Air Filtration Systems?


I have a shop (Garage) that is 24'x28'. I do not have a dust collection system, and since all of my tools are on movable carts, I probably won't install one anytime soon. I don't mind sweeping up the sawdust and planer shavings, but the fine dust that floats in the air is terrible to breathe in, and it floats in the air coating everything in the shop.
So, I've been considering an air filtration system like the Jet AFS-1000B
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?pageT89
But, I'm curious if these things really help out that much? Can one filter system keep my entire shop clean? And, are they like my shop vac that cleans well when new, but functions poorly once the filter clogs (like every 10 minutes. :) ).
If anyone here has an air filtration system like this, I'd love to hear your experiences with it...
Thanks,
Anthony
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On Wed, 18 Jan 2006 10:04:33 -0600, HerHusband wrote:

Anthony,
I have a similar air filter, made by JDS. I use it in conjunction with a dust collector, a Jet 2HP model with a canister filter.
The air filter does make a difference. Previously, after a few hours of shop time cutting or sanding, I'd find a coating of dust on virtually every horizontal surface. Since I installed the air filter, it takes many more hours in the shop to see that.
The dust that does accumulate is much finer than before. (I'm sure the fine dust was there previously, but masked by the more coarse stuff.) This is probably due to the air filter not getting the very smallest particles. The blower running probably helps to keep that very fine dust suspended in the air, too. I wear a respirator mask most of the time in the shop, for that reason.
IMO, you should consider a dust collector, too. A small one designed to be used with a single tool at a time, with casters and set up with quick disconnects, would probably fit your shop.
--
Art


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What Art said. Try to collect the dust at source first and then get a general room air cleaner for the fines. Cheers, JG.
Art Greenberg wrote:

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HerHusband wrote:

I have had one for a couple years now and I can say it works well. I have to change/clean the first filter pretty regular and the big filter on the inside has been changed once since I bought it. The pleated filter on the outside get most of the large particles and the big filter inside gets the fine stuff, thus taking longer to fillup.
I worked with some walnut a couple weeks ago and had the filter running and it changed the color of the outside filter to a dark brown from a pine yellow color by the end of the day.
I use a better quality filter on the outside than it came with as the original was just a cheap furnace filter and let way too much into the more expensive inside filter. The filter on the inside cost about $30 to replace. But I have found at the Local Mike's merchandise, the same filter for about $5. It requires a little work to make fit properly.
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Just imagine what that dust did to your lungs! ... because you were breathing that air before the air filter did and since the air filter does not even come close to getting the very finest dust, your lungs are the final filter!
--
Joseph Connors
The New Golden Rule:
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Buy the dust collector first. The air filter only extracts dust after it has been floating in the air. Therefore you are breathing it all during your work session. A dust collector gets the dust at the source (well maybe most of it) before it gets to the air.
My order of protection items is dust mask, dust collector, air filter and chnage out of your shop clothes and shoes before going into the house.
Joseph Connors wrote:

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I agree its most important to try to catch the dust at the source. I would only add that most hand power tools which create dust can be attached to a shop vac which is more effective on small tools than a dust collector (albeit louder). My priority would be shopvac, dust collector, then air filtration unit in that order.
My first dust collector was a small Delta 1HP that I could easily roll around and connect to each machine as I used it which would seem to fit this shop.

filter
running
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I actually tried this yesterday with my new Dewalt sander. I remembered seeing that feature listed on the box, so I figured I'd give it a try. I was very impressed. Normally 30 minutes of sanding is enough to fill the room with sawdust. But, I spent about 2 hours sanding down doors and there was virtually no dust in the air, and nothing to sweep up afterwards. The sander was my "worst offender", so that's a huge achievement.
I need to see if I can find a 1-1/4" extension hose though, as the 2" hose on my shop vac is fairly heavy when connected to the sander. It took two hands to keep the sander level. The weight of the hose kept pulling the back end down. But, the results are worth the extra effort.

