Shop air cleaner, to buy or to build?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by b2rtch posted 01-12-2013 01:17 PM 5603 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3071 days

01-12-2013 01:17 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Do you recommend to buy or to build a shop air cleaner?
Which one would be more economical?
I tend to prefer to build it just for the fun of it.
I know that many LJers choose to build their own, I would like to hear from them.
I know that other LJers choose the buy theirs, I also would like to hear from them.
If I build one, can I make it as effective as a commercial one?
What filters to use for maximum “air cleaning”?
Are 3M Filtrete good enough?
Do I need to use HEPA filters?
Should I use a 3 speed attic fan or something else?
My shop is 24×30x10= 7200 cubic feet, how scfm do I need?
I know that someone else asked the question last week but I could not find the answer: where can I find the switch and time dealt for the fan motor which allows me to select the three speed and to let the fan run after I live the shop?
Should I suck or exhaust the air through the filters?
A short while ago someone posted about electrostatic filters (precipitators) for a wood shop, what was the conclusion of the conversation? I remember that a LJ was concern about the dust causing shorts in the filter and staring a fire. Is this a real concern?

Thank you for reading and for your answers.
I truly appreciate your help.
Have a blessed day.

-- Bert

27 replies so far

View History's profile


399 posts in 2004 days

#1 posted 01-12-2013 01:29 PM

I bought one, and I built one. They both work well.

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3071 days

#2 posted 01-12-2013 01:33 PM

So what is the best solution?
To know hat you have two air cleaners is nice bu tit does not really help me.

-- Bert

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2076 days

#3 posted 01-12-2013 02:14 PM

I plan on doing this because i can’t afford a commercial one, and i have an extra house fan.

-- Joel

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 01-12-2013 02:17 PM

I paid $175 for mine from Grizzly. I think they are now about $200. It works well for me. It has a washable pre- filter and a washable bag filter. If you can find a source for a bag filter and a free fan it might pay to build one. I would not worry about multi speeds. Most likely you will run it on one speed all the time anyway. A squirrel cage type fan is best. Propeller fans do not work as well for this purpose. Mine has no time delay either, just an on/off switch. I have a 22’x13’ shop and my 550 cfm unit cleans the air quickly. You will want to filter the air before it hits the fan so have the filters upstream of the fan. Mine hangs from the ceiling so that it does not take up any shop floor space.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2133 days

#5 posted 01-12-2013 02:29 PM

Most filtration systems suck the air through the filters.

I plan to build my one. I have a friend that works in HVAC and asked him to find me a “blower” out of a furnace they are replacing. I will use a 1” pleated filter from a home center and then a MERV 13 if not 15 filter that I can order. I plan to leave enough space to add another 1” filter between the existing two. Plywood construction with aluminum angle to reinforce the joints. It will hang from the ceiling. I don’t really see the use / need for multiple speeds, but since the fan will support them and I have plenty of used rotary switches that I have taken out of electronic equipment I will wire one in. If you do this make sure that the switch is rated at the voltage (120V) and maximum current draw. I don’t have a delay off timer in stock, I can always add one later. If the home centers don’t have any look for a electronics part supplier in your area and see what they have.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3071 days

#6 posted 01-12-2013 02:30 PM

Jim thank you for your reply,
How do you reach the filters to clean them ?
I am thinking on installing mine a system of rope and pulleys so that I can lower it to clean the filters.

-- Bert

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3071 days

#7 posted 01-12-2013 02:33 PM

jap, do you understand that this fan you want to build did not really work.

-- Bert

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 1987 days

#8 posted 01-12-2013 02:52 PM

Sawsucker would tell you, but it”s too much work, and you’re not worth his time. Maybe if you slipped him a $20….....

I bought the Rockler air cleaner and am pretty pleased with it. I had to do a little work on it to get the filter to seal properly, but it wasn’t a big deal. The remote control is a nice feature as well.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View becikeja's profile


891 posts in 2836 days

#9 posted 01-12-2013 03:20 PM

I have one of the JET air filters works great. I have never used on anything except high speed, so I agree if you build one skip the multi-speed. The timing feature I do use every time. I always leave it on about 30 minutes after I leave the shop and it shuts off automatically. A time delay relay is easy to wire in if you build you’re own.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View JesseTutt's profile


854 posts in 2133 days

#10 posted 01-12-2013 03:29 PM

b2rtch says “How do you reach the filters to clean them ?”

I plan to use a ladder I store in the shop. I figure to replace the outside filter monthly hoping that it will catch most of the large particles and save the more expensive filter for the small particles.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2651 days

#11 posted 01-12-2013 03:41 PM

for the more economically minded woodworkers, there are solutions like this that are cheap and almost as effective as much pricier air filters, at least according to wood magazine.

and the controlling switched outlet before:

controlling switched outlet after air filter install:

one day, i’ll change that 1 hour timer to this, but right now, i’m too cheap!:

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

View SamuraiSaw's profile


515 posts in 1987 days

#12 posted 01-12-2013 03:43 PM

I clean my outer filter at least every 2 weeks, but I’m in my shop every day. I bought 2 washable filters and rotate them. My filter is about 8’ off the floor, so a short stepladder is all I need to get to the filter.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas....

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4998 posts in 2516 days

#13 posted 01-12-2013 04:00 PM

I built mine, couldn’t be easier. I used a reclaimed blower from a furnace we had replaced at work, put it in the center of a plywood cabinet sized to fit the filters I used. The front (discharge) side had a cheap fiberglass filter just to cover the opening. I used 20X25 furnace filter, 3 of them. The first was a cheap pleated filter, the second one a Filtrete red, the third one a Filtrete Ultra-Allergen. Having them stacked that way not only did a good job filtering, but made the most expensive ones last longer. The cabinet had a sliding door on the bottom, so I would slide it over and the filters would come out for replacement. I’d post a pic, but I left it in the shop I had when we moved. But for about $20 for the everything bit the filters, it worked very well. The blower I used was a 240V 4 speed, but I only used the 2 lower speeds. It would completely clean the shop air in about 90 minutes. The biggest use it had was getting the dust out for me to start finishing something.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3331 days

#14 posted 01-12-2013 04:15 PM

I bought a jet air cleaner several years ago and uang it in my shop ceiling of 10’. Easy to change with a ladder.
I also built 3 boxes that use fan cage blowers that are wall mounted in my sanding room. If you build your own be sure to make a large enough panel that can accomodate replacing the blower if necessary. Most of the time they are used units from someones upgreade or repair so no telling the life expectancy.
I also just recently bought a second Jet unit on Craigslist for $150 so I am about as maxed out on air cleaners…but you can never have air that is too clean.

A friend was able to get me 10 blower units so I have 7 spares. If you decide to build your own be sure to use 3 filters. At first I bought several of the washable electrostatic filters and disccovered thsy are not very efficient as the pleated paper units…

View bondogaposis's profile


4755 posts in 2374 days

#15 posted 01-12-2013 04:33 PM

I bought a Delta air cleaner and use filters from Wynn Environmental. I works great. I was thinking about building one at the time, but decided my time was better spent building other things and just got the Delta on sale from Amazon. I also like the fact that it hangs from the ceiling and doesn’t take up any precious floor space. The remote control and timer is great feature.

-- Bondo Gaposis

showing 1 through 15 of 27 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics