Author Topic: Shop Air Filtration?  (Read 2472 times)

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Offline John Russell

  • Posts: 186
Shop Air Filtration?
« on: February 06, 2022, 04:05 PM »
Using the Rotex 125 in aggressive mode yesterday convinced me that I need some air filtration in my basement shop (12x22x8). While the Ct22 connected to the sander did a decent job of dust collection, there was still enough in the air to be worrisome (I was wearing a mask) about it settling on other surfaces and getting pulled into the HVAC system.

I'm curious what others here use for air filtration (commercial or DIY) and your experiences and recommendations. A primary concern for me is the noise level of the system as well as energy efficiency and effectiveness. 

A casual look at commercial shop air filtration systems shows many of the hang from the ceiling or wall type units with the Jet 1000B a favorite, but it seems to be very noisy.  There are a variety of comparisons of these units, including this one fromhttps://www.woodmagazine.com/tool-reviews/dust-collection/air-filtration-systems.  One improvement on these systems is the use of a Wynn filterhttps://wynnenv.com/products-page/cyclone-filter-pricing/9l300nano/
attached to the intake of units like the Jet. Stumpy Nubs has a video about doing this.

YouTube and various websites are full of DIY box fan and filter solutions like these from Shop Hacks.
https://www.shophacks.com/newsletter/workshop-air-filtration-system-performance-shootout-including-effective-low-cost-diy-box-fan-filtration-systems#/.  These solutions use a variety of blowers and fans to take air in through MERV 12 or so filters and exhaust it out. Triangles and cubes seem to be the common configurations. I think these are likely to be noisy and not very energy efficient, depending on the fan.

These DIY solutions gave me the idea of maybe using a quiet and energy efficient inline exhaust fan with some filter media. I used one fromAC Infinity to solve a crawl space problem in the past and I was happy with how quiet and energy efficient those fans are.  But, there may not be enough air flow to do the job.I 'm calling them tomorrow too see what they think of this application for their fans.

Anyway, curious about others solutions to the air filtration issue.

Offline 4nthony

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Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2022, 04:46 PM »
I went the DIY-box-fan-cube route, but am still keeping an eye out for a blower motor on Craigslist I can convert.

The box fan works well and I've got one of those air quality testers I discovered via one of Peter Millard's videos. I don't know how accurate it is, but while template routing the other day, it measured in the 90-100 range. The box fan cleared the space back down to 0 in about a minute.

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Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 9759
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2022, 05:09 PM »
I just took a Jet AFS 1000, mounted it in an aluminum frame with casters and I wheel it around to the various areas that I'm working in. That works well because I'm working with gravity as opposed to against gravity.  [smile]




Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1359
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2022, 09:15 PM »
When I did my research on shop air filters, my conclusion was the Powermatic PM1250 was the unit for me. Filter lasts 3,000 hours! Initial cost is higher, but it is super quiet which was one of the requirements.

https://www.powermatic.com/us/en/p/powermatic-micro-dust-air-filtration-system-pm1250/1791331

Being able to monitor unseen air particles is big to me, therefore I also purchased a Dylos air meter. It tells me when I need to put a mask on, and when to turn on the larger dust collector to run dirty air through a HEPA filter, turning the air over quickly.


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 9759
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2022, 09:13 AM »
When I did my research on shop air filters, my conclusion was the Powermatic PM1250 was the unit for me. Filter lasts 3,000 hours! Initial cost is higher, but it is super quiet which was one of the requirements.

https://www.powermatic.com/us/en/p/powermatic-micro-dust-air-filtration-system-pm1250/1791331


I like the Powermatic unit a lot, wish it would have been available when I purchased the Jet.  [sad]  I like the idea of it's mobility and that you can place it on a work bench or on the floor and it's only a couple of hundred $$ more than the Jet unit and it's a lot quieter.

Offline John Russell

  • Posts: 186
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2022, 09:47 AM »
Portability and low noise are almost as important as effectiveness for me. The Jet on a cart or a mobile DIY box fan solution are attractive, but then so is the Powermatic. Having the air filtration near a workstation just seems like a good idea.

