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shop air cleaner

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Project by wdh posted 1336 days ago 3208 views 25 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I knew that all that sawdust we put in the air is not good for you but I didn’t know how bad until I read up on it on Lumberjocks and on the internet. Bad stuff! So I decided that before I started my next project (kitchen cabinets) I would do something about it.
Seeing as I already had a blower from a furnace, complete with motor, plus not having room in my budget to buy a air cleaner I decided to make one.
This one is 72” long and has 9 furnace filters in it Besides the ones visable in the pictures there’s 2 on the top of each side,and 1 above the motor. I put the one above the motor thinking that it would let some air pass over the motor for cooling. I checked out some air cleaners on lumberjocks for ideas then looked at the blower I had and realized that the blower fan was actually devided in the middle, basically creating 2 fans. So I decided that I would make it so that each side of the fan would have it’s own air supply.
When I turn it on, (I wired it into a switch on the wall), the air blows out the middle and is sucked in at both sides which creates a good airflow in the shop except that it blows too much air. It would blow my hat off if I stood in front of it! (if I was taller).I plan to change the pulleys to slow the fan some but it doesn’t look like I can change their size much. Oh well it works awsome as it is. Cleans the air in about 5 minutes.

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB





12 comments so far

View whit's profile

whit

245 posts in 2575 days


#1 posted 1336 days ago

wdh,

Have you tried reducing the size of the opening rather than changing the pully size? I tried this once but had a problem with the motor running away – that is, it got WAY too hot because the back pressure (ducts, unions, reducers, etc) that it was designed for was missing. Try taking a piece of wood and closing off about 1/2 to 2/3 of the outlet from the fan. That will reduce the amount of output and keep you from burning up the motor prematurely. You might also try ducting the output to the far end of the room; that will reduce the amount of turbulance right at the filter, provide some of the back pressure, and keep the dust headed the right way.

Nice air cleaner, by the way.

Whit

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1649 days


#2 posted 1336 days ago

I’m with Whit on the ducting it across the shop idea. I think that would be a good solution and keep the air around the unit all going in the same direction… into the filters, rather than having turbulent “clean” air exiting near where all the suction is. You’ve obviously got plenty of power and airflow here from the sounds of it, so a bit of back pressure here from an exhaust pipe going across the shop might actually be a good thing, allowing for a nice even flow of air movement around the shop.

Nice design overall, and I’m sure once you modify it a bit (whatever route you decide to take), it’ll be ultra functional.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1787 days


#3 posted 1336 days ago

Nice project, no doubt. I have a blower and its on my list to build one soon. How about adjusting the voltage down with a speed control? That would work and give you some adjustments depending on your need.
Have fun with the Kitchen cabinets.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Jonathan's profile

Jonathan

2603 posts in 1649 days


#4 posted 1335 days ago

I also like Ken’s idea of a voltage regulator. I think that, possibly in-conjunction with a bit of exhaust ducting would yield fine results.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4934 posts in 1907 days


#5 posted 1335 days ago

How about putting a motor speed control on the fan motor? I imagine if the work on routers, ceiling fans, etc…then it might work on your setup.
I have 2 similar fan motor blower units given to me by a friend in the A/C business and need to convert them into air cleaners. A project on the tto do list.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3560 posts in 2174 days


#6 posted 1335 days ago

That big boy ought to do the job !!!
(The duct across the shop to spread the air out a little is a god idea)
I’m clicking this in to my favorites in the event I EVER get a shop big enough to need it…lol
Thanks for showing us.

-- Having fun...Eric

View whit's profile

whit

245 posts in 2575 days


#7 posted 1335 days ago

If you put a speed control on it, make sure it’s the right type. If your motor has a capacitor on it (gives it a kick in the pants to get it going), you’ll need to make sure the controller can handle a capacitor-start motor. The components in the controller have a tendency to become fuses (blown fuses, at that) if the kick in the pants goes the wrong way.

You’ll also want to make sure the motor can handle being run at a reduced speed. You can get that information off the plate on the motor; if not, you can get the manufacturer and model number and check it out on the internet. Running one too slow is bad for it just like running one too fast – particularly for continuous duty cycle (i.e. an 8-hour shop day where it’s always on).

Whit

-- Even if to be nothing more than a bad example, everything serves a purpose. cippotus

View Abe Low's profile

Abe Low

111 posts in 2444 days


#8 posted 1335 days ago

The speed controllers for a router will NOT work. Period. Your blower motor is undoubtedly what is called an induction motor and does not use brushes like router motors. Put some sort of ductwork on the outflow do direct the “breeze” so that it is not troublesome. I made my own ductwork out of plywood and put a small visible swinging piece that is lifted by the airflow, made a mark to show hust how far the piece swings when the fliters are clean as an indicator to show when the filters should be changed. btw, some dust on the filters is a good thing as it reduces not only the airflow by traps smaller particles. Also, many hvac contractors will donate the blowers they remove from homes to woodworkers.

-- Abe Low, Fine furniture, Sacramento, CA

View wdh's profile

wdh

55 posts in 2238 days


#9 posted 1335 days ago

Thanks for the tips. I did some research on the net and found a forum where it was stated that speed controllers won’t work on blower type motors. I don’t want to do anything that will make it burn up- don’t want to start a fire. I like the idea of putting ductwork on it both to redirect the airflow and to provide some backpressure like it probally was designed for.Thanks. So as the air cleaner is upstairs in my garage and I now need the downstairs air cleaned too as I just built a vertical panel saw there, maybe I should duct the airflow down through the upstairs floor just under the unit. The stairs going up are at the other end of the garage so this should create good air circulation, hopefully. I plan on putting the tablesaw back downstairs too so I’m not going up and down the stairs to go between it and the panel saw.

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

View crank49's profile

crank49

3337 posts in 1569 days


#10 posted 1335 days ago

I did a filter in a foundry pattern shop once and used a fabric duct. They look like a big sock. the air flow from the filter inflates the tube and the leakage of air through the fabric spreads the flow out across the room without putting too much flow in one place.

-- Michael :-{| “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” ― A H

View NormG's profile

NormG

3987 posts in 1602 days


#11 posted 1334 days ago

What a great solution. I was just at out local restore [they recycle all kinds of building materials] and they had a blower unit for $15 bucks. I am going back Monday to see if they still have it.

-- Norman

View wdh's profile

wdh

55 posts in 2238 days


#12 posted 1334 days ago

CharlieL, both pulleys are fixed sizes. Some duct work to the downstairs part of my garage shop may be the answer as that will clean the air on both levels of it plus circulate some heat upstairs as the furnace heats only the downstairs now.

-- Wayne,Saint John,NB

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