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Do I need a shop filter in open garage?

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Forum topic by drewpy posted 07-18-2015 08:04 PM 1119 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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drewpy

568 posts in 821 days


07-18-2015 08:04 PM

Topic tags/keywords: shop filter dust collection question

Hi all, I could use your help and/or advise.

Background – I’m just a hobbyist and don’t have a huge collection of tools or a dust collection system. I do all my woodworking in my garage and always have the garage door open while I am working. I don’t have much “free area” and am told to always have things tucked away enough when I am done so that both cars can fit in at night.

Questions – I’m always cleaning up dust and always read about shop filters. My question is, if I built one of these would it even do anything with having the garage door open? Maybe I need to concentrate on building a small and portable dust collection unit first?

I appreciate you reading this and hope to hear from a few of you.

Drew

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".


15 replies so far

View RogerM's profile

RogerM

762 posts in 1863 days


#1 posted 07-18-2015 08:16 PM

Dust collection first. A free standing or hanging air filter would not be very effective with your garage door open

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2194 posts in 945 days


#2 posted 07-18-2015 08:28 PM

If you’re doing a dusty job, wear a respirator, even if you have DC.

An air cleaner is useless in a open ventilated shop like yours.

If you’re circulating a lot of air with fans, its a good idea to have a big 3’ exhaust fan blowing out the side door maybe.

When you’re sanding, or routing, or messing with MDF or chinese plywood especially, wear a good full face respirator, not a dust mask!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View Stewbot's profile

Stewbot

195 posts in 548 days


#3 posted 07-18-2015 08:40 PM

Yes I think it will. I also work in a garage and 90% of the time work with the door fully open. I run a homemade air filter hanging from the ceiling and two box fans with furnace filters behind them, and also wear a mask for most tasks (except for when I’m using stains and glues…but we won’t get into that….) After being in there for about 8 hours cumulative, I have enough dust in the filters to where they can use a spray off with my air hose. I do not run a dust collection system yet, but plan to asap. I have one now, I’m just waiting on doing electrical as I do not have enough electrical circuits to run one simultaneously with a large machine. This is part of the problem with why I have so much dust in my filters. But even with a harbor freight DC added to my shop, I have no doubt that my air filters will still be catching dust, even with the door open. But anyway, my point is that although a lot of dust can freely move out the large doors, a whole lot of dust still lingers in the garage ( in my experiences). EDIT:Agreed that DC is the best option to catch it at the source. Most times, I run my filters after im done working (in addition to while) for a couple hours and while the doors are shut (for whatever reason), this is when I feel they are most effective.

I think it is a good idea to add any system that you can in order to save yourself from breathing harmful dust, or at least cut down on what you can as best as possible. If you don’t have the funds for all this equipment, Even just wearing a disposable mask is better than nothing. It’s all completely up to you what you think you need, but I think most people will agree that any sort of system, door open or not wouldnt be a bad idea.

BTW, I’m just kidding about the glues and stains…

-- Hoopty scoop?

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derrickparks57

128 posts in 1335 days


#4 posted 07-18-2015 11:03 PM

+1 on the dust collector.

When I moved back to the states from England the garage at our 1st house was my workshop. I built a homemade air filtration system but only used it when I was doing finishing work. I always kept the garage door closed when I was staining/clear coating, but when I was still in the building stages I had the door open because I live in Florida and it’s 9 billion degrees outside in the summer. No point in running the filter system with the door open, just seems like a lost cause to me.

Now I have a separate woodshop, the filter system hangs from the ceiling and honestly I still only turn it on when I’m finishing (I know shame on me). I usually try to turn it on and let it run atleast a day before I start finishing to collect most of the dust floating around.

-- Derrick, Florida, DP Woodwerks

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drewpy

568 posts in 821 days


#5 posted 07-19-2015 12:13 AM

Thanks for the replies so far. I will have to look into dust collection. First I need to see if my cheap starter tools even have ports for it. I will start looking at videos on YouTube.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

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NoSpace

73 posts in 705 days


#6 posted 07-19-2015 01:37 AM

“If you’re doing a dusty job, wear a respirator, even if you have DC.”

