Before and After: Modifying a Fan into a Dust Collector

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Project by Durnik150 posted 09-29-2009 01:06 AM 4424 views 3 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I moved into my current house, the owner left a rather large furnace blower fan that he had mounted to the ceiling in the garage. It comes in very handy when the weather gets warm or I want to move the air around.

I decided to build a box around the blower and attempt to get some of the dust out of the air. Even with my Delta 50-760 dust collector, some of the dust get airborne and I wanted to catch as much as I could.

Nothing fancy here. 1/2 inch particle board shell with a 1×2 pine frame on the inside. 36” long and 15” wide, 21” tall. The tricky part was enclosing the current hanger system so I didn’t have to take the blower down to put the case on. A couple notches on the top panel did the trick. A helping hand from my wife while I put the screws in the top panel and tadaaaa!!! The picture frame clips on the front and back allow me to put a filter in both places but gives me easy access to the inside or to change the filters themselves.

Not perfect, a little rough, but I can already see some of the dust being caught on the inside of the filter. Yeeeaaaaahhhh! Now, back to the fun stuff!!!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

20 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113061 posts in 2395 days

#1 posted 09-29-2009 01:10 AM

If all else fails use your head. that’s what I keep telling my self .Well done charles

-- Custom furniture

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 1992 days

#2 posted 09-29-2009 01:13 AM

An excellent concept, well executed. Nice.

I keep thinking about that “box fan + furnace filter” idea. What? Twenty bucks?? It’ll do SOMETHING, anyway.

-- -- Neil

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 2376 days

#3 posted 09-29-2009 01:17 AM

I’ve been thinking something along the same lines. Need to find me a fan and motpr.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View Scott 's profile


103 posts in 2177 days

#4 posted 09-29-2009 01:33 AM

This unit prob moves alot more air than a 600.00 unit. I have plans to build one but of course, haven’t yet. Very nice job! Happy breathing!

-- Scott, South Carolina

View woodsmithshop's profile


1201 posts in 2363 days

#5 posted 09-29-2009 01:55 AM

I have done the same thing, only I put filters on 3 sides, it works pretty good.

-- Smitty!!!

View ChunkyC's profile


856 posts in 2072 days

#6 posted 09-29-2009 02:01 AM

I’ve been keeping my eyes open for an old furnace blower to do the same thing. Nice work!


-- Chunk's Workshop pictures:

View douglbe's profile


364 posts in 2779 days

#7 posted 09-29-2009 02:01 AM

That’s what I like, making use of what you have to be more efficient and healthy. Inexpensive and works great.
Well done.

-- Doug, Reed City, Michigan

View MarkwithaK's profile


370 posts in 1996 days

#8 posted 09-29-2009 02:18 AM

I have a squirrel cage I pilfered off of a furnace I replaced….this is why. Great job.

Woodsmithshop, the filters are a good idea but do not provide enough resistance. This can cause the motor to freewheel and overamp. If you ever notice the air flow surging as opposed to being constant this why. An enclosure like this would solve that and actually increase air-flow.

-- If at first you don't succeed then maybe skydiving isn't for you.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2470 posts in 2255 days

#9 posted 09-29-2009 02:44 AM

As long as it works that’s what counts!

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View navyman's profile


151 posts in 2223 days

#10 posted 09-29-2009 02:58 AM

I’m going to give that a try. all I have now is a fan in the window.

-- Michael . USN ( Ret ) Batesville,AR

View russv's profile


262 posts in 1987 days

#11 posted 09-29-2009 04:05 AM

I did the same thing except I put it on wheels so I can roll it around and aim it at where I am working. A great relief on a hot summer day. These fans are quiet and move a lot of air. I made it easy to take the filter out so that I get more air movement if I just want the fan effect. I didn’t take pics during construction but I will post pics of the finished project tomorrow.

hanging it from the ceiling is a great idea too. It keeps it out of the way. nice job


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

View woodsmithshop's profile


1201 posts in 2363 days

#12 posted 09-29-2009 04:09 AM

I should have said 4 filters instead of three, sorry. I have not noticed any surging I’ll watch for that.

-- Smitty!!!

View Maxx's profile


136 posts in 2124 days

#13 posted 09-29-2009 04:09 AM

Wow – you didn’t even take it down! Very nicely done! But…you’re not going to stain it? ;-)

-- Where did all this sawdust come from?

View Durnik150's profile


647 posts in 2140 days

#14 posted 09-29-2009 05:00 AM

What can I say, I have a burly woman for a wife. She power-lifted the box while I put the screws into the top!


Actually she’s a little thing, but tough as nails!! Couldn’t have finished up without her!

-- Behind the Bark is a lot of Heartwood----Charles, Centennial, CO

View russv's profile


262 posts in 1987 days

#15 posted 09-29-2009 05:12 AM

after looking closer it appears you can turn it in different directions. is that so?


-- where to go because you don't want no stinking plastic!

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