Homemade Air Cleaner (BYU Style)

  • Advertise with us
Project by Aaron McCain posted 02-25-2012 03:47 AM 9177 views 29 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I finished this air cleaner back in November 2011 and have enjoyed using it for the last 3 months. The basic design came from a book/magazine called The Complete Small Shop that was put out by the same people who publish Shop Notes. I had to modify the size to accommodate the squirrel cage blower (~$25) that I was able to find along with easily available filter sizes.

It holds three 20×20 furnace filters: 2 before the fan and 1 after the fan. The filters are held in place with oak frames and the bottom panel slides back and forth to provide access.

I was a little nervous about the wiring, but the pull switch was pretty easy to install and the guy at Home Depot was actually pretty helpful. He gave me enough information to get it all done.

Awhile ago I picked up some dark blue paint from the reject shelf at Walmart that matches the current shade of blue used by my alma mater, Brigham Young University. Since I was in the mood, I taped up the lid and sides to add the “Y” and stripes with white spray paint. I pretty pleased with how it turned out.

It is mounted to the joists in the ceiling above my shop and secured with turnbuckles and eye hooks.

It was a fun project and makes a noticible difference in the dust level in the rest of the garage.

16 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117276 posts in 3752 days

#1 posted 02-25-2012 03:49 AM

Wow that’s going to help alot.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View kiefer's profile


5620 posts in 2842 days

#2 posted 02-25-2012 04:08 AM

Great job and very nicely finished.
Looks great all done up .


-- Kiefer

View Kevin's profile


560 posts in 2474 days

#3 posted 02-25-2012 04:09 AM

Wow great idea, very interesting.

-- Measure twice, cut once, then sand a whole bunch

View jeff's profile


1112 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 02-25-2012 05:56 AM

nice project glad to hear it works well…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View rodneyh's profile


147 posts in 2839 days

#5 posted 02-25-2012 06:00 AM

I went to the U. My son’s now going to the U. What more can I say?

View Aaron McCain's profile

Aaron McCain

125 posts in 3014 days

#6 posted 02-25-2012 06:12 AM

@rodney: you could say that you have never noticed how well blue and white go together and what a fine looking letter “Y” actually is. I’ll bet it would look really nice on the side of a mountain!

View Gabe C.'s profile

Gabe C.

288 posts in 2516 days

#7 posted 02-25-2012 01:27 PM

I have been looking for a blower so that I can make one of those myself. Nice Job!

-- If I could just get this whole "Time/Money" problem figured out...

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2481 days

#8 posted 02-25-2012 01:35 PM

Came out nice, I am trying to do the same thing but having no luck finding a used cheap squirrel cage blower.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Aaron McCain's profile

Aaron McCain

125 posts in 3014 days

#9 posted 02-25-2012 04:51 PM

It took me a while to find a blower, but when I got serious I googled HVAC contractors in my area and started making phone calls. It didn’t take long to find somebody who was collecting good blowers from replaced HVAC units. I felt like the $25 I spent was a fair price.

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

352 posts in 2736 days

#10 posted 02-25-2012 05:11 PM

Nice job! Great looking and a very useful addition to your shop.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View LesB's profile


1838 posts in 3618 days

#11 posted 02-25-2012 05:14 PM

I have been using one for years. Not as pretty as yours however. I built it into a floor cabinet which also serves as bench for my power sharpening equipment with some additional storage space included. It blows past my wood stove which helps circulates the heat in the shop.
My blower was acquired from my HVAC after I had to replace my heating system, so it was both free and expensive at the same time.
I would think a filter on the out flow would be superfluous because if you haven’t trapped most of the particles coming in they will eventually build up on the blower fins and reduce the efficiency of the unit besides unnecessarily causing further obstruction of the air blow.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Bertha's profile


13550 posts in 2868 days

#12 posted 02-25-2012 05:18 PM

Your alma would be proud. That’s one nice filter. I’m regretting the few hundred I spent on mine:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2481 days

#13 posted 02-25-2012 06:23 PM

Thanks for the info Aaron, I m gonna start making a few calls myself

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View grumpy749's profile


228 posts in 2552 days

#14 posted 02-26-2012 02:13 AM

Hey Aaron, this is very similar to mine.You designed your filters into the ends and I mounted mine to the sides.Take a look at mine to see how similar they are. I never realized how much of a dust problem I had until I got mine up and running. I clean my filters weekly and to think of all that dust I was breathing! I also collect dust at every machine and sander but still its in the air and you just don’t see it. Nice job on the unit I know how much you will enjoy using yours as I do mine.

-- Denis in Grande Prairie. Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mistery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.....Pink !

View NormG's profile


6266 posts in 3179 days

#15 posted 02-26-2012 04:24 AM

Great piece of equipment and it is healthy also

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics