IN THE SHOP
by William Sampson
Oneida Dust Sentry
monitors dust level
Sensor alerts you to a full
dust collection container
before system is clogged.
Efficient dust collection systems are a joy
to operate, whisking away all those
chips and sawdust out of sight.
But that’s the problem – everything is out of sight. With standard opaque collection drums, it’s
not easy to tell when it’s time to
empty the container. Sometimes
that leads to annoying results
such as the chips backing up
and clogging a cyclone collector.
Oneida Air Systems has come up with an
ingenious solution to that problem in the
form of their Dust Sentry sensor system.
The Oneida Dust Sentry
system consists of an
infrared sensor, a strobe
light, and a small low-voltage transformer.
The Dust Sentry uses an adjustable
low-voltage infrared sensor and strobe
system to provide an effective alert even
in a noisy woodworking operation. The
sensor detects when the dust and chips
reach a specific level in the container.
That sets off a strobe light to warn you it’s
time to empty the drum.
Comprised of three basic parts, the
system is easy to use and install on most any
existing dust collection container. There is
the sensor, which requires a ¾-inch mounting hole. That is connected to the strobe
light, which can be mounted remotely from
the collector. Finally, it is all connected to a
small 110-volt transformer to provide power
to the system.
+ Watch the video:
To see a video of this product in
action, go to www.CabinetMakerFDM.
We tried the system on a couple of chal-
lenging applications. One was the plastic
lid of the Oneida Dust Deputy mini-cyclone
system, which uses a 5-gallon plastic
bucket as the dust receptacle. The other
was a shop-built dust collection system
with a wooden pullout drawer. In both of
these applications, the sensor was able to
consistently warn of the dust level. The only
adjustment was using a small screwdriver
on the level set screw, which was easy to do
using a hand to trigger the unit. At first, the
strobe light going off was a little startling,
Once installed on the lid of a dust
collection container, the system fires
a strobe light to let you know when the
dust level gets too high.
but once we remembered what it meant,
we were off to dump the collector. The only
issue I could see is in the occasional shop
that also uses a strobe alert for telephone
calls, but I’m sure it would be easy to keep
the two strobes straight by location. For
more information about the system, visit