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Air Filtration System

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Forum topic by Tom Coster posted 1429 days ago 1733 views 0 times favorited 25 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1462 days


1429 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: air filtration system dust collection

I’m a newbie here on L J and just getting back into woodworking so please forgive me if I ask silly questions. While I’m typing I want to thank everyone for all the help. This is a great place to learn. I have already saved big bucks on tool purchases with advice from L J’s. This is sort of a repost as I put it on the end of a review of a JDS Company 750ER Air Filtration System but the discussion petered out. I am not familiar with these air filtering machines. They are boxes with fans and a couple filters, right? Why not just build a box with filters in one end and pipe it to your DC? Would the DC work instead of an air handler fan? I just bought a HF 2hp DC. ($126.00) I understand CFM drop might be an issue and I’m sure that it wouldn’t be as nice as having a dedicated filter machine($300) but wouldn’t a home built setup hooked to a DC get the job done in a one man shop?

Sorry, so many questions.

-- Tom, MI, SC


25 replies so far

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1504 days


#1 posted 1429 days ago

Most dust collectors do not collect all the fine partials of dust which are said to be the most dangerous do breath in. What the air filter does is trap the fine partials of dust and help keep area clean. Yes, a box fan and furnace filter would work fine. I have two set up in my shop. I just table a good quality furnace filter on the back of the box fan and you would be surprised on how dirty that filter will get, even with a DC unit.

A lot of guys will use an old furnace fan with a filter and build a box for it which also works.

You don’t have to hook the filter to the DC unit. Just do the box fan idea and that should work fine. Unless you want to put the money into an air filter unit.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Dan

3543 posts in 1504 days


#2 posted 1429 days ago

Sorry, I meant that I tape a furnace filter to back of box fan. Had a typo..

I have two cheap box fans with filters on the back and the filters get dirty pretty fast so I know it works. No where near as expensive as a air filter unit.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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hairy

2005 posts in 2156 days


#3 posted 1429 days ago

They are different tools that do different jobs.
Dust collectors are used to capture at the source, but they don’t get it all.
Air filtration systems circulate the air throughout the shop, and clean it.

Air filters usually consume less power and run quietly. I run mine most of the time I’m working, and only run dc when using certain tools.

-- the last of Barret's Privateers...

View NathanAllen's profile

NathanAllen

376 posts in 1768 days


#4 posted 1429 days ago

Air Filtration is seperate from Dust/Chip collection. The Air Filtration unit is meant to actively clean the suspended particles out of the air. It is more of a general environment cleaner, not specific to a tool/location. These are the ones that cause the fine layer of dust to settle in your shop overnight. They’re an important componant of your safety system because they tend to be the smallest and most damaging to your lungs.

A Dust/Chip collector is an at the source solution, but even the best system isn’t going to capture every particle.

If purchasing a dedicated system (which also helps to circulate the air in the shop; a great thing in winter to move your heat around) isn’t in the near future use Dcase’s advise and tape a few furnace filters to the back of a box fan.

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dbhost

5378 posts in 1856 days


#5 posted 1429 days ago

An air filter is not the same as a dust collector. While they are related, and both quite necessary for a health shop environment, they do different things.

A dust collector should be your first line of defense, pulling chips, shavings, and fine dust away from the source, such as blades, and bits of various machines, and containing it in a collection vessel before dumping cleaned air back out. This requires fine air filtration yes, but it is again, not the same thing as an ambient air filter / cleaner.

Yes, you CAN, and many people DO build their own boxes with a squirrel cage blower motor, and housing a couple of various efficiency filters, coarsest to finest, the reasons some, including myself, do not do this varies. In my case, I gave up on finding a workable squirrel cage fan. The ones I was finding were WAY too big, and required 220V which I do not have in my shop. Topped off with Grizzly having a sale on the air filter machines and it was a no brainer for me…

I did start out with the Filtrete allergen filter taped to the inlet side of a standard 20” box fan. It worked sort of, but took forever.

Dust collection and control is such a detailed, and complex subject that it is difficult to discuss in full detail in a forum thread. I suggest you google Bill Pentz and read up on his dust collection research.