Yep, before worrying about visible dust, first solve the easy problem, the fine dust problem that can damage your lungs. for 35$ get a p100 particulate filter.

If you want to go the DC route, first consider this: how many circuits do you have? Because a DC will be 12 amps and can you run that at the same time as your tools?

An air filtration system you can turn off while you cut and then turn it back on again. You will run that with garage door closed otherwise you’re just cleaning the outside air.

For a miter saw, jointer, bandsaw, a DC might disappoint you if you have to run a new circuit and all that to accommodate it. a table saw more benefit, but you can cut with garage open and blow it outside, then close door and run filter. The cheap dust hood on your table saw will leave plenty of dust flying through the air even with an awesome dust collector.

You can also wear the mask, run the air filter, and walk around with an air compressor to get rid of dust at the end of the day.

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 629 days


#7 posted 07-19-2015 04:05 AM


When you re sanding, or routing, or messing with MDF or chinese plywood especially, wear a good full face respirator, not a dust mask!!

- rwe2156

Pardon my ignorance, but what is Chinese plywood, other than the fact that is must be from China? And what sets it apart from domestic, or other imports?

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View BadJoints's profile

BadJoints

103 posts in 553 days


#8 posted 07-19-2015 05:34 AM

drewpy, my work setup is pretty much identical to yours. Get a respirator asap. I started using one last summer whenever I was sanding or cutting large amounts of wood on the TS. The difference in my breathing was immediately noticeable. I’ve since added a box fan with a filter as many here have done. The amount picked up by it is minimal at best, so I’d recommend a good dust collection system. Getting the dust at the source is always going to be the safest, most efficient route you can go. But even with a $2000 dust collection system, a good respirator will always be needed. Doing dust producing work outside is a good alternate too, but my driveway is a little too cliff like to do that. The better you breath, the longer you live. The longer you live, the more stuff you can build!

-- Producing furniture grade firewood since 1984

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NoSpace

73 posts in 705 days


#9 posted 07-19-2015 03:32 PM

“Get a respirator asap”

+10

“I’ve since added a box fan with a filter as many here have done. The amount picked up by it is minimal at best, so I’d recommend a good dust collection system. Getting the dust at the source is always going to be the safest.”

Are you talking about fine dust that is a health risk or large particles that settle and make the shop dirty?

For fine dust, he probably doesn’t need anything. Wear the p100 mask and then open the garage door for a couple hours afterward. Then remove the mask.

comparing air filtration system with DC need to compare apples with apples. An ad-hoc fan/filter solution can’t sub for a proper air filtration system when comparing to a DC. The question is whether fine dust exists the exhaust port or if it exits the tool from a hundred different directions. If the latter, then have to clean the air after the cut anyway. A GOOD DC can do that because you can leave it running to clean shop air, but an air filtration system can do it for less money.

For getting particles out of the air quickest so they don’t settle, to say what’s better a DC or an air filtration system is better is a tough call and depends on several factors, obviously for a properly built tool the DC will probably win, but I’d put my money on the air filtration system for bang-for-buck for those with cheaper saws where dust collection is an afterthought.

With either/both solutions, can always walk around with an air compressor while the unit is running and clean up settled dust pretty quickly afterward.

View drewpy's profile

drewpy

568 posts in 821 days


#10 posted 07-19-2015 04:27 PM

Thanks again for the comments. I do wear a respirator when working. It’s just habit to put it on no matter what I am doing. Also, 75% of the time I am actually in the driveway. I always sand outside. I guess you can tell I hardly ever work on my hobby when it is raining! haha

I checked and my router table, bandsaw, and compound miter saw all have dust ports. I will start looking into that. I am sure it will be a somewhat crude and inexpensive solution. I need to come up with something for the table saw. It’s a cheap contractor saw on a metal stand. I noticed some bag solutions with a port for a shop vac. I might try that short term or just make something out of scrap I have sitting around. I don’t want to build a cabinet for it because my dream is to get a new and better TS next year. Any ideas are welcome.

