There are all kinds of workbenches. You can get one for cheap or make one of your own, but if you want your hands on the best piece of equipment available today, you need to have a downdraft table.
It won’t be wrong to define it as the holy grail of workbenches. Professionals swear by it, and enthusiasts want it. Any work that produces many shavings, chips, dust and various other fine contaminants can benefit from a downdraft table.
It will help you keep your work surface clean, but more importantly, it will keep you safe from those contaminants.
What Is a Downdraft Table?
A downdraft table is a workbench where a powerful motor creates a draft/airflow in the downward direction. This means all the dust, contaminants and other fine particles produced during the work are sucked down where everything is filtered, and fresh air is released back into the room.
These tables are typically made from steel and are equipped with a powerful motor. The most significant advantage of a downdraft table is that it keeps all the excess material produced during your work away from your lungs, nose, and eyes when the motor is switched on.
It also helps keep your work area clean as all the shavings and dust are extracted, keeping your workspace clean and visible.
How Does a Downdraft Table Work?
A downdraft table comes equipped with a built-in ventilation system. They have a perforated surface that is designed to catch and filter the contaminants that would otherwise have the potential to end up in your eyes or your lungs.
A blower is installed under the surface of the table, which is powered by a motor. It sucks in the air, which also carries the dust and other fine particles produced during the work. This dirty air is then filtered, and all the impurities are eliminated before the clean air is released back into the environment.
In short, think of a downdraft table as a table with a vacuum attached to the work surface. This vacuum sucks in the contaminated air and releases back clean air.
What Are the Benefits of a Downdraft Table?
There are several advantages of investing in a downdraft table for your work. Here’s a list of some of its significant benefits:
One of the most significant benefits of a downdraft table is that it minimises employees’ exposure to contaminated air. When employees are working, many contaminants are produced, such as fine particles, dust, smoke, and other harmful pollutants, which can end up in the workers’ eyes, nose, and lungs.
While a one-time exposure to these contaminants isn’t harmful, but if workers are constantly exposed to contaminated air, they are at high risk of developing serious illnesses. The illnesses include asthma, bronchitis, lung cancer, and other such diseases, leading to lawsuits and other issues.
A downdraft table minimises the circulation of contaminated air in the workspace by ensuring that all the contaminants are sucked in and filtered.
Health and safety laws and regulations make it the employers’ responsibility to ensure that their employees work in a safe and healthy work environment. By eliminating smoke and dust from the work environment, you will ensure that you are not in violation of those laws and regulations.
A significant advantage of a downdraft system is that it helps eliminate the risk of fire and other similar hazards. In many cases, a lot of combustible or flammable products are produced while working, especially in welding and cutting.
A downdraft table helps make sure that those flammable particles are immediately captured on production, which helps prevent fire and other hazards.
It also helps with maintaining your equipment as employees have to spend less time cleaning up the dust. You won’t have to deal with clogged machines frequently, which means you will spend less money on worn out parts in the future.
It also helps in keeping the environment green by preventing the release of harmful contaminants in the environment.
In What Industries Can Downdraft Tables Be Used?
Many industries can benefit from using downdraft workbenches. You need to know that different types of downdraft tables are available in the market, including tables specially designed for welding, grinding, metalworking, and other industries.
Wet downdraft tables are also available in addition to dry downdraft tables.
Some of the industries where these tables find extensive use include:
- Plasma cutting
- Plastic fabrication
Overall, many industries can benefit from the use of downdraft tables. These tables help in keeping the environment clean and protect the employees from harmful contaminants.
It also helps eliminate the risk of fire and other hazards and keeps you in compliance with the various laws and regulations related to employee safety.
These tables are available for professionals as well as hobbyists. You can even buy portable tables at affordable prices.