How can you determine the air space of a cabinet/dust collector system?

To establish the air space inside the “box” (i.e. your cabinet/dust collector) you take the height, width, and length measurements and multiply them to arrive at the air volume number, which is in cubic inches. To get the cubic feet, you have to divide that number by 1,728 (which is equal to 1 cubic foot).

If you are using separate components, you need to check on the capacity of the vacuum system you plan to use with your cabinet. The capacity has to do with the motor of the vacuum system and how large the filter system is. You want to have a dust collector that can exchange the air space inside your cabinet at the minimum 10 times per minute; of course, more is better … to a point. You don’t want a vacuum that is so strong that you can’t move your hands and that would suck out all your abrasive while blasting.

-Ruth Dobbins, EtchMaser

Ruth Jan 2018

Ruth Dobbins

With over 40 years in the glass business, Ruth Dobbins offers experience in all glass-etching techniques as well as in fused and cast glass. Ruth holds a master’s degree in art and has been a partner in an art glass wholesale supply and studio company in Europe, which also placed great emphasis on a training program, before joining forces with her late husband Norm. You can reach Ruth by email at or by phone at 505-473-9203.

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