With the Powermatic, do you just use it when you are working -- for example sanding -- or do you let it run for some period of time after working? That seems to be a common practice when I read about shop air filtration.

The idea of the Wynn 9l300Nano filter attached to a quiet fan/blower seems effective and potential quiet, but not very mobile, but attractive if the unit should run for hours before or after working in the shop.

Offline Packard

  • Posts: 1350
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2022, 09:54 AM »
I took a $20.00 box fan and attached a 20" x 20" filtrete filter using a couple of bungee cords.  The filter gets dirty, so I know it is working. 

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 2384
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2022, 10:01 AM »
I have a JDS shop filter unit, I think it's the 750 model with remote control and 3 speeds. Other than losing a circuit board early on due to a voltage spike before I started using a Surge Protector device for it , it's run like a champ and is hung from my shop ceiling since unlike the other posts here, I can't spare any floor space for such a task in my small basement shop. I tried to google JDS just now to provide a link, but am only finding older listings or just filters being offered, so maybe they changed names or went under???  [blink]
 At any rate, similar machines with 3 speeds, decent CFM and easy to change filters are what you want. They really work for me with keeping the last bit of dust getting collected in a workspace.
 Update, yes, JDS is now defunct.... [sad]  So I guess I better score some filters while they're still out there.... [embarassed]
« Last Edit: February 07, 2022, 10:05 AM by leakyroof »
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline nvalinski

  • Posts: 166
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2022, 10:09 AM »
I'd personally be asking the question why there appears to be dust, even in the geared mode, with the Rotex. I don't think I've even had a marginal amount of residual dust with my 150, definitely not in the flat, and even when sanding edges/contours. Is it possible there's some suction loss somewhere causing a bigger issue? I'd take apart the sander and check the tube, check that the pad isn't clogged, check the vacuum filter, etc. before trying to get an air filter. Better to capture it at the source.

Offline JINRO

  • Posts: 119
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2022, 10:25 AM »
I use Drill press a lot.  There is no way I can catch all dust and cuts with my Festool vacuum... I ended up buying Wen air filter system.  I work on small one car garage and thought it is good enough.

Offline John Russell

  • Posts: 186
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2022, 01:29 PM »

I'd personally be asking the question why there appears to be dust, even in the geared mode, with the Rotex. I don't think I've even had a marginal amount of residual dust with my 150, definitely not in the flat, and even when sanding edges/contours. Is it possible there's some suction loss somewhere causing a bigger issue? I'd take apart the sander and check the tube, check that the pad isn't clogged, check the vacuum filter, etc. before trying to get an air filter. Better to capture it at the source.

In general, my Festools do a good job of dust collection. There is some dust escape when using my TS55 and my Kapex has more dust escape than I would like, but it is better than any other miter saw I have had/used. Of the three Festool sanders I have, the RO125 is the only one where some dust escapes, but recently there has been more than usual, which I attributed to using it frequently to remove the finish from some pine boards I am repurposing for furniture and other projects.  Well, your post prompted me to make sure there wasn't some bigger issue.

So, I checked the paper, the tool, and then opened the Ct22 and oh my was there a bigger issue. This is embarassing. The bin where a bag should be was full of saw dust and the filters were caked and clogged with dust.  Before a recent move I remember removing an almost full dust bag, but I forgot to put in a new bad after the move.  Given the state of the filters, I'm surprised the vacuum did not burn out.  I have cleaned out the inside of the machine and ordered new main filters.

This still brought to my attention the issue of air filtration in my basement shop, which is a different working environment than at my past residence. I'm still working on the right solution, but thankfully your reminder to check the basics saved me from burning out the Ct22,

Offline mino

  • Posts: 962
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2022, 02:49 PM »
LOL, the stories of life.

Just to not scare anyone, the reason the CT 22 was happily chugging along is the motor cooling is indepenendent from the air being sucked. To the CT there is little difference. Yes, it will notice it and suck more amps, but it is "just" a higher than usual load for it ...

