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Forum topic by Codeman posted 09-28-2016 10:13 PM 590 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Codeman's profile


5 posts in 747 days

09-28-2016 10:13 PM

Hey guys,

I am new here have been browsing here for a few days and decided to join. I am relatively new to word working and have been doing it as a hobby for the last two years and love everything about it. Until recently reading all kinds of research Bill Pentz did about dust in the workshop I had never put any thought into dust collection. I am sure this topic is probably beat to death but am looking for insight.

My current setup is a small 1 car garage that has an addition added at the end. My shop measures 14ft x 40ft. It serves as the attached garage to our house. I just recently installed a HF 2hp dust collector with a homemade Thien baffle in this and vented it straight out the back wall of the garage with a dryer vent pointed towards the ground. I then installed a dryer vent on my door on the side of my garage to act as a fresh air intake to allow for negative pressure to pull in outside air and due to its location can’t suck the dust that my dust collector expells due to being on the opposite wall and half way down the shop vs at the end where the dust collector is.

I don’t have a ton of big power tools the biggest dust culprit being my DW7480 table saw. I recently have been working on a top side dust extraction hood that will be fed off the dust collector with a 2.5” hose and the bottom side is still the factory 2.5” fitting. I am not worried about the dust that falls under the saw that is on a mobile cart with my router table in it. That dust is big chunks and contained by the saw body I am concerned about the fine dust and I am thinking the test top side dust collector worked awesome so hoping my final prototype works better yet but still I am sure some fine dust escapes. I try to wear a respirator a good 3m one with the dust filters in it for about 10 minutes after sawing and I generally let the dust collector run for awhile to help clear the air after. I don’t have a planer or drum sander so nothing like that spewing dust.

My thought was I have a nice fan that really moves air. I thought of mounting it with a filter in front in a box so it blew the air through the filter and mount it behind my table saw behind me as I was sawing blowing towards my dust collector that is at the end of the shop to help get the fine dust to the dust collector and leaving it run with the blast gate open at the dust collector to suck any fine dust. I have read mixed reviews on fans in the shops with some saying it just circulates the fine dust and I don’t want to just make it worse. My thought was maybe even just using the fan without the filter would push the air towards the dust collector where it could suck it out of the shop and expellit outside the shop.

Thoughts and opinions. I used to never worry about this stuff but I have a 2 year old daughter and another due in a couple months and I would like to do my best to stay as healthy as I can and enjoy my hobby so I can see them grow up.

5 replies so far

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1595 days

#1 posted 09-28-2016 10:37 PM

No matter what else you do get a 0.5 micron filter. All the really bad stuff is in the 1-5 micron range.


-- Madmark -

View Manitario's profile


2631 posts in 3025 days

#2 posted 09-28-2016 11:11 PM

Ideally you want to keep the dust from getting into the air in the first place. Once it’s in the air, any sort of ambient air filter takes a long time to filter out the dust. During the time that the dust is in the air, you’re breathing it in…Best way to see how effective your DC system is, is to pick up a cheap particle counter eg. Dylos and see for yourself.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View clin's profile


927 posts in 1138 days

#3 posted 09-28-2016 11:43 PM

It sounds like you’re on the right track. As you know from reading Pentz’s site, your HF unit isn’t as powerful as you really want. It’s great you can exhaust outside. I do recommend you get a room filter, I use the Jet 1000?? and it works well. I bought a Dylos particle counter and I’ve learned a lot about what does and doesn’t make dust.

I find the room filter critical for clearing the air quickly. You can make your own if you want, or you can modify ones like the Jet to have better filtering (it’s 1 micron).

Even with the room filter, I still use a respirator anytime I’m making dust and as you do, wear it afterwards until the particle counter drops to pretty low levels.

Keep in mind that if you can see the dust in the air, the particle count is EXTREMELY highly. High levels, by EPA and OSHA standards, are not even visible.

The Dylos counter is really interesting. It’s is surprising how much dust some tasks create. For example, I can easily get more fine dust in the air hand sanding, than I can using the table saw. Even though I only have a shop vac on the saw. And running a power sander without the shop vac connected, dust levels go sky high.

FYI, I use a Dust Deputy and HEPA filter on the shop vac.

Worst particle count I’ve seen, in the house after burning some food on the stove. The smoke wasn’t even visible.

-- Clin

View Codeman's profile


5 posts in 747 days

#4 posted 09-29-2016 11:24 AM

Yeah I did find that my dust collector was too small which is why I then began worrying. I will take your guys advice and buy a particle counter to see what is actually harming me and then work on addressing those issues vs assuming it is certain tools. Thanks for the help I will report back for some help addressing the issues once I figure out what they are with a particle counter. Now to find one online. Also that will double to let me know when it is safe to remove the respirator.

View Codeman's profile


5 posts in 747 days

#5 posted 09-29-2016 07:55 PM

So I did not realize how much those dust particle detecters were. I found one for around $200 but the wife is not going to let me spend that lol. So that might have to wait for Christmas. For now I think instead of using the fan to try to filter I am going to make a box that fits in the window at the end of my shop the same side my dust collector vents on and mount my fan I have that moves 3000cfm of air according to the specs on it that I looked at which I know it moves air it was like a $150 fan that my work was getting rid of because it had some rust. I am going to have it so it blows outside and sucks from inside the shop. I am thinking this might work really well because the fresh air vent location for my dust collector will draw fresh air across my shop and the fan will pull the fresh air into where I am standing and the fan should draw the dust to the rear of the shop where I am not working and blow it out the window with the dust collector. It will work well for locations I think because the fan in the window I am looking straight at when using the table saw or miter saw or sanding due to shop layout so it should want to pull the dust away from me towards the end of my shop. I am going to try this and see how it works and then I can find out how well it works once I get a particle detector. For now I thinking I will just wear the respirator.

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