ceiling fan exhaust fan conversion

  • Advertise with us

« back to Focus on the Workspace forum

Forum topic by drpdrp posted 03-24-2014 04:25 AM 1694 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2251 days

03-24-2014 04:25 AM

I am not a good enough person to haul my shop vac around from tool to tool to use as a dust collector (yet) and while I enjoy sweeping the shop I wind up with a ton of fine dust in hard to reach places.

Well this morning I picked up two ceiling fans for free from craigslist. My plan is to build a box frame (so I get a giant high power box fan) and run it pointed out the garage door with the door pulled down and the rest covered with some plywood. I figure I can then blast the shop with compressed air and have the dust pulled out.


5 replies so far

View Paul's profile


721 posts in 1771 days

#1 posted 03-24-2014 04:33 AM

Ceiling fans have fittings and bearing for use in a vertical position only. If you mount them horizontally as I picture you making it work you will wear the “ceiling” fans out very fast.

The pivot point on most ceiling fans would make me not want to try this but I’m curious.


View realcowtown_eric's profile


617 posts in 2143 days

#2 posted 03-24-2014 05:06 AM

Ain’t gonna do it buddy. not enuf air movement, by the time they’ve moved enuf air, all that fine dust will ahve settled out in other areas.

First off is to suck up any easily accessable sawdust or dust of any kind with a thorough cleaning with a vacuum cleaner.

Then instead of wimpy ceiling fans ,better to get a couple of old furnace fans….they can blow out the bottom of the door, while the fresh air comes in the top,

Augment that with a GS leaf blower (save yer compressor ) and DO be REALLY careful of sources of ignition..

When I do this, I typically have to blow down the shop at least twice before it starts to have the semblance of cleanliness.

And I do use the compressor, but only with a long snout air nozzle so I can reach the top shelves, and under the equipment. , into the back corners, into the lumber racks and stacks etc.

That fine dust aint’t called “comdust” (ie combustible dust) for nothin. It can and will ignite quite readily and literally explode real freaking good, and dislodge every comdust particle you ain’t found yet and feed the explosion, again real good. And I gaurantee thatthe comdust t has accumulated in places you never imagined.

If the air gets really dusty, just stop for a moment will ya and let it clear.Better save than sorry. And if it’s been a few years since you done this, and if you’ve been spraying finishes be extraextraextra cautious not to let the dust in the air build up. Yer not only playing with fire, yer playing with the equivalent of dynamite

Scope out

Imagine yerself and all yer tools in that inferno…
Not me.

Message is clean the shop regularly.

In my town every year there’s at least four or five “garage explosions”

I also watch wind conditions, so that not only am I sure that the exhaust fans ain’t blowing against the wind, but that there is good “flow through” to assist in exhausting dust.

I can’t see yer shop from here so got no concept of the potential scope of the problem, but please please be overly cautious. Up here in Canada, we’ve had several deaths in shops and factories from the build up of comdust.

And if you got neighbours, make sure they ain’t got the laundry hung out!!!

Be safe and good luck


-- Real_cowtown_eric

View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2251 days

#3 posted 03-24-2014 07:56 AM

I will post an update soon on how it worked. I think a ceiling fan moves a LOT of air- but we will see. I am not super worried about burning it out given that they (I got two) were free and I see them regularly on CL for free…

Eric does make good points about blowing myself up though. This has been on my mind anyway.

What are some suggestions on minimizing the danger from that pilot light?

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2687 posts in 3128 days

#4 posted 03-24-2014 01:46 PM

The thing with ceiling fans is: Propeller fans may move a lot of air if not restricted in any way, like with a duct or a filter. Squirrell cage type fan like is in a furnace, will develop enough static pressure to allow for duct and filters. Mounting a ceiling fan horizontally worked for me but for a different use.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View drpdrp's profile


150 posts in 2251 days

#5 posted 03-25-2014 01:17 AM

Okay- I don’t know how long it will last- but it worked great. You can feel the breeze flowing out of the house into the garage and just watch dust fly out of the garage and onto…. my wife’s car.

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