspected human carcinogens (ACGIH, 2011).

 


How Risks are Reduced:

Wood floor sanders with vacuum dust control are machines with a rotating sanding drum or random orbiting sanding disks that are enclosed to allow for the removal of dust created by the sanding process. Air is drawn from the floor and the sanding drum or disk and into the dust port within the machine by an internal fan and a vacuum attachment, capturing dust near the point of generation. The wood dust is then collected and removed from the work environment, reducing the concentration in the worker's breathing zone and the opportunity for skin contact.

Dust collection techniques will visibly reduce airborne particulate matter and significantly reduce the small, inhalable particles that cause respiratory problems. Although exposure is not reduced to zero, substantial reduction has been documented. This is dependent on the amount of air flow through the machine, the distance between the sanding surface and the port within the sander, how effectively the collector removes particles from the air, the nature and amount of work and the extent to which workers are exposed to particles that are not captured. While published sampling data on these specific tools are not available, evidence indicates exposure to inhalable wood dust can be significantly reduced through the use of dust extraction methods.
 
In a study of dust extraction systems for hand-held sanders, Thorpe found that “the use of a filter bag resulted in large decreases in dust concentration when flat wood was sanded (typically 85% reduction) for all types of sanders.” In the same study, Thorpe concluded that “Dust capture efficiencies and the reduction in dust concentrations were greater for all sanders tested when used with an external source of extraction rather than an integral filter bag” (Thorpe, 1993).
 
Oneida Air Systems states that air tests indicate a 100 times greater reduction in wood dust during floor sanding when using vacuum dust collection as opposed to cloth dust bags (Oneida, 2011).
 
The results of two cross sectional studies in the furniture industry indicated that “The following determinants of exposure were found to ‘decrease’ dust concentration: manual assembling/packing; sanding with adequate exhaust ventilation; adequate exhaust ventilation; vacuum cleaning of machines and special cleaning staff.” (Schlunssen, 2008)

Effects on Productivity:

Vacuum dust collectors should have a positive effect on productivity and definitely improve the quality of the work by removing large amounts of dust, which provides a cleaner environment for operators and reduces the effort and time required for clean-up. In some cases, particularly where work is intermittent or in an area with general ventilation, use of dust collectors may be adequate to reduce the need to wear a respirator, and the need for an employer’s respiratory protection program.


Additional Considerations:

There are additional conditions and practices that can improve the performance of dust collectors and reduce dust exposure: 
  • Keeping your head away from dust created by the process and using adequate ventilation are keys to controlling exposure to airborne dust particles.
  • The Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL), which was established by the European Commission, stated that exposures greater than 0.5 mg/m3 of wood dust could cause pulmonary effects and should be avoided.
  • The particles that can do the most damage in the lungs are small enough to penetrate or bypass the filters found on many shop vacuums. Additionally, some inexpensive shop vacuums pull the dust through the motors, which can destroy the vacuum on really dusty jobs, eliminating any initial cost savings.
  • Vacuum performance must be monitored on a regular basis. A vacuum with a pressure gauge allows for frequent and easy monitoring of air flow. For high dust generating tasks, dust caked on the filter may reduce flow to a level where it no longer provides adequate dust capture. Automatic and manual filter shakers and coarse pre-filters are available with some vacuums and may help maintain the air flow rate.
Large electric vacuums commonly require 20 amp electrical circuits. Cords and extensions must be rated for the tool's power requirements, be inspected regularly, replaced when damaged, and used in combination with ground fault interrupt circuits.
 
Some large vacuums, cyclonic separators, and exhaust ventilation blowers can be very loud. Noise levels may be high enough to cause significant hearing loss over a working lifetime. Buy quiet devices and maintain them properly. Noise exposures can be reduced by working further away from the noise source, enclosing the noise source, or using ear plugs or muffs.
 
As is the case with any construction equipment, users should follow manufacturer scheduled maintenance and safety recommendations and comply with any applicable regulations.

 


Hazards Addressed:

Availability

Bona Belt Wood Floor Sander and Dust Collection System
To obtain information, visit www.bona.com or contact 1-800-872-5515

Clarke Wood Floor Sander
contact 1-800-253-0367 info@clarkeus.com

Kunzle and Tasin Wood Floor Sander
contact 1-866-520-2629 info@ktnorthamerica.com

Lagler Hummel Wood Floor Sander
To obtain information, visit http://laegler.com or contact 1-800-678-4419 info@laegler.com

Oneida Retrofit Handles and Vortex Dust Collectors
To obtain information, visit http://www.oneida-air.com or contact 1-800-732-4065 info@oneida-air.com

Cherry Hill Super Bee Wood Floor Sander
To obtain information, visit http://www.u-sand.com or contact 1-800-392-8894 info@u-sand.com

Return on Investment

To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your specific application, please visit our Return on Investment Calculator. While a specific ROI example has not been developed for this particular solution, the ROI Calculator provides a useful tool and guidance on how to generate your own on investment analysis.