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Thread: Best Dust Collector Modification Ever!

  1. #1

    Best Dust Collector Modification Ever!

    So I've got two young kids I'm trying to get interested in wood working. My oldest is 3 1/2, and the youngest is 1 1/2. My son and I have a ton of fun playing with the dust collector: feeding it wood scraps, cleaning things off the ground. So I've given him a name "Mr Chompy", and tease my son about getting eaten by him, sometimes going so far as to put the flex hose over various arms and legs, to shrieks of delight and joy.

    Recently while he and his sister were at the park I added some googly eyes, which resulted in even more delight.

    IMG_20200216_153550.jpg

    And the intake they usually throw bits of scrap into.
    IMG_20200216_153555.jpg
    Last edited by Andrew More; 02-17-2020 at 2:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Good one Andrew. I can see all kinds of shenanigan scenarios regarding Mr chompy for the kids' benefit. Thanks for the idea.
    David

  3. #3
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    I went so far as to purchase a "kid size" saw from Bad Axe tools. My kids outgrew it years ago however. Still have that saw for no particular reason.

    When I built a few items, I had the kids help apply finish, and some of the things the kids drew on the boards before I applied a surface finish. So, I have two cabinets in the shop where the tops have things drawn by my girls, and a shelf in the kitchen with the same.

  4. #4
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    Just be prepared, as kids get older they get more curious. They may start feeding heavier things into it to test the limits. Don't be surprised if all of your tape measures and screwdrivers go missing
    Last edited by Dick Mahany; 02-18-2020 at 8:34 AM.
    Dick Mahany.

  5. #5
    Nice Andrew! We were just in the shop making this robot toy. I was thinking he could help with the drilling, but he decided at the last minute to not do that.

    @Dick Oh they're already tried it. Nice thing about Cyclones is the impeller isn't in the way, so worst case I need to remove some ducting to pull something out. I've had them throw in some pretty large pieces, and a small hand brush while I was paying attention to the other kid.

  6. #6
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    Sorry,but I would not let my kids play with it. It is not a toy and sticking arms or feet in it sounds dangerous. What if they put there face on the hose?

    Maybe, I am just an old guy but I would never let my grandkids play with it.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Frank View Post
    Sorry,but I would not let my kids play with it. It is not a toy and sticking arms or feet in it sounds dangerous. What if they put there face on the hose?

    Maybe, I am just an old guy but I would never let my grandkids play with it.

    It's okay, it's only a 1 1/2 HP, and not 5 HP, so therefore only a danger for the dust it kicks up.

  8. #8
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    The difference in static pressure for the 1.5 and 5 hp is not great and what would happen to an eye or ear drum if the hose got on that area. The children are too young to understand any danger. They are your kids and your responsibility to protect and you make the decisions and live with any consequences.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Frank View Post
    The difference in static pressure for the 1.5 and 5 hp is not great and what would happen to an eye or ear drum if the hose got on that area. The children are too young to understand any danger. They are your kids and your responsibility to protect and you make the decisions and live with any consequences.
    And a shop vac is about 5x greater static pressure, yet I cannot find an reports of the a single incident occurring in the manner you're describing. Can you? The closest I can come, is a car crashing into a Vacuum Service and Repair Store.

    Also I think you're greatly mistaken about the ability of children to understand danger. My son knows, and can point to the dangerous area of all of my shop tools. This is because I've been showing them to him, and explaining exactly what is, and is not dangerous. I do get distracted, he knows better than to make a serious mistake, like turning on a saw or touching a blade, or something of that nature.

  10. #10
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    It is your choice with your children so do as you want. I

    I would never allow a child that age to play with a vacuum cleaner hose.

    But, so you really think a child 3-1/2 & 1-1/2 years old understand what is dangerous? I hope you rethink what you are doing and hope they do not get injured.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Frank View Post
    But, so you really think a child 3-1/2 & 1-1/2 years old understand what is dangerous?
    The 3 1/2 year old has continually demonstrated an excellent understanding of what is dangerous. He is cautious by nature, and does not go into the street, does not touch tools without asking, does not like the loud noises they make, and immediately knows what parts of the tool are dangerous. So yes, in this case absolutely. I'm sure that other kids act differently at this age.

    The 1 1/2 year old does not currently demonstrate these traits, but cannot reach anything dangerous, and is not usually allowed into the shop for this reason.

    So I will continue to watch my kids to determine their demonstrated level of competence and safety in all situations, and treat them accordingly. I think this is also a large danger in treating your kids as if they're not capable and competent. They grown up to be scared, insecure adults, instead of confident, independent thinkers.

  12. #12
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    Both of my kids grew up around my shop, now, both teens and they know they are not to use my power tools without supervision. Both of my kids learned about the dangers of the equipment and that they are not toys. In this care, I think the dust collector being a monster of sorts isn't going to rip any faces off but there is always a danger of sorts, even to the equipment like Dick posted about kids sending larger objects into the collector. My concern would be when the kids think it's safe enough to put a hand near the dust collector hose and want to see what it's like to put a hand near the table saw blade.

    The workshop, while some activities seems harmless, it is absolutely not a place for games, just fun building things. I would push the energy into building a toy instead of turning the dust collector into a monster.

  13. #13
    Justin, a table saw is not a dust collector, and even my kids know the difference.

    SlipperySlope.jpg

  14. #14
    Yeah I'm not a fan. It's a bad idea for children to associate potentially dangerous shop tools with fun and play, especially in ones that young. I get that everyone wants to get their kids/grandkids interested in woodworking but come on man, 3 and 1/2? The potential injuries a 3.5yo kid can manage to sustain are high enough in a typical "childproofed" house, let alone a woodworking shop.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    Justin, a table saw is not a dust collector, and even my kids know the difference.

    SlipperySlope.jpg
    Sorry I really need to disagree. They are not even kindergarten age and at best your 3 1/2 year old knows his alphabet and maybe can read a bit. Your 1 1/2 year old is most likely still wearing diapers and maybe at most 8 or 9 months since they said their first words. How many elementary school kids, we are talking 8-10 year olds that get a burn from a hot pot because hey didn't learn yet. They are your kids, raise them how you see fit. Maybe you'd second guess your actions letting them play with the dust collector when someone has 9 fingers! Machinery needs respect and using it, a deep understanding of safety and it's dangers. A dust collector is not a google-eye'ed monster.

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