Building My Work Shop #2: Next up Air Filtration

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Blog entry by Crushgroovin posted 10-18-2010 12:14 AM 3021 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: The Plan! Part 2 of Building My Work Shop series Part 3: A Nice, but difficult Dilemma »

As winter comes up on the horizon I will be doing most of my work with the garage closed. That will make my dust problems even worse.

I have had Asthma all of my life. It improved as I reached adulthood but probably not as much as it would have if I had not been smoking a pack a day for 15 years. Hey if you drank a fifth or two of Vodka a day you would smoke too! LOL All I can say for that is my 7 year old son got me to stop smoking last Christmas by telling me not to bother coming back in when I said I was going out for a smoke after Christmas dinner. I say this for background not as an opportunity to talk about the evils of inhaling burning objects.

So now I have not to good breathing but not don’t have COPD or emphysema yet…

I purchased a Jet DC-1200 about 2 months ago. It is way more that I need for my little shop but what the heck I got a steal of a deal on it used. It does a pretty good job sucking up the dust and chips. I have a shopsmith which doesn’t really have the best dust collection connections but it is workable. At that there is only so much the DC-1200 can do. I am more concerned with the shortcomings of the DC-1200. The main one being the 30 micron bag. In my mind that is completely unacceptable. It turns a Bad Ass dust collector into a poor excuse for vacuum cleaner. I have looked high and low on the internet for a more efficient filer bag that would work with the DC-1200 but have come up with nothing. Does anyone know of a third party company that makes bags that will work with the Jet DC-1200?

The second part of my plan to clean up the air in my shop is a shop built second stage dust collection add-on. The main purpose of which will be to lengthen the life of my DC-1200 by reducing the size of objects hurtling at the fan blades. I cringe every time I hear something PING of of one of the blades. I am going to start with the simple garbage can setup using the Rockler components since I already have the Rockler Dust Right hose components. The question is, can I improve my small particle dust collection using the second stage setup. I have seen “Cyclone” setups with HEPA filters inside them but I am on a super tight budget. Cleaning the air is a top priority but I can only spend what I can spend so I have to find the best possible solution withing my budget. I am open to any ideas on this one

Finally is installing a big central Air Filtration unit. I have plenty of ceiling room available for installing a mounted air filtration unit. The problem is I can’t even come close to affording a decent unit, even one Craigslist. The ones I can afford aren’t with the discounted amount they are being sold at. So I am left to over engineer my own solution. But alas I need to do even more research. I have read a couple of great articles here on LJ’s but I am looking for a good 3rd party information source. Anyone know a decent website with honest information on it?

My thoughts for a design are similar to what I have seen on LJ’s a box with a blower in the middle and filters on each end. Only I am thinking of pumping that up a notch or two. I am definitely going to add a high end HEPA filter on the exhaust end of the box. I think the ones you can get for $50-$70 at the Box store should work but I know nothing about that stuff. On the inflow side of the box I thought I would use cheap furnace filters to “pre-filter” the air. But I am thinking I could add some baffling between the blower and the pre-filters. On that I am wondering what the best material might be. Perhaps a washable type cloth? Or some disposable cheese cloth like paper material. Of course the key is balancing filtering with Air Flow and ease of cleaning. Have to have enough air flow to circulate the air in the shop. Have to have very small particle dust filtration. I plan on using some form of weather stripping to create gaskets around each filter. But the real key is making it easy to clean, otherwise I will never clean the dang thing. I know myself. Or rather I know my wife. I won’t be able to clean it without making myself sick so I will likely ask her to do it and she will gladly clean it for me because she knows it will make me sick cleaning it. She is one hell of a woman! But I also know that she will make me pay for her cleaning it so I have to make it easy to do.

So I am open to any advice or comments. If you have built a similar unit what would you have done differently? Know a good resource, I would love more information. Dang this little hobby has me more busy learning and researching that making dust! Oh well that is what happens trying to build a workshop from nothing on a shoestring budget. But hey at least I am learning all kinds of stuff that will help me later on, hopefully!

Thanks in advance for any assistance!!!!


-- I wouldn't be so arrogant if you weren't such a moron!

3 comments so far

View hairy's profile


2720 posts in 3560 days

#1 posted 10-18-2010 02:35 AM

I made this:
It helps, but it’s only 1 part of the solution. At least it’s affordable.

-- My reality check bounced...

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3783 days

#2 posted 10-18-2010 02:45 AM

I took a furnace air handler blower/motor and mounted it in the basement window to vent outside. It really moves the air but also requires a fresh air return or it ’s not efficient. I also put a smaller similar unit up in the ceiling- between the joists that just circulate the air. I have a furnace filter on that one to “clean” the air. Can post pictures if you like.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2884 days

#3 posted 10-18-2010 10:15 AM

I use one of the boxes in the ceiling. It is very good. It has a pre-filter and a main zigzag one inside. When running it really cleans the air. I’m intending putting in a second one to run when the lights go in. it has a 5 micron pre and a 1micron main.
My chip collector is on its way out it only moves 950 m3 per hour. The new one does 2700 m3 per hour and has a 1micron filter .
I’m looking also at all the LJ’s cyclone builds as I think that will also help and increase the life of the extractor.
It is also cooling down here now and I dont want to pump my hot air out.
The one thing I want to add is a carbon monoxide alarm as I’m recirculating all the air. I think that if I can connect it to a kitchen intake fan, this is only a thought.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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