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Urban Luthier

Dust filtration in a very small shop

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I have a very small shop 8 x 8ft with ceiling height of 6.5 ft! I don't have any power tools in the shop but I do most rib re sawing and flatting by hand. Saws and toothing blades kick up a moderate amount of dust. 

I'm looking for an efficient way to filter dust. I came across a compact air filtration system  on Amazon. I can't mount it on the ceiling because of hight but I could put it on its side on an open self with enough clearance

Any experience with these? Other suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Chris

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I have a larger model (larger space) mounted to the overhead rafters.  I use the timer feature to run the air filter for 2 hrs. after I leave the shop.  Even though I rarely use power tools it's pretty amazing how quickly the filter needs to be changed.  I notice that the model you're looking at has a carry handle.  You might be able to pull it out and run the filter on it's timer after you leave the shop.  

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I have a unit similar to the one you're considering, but I have the space to hang it up in too. One comment I have is that those are noisier than you might think, and in the small space and close proximity you're dealing with, that might be disturbing. Would you mind wearing hearing protection at all times?

Another possible alternative is to get (or make) a "downdraft" table that could be attached to a high quality shop vacuum, and use it when you're doing dust creating tasks. I'm suggesting a high quality vacuum, like a Festool, because they are most often substantially quieter and also have variable speed, so are therefore quieter still. This is in addition to the fact that they are better made in every other way too. Of course they're expensive.

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I have a 20" box fan with a furnace filter mounted on the suction side. It seems to work about as well as my other two dust collection devices. Inexpensive, and  can be hung, or sit on a bench or the floor.

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thanks everyone! 

Box Fan is a good idea and cheep -- could be hooked up to a timer also. I looked at the Festool products, thanks for the tip. They seem to be more for capturing dust at the source from power tools. Well made but expensive

I like the idea of the overhead units as they seem to have quite deep filters. Any issue with putting it on a self on its side as long as there is free space around it?

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5 hours ago, MarkBouquet said:

I'm suggesting a high quality vacuum, like a Festool, because they are most often substantially quieter and also have variable speed, so are therefore quieter still.

I second the Festool suggestion. I use one of their small dust extractors (CT 26) because it comes with a HEPA filter. I also like the fact that it has an AUTO setting which switches the extractor on when you turn on the tool. 

If the particle size of the filter is a topic for you than options are somewhat limited. I bought a used Oneida cyclone dust collector with HEPA filter for the larger machines (e.g. bandsaw). Definitely not an option for a small shop. If I run that with open ports and no tool attached, it pretty much works like a dust filter though.

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The hand tool work that you describe is unlikely to cause dust particles smaller than 5 micron, particles of this size or smaller penetrate deep into the lungs. Small particles are usually caused by sanding or machines that have a rapid cutting action and thus shear larger particles multiple times until they are small enough to enter the bronchial tree and settle in alveoli.

In your small shop, 4-6 air changes per hour should be sufficient, an extraction fan mounted in the window would do nicely, clean air can enter through the door from the rest of your house. 

Great shop by the way - very neat and tidy.

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Good point about hand tool use and particle size. I agree that sanding and sawing (table saw, miter saw) are the main source of fine dust in my shops. I am also set up in the basement and one reasons why I didn’t want to vent to the outside was the rapid air exchange. I was concerned about warm and humid air in the summer (basement humidity) and loosing heat in the winter. I haven’t tried it and it may not be an issue at all depending on where you live. Others seem to have more experience with this solution.

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I guess there’s lot,s of ways to filter air , ..... I have several, a big one, one that blows and sucks huge amounts of air  , a small one for benchtop, and a supper fine one with charcoal, as well as a laminar flow hood for varnish, my personal favorite is the benchtop unit that can be moved wherever needed, helps keep the dust where I want it ,before being distributed , ...so currently..... last year or so, I,m slow...  I am setting up a varnish clean room, and this discussion does raise a question , on mounting height , I always see ceiling mounted air cleaners , but this seems counterintuitive, is it just to get the unit out of the way? Dust is heavy and settles on the floor, benches ,so every step kicks some more up,  maybe it makes more sense to go low? 

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25 minutes ago, James M. Jones said:

I guess there’s lot,s of ways to filter air , ..... I have several, a big one, one that blows and sucks huge amounts of air  , a small one for benchtop, and a supper fine one with charcoal, as well as a laminar flow hood for varnish, my personal favorite is the benchtop unit that can be moved wherever needed, helps keep the dust where I want it ,before being distributed , ...so currently..... last year or so, I,m slow...  I am setting up a varnish clean room, and this discussion does raise a question , on mounting height , I always see ceiling mounted air cleaners , but this seems counterintuitive, is it just to get the unit out of the way? Dust is heavy and settles on the floor, benches ,so every step kicks some more up,  maybe it makes more sense to go low? 