This situation is actually the only one where the M-class vacs with the air volume sensor make sense. Maybe you should upgrade.
 [big grin]
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1359
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2022, 02:55 PM »
Portability and low noise are almost as important as effectiveness for me. The Jet on a cart or a mobile DIY box fan solution are attractive, but then so is the Powermatic. Having the air filtration near a workstation just seems like a good idea.
From what I saw the Powermatic is the quietest on the market. Almost just as important is the filters and replacement cost over time. I could be wrong but I do believe the Powermatic will come out to be the cheapest over the years, since the filters are easily cleanable, and last for 3,000 hours. Someone might be able to say roughly what the Jet, Wen, etc filters typically last?

With the Powermatic, do you just use it when you are working -- for example sanding -- or do you let it run for some period of time after working? That seems to be a common practice when I read about shop air filtration.
I have a mini split in the garage and the ceilings are pitched up, so I found the Powermatic filter to do a great job of mixing the warm up high and cold air down low. Dual purpose machine.

Otherwise if I am cutting or sanding it is typically on medium. When I walk out of the garage a quick check on the Dylos air quality meter lets me know if it needs to continue to run for awhile. They all come with timers on them.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 962
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2022, 03:09 PM »
From what I saw the Powermatic is the quietest on the market. Almost just as important is the filters and replacement cost over time. I could be wrong but I do believe the Powermatic will come out to be the cheapest over the years, since the filters are easily cleanable, and last for 3,000 hours. Someone might be able to say roughly what the Jet, Wen, etc filters typically last?
I would say these are not (directly) comparable though.

The Powermatic "fan-line" is not a "true filter" but a selective microfilter which is literally "grabbing" the microparticles from the air fluidum using static charge. I.e. it will let bigger particles pass while catching specifically the invisible microparticles. It also will require more cleaning and control.

While the "traditional" filters capture everything - that is why their motor needs to be way more powerful too.

I think the Powermatic is excelent for that continuous capture of micro-particles in a wood shop, where these are super light and easily attracted using static charge. With the "main" dust collection being at source + all the traditional ways.

So I would not place it near the floor where the heavy particles are for example.

While the bigger full-flow filters are more universal, able to handle automotive paint dust, steel dust, etc. at the price of more noise, more energy and more filter replacing. Just different tools.
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline Joelm

  • Posts: 156
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2022, 03:31 PM »
Great timing. I was just thinking of upping my dust collection game and was looking for something more efficient than my Jet AFS.
I just put in an order for the powermatic.

Offline afish

  • Posts: 1299
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2022, 04:54 PM »
Taking a look at the Powermatic unit its $800 but the filters are only 150ish.  Otherwise it looks like a fan with a filter in front of it.  Seems like it would be pretty easy to make.  Am I missing something about the unit I dont see in the pics.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 962
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2022, 05:15 PM »
Taking a look at the Powermatic unit its $800 but the filters are only 150ish.  Otherwise it looks like a fan with a filter in front of it.  Seems like it would be pretty easy to make.  Am I missing something about the unit I dont see in the pics.
The filter is based on static charge, not a normal net/cloth filter like in a vac. It works by being pretty coarse and "attracting" microparticles using electrical charge. This is why it can be so quiet too - most of air just moves in the vicinity of the filter surface with the dust being "pulled" to stick to the filter by the electricity only.

It should work well on very light particles like wood dust which are light enough to "move" to the filter surface before the air they travel in leaves the filter zone. I would expect it to be much less effective on "heavy" stuff like metal or gypsum particles.

