Homemade air cleaner

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Project by Cory posted 03-06-2009 04:35 AM 14612 views 72 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was the direct result of seeing some things that you guys have made and thinking…..I should do that, too. I got the squirrel cage blower from an HVAC contractor for free and had the MDF just laying around. I bought a switch and an extension cord and voila….

I mounted three air filters in the cabinet: one on the exhaust and two on the intake. I was going to do something fancy to hold them in place, but I got impatient so I’m just using friction. Seems to be working pretty well. I also turned the cabinet vertical and mounted it on casters. It’s just too heavy to carry around, but now I can move it right to where I’m working easily.

It’s amazing how much dust this thing removes. I have cheapo filters in there for now and they grab a ton of stuff. I know it doesn’t replace DC, but it’s better than nothing.

Thanks for the idea, guys!

Ps. I know my joinery is all over the place and the cabinet itself isn’t very pretty. I was practicing on some stuff and it’s just a shop cabinet, right? I’m sure that as my skills get better I’ll laugh about how bush league this thing is.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

9 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3815 days

#1 posted 03-06-2009 05:38 AM

This is a nice shop addition. I noticed it in your shop post. A lot of us do not take dust removal seriously enough and a project like this would be a valuable addition to any shop. And you are right it does not replace a dust collector but it is a integral step for controlling dust in the shop.

You did a nice job on the build as well.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Bureaucrat's profile


18339 posts in 3645 days

#2 posted 03-06-2009 07:25 AM

That looks like that pup will move a lot of air. I have my squirrel cage but is looks quite a bit smaller. That is probably okay because I plan to hang mine from the ceiling. I plan to use 1/2 plywood for weight reasons.

-- Gary D. Stoughton, WI

View KJD's profile


4 posts in 3372 days

#3 posted 03-06-2009 02:58 PM

I use a box like that for my spray booth. It has 14”x20” cheapo filters on 3 sides and the top. It slides up to the wall and a matching opening for the fan outlet. I wired it for either high or low speed. It moves a huge amount of air and it is pretty quiet. Makes a great NOT-explosion proof exhaust fan.

-- KJD

View tmiller's profile


103 posts in 3306 days

#4 posted 05-22-2009 06:46 PM

Great design. You really finished it off nicely especially for a project that could be slapped together and still functioned just fine.

Also, I have mine hanging from the ceiling in my shop but I think it would be better on wheels. Thanks for the idea and posting your project and all the pics.


View TheLandYacht's profile


32 posts in 3230 days

#5 posted 07-15-2009 10:40 PM

Looking at your air filter box. It seems, with the size & capacity of that blower, that your design could easily be converted to a DC. Hell, it wouldn’t be that difficult to make it a convertible (unit that could be used as either a DC or air filter with just the changing of two parts).

Thoughts are…make a slot on the INTAKE end just the right size to slide the filter in vertically (rather than pushed into place as shown in your picture). If you size it right, you could then pull out the filter & replace it with a “plate” adapter that has a hose attachment on it.

Then add the same kind of “adapter” to the OUTPUT side to attach the cotton bag to.

I’ve also seen something where someone used a 55gallon barrel as some sort of dust collection bin (in place of or in addition to the cotton bag). Not sure how that works though.

BTW, all of this is off the top of my head, and with little to no experience whatsoever so I don’t know if any of it is worthwhile. I’ve gotten my hands on one of those big blowers & I’m gonna try putting your (& my) ideas to work. Just starting out in the woodworking hobby & all of my builds so far are a LOT rougher than yours. Mostly nailin 2×4’s together to make things…lumber rack, work table, etc so far.

View japanesewoodworker's profile


68 posts in 3045 days

#6 posted 04-27-2010 07:22 PM

Hey That Looks GREAT !
You have inspired me to build something simular.
I saw this in Shop Notes magazine, where someone made a “sanding table” by rotaing this unit 90 degrees, and placing a board with slots in it to “suck” the sanding dust “down”.

My basic dust control philosophy is…...
Keep the dust as close to the “intake” as possible. This increases the capture velocity and the fan and motor become more efficent.

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3281 days

#7 posted 04-27-2010 08:46 PM

very nice work, i’m in the process of getting a blower myself.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Tim29's profile


307 posts in 3143 days

#8 posted 07-31-2010 05:02 PM

Very nice work!
I have the fan and I have been debating whether or not I want an air cleaner or a downdraft table. I guess it could be both.

-- Tim, Nevada MO

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2797 days

#9 posted 01-17-2012 02:07 AM

fantastic addition to keep you healthy

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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