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So recently I created some stuff for use in my large garden shed. It involved cutting pinewood beams and MDF using wood router, jig saw and circular saw. The amount of dust was absolutely horrible and outrageous. The dust and the larger threads that result from the work get stuck onto the clothes and also the hair. I am not sure if there an easy way to remove the dust and wood bits from the clothes and socks.

I think it will be better to have some sort of "workshop dress". I shall wear this when I going to do woodworking. It should contain something to cover the head and also the remaining parts of the body like torso and legs. This dress will be easily washable once it gets covered with all that wood dust.

What is the specific name of clothing article that I should search for and buy in this case?

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    It really sounds like you are not embracing the true "Wood Working Experience"
    – RMDman
    Jun 6, 2023 at 0:25
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    "cover-alls" (US) or "over-alls" (UK), but a dust-extraction system (like shop vac or somethign bigger and better) will probabyl be more useful.
    – Jasen
    Jun 6, 2023 at 0:25
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    Agree with the dust collection comment, esp. with mdf. Jun 6, 2023 at 0:48
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    Also consider dust collection to avoid the health hazards of breathing fine wood dust.
    – Steve I
    Jun 8, 2023 at 7:52

3 Answers 3

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What you need is dust collection for your shop, not some costume to wear. It might be a good idea to drag your work outdoors until you can get the dust control set up.

If you're working in a confined shop without adequate dust management, the important thing you'll want is some kind of respirator or air filter. (Especially if you're working with MDF. That stuff is just nasty! You don't want to be breathing in that dust if you can avoid it at all.) A pair of safety glasses (or better, goggles) would also be one of the first things you'll want to get your hands on as well.

You could pick up a cheap "shop vac" and a dust separator that attaches to a five-gallon bucket for around $100 that will make a bigger difference in your "dust experience" than spending $100 on clothing.

You'll want to choose your clothing with some care.

Most of us, I'd guess, default to something like a t-shirt and jeans. Loose-fitting clothes or garments with strings, straps, or belts are a huge, huge safety concern.

You'll want to also avoid wearing gloves, rings, bracelets, necklaces, neckties, bluetooth headsets (with dangling wires), etc. to prevent those things from getting caught up in the moving parts as well.

Even long sleeves or loose aprons can easily get caught on rotating machinery and pull you in to cutting blades, bits, etc. and result in you having a much worse day than getting some sawdust on you.

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    add a corsi-rosenthal box - see funny carpenter youtube. he evaluates that vs commercial shop dust extraction. also use an air compressor and wand to blow the majority of dust off your hair/clothing before you leave your shop. Jun 6, 2023 at 16:01
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    @FreshCodemonger Most of us have used an air compressor to blow the dust off of us. It does come with danger if not done right. Skin does not stop high pressure air from entering the body.
    – crip659
    Jun 6, 2023 at 17:03
  • @crip659 had no idea! Thanks! Seems like OSHA recommends air to be less than 30PSI if used this way. casecontrols.com/…. Jun 6, 2023 at 19:17
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    Jeans and normal cotton T shirts dust off far better than joggers/sweatpants, and anything knitted is worse still
    – Chris H
    Jun 7, 2023 at 8:15
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    @FreshCodemonger, yes, we have blow guns in work (in the UK) and they're run off regulators fixed at 2 bar (29 psi).
    – Chris H
    Jun 7, 2023 at 8:17
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Generally you want natural-fiber clothing. All my shop clothing is natural fiber, typically cotton, which gives me very little trouble. Your problem may be synthetic clothing having static electricty attraction - I have one shirt that drives me crazy that way.

But that's not why I wear natural clothing in the shop. My reason is fire. If your synthetic clothing is exposed to fire, it burns aggressively, resists extinguishing, and melts into your skin like napalm. Horrific, and even worse if you try to pat it out with your hands. Whereas, natural fibers do burn, but not as aggressively and don't melt. You can pat out the fire or remove the garment.

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  • Excellent points!
    – gnicko
    Jun 6, 2023 at 5:49
  • Wool is naturally fire resistant, but is typically too warm to wear for a labor intensive job like woodworking. Jun 7, 2023 at 18:45
  • Don't forget about synthetic leather gloves — if you are into that sort of thing. [Pls let's not get into a "should you wear gloves while woodworking" debate.]
    – Steve I
    Jun 8, 2023 at 7:54
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I use a long sleeved leather welding apron - you wear it from the front like a hospital gown and mine has a high collar that goes to my chin. It's easy to put on (and take off) over regular clothes and being leather wood shavings don't stick to it too much. It does get dusty from finer wood dust (from sanding) but mostly on the outside and I didn't feel the need to wash or even brush it clean yet.

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  • I am actually surprised by the amount of dust the experience generates, I did not really cut 100s of wooden planks but still.
    – quantum231
    Jun 6, 2023 at 1:05
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    @quantum231 so work out the volume of the cut ie amount of wood removed and divide that volume by the average particle size...
    – Solar Mike
    Jun 6, 2023 at 13:22
  • What I meant is, I expected large chunks of wood to break off, not fine dust.
    – quantum231
    Jun 6, 2023 at 15:10
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    @quantum231 MDF is basically sawdust mixed with glue, so any cutting of it releases mostly (even only) fine dust. Solid wood is typically better when cutting with larger pieces
    – Eli Iser
    Jun 6, 2023 at 16:26
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    This is a good compromise between protection and comfort, since you can take the apron off between cutting and only wear it when you need it. Wearing protective gear the whole time can get a little miserable, particularly if you're working somewhere that's warmer than usual, as shops often tend to be (depending on location, time of year, etc.) Jun 6, 2023 at 17:28

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