Dust Collector Upgrade

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Project by IowaWoodcrafter posted 02-19-2008 07:35 AM 3657 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After reading the issue of Wood magazine regarding dust collectors I decided I needed to do something to make my environment healthier. The Crafstman dust collector I had purchased came with 30 micron filter bags. I ordered replacement bags from American Fabric Filter. The new upper bag is 72 inches tall and will filter down to 1 micron. I ordered 4 heavy plastic lower bags, 5 or 6 mil thick, can’t remember.

I first ran the machine after replacing just the upper bag. It filters so good that dust started coming out of the lower bag like mad. I immediately shut down the machine and replaced the lower bag with one of the plastic bags.

I am completely amazed at the difference in my dust collector after the upgrade, it’s like a whole new machine. I have no way to scientifically prove this but I can a vast improvement in the cubic feet per minute of air being sucked through the hose.

I’ve never liked the based of the machine. The sheet metal is far too thin. I’m also not happy about my improvised upper bag hanger. This weekend I hope to make a better base out of MDF, find some way to raise the section where the bags attach and create a better upper bag holder.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

9 comments so far

View Matt (Upper Cut)'s profile

Matt (Upper Cut)

264 posts in 3808 days

#1 posted 02-19-2008 07:38 AM

Hey sounds like a great upgrade.

Can you post contact info for them? My internet search didn’t return helpful results.

-- Matt Gradwohl, Upper Cut Woodworks,

View IowaWoodcrafter's profile


280 posts in 4071 days

#2 posted 02-19-2008 08:02 AM

Their web site is American Fabric Filter. Their phone is 800-367-3591. The fabric filter cost was $80.84. The four plastic bags were $10, ($2.50 each). I’m going to like the plastic bags because I’ll be able to see when it’s getting to where it needs to be emptied. I just double checked and they are 6 mil plastic. You can also buy the bags in boxes of 50, the price drops down to a little over a dollar per bag.

They can custom make any size bags. They quoted me bags that tapered out to 30 or 36 inches in diameter. The more surface area the better your dust collector will work.

-- Owen Johnson - aka IowaWoodcrafter

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3817 days

#3 posted 02-19-2008 01:00 PM

Nice upgrade. As woodworkers we tend to overlook the heath and safety implications of the fines that come from sanding and sawing. The cost of the upgrade is insignificant when compared with the toll these fines take on our lungs.

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

View Scott's profile


63 posts in 3856 days

#4 posted 02-19-2008 01:35 PM

Thanks for the information. I has a Grizzly twin bag dust collector. After hearing that you feel the CFM has improved, I plan to up grade to the 1 micron bags.

-- Scott, Kentucky ----- "Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry" Mark Twain

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 3807 days

#5 posted 02-19-2008 02:03 PM

Nice upgrade.

-- Jiri

View Al Killian's profile

Al Killian

273 posts in 3748 days

#6 posted 02-25-2008 05:09 AM

Nice upgrade. I have bought a new bag from them also and it made a big differnce in the dust in the shop.One more thing that can help is, Getting rid of the bend in the plastic pipe. The one going from the blower houseing to the bags.

-- Owner of custom millwork shop

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4063 days

#7 posted 02-25-2008 05:21 AM

Need to get better bags myself. Check out an old project of Don’t know if it will be what you’re looking for, but it has made my dinky steel base feel much more stable.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

#8 posted 02-13-2010 02:11 PM

that is one monster of an upper bag i have a double filter system on mine i wounder if taller bags will improve my air movement

-- i wonder if obama stood in a wind storm with them big ears of his would he start spinning like a drill bit

View a1Jim's profile


117090 posts in 3572 days

#9 posted 02-13-2010 06:04 PM

A great upgrade.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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