Metal dust from cutting

Hi everyone,

My table has not arrived yet, but another post raised an interesting question… How much metal dust is created by cutting? Does the amount really suggest that an enclosure is necessary??

I can see where some dust is possible, but my initial thought was that most of the metal dust would end up in the water table. I’m just trying to understand if I’m working with a bad assumption.

A lot. This is a very messy hobby. Do you have any metal working experience?

Most of the plasma cutting remnants end up in the water, but there are fumes, and extremely fine particles that end up airborne.

I’ve got an extractor fan in the wall just behind my machine which seems to take care of it nicely for me (not sure how the neighbor deals with it :rofl: )

1 Like

probably not a real scientific answer but if I cut and weld for just an hour I get really black boogers if I don’t wear my respirator mask. It doesn’t seem like much when you are working but its a lot. I now do gas mig but it was 10 times worse when I was doing stick welding. Plasma cutting is not any better and while I have not yet had the pleasure of a plasma table I can only imagine that several minutes of cutting on table would be worse.


ventilation…ventilation…air filtration …air filtration…personal PPE mask…Personal PPE mask…
the black dust is pretty bad…for you and electric motors…
it is best recomended to filter exhaust air or have sealed motors…the dust can get into the motors through the vent holes and create all kinds of issues with bearings and magnets…

1 Like

This is a nasty dirty business if you do much of it. I have a 30x40 Quonset hut and after 8 years of plasma cutting with a water table plus clean up everything in the entire shop has a layer of black dust. Top of light fixtures and cabinets, inside closed drawers and cabinets. Everywhere.
I didn’t wear a mask for years then I started wearing the small blue Miller mask with 2 pleated filters and it can clog up in 2 days of plasma cutting so it is hard to draw air through it. The filters cost 12.00 a pair so that can add up pretty quick. I started putting a pre filter over the pleated one I cut from hospital masks (pre covid) to extend the life of the Miller filters. I can clog up the pre filter in one day.

1 Like


Thanks for all of the responses. I still want to do this, but I need to rethink the how piece. An enclosure seems like the right approach, but I think waiting until the table arrives is going to be required. I’m not sure how snug to make the enclosure or exactly how to do the air filtration.

Thanks again.

@jimcolt did a really nice video on the options for controlling fumes.