The instruction on my unit (from memory) suggests mounting near the ceiling and adjacent to a wall to create a circular air flow in the shop.  These air filtration units are for removing suspended particulates.  The little stuff, less than 2.5 ug/cm3 (PM 2.5), will remain in suspension and this is the stuff that will have cumulative respiratory health effects.  I don't know if the PMs <2.5 microns are large enough to mess with varnish.  The larger suspended solids are the stuff that will fall out of suspension and create a dust layer.  A portable hepa filter unit will probably be sufficient for a clean room.  May also be all that's needed in Chris's shop. 

-Jim

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I just finished up making pegs and a tailpiece out of cream colored Katalox.  Some work on the band saw, some on the lathe, and hand work after that.  The saw generated dust, even with the vac attached.  The lathe made stringy chips, and dust.  

The last couple of days my sinuses have been plugged up.  This morning we went shopping at Kroger, and now I feel much better. 

I'm pretty sure it was the wood dust.  

What can you do in a basement?  Drill a hole in the poured concrete wall?  The room is not contained, so it is 1200 ft. with dust generated in a corner.

 

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2 hours ago, Jim Bress said:

  A portable hepa filter unit will probably be sufficient for a clean room.  May also be all that's needed in Chris's shop.

Like Ken I've been having sinus trouble from the dust kicked up from planing and sawing. A better N95 respirator has done wonders. 

A combo of a good shop vac, portable help filter and window fan may do it for me. 

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On 9/19/2019 at 9:32 AM, Urban Luthier said:

I have a very small shop 8 x 8ft with ceiling height of 6.5 ft! I don't have any power tools in the shop but I do most rib re sawing and flatting by hand. Saws and toothing blades kick up a moderate amount of dust. 

I'm looking for an efficient way to filter dust. I came across a compact air filtration system  on Amazon. I can't mount it on the ceiling because of hight but I could put it on its side on an open self with enough clearance

Any experience with these? Other suggestions?

Thanks in advance

Chris

 

 

I have two of these same ones in a 900 sq ft air tight shop. It was difficult to imagine how fast these things cleared the air. I was surprised.

I have a small room dedicated to grinding iron, one for wood power tools ,, one for hand work. So I just move them around where needed, I place them near the work to keep the dust out of the air,,, from spreading around the room in the first place, I set them on their side or bottom, or roll them around on wheels. When using things that make a lot of dust I throw a tea towel across the front to catch the big chunks and keep them out of the filter, and it does the rest. The filters blow out easily with compressed air, and are inexpensive to boot

Also these are very quiet, just a humming, much quieter than a fan. I've had them a couple of years at $120.00 usd

Evan Dustless

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21 hours ago, Urban Luthier said:

thanks everyone! 

Box Fan is a good idea and cheep -- could be hooked up to a timer also. I looked at the Festool products, thanks for the tip. They seem to be more for capturing dust at the source from power tools. Well made but expensive

I like the idea of the overhead units as they seem to have quite deep filters. Any issue with putting it on a self on its side as long as there is free space around it?

I put them on their side all the time, it should work perfect.

The one consideration might be a tiny quiet fan to circulate the air in the room, the design of the unit is,,,, air in one side and out the other so it circulates the air as it filters. I will sometimes run a small fan on the other side of the room directed along the wall to stir things up so the filter will catch it.

 

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4 hours ago, James M. Jones said:

I guess there’s lot,s of ways to filter air , ..... I have several, a big one, one that blows and sucks huge amounts of air  , a small one for benchtop, and a supper fine one with charcoal, as well as a laminar flow hood for varnish, my personal favorite is the benchtop unit that can be moved wherever needed, helps keep the dust where I want it ,before being distributed , ...so currently..... last year or so, I,m slow...  I am setting up a varnish clean room, and this discussion does raise a question , on mounting height , I always see ceiling mounted air cleaners , but this seems counterintuitive, is it just to get the unit out of the way? Dust is heavy and settles on the floor, benches ,so every step kicks some more up,  maybe it makes more sense to go low? 

Absolutely, Exactly, Positively,,

10-4

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1 hour ago, Urban Luthier said:

Like Ken I've been having sinus trouble from the dust kicked up from planing and sawing. A better N95 respirator has done wonders. 

A combo of a good shop vac, portable help filter and window fan may do it for me. 

Do your set up so you plane in front of one of these air filters, you won't get any dust to breathe,

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