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MacGyvering #2: clearing the air

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Blog entry by scottb posted 06-03-2007 06:16 AM 1001 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: the router Part 2 of MacGyvering series no next part

There was a tip a few years back in FWW where someone took a box fan, and attached a furnace filter to it with some wood blocks to hold it in place. The beauty of the design, once built, was that it was super easy to switch out a dirty filter….

I remembered this old tip, and snagged a 20” x 20” box fan last weekend when i went out to pick up a new dehumidifier. The old one nearly started a fire when I plugged it in. Flames were literally arcing between the plug and the extension cord, one of the prongs half burned off!

Heading over to find the filters – many options to choose from as far as filtration goes – and all conveniently 20 inches square!

I figured I’d just use duct tape to secure the filter to the back side of the fan – so it could pull the air away from where I was working, the force of the fan pulled the filter in place – magic has kept it there, no affixing necessary (the floor must slope away ever so slightly, and gravity is really doing the job.

Does it work:

You bet!

Is this a replacement for proper air filtration and safety gear? No. But I have noticed a huge difference in my comfort level. (Temperature, visability, breatheability) I could also finish my Thorsen Table – sanding wood and stone alike – without tripping the smoke detector!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/



21 comments so far

View mot's profile

mot

4911 posts in 2724 days


#1 posted 06-03-2007 06:19 AM

Very nice! I suppose that is really all the fancy overhead units are doing anyway. Thanks!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2785 days


#2 posted 06-03-2007 06:21 AM

Great idea Scott. I was actually looking at some of the old posts on this topic on the site tonight. This sure is a simple approach.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3015 days


#3 posted 06-03-2007 06:26 AM

Simple, and fairly cheap…

not as cheap as the time I used half a wine cork to repair the fan in our freezer. The tech who came out to replace the motor – still under warranty – broke the fan shaft and it was LOUD. We would have had to suffer with it while we waited for a re-ordered part… Ironically, my fix was quieter than the replacement part, and worked just as well.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 2774 days


#4 posted 06-03-2007 09:14 AM

I like that one Scott…i’m going to do it as well until I can get something better…which probably means I’ll have it for a couple years….:)

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker http://www.capecodbaychallenge.org

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2987 days


#5 posted 06-03-2007 01:02 PM

Good going Scott.
It looks like it does the trick for you.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

649 posts in 2821 days


#6 posted 06-03-2007 03:03 PM

At least you were there when the flames started and you caught it before a big fire started.

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3088 days


#7 posted 06-03-2007 04:16 PM

Greay idea Scott. Thanks to MacGuyver also.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2849 days


#8 posted 06-03-2007 04:25 PM

Great idea Scott. It looks like you did not buy the cheapest filter, which is probably a good idea. This will pick up much more dust. Since you did not trip the smoke alarm, you can tell it is working.

Better keep a supply of filters on hand.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3088 days


#9 posted 06-03-2007 04:28 PM

Scott, did you use any of the filter coating sprays that assist in trapping dust?

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

View Greg3G's profile

Greg3G

815 posts in 2773 days


#10 posted 06-03-2007 06:29 PM

I was thinking of doing the same thing myself. I was going to hang 2-4 of them around the shop. I really need to keep the air moving in there or it gets way to hot in the summer. Might as well clean the air while I’m at it.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Mark1's profile

Mark1

6 posts in 2708 days


#11 posted 06-04-2007 12:11 AM

love it, i have been over thinking the same idea for a while and this is so simple thanks!!!

-- Great things begin in chaos

View scottb's profile

scottb

3648 posts in 3015 days


#12 posted 06-04-2007 01:28 AM

Yep, this isn’t the cheapest filter – there was a 3 fer pack at the same price point. There was also one or two that cost more (2-3 times the cost of the fan!).

Filter coating sprays? I know not of such a thing. Would those be found nearby?

The fire started just as I was putting the plugs together. Had it not startled me I wouldn’t have dropped it on the dusty floor and could have pulled it out immed. Although it seemed to take a long time, It probably only took me a second to bend down and get them apart.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- http://blanchardcreative.etsy.com -- http://snbcreative.wordpress.com/

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2849 days


#13 posted 06-04-2007 06:31 PM

I was in Lowe’s this weekend checking on some other items, and saw they had a few box fans in. The 20” fan was only $13.87. Add in a few bucks for a filter, and for $20 you can have yourself an air cleaner for your shop. I may stop by and pick one up, along with a filter.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View RobS's profile

RobS

1334 posts in 2994 days


#14 posted 06-04-2007 11:20 PM

Wow all these comments, you sure must have a lot of fans!!!! Great idea thanks for the tip.

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3088 days


#15 posted 06-05-2007 05:32 AM

If I remember correctly the spray was with the filters.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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