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Thread: Considering air filtration for my 18'x38' work shop. Any opinions???

  1. #1
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    Considering air filtration for my 18'x38' work shop. Any opinions???

    I'm doing the electrical layout for my shop build out, and I'm considering adding electrical outlets in the ceiling for air filtration units. I've seen the Jet and Rinkon units on sale on Black Friday the last couple years, so I might pick one or 2 up this year. Do these units make a noticeable difference in the shop air quality? Are they a pain to maintain? I was thinking of getting 2 and positioning them centered on the long walls, mounted at ceiling height. I have an Onieda cyclone dust collector to pick up the heavy dust and chips at the machines, the air cleaners would just be for the air borne dust. Is it a worthwhile investment?

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    The JDS-750 that used to win all the bake offs now seems to be the Rikon 62-1100. I have an older JDS unit and it works great except for the remote control. Numerous reports of failure after a decade or so including mine. I now have it hard wired for the high setting and use an inexpensive remote AC switcher from the BORG. Still works great as I rarely used the lower speed anyway ;-) The point being that this one unit (and volume of exchange) work well in my 30 x 40 shop although I built out the wiring plan for two. I would also recommend running pathway for wireless, audio systems, etc. at this time. I ran two additional conduits for low-voltage applications and used one during the first year of occupancy in the new shop.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 11-23-2022 at 11:39 AM.
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  3. #3
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    I have a homemade air filtration unit that works very well. Took an old squirrel cage and boxed it in with 3 filters on 2 sides. Hung it on the ceiling and blow the air into a box in the attic with 2 8 inch flexible vents returning air back to the shop. I vacuum about 1/4 inch of small particles off each side about once a week

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    Is it a worthwhile investment?


    I have a homebuilt unit with bag filters built into workbench. As long as it is running the wife can come down, walk around, talk to me etc. If not running when I am working, she leaves in a few minutes and has a bad 8-12hrs due to allergies.
    I can't really tell any difference. I turn it on when I walk in the shop and turn it off anytime from when I leave to 3 days to a week later. It uses an old furnace fan and is quiet.
    Ron

  5. #5
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    They are quiet enough I would wire those outlets to be powered with lights. Thats currently how mine are so I remember to shut it off. I want to rewire the unit to be on all the time so everytime I turn the lights on or off it goes on so I can remember its up there in the first place. Mine is a grizzly but I think a bunch are made in the same factory and painted differently depending. Mine has an equivalent wen and jet model

  6. #6
    The Jet AFS1000B has been a great unit for a decade and a half. One minor flaw, it has a capacitor on the main control board that swells and dies, killing the unit. Mine did exactly that, read the notes/instructions about it on the interwebs, and followed replacement instructions with a cheap, easily sourced new capacitor. Back in service and going strong ever since.
    Does a very good job by itself, even though I should be running 2 in my newer 42x50 main shop space.
    Filters are still available, many different varieties, even the internal "lung" style. Steer towards a brand you can maintain over the years.
    Very smart to think this ahead and wire up accordingly.

  7. #7
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    I have 2 of the Rikon units in my shop. Its about 850 sq ft. One is powered with a switched plug on the same circuit with the lights. What I don't like about that one is I can't use the timer function. A lot of times, I turn the timer on for a couple hours after I leave. One shuts off with the lights, one shuts off on the timer.

  8. #8
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    Two of the Jet 1000B (or any of the equivalent competitors) oriented opposite each other will work just fine. Skip the Jet 2000. Too loud, and not much higher CFM than the 1000B's.

    I'm also a real believer in making a homemade air cleaner with four 20x20x2" MERV 13 or better air filters, a cheapo fan from the home improvement stores, and duct tape. (Lots of posts online, and on SMC showing how). Put it on a timer so it runs 3-4 times a day for 30-45 minutes. It's amazing how that cleans the baseline air in the shop, and is very inexpensive to make. I have one of those that's scheduled to run before I go in the shop in the morning. The air quality when I get inside is great.

    Maintenance on any of those manufactured units is not a big deal. Just don't forget to clean the reusable filter and replace the outside filters on a scheduled basis.

    Just to vicariously spend more of your money, buy a Dylos Air Quality meter (I believe the 1100 Pro model is the one set up for small particles that are the most dangerous to breathe in woodworking) and make it a point to wear a good P100 respirator (lots of good choices since the plague, I use the 3M one) when the air quality in the shop is worse than the usual ambient air readings on your Dylos. That also will make you feel a lot smarter when you see that the air cleaners you bought have done their job. You'll also learn which machines are the worst offenders in your shop for producing airborne particles.

    Undoubtedly a worthwhile investment. Your lungs are priceless. Sorry for the tome.
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 11-25-2022 at 10:59 AM.
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    I ordered 3 of the Wen 3410's for $105 each (black Friday special) and free shipping. I'm planning to put them in a U pattern to circulate the air through the whole work space.

