Jet air cleaner $150 at Menards

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I just wanted to point out that Menards has the Jet air cleaner on sale for $175 plus a $25 rebate.
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I can't see why anyone would opt for that expensive type of cleaner when they could have fun by building one much more cheaply. That said, I tried a furnace filter on the back of the 20" box fan and it, er...sucked--Not much flow. 4 or 5 filters in the shape of a box might be enough area to reduce the drag, though.
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I'd like to see someone try to build something of comparable capability for $150 unless they already had many of the parts.
calmly ranted:

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Do you want pictures?
;-)
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No need for pictures, but I'm curious how much you paid for the blower and the inner filter. I suspect you either already had the blower (perhaps from a old furnace), or knew someone who would sell it cheap. Just try and find an affordable unit (either used or surplus), of comparable power, on the open market.
I consider the remote control and timer on the Jet to be a luxury so I wouldn't expect to find them in a home made unit.
wrote:

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I would think that anyone willing to get their tools and remove a blower could get one for free from most any HVAC installer. They just sit out back until the trash hauler or scrap metel hauler comes along to cart away those old furnaces. To me the value of the store bought models is the nicer filter (they do in fact beat multiple layers of pleated furnance filters)and the light weight (that sheet metal will almost always be lighter than a wood case). The timer and remote is a nice plus, too.
That said, my shop made unit moves more air, does not rattle and with two sets of three pleated 16x20 filters does a good job of removing the dust. Its heart is a 4 speed blower from a furnace out of a 9,000 square foot fieldhouse. I have the medium and high speeds hooked up to a 2 speed switch. The filters are on the two sides of the box and the air blows out the front. At high speed you do not want small pieces of wood laying around in the wind's path ;) Clears my 2 car gar....shop pretty quick. Too heavy to hang from the ceiling, though, so it sits on top of a cabinet (its that 3/4 plywood I had sitting around when I got the blower :)
My cost was $0 for the blower, $0 for scrap plywood (although it could be done probably with a 1/2 sheet of CDX or something so count $20), $6 for the switch and $0 for the filters (they come out of my furnace periodically), $0 for the cord which I had around, but an appliance extension cord for $8 to $10 would be fine and $10 for the metal grates for the intake and outflow openings. So, assuming your furnace uses pleated filters, you ask an HVAC guy if you can scrounge the blower and you buy everything else you might have $50 in it. If you have to buy the filters just for this, add another $20.
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The problem with this setup is that a pleated furnace filter won't filter down to 1 micron. It will capture large particles and recirculate small particles. The large particles are what settles on your tools. It is a nuisance but is otherwise harmless. The small particles get inhaled and collect in the lungs. They are the problem. By recirculating them, instead of allowing them to settle, the situation is made worse.
An replacement inner filter from Jet is $40. That leaves $110 to buy a blower, and the other parts.
I stand by my statement that you cannot build a comparable one for $150 unless you already have many of the parts, or know where to get them for free. None of my friends are HVAC contractors and I have no intention of panhandling the HVAC companies in my area.

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Well, as to the filtering capabilities of pleated furnace filters, I believe the medium level Filtrete filters from 3M which I use (MERV 11 rated) are better than 1 micron. The upper level units are at .3 micron. See http://www.filters-now.com/ld3mspec.php#products and when you stack 3 of those together and build a decent seal, it will beat that $40 jet filter in stoping the dust.
As to whether asking someone if you can have something they are throwing away is "panhandling", all I can say is to each his own. If you saw someone about to burn some 8/4 10" wide 10' cherry boards would your "pride" stop you from "panhandling"? I am not trying to talk anyone into building an air cleaner and even stated that there are real benefits to the store bought units. However, you most certainly CAN build one that has as good or better functionality in filtering the air for MUCH less than $150. Now whether you WANT to is a different story.
Dave Hall
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I can see both sides of this argument, and yes I need an air cleaner. My question is how do you define "panhandling" and what is wrong with it. I scrounge a lot of things, and I happen to enjoy my finds. Most people even appreciate it when I get rid of something for them and can put it to a good use.
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I consider panhandling to be going up to a complete stranger (be it a person or a company) and asking for something without paying for it, regardless of whether that something is headed for the dumpster, or is already in the dumpster. If they put out a sign that says "free", then that is different.
If I had a friend who was an HVAC contractor, or did business with a HVAC company, then I would have no problems asking for a blower.

