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Air filtration

by shelly_b
posted 04-11-2013 07:36 PM


37 replies so far

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3032 posts in 1173 days


#1 posted 04-11-2013 07:47 PM

Does it do any good?

I’d have to say it made a world of difference.
I built my own with a high volume squirrel cage out of a squirrel cage from a roof top RV air conditioner. I built a box around it and use 2 20X25 MERV 13 filters on the intake ends. The exit is out the top.

I have it on a pedestal by the wall about 8’ from my work table and using the belt sander without a vacuum collection the system collects about 90% of the dust. Very little dust is left on the table and none anywhere else in the shop.

I’ve been changing the filters about once a month when I use the shop 3-6 hours a day.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

810 posts in 1830 days


#2 posted 04-11-2013 07:52 PM

I can always tell, on walking into my shop, whether or not I remembered to turn on the air filter before leaving the last time. If you’ve got the space and have the need, get one.

And I need to start changing my filters more often, too…

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

848 posts in 804 days


#3 posted 04-11-2013 07:54 PM

Thanks guys. I’d like to build my own…but if I come across a good used one I may grab it. The dust is driving me crazy!!

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

810 posts in 1830 days


#4 posted 04-11-2013 07:59 PM

I think this is the newer version of the one I have:

http://jdstools.com/air-tech-hp-air-cleaner.aspx

What I like best about it is the remote with the ability to set low-med-high speeds and have a shutoff delay of 1 to 4 hours. You can also do this with buttons on the unit itself, which is useful because my remote batteries died surprisingly fast.

View nwbusa's profile

nwbusa

1017 posts in 972 days


#5 posted 04-11-2013 08:01 PM

It’s made a huge difference in my shop. I get much less of the fine dust on my machines when I use it at the end of the day. Periodically, I blow out my shop with the shop vac blower, and when I’m done I just set the air filtration unit to run for a few hours. Well worth it in my opinion.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

4145 posts in 1015 days


#6 posted 04-11-2013 08:08 PM

I have the Jet AFS-1000 and like it a lot…

imo you need the thick fabric sock type filter to get the fine stuff….

the hot air furnace type pre-filters won’t cut it by themselves…. even if stacked several deep.

I turn mine on pretty much every time I run a power tool and for sure, every time I run my DC.

My shop is 23’x21’ and the filter turns over the entire air volume of the shop very quickly…..

Just the other day I was hand routing and couldn’t really catch the dust at all….. So I ran the filter on high and the shop air was cleaned up in no time.

Grizzly makes a knock off of the Jet for quite a bit less money.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1735 days


#7 posted 04-11-2013 08:13 PM

Make your own.
I made mine, it makes a huge difference.
It is easy and relatively inexpensive to build.

-- Bert

View whitebeast88's profile

whitebeast88

3548 posts in 877 days


#8 posted 04-11-2013 08:32 PM

i have a jet afs-1000 also and love it.i hung it over my workbench and it cuts down on alot of dust.you can tell it cuts the dust fog out of the air real quick(sometimes i forget to turn it on).
another thing to help cut down on dust is a down draft sanding table/box make a huge differance also.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View SteveKnnn's profile

SteveKnnn

66 posts in 575 days


#9 posted 04-11-2013 08:35 PM

Every dust collection/capture/filtration tool is worth it. Breathing is too important.

Now to remember to turn them on, change filters etc.

-- Steve in Richmond, VA

View Glen's profile

Glen

9 posts in 1750 days


#10 posted 04-11-2013 08:48 PM

I use 2 (doubled up) 20×20 filters on my home made unit – a furnace fan inside of a box that I built. I find that if I cover the outside filter with bounty paper towels the paper towels pick up the finest dust. When they start to discolor, its time for new towels on the filter. When the outside filter will start to discolor I will put the new filter on the inside of the stack and use the old inside filter on the outside – the paper towel side. I’ve been using the original filters for over 2 years. I was thinking about putting a timer on the unit but find that if I turn it on when I first start working there is little or no dust in the air by the time I finish cleaning up what I was doing.

