Clean air for a basement shop

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Forum topic by packetsmacker posted 03-20-2015 05:22 PM 1099 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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28 posts in 1834 days

03-20-2015 05:22 PM

I am looking at setting up my shop in the basement. Its not a big room maybe 10×15. I have a dust deputy hooked up to a small shop vac and it does an ok job. I need to get better fitting hoses and dust ports on the tools but that’s a different post.

My wife really want to make sure zero dust leaves my area. There is no HVAC return in the room which I believe would be the main source of spreading dust throughout the house. The doors would need some weather stripping but that’s easy.

My proposed solution is a HF dust collector with the normal mods you see on youtube to improve it. Then a old HVAC blower that would filter the air. Probably run 2-3 filters in it. That seems to be the way most people do it. My wife isn’t convinced that is going to do the job :)

I have some family that do HVAC and they said I could run an EVR system but I am not sure about pulling in the humidity into a room with tools like my table saw. Plus its such a small room.

What do most people do with basement woodworking shops? Is the HF worth the money since I have a dusty deputy? The table saw is the biggest dust producer that I have currently. I have a thickness planner but That seems to produce small shavings not dust. Sanding is the only other thing I can think of that produces dust.

9 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3844 posts in 1914 days

#1 posted 03-20-2015 05:28 PM

Even a world class DC doesn’t catch all the dust, but with the ambient air cleaner running (try to come up with a timer for it) you will get about all of that’s practical. If there is no open areas (vent,ducts, etc) leading to the balance of the house I think you will be very close to perfect, except for what you track/haul into the dwelling on your shoes and clothes (hair and other stuff as well).

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

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2392 days

#2 posted 03-21-2015 12:19 AM

The “usual mods” for a HF dust collector most folks on here talk about most are two things.

First is to replace the 5 micron bag with a pleated paper, 0.5 micron type filter cartridge.
- this is an excellent idea.

Second is either a cyclone, or a “Thein baffle on a trash can”, pre-filter collection stage.
- good for moving the collection point from the collector’s bag to the pre-filter’s can. But otherwise, a waste of time and money. Any good cyclone will reduce the air flow volume going to the collector.

Your plan to run a room air filter is a good one. Unless you have a source or the fan real cheap, you can buy a small room filter for less than the cost of the components. The outside filter is a furnace filter, but the inside filter is a pocket type and not so easy to find.
Here is a link to one for less than $150. This is a Wen. Rikon, and Shop Fox also sell the exact same filter (for more money)

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1678 days

#3 posted 03-21-2015 12:50 AM

Use your compressor to blow the dust off yourself before leaving your shop. I keep a pair of shoes just outside the shop door to avoid tracking dust into the house. Also, after you make a couple really nice pieces of furniture, the dust may not be as much of an issue. :)

-- Art

View barada83's profile


76 posts in 607 days

#4 posted 03-21-2015 03:00 AM

IMO, point of creation dust collection is the number one objective. If you can get that nailed fairly well then your job is nearly complete. In my basement, I have hung cloth drop cloths from the joists to create a dust barrier as well and have laid a mat to limit tracked dust. I built my own ambient air filter from a 1 micron furnace filter and it has a timer – thanks to aftermarket countdown timer plugin, approx. $8 IIRC. With my shop, I used normal 4” HVAC steel ducting and built my own cyclone. A copious amount of blastgates ensures enough airflow to each tool when using. The point is, be creative and figure out where you are making dust and devise some way to build something that connects to a system be it shop vac or large dust collector.

-- Mike

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

147 posts in 1472 days

#5 posted 03-21-2015 04:13 AM

I have pretty much the exact setup your talking about. Basement shop 12×22, HF dust collector with Wynn filter plumbed to every tool, home made ambient air cleaner, but I also have a return duct in that room with a washable filter in front of it. With regular shop clean up you should be fine. I regularly turn my ambient on full blast and walk around with the air gun to get everything that settles in the nooks and cranny’s. Shop is clean and so is the rest of the house.

-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View bbasiaga's profile


730 posts in 1416 days

#6 posted 03-21-2015 11:44 AM

FYI, the Thien baffle/trash can lid from woodcraft also serves the purpose of keeping chips from tools like jointers and planers from contacting the plastci impeller in the HF dust collection unit. Also, when you go to the Wynn filter, you will see an increase in air flow because it has less pressure drop than the bag (doesn’t seem right, but it is). Many have reported that that can cause the fan motor to over-amp, heat up, and fail prematurely. You will need a blast gate in the system somewhere to trim the air flow back to what the unit was designed for. The trash can baffle set up also causes some pressure drop which helps in this scenario.

IMO both are good ideas. I have just set mine up this way.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View crank49's profile


3979 posts in 2392 days

#7 posted 03-23-2015 09:15 AM

The impellor in my HF 2hp dust collector is made of riveted steel, but it’s 4 years old.
Have they changed the design for that? Is it plastic now?

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View packetsmacker's profile


28 posts in 1834 days

#8 posted 03-23-2015 01:35 PM

Wow i appreciate the feed back. I will be moving into the space next month. I will hopefully start posting some projects. I have never had a dedicated space before.

crank49 I don’t know if they are plastic now. I haven’t got mine yet.

View barada83's profile


76 posts in 607 days

#9 posted 03-24-2015 03:21 PM

Dedicated spaces are really nice. You are going to love it.

I bought a new delta drum dust collector from craigslist. Never underestimate the power of new/used tools from craigslist… 125 for the dust collector and 75 for a floor standing drill press as examples of my notable used tool purchases.

-- Mike

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