Small shop dust control.

Has anyone considered using a consumer "air purifier" to eliminate dust in a small shop?
I have a small shop (no remedy) and vasomotor rhinitis (no cure). My sinuses and nasal passages are hypersensitive to various stimuli including the ultra-fine dust created in a woodworking shop. Oil-burning exhaust, perfume, cleaning solution oderants, cookies baking - all sorts of things that most people aren't affected by (I know, some of them smell good) are like snorting battery acid to me.
A fair amount of the culprit particulates that get to me are too small to be trapped by the typical shop dust filtering systems that I have looked into (also, most of these systems are simply too large to be installed in my small area). So I am considering one of the larger consumer "air purifiers" on the market. Any comments or experiences?
The HEPA filtration that is a part of these units would be a plus point for me but I am a little skeptical about the capacity of the filters in these units when put to use in a woodworking shop. Any discussion of the limits of these filters?
I do use a P100 mask when I am cutting and I use vacuum dust collection on the tools but that doesn't catch a lot of this fine stuff and I don't want to have to wear the mask full time in the shop.
Thanks in advance for any info.
Tim
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Hi Tim, IMHO it would be a costly exercise that will not do the job. The real solution for you is to prevent the fine dust from becoming airborne, otherwise you are going to be breathing it until the room filter captures it. The air purifier will capture the fines but will clog quite quickly and as you know the price of HEPA filters for those little guys is high. The idea of capturing all the dust before it becomes airborne is a worth target but never really achieved. In my shop I have a Oneida cyclone dust collector plus a 1350 CFM air filter and some dust still makes it up stairs to the living area where I have an air purifier. I think the solution in your case might be a battery powered air purifying respirator. The better ones are not all that uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. Cheers, JG
Ellestad wrote:

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I have a Racal Airmate and have come to enjoy wearing it. It looks a little strange but the truly fresh air inside is quite nice. A side benfit is that even when it is very humid my glasses don't fog up.
RB
JGS wrote:

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Time get heavily into hand tools, make shavings, not dust.
Cheers,
Andy
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Have you considered getting a 1.5 or 2.0 HP bag collector and just putting it outside? The only disadvantage to this is that it sucks out all your heating and cooling (if you have any), but then you don't have to worry about how good the filters are.
Mark

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a
I tried an old, and fairly large, Honeywell Hepa filter, but it moved way too little air to be of much use.

A vacuum simply doesn't draw enough air to be particularly useful. But, and people will disagree with me on this, a real DC is no cure either on tools that you cannot completely enclose. It is real good on jointer, planers, and router tables; but not so good on sanders, miter saws and contractors TS.
I just bought a shop air filter and it is great for soaking up the fine dust over a period of time, but it is not quick enough to do what you need. I think you mask is likely to be permanent.
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Dust collection depends mostly on the dust hood on the machine not on the DC. If the dust hood is not built properly to handle the amount of dust the machine puts out or the DC isn't pulling enough air, then a more powerful DC is thought to be needed. But maybe the dust hood design can be changed to accommodate the current DC. ie: A shop vac hooked to a planer will not move the dust fast enough because the shop vac hose is 2 to 2-1/2' in diameter. This gives a little over 6 sq in of hose area per inch of hose. Usually this 6+ inches is converted to a 4" line which has a box hood. The 4" line is 12.56 sq in and the box hood is 16+ square inches. So now you are starting with a good suction on a small hose and converting it to a large hose. The 16+ sq in is needed from a DC to make this work or the dust hood needs to be reduced in size to accommodate a smaller area of suction. This is why Sears came out with a planer that looks like it has a shop vac wand for the dust hood accessible from both sides with 4" and shop vac lines.
Dust collection should be at the machine. I have no problem with my contractor TS, CMS, BS, router, jointer, planer or drum sander putting out too much dust. And with the quilt filter for my DC, it stops dust before it can get into the air that might have slipped through the 30 micron DC bags because of it's thickness.
You should always be sure to purchase tools that have a chamber where the dust is thrown. A TS with a motor on the back has an opening where the belt has to go through the case to the blade. This opening also allows dust to escape into the shop, A TS with the motor under the case will allow the dust to be trapped under the saw and with the right dust hood, such as mine, it will catch most all the dust and send it to the DC.
My tools all have a redesigned dust hood to allow the use of a shop vac hose and a 1 hp DC. They work great together.
A shop vac will work if the dust hood is designed correctly. This is why you say they do not work is because you are trying to match the suction needed for the existing hood. Some tools, such as sanders, CMS and open TS do not have a DC hood and one may have to be designed.
--

>Toller wrote

>A vacuum simply doesn't draw enough air to be particularly useful.
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I get allergy-induced asthma from some species of wood dust, so I need to keep dust under control too. As JG pointed out, you need to keep it from becoming airborn. I don't have a ton of room either, but I find that my Ridgid portable filter does a great job of catching dust at the worksite. I use a shop vac to collect the main particles from the TS, sanders, etc. But I also put the Ridgid portable right next to the work, to catch the fines. This may be hand-sanding rosewood at my bench, or catching stray stuff at the drum sander. The filter can be cleaned (outside, while wearing a respirator), and the whole thing cost $149, 3 years ago at HD.
Good luck,
Scott
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I've been looking for one of them. Seems they don't carry that item any more, at least not the dozen or so I've been in.
--
"Cartoons don't have any deep meaning.
They're just stupid drawings that give you a cheap laugh."
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Jerry Gilreath wrote:

Single-filter Grizzly closeout. http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?ItemNumber=G9954
-- Mark
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Air purifiers are not the answer. There is NO substitute for a dust collector with enough air flow to collect an envelope of air around the tool generating the dust so that it carries all of the dust and dust-laden air away and into a CYCLONE that is designed well enough that it removes at least 99.4% of the dust from the air stream BEFORE it gets to the blower. Then add a 0.3 micron certified filter after that, and you will have clean air to breathe.
For a 10" table saw, you need 1000 CFM of ACTUAL air flow, minimum; same for a sanding table and somewhat less for jointer or planer.
Spend some time at Bill Pentz's web site and get informed about dust collection principles. Bill nearly died from the effects of wood dust and spent a year doing extensive research before he was back in his shop after recovering (somewhat). His site is by far the most authoritative site anywhere on the subject of dust collection. He has designed an excellent cyclone dust separator, and I am the ONLY person licensed to produce and sell systems based on his design.
To access his site, go to:
http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm
For info about the kits I produce and the blower housing that goes with it:
http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworking/cyclone/ClarkesKits.cfm
Other info about dust collection at:
http://www.digitalnetworks.ca/~stevecater/wood/links.htm
If you have other questions, contact me privately.
Clarke
Ellestad wrote:

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I agree with Clarke. You need a good dust collector in any enclosed woodshop. But even a good dust collector won't get every thing and doesn't work with every task (like sanding) and doesn't capture airborn dust floating around. I thought about using a Hunter air purifier like those sold at OSH. Their filters are relatively cheap. An even cheaper alternative is to buy a cheap (i.e. used) box fan and build a simple wooden bracket so it can accept one of those 3M furnace filters. Heck, you could buy to box fans and, set on high could move about as much air as those air filters sold by Delta and Jet.
Layne
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