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Thread: Shop dust filtration questions

  1. #1

    Shop dust filtration questions

    I have heard of woodworkers who use their dust collector to pull air through a ceiling mounted box with a set of filters mounted to the sides. I don't personally know anyone who does this, and I haven't heard any reports of success or failure doing so.I get to understand that If I use a 4" hose on my DC attached to filters that catch 5 to 20 micron dust particles, such as a shop vac filter, and the post filtration air is going through my dust collector with a 1 micron filter, would this not efficiently filter the airborne particles? If so, where in the shop (high, low, center, corner, near the DC, etc) would you place the filter? What else would you use as a filter material? I would close all other blast gates while I am not using tools that generate dust, allowing the full power of the DC to flow through the air filters. I hope this makes sense. Is this an Idea worth pursuing, or is it a waste of time and money? If it matters, my DC is a Delta 1HP. Thanks in advance, I am working on plans to get the new shop up and running.

  2. #2
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    Pulling the shop air through a filter box at the ceiling seems like a complex & roundabout way to clean the air. Filtration is, or should be, already taking place at the discharge side of the blower. If I want to clear the air quickly after doing something dusty, like sweeping up, I will open 2 or 3 of the farthest blast gates & run the DC. It doesn't take long to get the particle count back down to base level.

    I don't think its good to use a 1 micron filter because it will take out the visible dust, but leave the submicron stuff suspended in the air. It's the dust that you can't see, but is most dangerous to your health.

  3. #3
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    My preference would be to have a real air cleaner with its own blower so that you can run it >while< you work in the shop and are presumably using the DC to collect at the source on other machines. The blower exhaust also creates a circulation in the shop that if positioned properly will promote air giltering. I would recommend mounting it about nose level in you shop and someplace that will promote circulation of dust in the shop, so you get a continuous filtering action. Dust wants to settle so lower the better, but you have to balance that with all the obstacles that are lower in the shop, like machines, benches, etc.
    Last edited by Brian Tymchak; 09-13-2021 at 4:20 PM.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  4. #4
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    I'm with the other responders. I also have a Delta 1HP buried over in the corner somewhere, sleeping. Even with a properly sized aftermarket bag from American Fabric Filter (which did wonders for the performance of the machine) I would hesitate to ask it to collect from a tool and scrub the air too. Most OEM bags are 5 micron or sometimes 3 micron. Both make excellent dust distribution systems that leave a nice, even, talc like coating on everything; not the type of thing you want to use to try to scrub the air.

    The rallying call in dust collection is to do as much as you can with what you can acquire. I would probably put my efforts into a shop made air scrubber and power it with a used squirrel-cage blower. If you look around for a while you can probably cobble something together on the cheap. I still have a 20 x 20, two level filter ambient cleaner that I cobbled out of the old T1-11 siding from a shed that a neighbor tore down over a decade ago. It is powered by an old gable fan. A squirrel-cage blower will do more for you but, can be noisier.
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  5. #5
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    I'll add that I built a filter box onto the shop furnace & generally run the fan when I'm in there. The DC just makes the process that much faster.

  6. #6
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    I needed a mobile stand for my Pantorouter, so I built this. It's almost silent, sucks in through the sides and exhausts out the bottom.

    The filters are starting to show sawdust on the outside, so it must be doing a little air scrubbing.

    I have a Jet AFS1000B mounted up on the ceiling.





  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Tymchak View Post
    My preference would be to have a real air cleaner with its own blower so that you can run it >while< you work in the shop and are presumably using the DC to collect at the source on other machines. The blower exhaust also creates a circulation in the shop that if positioned properly will promote air giltering. I would recommend mounting it about nose level in you shop and someplace that will promote circulation of dust in the shop, so you get a continuous filtering action. Dust wants to settle so lower the better, but you have to balance that with all the obstacles that are lower in the shop, like machines, benches, etc.
    I agree. I don't thing a standard dust collector pulling dust through a 4" hose for long periods would make much of an impact except maybe in your electric bill.

    I'd use a separate filtered air cleaner. One reason is to also run it for a while after leaving the shop. Checking with a Dylos particle monitor it was surprising how quickly it cleared fine dust from the air. Mine has a timer mode that will turn it off after a time.

    Mine's a Jet - for best whole-shop circulation they recommended mounting near the ceiling near the middle of a long wall, if possible, or on the wall itself - can be turned up so the "bottom" is against the wall.

    BTW, I have a second one I run when I have a bunch of young chicks or guinea keets or peachicks in brooders in the back room of the shop. It's amazing how much extremely fine dust they generate - it wouild be on everything in the room if I didn't do something.

    JKJ

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by John K Jordan View Post

    BTW, I have a second one I run when I have a bunch of young chicks or guinea keets or peachicks in brooders in the back room of the shop. It's amazing how much extremely fine dust they generate - it wouild be on everything in the room if I didn't do something.

    JKJ
    Not to mention psittacosis or histoplasmosis.
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  9. #9
    Does yours blow sawdust off the floor and into your eyes? I built one of these also, though the free blower I salvaged may be too big. I hardly use it because it blows too hard. I mounted the discharge horizontal and low. It sure does a good job on filtration, though.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Helmich View Post
    Does yours blow sawdust off the floor and into your eyes? I built one of these also, though the free blower I salvaged may be too big. I hardly use it because it blows too hard. I mounted the discharge horizontal and low. It sure does a good job on filtration, though.
    If that question is directed to me, from post #6, no I think my blower is a little under powered and I have it on a rheostat so I can turn the speed up or down, although I leave it on full power. I'm also keep my floor pretty clean, I have a 20', 2.5" hose that I use with an old Shopsmith vacuum floor sweep from my DC.

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