Static Cling Problem When Routing Melamine

Advice on eliminating the static charge that causes dust to cling to workpieces when machining melamine panels on the CNC router. July 10, 2009

Our shop routs two sided melamine on both MDF and PB cores for display units. We use a Holzher 7120 metatable. We utilize two spoilboards to slide each cut sheet off onto a conveyor for unloading while loading the next sheet with a vacuum lift. There seems to be a great deal of static buildup after the routing. The loose sawdust is attaching to the board like a magnet. Does anyone have any ideas or solutions for this.

Forum Responses
(CNC Forum)
From contributor M:
Is this a recent development? Where are you located? I'm asking to determine if the recent cold weather may have taken all of the moisture from the shop and the dryness has built up static.

From contributor K:
I am running the identical machine in New England. It's pretty cold and dry here just now too, but have no particular or unusual static problems running melamine, MDF VC Ply or solid wood. I have run into static issues on different machines in the past, and can suggest checking all of your grounding, especially on your dust collection system. Often the metal wire that winds around the flexible hose is left unconnected to anything at either end, and attaching it to the metal dust collection pipe on the outlet side and the dust hood on the router side can dissipate a lot of static charge.

From contributor O:
I would be looking at the above grounding/humidity suggestions first but if that didn't help you could consider trying an anti-static ionizing compressed air gun aimed at the cutter.

From contributor C:
Great suggestion! Typically these are very common in plastic environments but, we’re starting to see ionizers being installed in all different types of applications. These can be purchased out of the Granger catalog (amongst other places) and can be spliced inline with the air blast nozzles.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the input guys. We are located in the Dallas ,TX area. The problem is not new and has been experienced in different temperature and humidity conditions. I am checking the grounding issues now. I did go back and attach the metal wire on both ends of the extraction hose as suggested.