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 1462 days


#6 posted 1429 days ago

I was thinking about a box fan but I’m a cheapo! And I’m trying to be efficient as possible. Heat & A/C in the shop pushes up my Household utility bill enough already. I figure if I have something running that is moving air why not take advantage of it. Plus it is one less thing I have to remember to unplug every night. Yes, for safety, I unplug all tools every night.

-- Tom, MI, SC

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1462 days


#7 posted 1429 days ago

With all due respect I understand the difference between DC & air filter system. My plan is to use a line from a DC to suck air thru a filter box.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1856 days


#8 posted 1429 days ago

No clue if that would work well or not. If you try it, let us know how it works out for you…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1607 days


#9 posted 1428 days ago

The only problem I see with doing this Tom, is that you will lose air flow to other machines. Which would mean dust collection at some machines would be inadequate for proper dust collection. Much the same as drafts coming into a house and rendering the heating system to inadequately heat the house properly. Don’t know if this the answer your looking for, but this would be your biggest problem with doing this. This is one of the reasons they put blast gates on floor sweeps instead of leaving them open all the time.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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Tom Coster

120 posts in 1462 days


#10 posted 1428 days ago

Thanks for the input.
Greg-
I am trying to map out a plan for PVC pipe. I also plan on building a Thien Cyclone Separator. I just bought a HF 2hp DC but have not had time to assemble it yet. Do you think that it will have enough suction to pull two pipes at one time? I was planning to install gates at all work stations.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2098 posts in 2352 days


#11 posted 1428 days ago

I won’t pretend I completely understand what you are planning, but I’m assuming you want to run a pipe from your DC, to a box with a filter, and pull the air through the filter to clean the air. If this is the case, I could see it working to some degree if your DC was clean and had a new filter on it. But if you just want to use the same DC that you already use for your tools, you will essentially be blowing small particles through the DC bag and into the air, hoping to catch them with your newly built air cleaner once the air circulates around again. This sounds like a much bigger waste than getting a dedicated unit.

Why not just get a used blower unit from an HVAC company and build your own? It can be done for less than $50 and maybe less than that if you’ve got the right scraps.

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 1462 days


#12 posted 1428 days ago

Sorry I am confusing things. Let me try to clarify. I am installing a harbor freight 2 hp DC. I want to connect and run at the same time a tool, say a table saw, and a shop built box with filters, both connected to the DC. Will there be enough suction? Will the additional air used by the filter box reduce the suction at the tool too much?

I do plan in the future to upgrade the DC with a thien cyclone and a canister type filter. (I hope this will extend DC filter life and reduce small particles.) The reason I plan on installing a filter box now is because it effects how and where I run the permanent pipe for the DC.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View brtech's profile

brtech

664 posts in 1547 days


#13 posted 1428 days ago

The HF DC isn’t going to be able to pull air from two pipes at the same time.

You probably COULD take advantage of the fact that your tools are not on that much of the time and have an open port to collect shop air, run it through the DC filter, and back out to the shop. You would have to close that gate and open another when using a tool.

I wouldn’t try to use extra filters – upgrade your HF filter to a cartridge with .5 micron filtering and just use that.

View Tom Coster's profile

Tom Coster

120 posts in 1462 days


#14 posted 1428 days ago

I am only going to have air drawing out of two pipes at one time. I plan on blast gates at all work stations.

-- Tom, MI, SC

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1504 days


#15 posted 1428 days ago

In response to brtech’s comment- I would think if set up with the correct size pipe and depending on the distance of pipe your HF DC should be able to pull air from two pipes at once. I have a smaller DC that is 1/2 hp and airflow of 330cfm. I have had it pulling from two pipes at once but it was a short run from the tool to the DC. The HF DC says it has 1550cfm so I would think if my smaller unit handled it then the HF unit could. However I am no dust expert. To be honest I hate math and there is a lot of math involved with hooking up a DC unit to a fixed system…

I would continue to research it and google it. There are a lot of sites that have detailed plans and information on how to figure out air flow and such.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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