EDIT:
In other words, I suppose there must be a way to "charge" the filter by the machine. But yeah, the bulk of the cost will be to recoup development costs. Don't suppose they sell many thousands of those ..
« Last Edit: February 07, 2022, 05:34 PM by mino »
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline Peter_C

  • Posts: 1359
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #17 on: February 08, 2022, 02:42 PM »
From what I saw the Powermatic is the quietest on the market. Almost just as important is the filters and replacement cost over time. I could be wrong but I do believe the Powermatic will come out to be the cheapest over the years, since the filters are easily cleanable, and last for 3,000 hours. Someone might be able to say roughly what the Jet, Wen, etc filters typically last?
I would say these are not (directly) comparable though.
Long term cost is fully comparable. Just need pricing and longevity. What do you use, and how long do the filters last? How much for filter replacements? I paid $487 US dollars OTD for a brand new PM1250, a filter lasts 3,000 hours and costs $150+tax. (Of note the PM1250 typically sells for more, except occasionally on Ebay...) So who has the running costs of a more common type dust filter?

The Powermatic "fan-line" is not a "true filter" but a selective microfilter which is literally "grabbing" the microparticles from the air fluidum using static charge. I.e. it will let bigger particles pass while catching specifically the invisible microparticles. It also will require more cleaning and control.
The Dylos air quality gauge says different as it reads both course and fine air particles, for which the Powermatic does remove both. As also shown by the larger particles on the PM1250's outer screen. I don't care if it is not a "true filter" as long as harmful dust is removed. Cleaning is the best part as you don't throw the filter away. A few seconds with a HEPA vac and it is ready to go back to work. How many times can a "true filter" be cleaned?

While the "traditional" filters capture everything - that is why their motor needs to be way more powerful too.
So they are inefficient? Got it!

I think the Powermatic is excelent for that continuous capture of micro-particles in a wood shop, where these are super light and easily attracted using static charge. With the "main" dust collection being at source + all the traditional ways.
Sounds good to me! At the source dust collection is what we should all strive for, like a tablesaw using over the blade dust collection.

So I would not place it near the floor where the heavy particles are for example.
The PM1250's are literally designed to be on the work bench next to the dusty work. Heavy particles hitting the floor in seconds are not a health hazard. Mine pretty much lives in the rafters though, hanging off a couple of 2x4's it slides over.

While the bigger full-flow filters are more universal, able to handle automotive paint dust, steel dust, etc. at the price of more noise, more energy and more filter replacing. Just different tools.
Yet they all clear the air of fine particles which is what most of us are after. A box fan with a filter taped on is better than nothing.

I do find my 3HP dust collector does a superior job turning the air over and scrubbing the air clean faster than the PM1250. Unfortunately it is 4 times LOUDER. Occasionally I do turn it on though to quickly clean up the air.

Here is another option for modifying or building your own air filtration. Wouldn't be hard to use a squirrel fan blown into a HEPA filter.

Offline mino

  • Posts: 962
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2022, 03:02 PM »
I think you took my comments a bit different than meant.

I think the fan-style filter is an excelent and very inovative way to solve the microdust filter problem in a wood shop. Specifically.

But. But it is a completely different beast to traditional cloth-based filters. So comparing them on specs or cost is wrong as well as installing/using them in same ways. Nothing more, nothing less.

One needs to look at a specific use cases and decide on that.

Neither is "superior" to the other in general terms. These are different device types with different strenghts and limitations.
When The Machine has no brains, use yours.

Offline ChuckS

  • Posts: 3582
Re: Shop Air Filtration?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2022, 02:45 PM »
I use a furnace-fan driven system and a box fan for shop filtration, remotely controlled by a $14 Cdn HD wireless switch pack (120V, 10A; rated 1000 W, 1/2HP, 8.3A ballast) - https://www.homedepot.ca/product/defiant-wireless-indoor-outdoor-remote-control-switch-3-pack-/1000745614

The furnace fan is by the table saw; the box fan near the sanding station and drill press, both about 6' from the floor.

Edit: They are my third level of air defence: 1st level at source using the dust collector or shop vac or CT15; 2nd level, my N95 mask (worn whenever the 1st level protection is not deemed good enough). I do have a 4th level defence (in the summer): Doing it outdoors on the driveway! [tongue]
« Last Edit: February 10, 2022, 05:49 PM by ChuckS »