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3032 posts in 1173 days


#11 posted 04-11-2013 09:12 PM

Glen That’s a cool idea using the paper towels. I might give that a try.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

848 posts in 804 days


#12 posted 04-11-2013 09:43 PM

Thanks guys. I’m convinced…I def. need one now! I’ll keep an eye on craigs list and look at designs to make my own in the mean time…

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

848 posts in 804 days


#13 posted 04-11-2013 09:43 PM

If I end up with 2 thats better anyways right:)

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1735 days


#14 posted 04-11-2013 10:03 PM

Shelly, this is how I made mine:
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/45679
If you need help PM me

-- Bert

View toolie's profile

toolie

1768 posts in 1315 days


#15 posted 04-11-2013 10:17 PM

I’ll keep an eye on craigs list

while you’re waiting, if you can source a 20” box fan cheaply enough, you can do this as a semi permenant or temporary solution:

i got luckily fell into some 1” drywall jchannel . vinyl siding j channel will work equally well. cheap, fast and easy.

i used the 1 hr timer as i had it lying around. this would be a better option, adn i’ll change at some point:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/202788262?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=timers&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=202788262#.UWc19KJgSSo

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1735 days


#16 posted 04-11-2013 11:29 PM

I thank that the idea of the box fan with a furnace filter is misleading.
The reason for wanting to clean the air in the shop is to remove that small wood particles floating in the air and that enter your lungs, stay there and might cause a cancer.
A cheap box fan with a cheap filter cannot remove this particles and so it give you a false sense of safety, just like using a dust mask instated of using a real respirator. This in fact is more dangerous than using nothing at all.

You need to use a MERV 14 or 15 filter or an HEPA filter to filter out these small particles and to use these filters you need to build something much better than a box fan or to buy something expensive.
Using anything else is just foolishness.
Especially with a very cute baby around you want to be on the safe side

Make your own, it is not difficult and it save a lot of money and they work better, more CFM.
The most difficult part will be to find a furnace blower.
I did that through the phone and took me about 30 minutes to find a free one.

-- Bert

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

540 posts in 716 days


#17 posted 04-12-2013 12:14 AM

i was forced to put my electrical remodel on hold for a couple weeks, so gave me time to investigate air filtration. I contacted an associate who works at a local heating and air shop. They toss out squirrel cage furnace blowers all the time (nevada state law says something that they can not rebuild nor resell used blowers). He had a couple 800 CFM’s when I caught up with him, but I’ll wait till 1500+ (hopefully, 2,000+) CFM pops up. Then, as Bert suggests, build the structure myself with the correct MERV filters.

I will set it along a side long wall, at the highest point. Do not set your air filtration in the middle or low. For my garage electrical remodel, i made provisions for a dedicated air filtration outlet with one of those 5min to 4hour timer faceplates from HD.

As others have stated, air filtration will help your health and it should be considered just as important as how you consider your dust collection filters.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14570 posts in 1024 days


#18 posted 04-12-2013 12:17 AM

It does definitely help. But continue using dust masks. Still protect the lungs.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

1700 posts in 1608 days


#19 posted 04-12-2013 12:21 AM

I have one I got at grizzly hanging from the ceiling of my shop. The shop is still dusty but the air is not.

-- In God We Trust

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1735 days


#20 posted 04-12-2013 09:56 AM

I am not sure how many CFM the blower that I got delivers, I just know that it is a four speed and it was free.My air cleaner works very well.
Where before I had a film of dust all over the place, I have no more dust.
That and my Clear View dust collector, I am set.
It has to be installed not in the middle of the room but about one third along side the longest wall, to be more effective. I can feel the air circulating in every corner of my shop.