Part of the problem is most of my machines do NOT have connections for dust collection. My tablesaw is just a big open base, and my planer just spits everything out the backside. So, a dust collector wouldn't be real useful unless I bought new tools too... :)
Anthony
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I'd look for a shop vac first as well. Check out woodcraft - they have the Fein Mini Turbo on sale. It sure would be nice to have something quiet like this... If you have more money, you could look into a larger dust collector, but if you use it for sweeping up your shop or if you'll potentially get screws or bits of metal, you'll want a cyclonic system before the filter. I currently have a Ridgid shopvac with a HEPA filter, and a home-made air cleaner like you were describing (old dryer motor/blower in a box with some furnace filters). The shop vac at the source makes a lot more difference than the air cleaner, but the cleaner does help with the dust suspended in the air, and what would otherwise build up on any horizontal surface. And I almost always wear a dust mask also. Sure, I can't smell the pleasant scent of oak shavings very much at all, but that fact means that a good portion of that scent is particulate, and I don't want that in my lungs. That's my system, and it works for me... (Until I get more space and can afford a dedicated dust collector, anyway) Andy
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Andy,

I already have a nice 12 gallon Shop-Vac I bought a couple of years ago. It is designed to run quieter than most shop vacs, and it's certainly quieter than my last one. But, it still makes a fair bit of noise.
The biggest problem with the shop vac is the filters clog up too quickly. Someone here suggested one of those slip in fine dust filter bags, so I picked up a pack of those today. It will be interesting to see if it lasts longer than the usual filter.

I'm still considering one, but thanks for the info!
Anthony
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I just purchased a new shop vac from Sears. It is a Crapsman 6.5hp 20gallon for about $80. It was a clearance item, with a much reduced price. I had a Genie 12gallon prior to the Crapsman, the Genie decided to release its magic smoke while I had it hooked to the planer and that was that. The Genie was one of those that required ear plugs for any living thing within a 1 mile radius while it was running. The new Craftsman is very quiet and has great suction. I got it home and took it to the shop and thought I would try it out. About an hour later and a clean shop, I turned it off. I had no idea that the Genie had got as bad as it had or that it lacked that much suck power.
While the new Craftsman is almost twice the physical size of the old Genie, it is a welcome addition to the shop, house, autos and etc.
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Joseph Connors wrote:

That would be nothing, cause I wore my personal filtration device. Made the mistake of working with walnut a few years back and got the bad end of a sinus infection. That went beyond leaving a wrinkle in my brain, so as not to make the same mistake again.
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I have the JDS 750-ER which was chosen No.1 by American Woodworker about a year ago. You have to be careful with the ratings. It's how they work when the filter is partially dirty that counts. Also the amount of blow through back into the shop.
I have the review summary I could send you.

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If you are looking to protect yourself from carcinogenic fine dust than dust filtration systems are useless. The physics of "suction" ensures that even the best air filter will not remove even a portion of the dust in your shop for hours. The only way to protect your health is to remove the dust at its source. Bill Pentz has done a great job in compiling evidence http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm . I am a physician and dabble in woodworking on the side. I knew about dust potentially causing asthma, bronchitis.... but I was not aware of its carcinogenic potential. I did some research and sure enough there is enough evidence to make me worry. If you don't believe me look for yourself on pubmed.com and do the searching yourself. I did my research and compared several different cyclone dust collectors including Oneida, Grizzly, Jet, and Penn State. I found that the Penn State Tempest series offered the best value for the money.
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A tip for the shop vac used in the wood shop. Buy a drywall-dust filter bag. These are big paper filter bags that sit in the cannister and hold a lot of material and have much more filter surface area. I had the same problem with the shop vac filter clogging and now with the drywall filter, I can go months between cleaning the filter. This year I upgraded to a home made dust collector. Pulled a fan and motor from an old furnace. I housed it in a filter box I made from scrap wood. Works pretty well and is a lot quieter than the shop vac. OSHA now lists wood dust as a known carcinogen. You want to limit your exposure. Here is some info: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/wooddust/index.html
Brad Harding www.hardingpens.com
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Ah-Hah! That explains all of those old woodworking geezers suddenly falling over dead in their shops.
Sorry Brad - couldn't resist.
--

-Mike-
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Tool Review Posted on alt. binaries.pictures.woodworking
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