My air filter isn't doing it's job

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Forum topic by JoeWhite posted 10-15-2014 06:28 AM 1335 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View JoeWhite's profile


24 posts in 1930 days

10-15-2014 06:28 AM

So at this point I feel like my Jet air filter was a waste of money. I’ve been trying to see if there’s any noticeable drop in airborne particulates but it doesn’t seem like it. I even went so far as to light up an incense to see if the filter would draw the smoke towards and through it, but it had no effect unless I was holding it directly in front of the intake. Am I doing something wrong, or is the air filter a cruel joke on wood workers?

15 replies so far

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2879 days

#1 posted 10-15-2014 12:01 PM

Air filters do clean the air, but they take a long time to do it: it’s always better to have a more efficient dust control system to capture the dust before it is spread into the air. I use my air filter only when I’m doing stuff that is not hooked up to my DC system, eg. sanding. An air filter should be sized to do at least 6 air changes per hour, so if your room is eg. 20×30x8ft = 4800 cubit feet you’d want an air filter capable of at least 480CFM. In really dusty rooms the fine inner filter is quickly clogged so that could be reducing your CFM as well.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4984 posts in 2489 days

#2 posted 10-15-2014 12:12 PM

I think they are extremely useful, but not for any personal health reasons. By the time the AC gets the dust it’s already in your lungs. But if you run it for, say, a few hours before any finishing that needs to be done it will reduce the dust nibs problem significantly. It should also reduce the amount of dust buildup (but not eliminate) you see from the particles settling. The incense trick won’t be reliable, the real test would be with a Dylos meter. Most of us don’t have them, so we go by what we see. The first line of defense against fine dust is a good DC setup to catch it at the source. You have to use your own definition of “good” since that’s different for each of us. Anyway, to your question: the representation of the ambient AC being an item to clear the air is not a hoax, but as Manitario said, they work slowly. The representation of an ambient AC to make us breathe better is a hoax (IMHO), per my second sentence.

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

View Redoak49's profile


3242 posts in 1985 days

#3 posted 10-15-2014 12:20 PM

Fred is correct….the first line of defense is getting the dust at the source. It is especially important for the fine dust which is harder to collect and will just hang in the air. I find the worst tools for fine dust are the sander and my scroll saw. I have connected dust collection to both of these and it makes a big difference. Also, some sanders are much better at dust collection than others.

Another issue to be concerned with is your shop vac or dust collector. A vacuum that does not have HEPA rated filters will just push very small particles back out into the air and the same goes with a dust collector system. These small particles are the most dangerous to your health. I have my dust collector outside of my shop in the garage and not in the actual shop.

I have the Jet Air Cleaner and think that it works very well. If I am doing something which has put a lot of fine dust in the air, I will turn it on and leave the shop for an hour or two so I do not have to breath the dust.

View bigblockyeti's profile


5112 posts in 1717 days

#4 posted 10-15-2014 12:32 PM

I have to clean mine regularly and I wear a good quality dust mask when my dust collection efforts aren’t cutting it (sanding). It only gets the finest dust that will stay suspended in the air for a long time and doesn’t do so quickly.

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2198 days

#5 posted 10-15-2014 01:12 PM

If your making a lot of dust from just a few machines group them closer and build a chute kinda like the ones over the stoves, I used to cut up a lot of Santos Mahogany and that dust would just kill me so I built a cheap 1/4 plywood ducting that was right over the tablesaw and the drum sander was close by and it helped a bunch. t may not look fancy bt it sure will help out. I would check my filter everyday and it was beet red from all the dust it was getting. If you really want to get serous get aold of a older water cooler and it will suck up some air pretty quick.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3098 days

#6 posted 10-15-2014 11:33 PM

I love mine. I’ve had to blow the filters out many times.
You have yours along a wall, Right??? You want to have it circulate the air around the shop. It not only sucks but it blows a lot of air to get that circulation going. It mainly helps to keep the shop cleaner than it would be without it, but that’s usually a loosing battle. I should use mine more but I have to decide if I want to listen to the air filter or the tunes. The tunes usually win out. Don’t give up….....................

-- mike...............

View Fettler's profile


200 posts in 1993 days

#7 posted 10-15-2014 11:55 PM

I have a rikon 950 cfm which hangs over my table saw (^^ collect at the source) and the filtered air blows towards my bench. The only indication i have that it’s working is smell and at dusk when a beam of light shines into my basement revealing particulates in the air. It takes about 4 hours to cycle all the air in my basement.

If i’ve done something particularly dusty i’ll augment the filtering by opening the windows and use a filtered box fan to vent outside and another fan to bring fresh air in (doesn’t work too hot in the winter).

At the end of each day i make sure to clean up all the dust i can find (preferable with a vacuum).

-- --Rob, Seattle, WA

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#8 posted 10-15-2014 11:57 PM

I have a Rikon 3-speed with an electrostatic pre-filter. It is on (low speed) most of the time I am working in the shop. When I am done for the day, I kick her up on high, set the timer for 2 hours, and close the door. It does a good job of keeping the dust down in the shop.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View CharlesA's profile


3320 posts in 1794 days

#9 posted 10-16-2014 12:00 AM

I was considering buying one, but after reading Bill Pentz’s site, I decided it would be better to just have a door and window open with a fan running.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

View TheDane's profile


5423 posts in 3659 days

#10 posted 10-16-2014 12:25 AM

... it would be better to just have a door and window open with a fan running.

Here in Wisconsin, I could do that about 4 months out of the year!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2686 days

#11 posted 10-16-2014 12:26 AM

I was considering buying one, but after reading Bill Pentz s site, I decided it would be better to just have a door and window open with a fan running.

- CharlesA

I’m with Charles. I try to have a fan behind me pointing to an open door or window.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View JoeWhite's profile


24 posts in 1930 days

#12 posted 10-16-2014 12:45 AM

I do have the jet 1100ck dust collector with the canister filter. I do use that for all of my tools, but there still seems to be a lot of small stuff in the air. I use a zero clearance insert on the table saw and honestly I feel like it negates any dust collection. It’s particularly noticeable with MDF projects. I always wear personal dust protection as well, but it gets cumbersome and I feel unsafe for a couple hours after making cuts. I just thought I’d get more out of my 1000B air cleaner. My shop is a 3 car garage. Not that large.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3305 days

#13 posted 10-16-2014 01:40 AM

I have two Jet dust filters in my shop and the filters frequently need cleaning or replacing…so they obviously are working and providing results

View patron's profile


13603 posts in 3337 days

#14 posted 10-16-2014 02:05 AM

got a 3 speed mounted on the wall
and made a frame on the intake side
i can slide them all out to blow them off outside
use 12”x24” filters on the box
one top and bottom
one on the end
and two on the side
this keeps the filters in the air filter cleaner
so i don’t have to clean them as often

hope to get some permanent filters
that can be hosed off with water to clean
instead of the fiber throw away’s

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4984 posts in 2489 days

#15 posted 10-16-2014 11:12 AM

I really doubt that zero clearance is hurting the DC. Unless all your cuts are just edge trimming, the workpiece is covering the opening in the throat plate anyway. You do need an overblade dust pickup if you don’t have one, and cutting MDF is about the worst thing to try and capture. Check the Pentz site for some info on DC, capturing all the finest dust (which is almost impossible even with a world class DC) takes huge amounts of air flow. But if moat of your saw cuts are edge trimming, then the stock insert may help.

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

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