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I'm pretty sure panhandling has the notion of "begging" associated with its usage. There may be a fine line between "asking" and "begging".
For those of us who grew up in the Environmental Awareness age - saving something from the dumpster (land-fill) is recycling and probably to be commended.
That said - I'm not predisposed to Dumpster Diving, myself.
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I'm fortunate in that my neighbor is an HVAC guy. But I'd be reticent to walk into an HVAC office with whom I had no relationship and start asking to go through their trash pile. But hey, that's me. Which reminds me...the blower in my homemade unit runs for a while and then stops, and then starts to smell hot. I think it's time to hit my neighbor up for another blower.
todd
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HVAC squirrel cage motor: Free from most HVAC dealers. (or use any household's in-stock 20" box fan) Plywood: In stock in most shops, under $20 if not. Tubatwo: tubucks from the Borg. Switch: $1-5 from the Borg if not in stock. Line Cord: in stock or under $2 from the Borg. Filters: $8-30 a dozen. Glue: in stock or $4 a pint from the Borg.
What's to buy besides filters, Al?

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The 1 micron inner filter is $40. Furnace filter are useless--see my previous post.
I don't know any HVAC contractors and I will not panhandle a blower from the HVAC companies in my area. So that means buying a used or surplus one.
Regarding the box fan, it has no where near the air flow as the Jet.
calmly ranted:

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Filtrete filters are HEPA certified. Why do you say they're useless?

OK, then buy one. See if I care. <g>

True, but they will filter air for the budgeteers.
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Why do you say they're $8-$30 a dozen?
--
Scott Post snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com http://home.insightbb.com/~sepost /

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On Tue, 14 Sep 2004 10:48:02 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@insightbb.com (Scott Post) calmly ranted:

Because I hadn't checked the ad and wasn't sure the Jet had HEPA filters. Cheap filters (1u to 30u) are that price. A HEPA filter could be that price each ($8 for Synfil, $9 for Filtrete.) A felt bag would be under $30 and accomplish the safer filtering for the upper price.
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On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 19:48:24 -0700, Larry Jaques

Having had experience with both, I can add this:
1. Any filter that allows the fan to move a decent amount of air dosen't filter a very small particle. The fan will pretty much sit there cavitating in the air within it's own enclosure.
2. The box fan needs to be placed super close to the dust source to actually filter the air. Otherwise, it's simply dispersing the dust with air movement and not actually removing any dust from the air.
I used a box fan for years while hand sanding radio control aircraft. It worked OK if it was right on the workbench. The box fan *never* caught up with the dust cloud generated by table saws, miter saws, or router tables, especially with plywoods and MDF, and I'm only talking about the airborne stuff my 2 HP DC didn't suck into the pipe.
The sheer amount of stuff that gets stuck in the filters of a Jet or other store bought unit, as well as a properly made shop made version, is beyond compare to what the fan captures.
Non-woodworker visitors even notice how fast the Jet clears my 24 x 40 basement shop. I like it so much, I'd like to get a second unit and run them in a hurricane pattern. Two units would allow me to run both on low or medium, they do make a lot of noise on high speed.
Barry
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On Tue, 14 Sep 2004 11:01:54 GMT, Ba r r y

I found that to be true in my quick test last week.

You'd be much better off with a HEPA-filtered DC for that.

Standard filter bags, no doubt.

Yes, I believe that without question, especially after my test.

Not everyone can afford $400 worth of filtering equipment on top of their DC purchase, Barry.
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On Tue, 14 Sep 2004 09:40:07 -0700, Larry Jaques

No, the stuff that comes off the top of the tools, especially saw blades. It never goes down the pipe.

I didn't believe that was the issue. I was under the impression that we were discussing if a fan and furnace filter were anywhere comparable to a squirrel cage unit, purchased or shop-built.
One $150 unit does great, the only reason to add a second is to get the same performance at a much lower noise level. No one ever said it was necessary to spend $400 to filter the air.
Barry
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