I always break out the leaf blower and hit the inside of the garage each day after working. Sometimes I use the compressor but the leaf blower is quick. I also always hose down the floor afterwards and squeegee it. I could always see residual dust even after blower or sweeping. My neighbors think I’m nuts… haha

Thanks again for the info.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

73 posts in 705 days


#11 posted 07-19-2015 04:42 PM

Yeah, the leaf blower is a great idea. Not sure it would work for my setup but I do want to try it.

For my miter saw, the little sock bag that comes with it does as well as a vacuum connected. For the table saw, the dust catch bag will get a bunch off the floor, or connect to a shop vac, but you’ll still be spraying plenty of dust into the air.

The only thing I can think of doing that you’re not already doing is with garage open give it a once over with the leaf blower, and then close the door and turn on the air filtration system and go to town with the leaf blower until air is clean. may only take a few minutes.

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 629 days


#12 posted 07-19-2015 09:34 PM


Thanks again for the comments. I do wear a respirator when working. It s just habit to put it on no matter what I am doing. Also, 75% of the time I am actually in the driveway. I always sand outside. I guess you can tell I hardly ever work on my hobby when it is raining! haha

I checked and my router table, bandsaw, and compound miter saw all have dust ports. I will start looking into that. I am sure it will be a somewhat crude and inexpensive solution. I need to come up with something for the table saw. It s a cheap contractor saw on a metal stand. I noticed some bag solutions with a port for a shop vac. I might try that short term or just make something out of scrap I have sitting around. I don t want to build a cabinet for it because my dream is to get a new and better TS next year. Any ideas are welcome.

I always break out the leaf blower and hit the inside of the garage each day after working. Sometimes I use the compressor but the leaf blower is quick. I also always hose down the floor afterwards and squeegee it. I could always see residual dust even after blower or sweeping. My neighbors think I m nuts… haha

Thanks again for the info.

- drewpy

There’s something that works much better than the leaf blower, and certainly much more versatile. Its an air compressor. I don’t recommend the three gallon type, which are really good for ‘away jobs’. I have one of them, but also have a 20 gallon stationary compressor in my shop. I keep it right behind my stacked sheets of plywood and such. The plywood makes a perfect muffler. When I am upstairs, I can’t hear it when it cuts on; just the vibration sounds.

I don’t know what I would do without my compressor. As for your problem with cleaning out the dust, all you need to do is just open the side door, and start by using the air sprayer. Just start in one corner and work your way to the other side. the air coming in though the side door will carry everything out the front. VOILA!

The air compressor and table saw are the two most important power tools to own. I have a lot of electric tools. But if I can get them in pneumatic form, I get them. They tend to last longer, require far less maintenance, and are almost always less expensive.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View drewpy's profile

drewpy

568 posts in 821 days


#13 posted 07-19-2015 09:38 PM

Thanks for the reply John. I have the same two size of compressors you do. What I don’t have, is a side door.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View John L's profile

John L

148 posts in 629 days


#14 posted 07-19-2015 09:42 PM



Thanks for the reply John. I have the same two size of compressors you do. What I don t have, is a side door.

- drewpy

Really? I thought that was required by law, as a fire escape in case the garage doors didn’t work.

-- Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil - Thomas Mann

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1185 days


#15 posted 07-19-2015 10:03 PM

I typically wear a respirator and run either the dust collector (or vacuum if sanding) while the air cleaner is running. The air cleaner I have has a 2, 4 & 6 hour timer, I usually let it run for a couple of hours after I leave the shop and apparently it captures quite a bit as I have to clean the pre-filter every couple months and the primary filter a couple times a year.

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