Dust collection

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Forum topic by Don Newton posted 02-08-2009 06:29 PM 1165 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Don Newton

716 posts in 3644 days

02-08-2009 06:29 PM

OK Fellow Woodworkers,

My workshop is in my basement. My long suffering wife has put up with sawdust for too long. Are there any woodworkers out there with basement workshops that have succesfully integrated a dust collection system. I have no experience with them and would appreciate any help.


-- Don, Pittsburgh

8 replies so far

View treeman's profile


208 posts in 3475 days

#1 posted 02-08-2009 06:43 PM

My shop is also in my basement. I do my best to keep the dust down but don’t have a fully integrated system. I use a dust collector that rolls and I can attach it to each machine as needed. It does a good job of capturing the debris from the machines but it is not perfect. A lot depends on how well the machine funnels the dust to the dust port. Some machines do a better job of this than others.

In addition, I bulit an air filter using a salvaged furnace blower. This particular blower is a 4 speed blower rated from 350 CFM on low to 1200CFM on high. This thing REALLY takes a lot of dust out of the air. I enclosed the blower in a plywood box with two filters on the intake side and 1 filter on the exhaust side. The exhaust filter is electrostatic to catch as much dust as possible. It claims to capture 80% of particles down to .3 microns and over 99% of particles over 1 micron.

If I ever use spray paint or smelly chemicals, I swap the electrostatic filter for a charcoal filter. The charcoal will capture the odors pretty quick.

This is basically a poor mans system but it does make a huge difference in air quality.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3699 days

#2 posted 02-09-2009 02:06 AM

Yes you need Dust collection!

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3791 days

#3 posted 02-09-2009 02:26 AM

treeman pretty much has it covered. A dust collector for the dust and chips and some kind of air filtration system. I’d say that you’ll still be dusting the tables in the house more often. The more dust you can bag up, the less that goes in your house and in your lungs. Work safe.
- JJ

View cpollock's profile


34 posts in 3440 days

#4 posted 02-09-2009 02:48 AM

I’ve had have a basement shop for about 10 years and initially installed a ceiling fan to address the dust. It helped clear the air once the room was full of dust, but there was still lots of sawdust buildup on shelves, the floor, and the rest of the basement. It can only clean dust that is already in the air.
So last Fall I bought an Oneide 1.5 HP Gorilla. I picked it because it can operate on 110V, and I didn’t want to have to run a new dedicated 220 circuit. I wish I had done this 10 years ago, the difference in the shop and basement is incredible. I ran ducts to each tool, and only run the collector when a particular tool is on (unlike the ceiling unit which was always on). The dust and chips are swept away the instant they are created, and except for the trivial amount of sawdust created by the back of the table saw blade, I essentially have no dust in the room. I don’t feel like I’m always breathing sawdust anymore, also, which I’m sure is a critical benefit.These units grab the dust when its made, instead of letting it get airborne to be cleaned later by a filter/fan unit.
Its a big investment, and thats what held me back all these years. For the money I put into this dust collector I could have gotten a really nice tool or two, but in hindsight, I think this system was one of my best purchases.

View JimmyC's profile


106 posts in 3428 days

#5 posted 02-09-2009 04:07 PM

treeman is right about needing aa air cleaner with the dust collector, it would also be wise to have a timer attached to the air cleaner so it runs for 10-20 minutes after you leave the shop.

-- -JimmyC...Clayton,NC- "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave"

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3674 days

#6 posted 02-09-2009 04:43 PM

I just want to clarify something that was said here, but is completely inaccurate, and is a bad idea:

quote cpollock: “ceiling fan…It helped clear the air…letting [dust] it get airborne to be cleaned later by a filter/fan unit”

The ceiling fan DOES NOT CLEAN DUST, it merely circulate it in the air by blowing it upward (and the air circulation and gravity will then bring it downwards – hence the dust on the shelves and everything else). UNLESS DUST IS FILTERED and CAPTURED in a filter – it’s STILL IN THE AIR. the smallest and invisible particles (under 1 micron) are the most hazardous to your health and unless you use a filter, you ARE the filter.

just thought to point that out, since someone reading that comment might be tempted to install a ceiling fan to solve their dust problems, which would not be the case.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3911 days

#7 posted 02-09-2009 05:06 PM

PurpLev above is exactly right, “Unless you use a filter you are the filter.”

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View cpollock's profile


34 posts in 3440 days

#8 posted 02-10-2009 03:43 AM

Sorry everyone, you are all correct. I was inaccurate. I meant to say I used one of those units that mounts on the ceiling with a fan and filters. I mispoke (or mis-wrote, whatever). But even with that filtered unit I was never very impressed by its performance. 250 cfm sounds impressive, but since the cleaned air is constantly mixed with the dusty air, the rate of dust removal exponentially decreases with time, so it takes a long long time to clear the air. By then a good amount of dust will already settle out (or in your lungs as was pointed out).
Sorry for the confusion.

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