I'm so tired of cleaning out my Wynn filter... does anyone have an easier way?

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Forum topic by ellen35 posted 09-28-2012 08:37 PM 13414 views 2 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3458 days

09-28-2012 08:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I have the HF dust collector that is the favorite of all the cheapskates… I got it about 2 years ago and it does exactly what I want it to do. I bought the Wynn 35 filter that the Wynn people recommend and I’ve been using that since I bought the dust collector. I have a separator and empty my 30 gal trash can when it gets to 2/3 full. I found out the hard way that if it fills much more, you really start getting chips in the plastic bag. In order to clean the filter, I have to take the thing off, take it outdoors and vacuum the daylights out of it with my shop vac… seems a bit strange to vacuum my vacuum filter with another vacuum. I could do this easily in my old house where my shop was my garage but we moved about 2 mos ago and we built out a nice dedicated space in the basement. In order to take the filter outside, I’m going to have to drag it through the main part of the basement.
My real question is… does anyone have a better idea! My plastic bag stays pretty clean with some dust and a few chips but when I rap on the side of the filter… down comes the dust…just not enough dust to get it clean.
Maybe I’m overthinking this…
Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

19 replies so far

View jmos's profile


839 posts in 2395 days

#1 posted 09-28-2012 08:40 PM

You can try blowing compressed air back through the filter. Don’t go too high or you can damage the filter, but it should knock a lot of the dust out and into the bag.

-- John

View jack1's profile


2107 posts in 4053 days

#2 posted 09-28-2012 08:44 PM

I also use a vacuum to clean vacuum filters… It may sound funny but sometimes with the smaller ones, I bring them outside away from the shop/house and throw them into the air a number of times. Dust flies out while spinning in the air and when it lands, more dust comes out. I wouldn’t recommend that with those metal cased filters but it works well on the regular hepa filters like those in the big shop vacs.

Jack (dusty)...

-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2940 days

#3 posted 09-28-2012 08:50 PM

Some of that dust on the filter you want, as that actually helps in the filtration process. I am still using the original HF bag and like you, use a separator as well. I beat the bag once in a while to knock down the big stuff, but really don’t worry about getting the filter bag super clean. I just knock the caking down to the bottom of the plastic bag when I am ready to clean the plastic bag. My separator only allows an inch or less of dust to get through over time. I probably empty the separator can 6-10 times before I get around to the plastic bag, and I only really clean the plastic bag out of guilt most of the time (since it rarely accumulates anything).

Personally, maybe you don’t actually need to be cleaning the canister as deeply as you are currently doing.. Since you have it in a more restricted space now, I would suggest just tapping the caking off of the filter while the plastic is still in place and then get on with making some more dust. I would only vacuum when you notice a definite drop off in collection rate. Until then, just keep on tapping and changing bags.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10123 posts in 4078 days

#4 posted 09-28-2012 09:03 PM

I don’t have a true “Dust Collection System”... just a good powered Ridgid shop vac…

I used to have to clean that vac filter, it seems like, ALL THE TIME!

Then, I got the Oneida Dust Deputy (similar to this) , just a separator, and I have had it for a few years now…

I have never had to clean the shop vac filter ever since I added the Dust Deputy!

At about the same time, I put a super good filter into the shop vac… does a super job!

I would venture to guess that if you had a nice Separator, like the Dust Deputy, you would probably notice the same type of change…!

One other thing about it… and you have FULL Vacuum power all of the time because the filter isn’t getting clogged!

It is fantastic!
It saves SO MUCH time!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Gerry's profile


264 posts in 3267 days

#5 posted 09-28-2012 09:11 PM

Hi Ellen
I have the same setup as you, and I give you a +1 on the use of compressed air. I use about
50 psi and a pointed air nozzle. I’ve found that our setup gives a good indication that the can is full
as the suction becomes noticably less.
I think that Wynn recommends the use of compressed air. It is WAY less messy and the dust is
captured in the bag.

I also agree with Mike that some dust in the filter is a good thing.
I hope this is of help. Cheers!!!!

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3013 days

#6 posted 09-28-2012 09:16 PM

Another +1 on using compressed air. I am not sure how you have yours secured but I have seen several people who use bungee cords to hold it securely to the DC ring.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4118 days

#7 posted 09-28-2012 09:36 PM

I’m not sure of the separator you are using but can tell you that the finest of the dust will make it to the filter.
HorizontalMike mentioned that the can gets emptied 6 to 10 times before the plastic bag is emptied.