-- Bert

View Roger's profile

Roger

14851 posts in 1490 days


#21 posted 04-12-2013 12:20 PM

I’m sure everything you can possibly do to help with dust collection is going to keep you healthy in the long run. I too need to either buy an air filter system, or build one. I do have the ole box fan hangin from the ceiling with an in and out filter that I run on low while I’m makin dust….Seems to help for a “cheapee”

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View toolie's profile

toolie

1768 posts in 1315 days


#22 posted 04-12-2013 03:29 PM

I thank that the idea of the box fan with a furnace filter is misleading.

the filtered box fan is an idea that was promoted by the editor of wood magazine who managed wood’s last comparative tests of air filtration systems. as i think i indicated, while it is far from an end point air filtration system solution, it performs surprisingly well, as also indicated by wood magazine init’s test.

i also fail to see how using ”.......A cheap box fan with a cheap filter….... is more dangerous than using nothing at all.” wouldn’t some filtration, while not perfect, be better than none at all? and i don’t recall mentioning anything about the filter that was employed.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1735 days


#23 posted 04-12-2013 03:44 PM

’.A cheap box fan with a cheap filter……. is more dangerous than using nothing at all, because it gives you a false sense of security/safety.

If you have nothing at all you know that you are sucking a lot of fine particles that can arm your lungs.
if you have cheap filter or dust mask you might think that you have some protection when in fact you have none ans these are not the large particles that the cheap filter or dust mask might stop which are really dangerous but the finer ones which are not filtered.

-- Bert

View brtech's profile

brtech

681 posts in 1609 days


#24 posted 04-12-2013 03:50 PM

Second that.

Filtration is CFM, intake sweep and the filter itself. You can put a good filter on a box fan. The question is can you get the air in the room to go through it. I think the answer is yes, you can, but not as well as a fan with more CFM. You can position the box fan (or fans, you can use more than one), to get the dust in the air to go through the filter, but not as well as something with more CFM.

It all gets down to particle count, right? Can you get the particle count down far enough to make healthy air. Lots of variables, like how effective your DC is, how big your room is, what your normal HVAC is doing, what air currents you can establish. I think a box fan or two with decent filters can help quite a bit.

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

848 posts in 804 days


#25 posted 04-12-2013 07:13 PM

I actually made the box fan filter a while back while I was planing some wood. I have a 12in delta without a hook up for dust collection. When I get done, there is dust everywhere so I put it up to collect some of the fine particles…it was better than nothing, but didn’t catch it all. We also use that fan to help circulate some of the hot air from the wood burner so I just left the filter on it. I always see people place their filters hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room…so I should hang it against a wall and not in the center? I will have to do some searching and try to find a squirel blower. I’m sure I’ll be able to. Although I did find a jet 3speed on CL for 150…

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2859 posts in 1930 days


#26 posted 04-12-2013 07:31 PM

They help, but you won’t catch the <0>t eliminate the fine dust. There will always be dust floating around in the air. I used to work on clean room design and it was possible to get almost all fine dust out of the air, but it was a high tech expensive design that no woodshop could ever afford. All we can hope for is to get as much dust out of the air as possible, but never expect 100%.
Try an experiment some night. Go into your shop without any lights on and run your shop vac, or DC or air cleaner and using the beam of a flashlight, notice how much dust is visible in the light beam. Also try this with your vacumn cleaner and notice how much dust escapes.

View toolie's profile

toolie

1768 posts in 1315 days


#27 posted 04-12-2013 07:43 PM

If you have nothing at all you know that you are sucking a lot of fine particles that can arm your lungs.

and this is preferable to removing something from the air as opposed to removing nothing at all from the air? sorry. i can’t agree with that.

-- there's a solution to every problem.......you just have to be willing to find it.

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

848 posts in 804 days


#28 posted 04-12-2013 09:24 PM

Elizabeth-someone is selling one just like that on CL for $275 but I am having trouble finding out how much their exact model would cost new. I am finding everything from $300-800…

View TimberFramerBob's profile

TimberFramerBob

68 posts in 610 days


#29 posted 04-12-2013 10:26 PM

I didn’t read all the above replies but a dust collector is a great idea. I have a large shop that i work out of and not only do we have a big dust collection unit for the health reasons…..our fire inspector requires it (its a commercial shop). Airborne sawdust is bad for your lungs (some woods worse than others) but additionally if you have enough dust in the air it will actually cause a flash hazzard. Not common, but in a small shop its easier to get the amount of dust needed to cause concern than in a large shop. Spend a few bucks on a small unit and a dust hood. you can move the hood from tool to tool….itll make a world of difference

-- ..........a man who works with his hands, his brains, and his heart.....is an artist.

