Air Cleaner Recommendation

My wife is very allergic to saw dust and I seem to generate quite a bit even though I use a dust collection system. Do air cleaners in the shop really help? If so, what should I look for or stay away from?
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wrote:

Yes! I built a "sanding table" from ShopNotes plans, and it doubles as an air cleaner. It rests on swivel wheels and houses three furnace filters. The top is pegboard. It contains a 1/4 HP squirrel-cage furnace blower.
If you want one el-cheapo, bungee cord a furnace filter to a box fan intake side. Be sure to change the filter often, else it will burn out the fan motor prematurely.
Always use your DC to get the sawdust at its source. I noticed that pine sawdust gives my nose fits more than other wood types, but ever since I bought a Dustfoe 88 (mask) no more allergic reactions.
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even
There's lots of good info here. http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworking/cyclone /
-- Mark
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I have a small full time shop that I was having a lot of dust problems with and part of my improvements was the addition of an air filter. My opinion is that you start by making sure your at the tool collection is as good as possible and still throw on an air filter because it won't be as good as it should be. In my shop I work on a lot of long millwork so when I do a little touch up hand sanding it can go everywhere. Also my radial arm saw is a bear to collect from (I tend to avoid using it whenever possible). But in general stuff slips by the dust collector here and there.
As far as what to buy, it depends on the air volume in your shop. Most vendors have suggestions for figuring out what you need, but I found the information in "Woodshop Dust Control" by Nagyszalanczy to be very good. The book is twenty dollars well spent. Look closely at the percentage of particles the vendor claims to filter at sizes like 1 micron. If they won't spec it, don't buy their product.
I would say though that most home shop dust collection is pretty much in the chip collection realm. Collectors generally come with 30 micron bags which will help keep the floor clean, but not your lungs. The new Jet canister line is pretty nice though and I get good results from mine.
Also if you use a shop vac for collecting from hand sanders, take a good look at what type of filtering it does. There are models that can take HEPA filters and those can really cut down on the fine dust in the air. My old shop vac that was advertised as collecting 99 percent of all dust would make a small cloud of fine dust out the exaust port.
Dave R.

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Hi, As a matter of interest, was she really tested for a reaction to saw dust? If so what kind of wood dust was used? As stated elsewhere, the sander is the main culprit when in comes to generating particles that are small enough to stay suspended long enough to migrate throughout the house. A properly designed sanding table or attaching your sander to a shop vac with a clean stream filter will all but alleviate the problem. At one point when I was not doing any woodworking for a few weeks I noticed the dust build up in the living space (on tables ect) was about the same as when I was WW. So I bought a large air cleaner to remove general house dust ( and any fugitive saw dust that made it upstairs) and my asthma and AR were significantly reduced. Cheers, JG
cedavis wrote:

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Besides dust collectors and air filters look for ways that the dust is entering the living area of your home. Ideally there should be no connection to your house. have you sealed and weatherstripped the door to the shop from the house. You should not be using any heat or airconditioning ducts. If the shop is in the basement you need to seal gaps in the floor above. Also do you change your clothing before entering the house and who is doing the wash.
I had a similar problem and have implemented all of the above with very good results.
Howard

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Yes...they do work. Look at the Delta and the Jet models plus there are others all about the same price range. The Delta has or now comes with a washable electrostatic filter ($50). When I got the Jet, they did not offer the metal, washable filter but the Delta fit the Jet I got and it works great. The $50 may seem like a lot for a filter but it's not compared to the cost of the replaceable filters after a few months.
I have a small shop (12' x 20') and the air cleaner (3 speed) makes quick work of the airborne dust. No, not perfect but sure was worth the investment. After you clean the filter a few times, you'll know how effective it is. Besides, most places have 30 day money back guarantee's if you don't like the product. If you live near a WW store, go look at them.
Bob S.

even
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even
One of the magazines had a review and test of them. A couple of brands did better than some others by a wide margin. I'll try to find it later, but perhaps someone else has the info. It was just a month or so ago.
Lee Valley and Delta did good, Grizzly did not participate, a couple of brands did poorly. It will be worth doing some searching for the info. Ed
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There is no substitute for grabbing ALL of the dust coming from a tool, running it through a GOOD dust collection system that SEPARATES the dust from the air stream, then FILTERS the air coming from the blower. By far the best way to do this in most small shops is by using a cyclone approach. Bill Pentz has designed an excellent cyclone separator unit that is very effective in separating dust, even the fine stuff, from the air stream, with enough effectiveness that you can use a very fine filter system down to 0.3 microns to return clean, breatheable air into the room. No need for a room air cleaner. Just get rid of the dust.
Be careful when shopping for dust collection equipment. The static pressure and CFM specifications for most "popular" systems are largely meaningless. Also, a 4-inch hose cannot move enough air to trap the dust generated by a 10" table saw. Bill Pentz's site lists the CFM requirements for various types of tools, but you MUST have CFM performance AT a specific static pressure to have any significance, and the big importers don't provide that kind of information.
Also be aware that a cyclone must be designed with specific proportions in order to do what it is supposed to. Few cyclone sellers have that kind of expertise. Just because it's called a cyclone and looks like a cyclone doesn't mean it will do an exceptional job of cleaning up the air in your shop.
See http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworking/cyclone/Index.html for more information.
I am currently manufacturing a cyclone kit as well as a welded steel blower housing that are both fully compatible with each other and with Bill's designs. He and I have been collaborating on this project. Contact me directly for further information. I am not interested in spamming the group with advertising. More information will be appearing on Bill's site about my work in the near future.
Clarke Echols
cedavis wrote:

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