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    I've seen a number of youtubers test a super cheap box fan + high MERV filter vs professional hanging filters. The more expensive hanging filters add some interesting features like timers, but for just filtering dust the box fan+filter does as well, if not better. You can add the other features via a dedicated circuit with a simple timer for $20-30 from your local electrical supplier.

    So if you've got a little time, the hanging filters aren't worth it, IMHO. You're talking about $30-40 and and 15 minutes for a basic setup, vs $160+ and up. If you must provide documentation for some reason, (OSHA?) maybe the professional models are a good idea, for the home gamer there are a lot of other things you could be spending this money on.

  11. #11
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    As described by Andrew, I keep 3 cheap box fans, a roll of disposable filter media and clothespins on hand to run in peoples homes when I do an install etc. I often get a "Thanks for doing that" when folks see the dust accumulation.
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 11-28-2022 at 7:00 PM.
    Missouri, it's not that bad. Best Regards, Maurice

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    I've seen a number of youtubers test a super cheap box fan + high MERV filter vs professional hanging filters. The more expensive hanging filters add some interesting features like timers, but for just filtering dust the box fan+filter does as well, if not better. You can add the other features via a dedicated circuit with a simple timer for $20-30 from your local electrical supplier.

    So if you've got a little time, the hanging filters aren't worth it, IMHO. You're talking about $30-40 and and 15 minutes for a basic setup, vs $160+ and up. If you must provide documentation for some reason, (OSHA?) maybe the professional models are a good idea, for the home gamer there are a lot of other things you could be spending this money on.
    I don't think a single cheap box fan with a single high MERV filter is going to do it. And I don't think we're only talking about $30-40 here. The setups we are describing have four 20x20x2" MERV 13 or greater filters (which aren't cheap) and a good high velocity fan. Plus a timer (which is nice). This setup absolutely not $30-40, but will work great. And I measured mine at 814 CFM. Much greater filter surface area, much less resistance to flow, much more efficient filtration.

    A Lasko fan with a single 20x20x1" filter does something, but the number of air exchanges per hour is limited by the resistance through the filter and the relatively small filter surface area. If the OP changes out the 1 micron filter on his Wens to something like a MERV 13 or MERV 14, he will do better removing small, more dangerous particles, but will certainly not get 400CFM. I believe David Morse had tested Lasko fans at some point. He probably has real data on their actual CFM. Personally, I wouldn't use as coarse a filter as 1 micro. My $0.02 (actually spent far more on filtration than that).

    In my previous testing, my Jet 1000B with a MERV 13 filter on it measured 1119 CFM. Real world testing, not factory optimistic numbers. Here's the link to our long thread regarding air filters: https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....tion-is-Better

    Justin, do you have a Dylos air quality meter by any chance? If so, we can lead you through testing your setup when installed. It would be very instructive to us all.

    And congrats for making that jump into air filtration. Your lungs will thank you some day.
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 11-28-2022 at 10:24 PM.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    I don't think a single cheap box fan with a single high MERV filter is going to do it. And I don't think we're only talking about $30-40 here.
    Last time I was in HD they were selling Lasko fans for $20, and then another $10-20 for the MERV 13 filter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    The setups we are describing have four 20x20x2" MERV 13 or greater filters (which aren't cheap) and a good high velocity fan. Plus a timer (which is nice). This setup absolutely not $30-40, but will work great.
    Fair enough, I probably should have been clearer on what I was describing. So right now that would be ~$100-150, with 4 box fans + 4 MERV 13 filters. What you're describing 4 20" box fans + MERV13 filters is going to have a much much larger area than the normal commerial hanging filter. Even with their deep filtering they're not going to move the same amount of air, or have the same amount of CFM. Lasko rates their box fans at ~1000 CFM. Not sure what the filter is going to do to the air flow, but I doubt it's going to cut it down to 250 CFM.

    If you want to save some money you can often get old squirel cage blowers for $25-50 off Craigslist. Once you move to the 4 filters that's probably going to be the better approach, and it will have higher CFM than most hanging filter systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    In my previous testing, my Jet 1000B with a MERV 13 filter on it measured 1119 CFM.
    So you're running a $500 filter? That would buy a LOT of box fans + 20x20x1 filters. Looking at the design for that system, it's basically 1 1/2 of box fan filter area at 30x24. AND you need to buy special filters at a higher price from Jet.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew More View Post
    Last time I was in HD they were selling Lasko fans for $20, and then another $10-20 for the MERV 13 filter.