View TimberFramerBob's profile

TimberFramerBob

68 posts in 610 days


#30 posted 04-12-2013 10:32 PM

LOL…...i just read your post that says you have a wood burner…........................get a dust collector :).........and google “dust explosions”............in no way am i trying to be one of those “dramatic” guys…but I just had to go through all the particulars of dust and fire hazzards with our local fire inspector…......some of what i learned was surprising.

-- ..........a man who works with his hands, his brains, and his heart.....is an artist.

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1996 posts in 963 days


#31 posted 04-12-2013 10:38 PM

shelly_b....I just bought one. They work as advertised. The directions that came with mine recommended at least 3 feet unobstructed in front of and in back of the unit. Also I read elsewhere that placement should be 1/3 of a long wall with the exhaust side toward the remaining 2/3 to create a circular pattern of airflow

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1735 days


#32 posted 04-12-2013 10:46 PM

There is a website that I read where they recommend to install it on the longest wall 1/3 from on corner at a slight angle to obtain the best air circulation. They say to not install int he center of the room.
This what I did and I can feel the air circulating in all my shop

-- Bert

View kdc68's profile

kdc68

1996 posts in 963 days


#33 posted 04-12-2013 10:51 PM

b2rtch....Thanks for the confirmation of my post above yours….We must have read this from the same website….

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View sgv's profile

sgv

266 posts in 579 days


#34 posted 04-12-2013 10:59 PM

I made a cheep one out of a old BD floor fan a card board box and a 10 mc. filter, until I made one with a old heater fan, sealed up the box so it had to pull air through the filter 20×20 it worked pretty good the filter would get very dirty and I changed it once a month. had it on the floor in a corner

-- Tite Lines, May the wind be at your back

View shelly_b's profile

shelly_b

848 posts in 804 days


#35 posted 04-13-2013 04:44 AM

Thanks guys. Not only will it be cheaper to make my own, but also sounds like it may be kind of fun:) I was not aware of all the fire hazards either so I will read up on that. And it does make more sense to put in along a wall and not in the center now that I think about it…crazy how many ppl have them in the middle though! Hopefully it will all go as planned lol and I will post pics when I’m done. Thanks for all the help:)

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4341 posts in 1735 days


#36 posted 04-13-2013 11:41 AM

I believe that risk of having an explosion when using a wood stove in a wood shop are greatly exaggerated, like so many other things we can read on this website or the Internet.
In the past I talked to my fire Marshall about the risk of explosion when using ABS or PVC piping for dust collection, he told me that in many years of service he never saw such a thing happening.
I do not say that it cannot happen.
I say that the chance for that to happening are negligible. just like having a total brake failure on your car or a gas explosion in your kitchen.
My opinion.

-- Bert

View TimberFramerBob's profile

TimberFramerBob

68 posts in 610 days


#37 posted 04-13-2013 11:06 PM

B2rtch…..when I commented on the risk of fire due to saw dust It was referencing a shop not having a dust collection unit, a lot of airborne saw dust, and an ignition source….eg a wood burning stove. I didnt mean the shop would explode, just simply that she may want to read up on the fire hazzards. It is very possible (and not nearly as difficult as you say) for a flare up to occur depending on how much saw dust is in the air. I too talked to my fire marshall about it (involuntarily). I have a 3500 sq foot shop that we cut timber frames in, the inspector MADE me put in a dust collection system (last week as a matter of fact) that was properly sized and grounded. He also took the time to school me on how exactly a dust fire starts, how fast it can move and yes…...under the right conditions…..cause an explosion. If my shop which is pretty darn big needs one (according to fire marshall Bill) Im sure a small shop that can fill up with dust a lot faster, that has a wood burning stove in it can benifit. Now Im with you that the chance of Shelly blowing up her house with some saw dust is ridiculously slim…...BUT I also would definitely not be making a ton of dust in a small space…...........that has a fire in it…....IMHO

-- ..........a man who works with his hands, his brains, and his heart.....is an artist.

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