I’m around the same cycle. Before I remove the plastic bag I tap the filter a bit to remove the caked on stuff. The worst that I have seen on my filter is after the drum sander has been used for a prolonged amount of time. I tap the filter, followed by compressed air around the filter (while in the shop), then empty the plastic bag.

I’ve been using the Wynn filter for over a year. I’ve emptied the trash can dozen’s of times and have not replaced the plastic bag. I like this setup a lot.

I use a steel trash can for the separator. I’ve added a plexiglass window (4” wide x 10”tall) so I know when to empty the trash.

I move the DC around the shop, an hook it up to what ever tool I’m working with.

-- Nicky

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2997 days

#8 posted 09-28-2012 09:59 PM

If you have room to stack or other wise double the cartridge filtering area the dust would not get so embedded into the pleats and the flow resistance would be reduced..
Alternately, you could get a roll of the spun polyester type HVAC filter material and line the cartridge on the inside.
The extra layer of media will help hold the dust cake off the cartridge. Also it would be easier to pull out and remove the bulk of the dust at cleaning time.

Finally, it’s possible to make a self cleaning filter; industrial units are routinely made this way. But, it involves pulling the dust flow into at least a pair of filters from the outside and using a pulse of compressed air to bllow the dust loose (back flow) from one then the other. This would be possible to do but a pretty intense project.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2830 days

#9 posted 09-28-2012 11:09 PM

I’ve got the same HF DC that you have, only, I am still using bags, BUT, I did replace the 5micron bags that came with the dc, with 1micron bags that I bought on Amazon, somewhere. It’s been a long time. It helped a lot. I know I will never be absolutely dust-free, so I’ll throw on a mask when I know I may need one. My system works for me. I hope you can find a solution, cuz, dust suks! Good Luck. I’ll be watching for my own future reference and possible upgrade.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View OnlyJustME's profile


1562 posts in 2403 days

#10 posted 09-29-2012 12:00 AM

Maybe you can add those paddle things on the inside to spin around and knock the cake off without even removing it. Should be easy to make if you’ve seen them.

-- In the end, when your life flashes before your eyes, will you like what you see?

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3334 days

#11 posted 09-29-2012 01:07 AM

I use a cyclone system and the filter always gets full of the fine dust. I take the filter outside and blow it out with compressed air every time I empty the 35 gallon container. It only takes an extra 10 minutes and I at least know I am getting the best suction.
I just spoke with Dave Wynn this past week and discussed putting double filters on my system instead of just one. I would parallel them side by side and this should reduce backpressure and double the filter area.
I imagine you could use two filters in-line on the HF unit if you have the height. Anyway you look at it the fine dust has to go somewhere…anywhere but my lungs

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2654 days

#12 posted 09-29-2012 01:21 AM

ellen35 …... i think i may have solved the problem you are having for $6 as detailed in this thread:

when i checked with phil thien, he confirmed that many pre-separtor users also equip their collectors with baffles that seem to send the collected dust to the collection bag rather than the canister filter. i was stunned when i removed the filter after installing the baffle. there was NO dust on the drum ring and the filter looked as if someone had vacuumed it clean. BTW, i used a discarded frying pan but others have used woks, wok lids, plastic dishes that sit under large flower pots, etc.

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

View Douglas's profile


424 posts in 2586 days

#13 posted 09-29-2012 01:54 AM

I wrote to Wynn a couple of months ago, asking them about cleaning my 35A. Dick Wynn wrote me back with this…

“Your 35A Blend filter can not be washed so you should hit it with up to 80 psi of compressed air and tap on the end cap at the same time and see what you get. You could even try a toilet brush from the inside if the above does not work. If you had a spun Bond filter, here is how I would have advised you.

“We would prefer that you do not wash it but if you do, use a garden hose and hit it from the “outside” to force everything inward.. If clumps of caked dust persist, you could go in there with something like a toilet brush at the same time.

“Be certain to blow it COMPLETELY dry and let it sit for a day or two to be certain that it “is” dry.

“In the future, you can blow it down with up to 100 psi of compressed air and if the clumps are stubborn, tap on the end cap at the same time with a small plastic mallet.”


So, I’ve been using compressed air from the outside, and its been working fine.

-- Douglas in Chicago -

View wiser1934's profile


524 posts in 3173 days

#14 posted 09-29-2012 03:18 AM

oneida dust deputy is the best way to go. have one and i love it!!!!!!!

-- wiser1934, new york

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3458 days

#15 posted 09-29-2012 09:29 AM

Great suggestions everyone! Glad to see I am not alone with this problem.
I’ll be trying out a few of these. Always glad to get more ideas on this, so keep ‘em coming.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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