    Fair enough, I probably should have been clearer on what I was describing. So right now that would be ~$100-150, with 4 box fans + 4 MERV 13 filters. What you're describing 4 20" box fans + MERV13 filters is going to have a much much larger area than the normal commerial hanging filter. Even with their deep filtering they're not going to move the same amount of air, or have the same amount of CFM. Lasko rates their box fans at ~1000 CFM. Not sure what the filter is going to do to the air flow, but I doubt it's going to cut it down to 250 CFM.

    If you want to save some money you can often get old squirel cage blowers for $25-50 off Craigslist. Once you move to the 4 filters that's probably going to be the better approach, and it will have higher CFM than most hanging filter systems.


    So you're running a $500 filter? That would buy a LOT of box fans + 20x20x1 filters. Looking at the design for that system, it's basically 1 1/2 of box fan filter area at 30x24. AND you need to buy special filters at a higher price from Jet.
    Many good points, Andrew. And to some extent we are describing apples vs. oranges. I already had owned the Jet 1000B and bought the Jet 2000 for my workshop. I wasn't terribly pleased with the Dylos particle readings I was getting in the stock configuration (just took too long to get rid of particles, and noisy too). Doing some tests and adding some better quality filters I was able to increase their efficiency markedly, demonstrated with a boatload of testing. I wasn't terribly concerned about the cost of adding the filters. Does it work - very well. Is it $30-40. Not even close.

    As far as the homemade box filter, I got involved in this during Covid, I had just retired, and had time on my hands. I first learned about them on an Ask This Old House episode. I refuse to mention the two persons whose names are commonly associated with these filters as they really weren't the first to come up with the idea, but you always hear it called their name's box. Petty peeve on my part.

    During the beginnings of Covid, many of these were built, as they are quite effective at air purification for small particles. A group of students at UCSD even mass built a ton of these for classrooms in San Diego. Way to go guys!

    But these filters are very effective for woodworkers. They remove large amounts of very small particles that we don't want to breathe very effectively. A Wen, Jet, or whoever's normal box filter with a 1 micron outside filter doesn't do that well. The filter is just too porous. Could you buy a HEPA filter as a replacement for the outside filter? Absolutely. Will it filter small particles better? Of course. But at the cost of reducing the CFM of the setup. Will it's efficiency go down? Good question. Testing would show if it helps or hurts. I found that adding a second MERV13 filter to the outflow of the Jet 1000B made things worse, and I removed it.

    But I have added MERV 13 filters to the inlets of my Jet1000B and Jet 2000 and they significantly improve small particle collection. That link showed the test results.

    I'm hoping David Morse jumps in, as he had mentioned that he had tested some Lasko fans and knows their flow rates. I found that it was significantly underpowered when I tried one in a 4-box filter setup (which should have less air resistance than a single filter) and replaced it with a higher CFM fan I purchased on Amazon. Works far better.

    And yes, $500 would buy a LOT of box fans + 20x20x1 cheap filters. But where are you going to put all of them, and the noise would be deafening. Not a good plan for me, at least.

    I'm really hoping that the OP has a Dylos particle meter, as I'd love to see results of his setup. We would all learn a lot.

    There is a ShopHacks article and a build from Jay Bates who made a nice filter cart (a little prettier than the duct tape version. He does some testing in his shop comparing those to a number of commercial air filtration system, including the Wen, Powermatic, and a box fan with filter. The worst performing was a box fan with a new MERV12 filter. The Wen 3410 took 107 minutes to clear the air, and a box fan took only 33 minutes. One of his lessons learned is that crappy filters are, well, crappy. Good quality filters matter. And using 4 filters, albeit 4 times more expensive, yields 1/16 as much flow resistance - hence greater CFM and greater efficiency.

    shop-hacks-air-filtration-system-shootout-test-results_1_orig.jpg


    Here are those links:
    https://www.shophacks.com/airfiltrationsystems.html#/
    https://jayscustomcreations.com/2016...-cleaner-cart/
    Last edited by Alan Lightstone; 11-30-2022 at 9:54 AM.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

  15. #15
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    Eureka: I read that old thread, and David had included flow figures that he had measured with the common Lasko fans:

    "I've done some testing of the Laskos. They can move about 990 CFM with no filters attached. Putting a filter directly on the back of the fan reduces that, to about 500 CFM for a 2" thick generic MERV 8 and about 240 CFM for a DuPont 9100 (MERV 12). A 3M 1500 (also MERV 12) does much better than the DuPont with 380 CFM."

    So as I had mentioned previously, adding a single filter to a typical Lasko 20x20 fan reduces their flow rate markedly. 240CFM with a MERV 12 is not exactly stellar flow. And with a MERV 13 or even higher with a HEPA filter they will go down even further. They are 2" filters that he described.
    - Its not that Im so smart, its just that I stay with problems longer. Albert Einstein
    - Welcome to Florida. Where the old folks visit their parents

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