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    Default Shop air filter/scrubber?

    Guys- I think I am killing myself with dust in the shop.
    I don’t have dust control on machines outside of a bag chip collector on the joiner/planer.
    What I am thinking is getting a stopgap measure by installing a air scrubber of some sort to clean up the operation a bit.
    What works?
    I would like something that is fairly quiet and easy to maintain- rinse or blow out the filter elements etc.

    I have the parts for a cyclone to be installed with drops to machine so I will get that installed eventually- what I need now is something that might help with the fine dust flying about now and against that future with chip collection at each machine.
    Small shop- 500 sq ft.

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    It's good that you're paying attention to the potential health risks of fine dust in the air. I've got a larger space, and only a small JET air scrubber running, but to watch the prefilter turn brown over the course of weeks is sobering - that's what I'm breathing too...

    Even one or two HEPA household scrubbers would be better than nothing, but a proper system would start with focusing on the machines that generate the most fine dust, then figuring out the best amelioration method. Confining dust in machines, negative pressure enclosures, changing the cutting methods, etc.

    I bought a bunch of filter mats made for large paint booths, the plan is to make my own large HEPA filtered blowers with the mat prefilter, then change as the pressure drop increases (so some sort of magnehelic gauge is useful), and place them near the CNC machines.

    May also have one sending filtered air into the office area, but I'd want a setup that included low db as part of the design.

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    I wear one of these when cutting wood: link My dust collector works ok, but it's not getting all of it. There's the $50 solution. I'm sure there are better ways given the time and money. I change the filters every 40 hours or so ($4).

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    I built a box with a big furnace fan inside. Either side has a fine furnace filter filtering the air going into the box. The ones that are about 6" thick. Then outside that I have a cheap fiberglass furnace filter. In my old shop I had it hanging from the ceiling and it made a huge difference in the air quality. I knock the dust off the pre filters outside about once a week and blow the thick fine filters out about once a month. It is still on the floor in the new shop and I need to get it hanging up and probably make a second one.

    This is above and beyond the dust collection on all machines.

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    If you want to filter the air, I recommend an "Aerospace America" air scrubber, they filter air down to .2 microns iirc. They are pricey units, and filters are not cheap either, but it will pull all those floaties out of the air. They can be found for sale used, just make sure to clean interior VERY VERY well as the most common use is asbestos abatement. They are a bit noisey, but 10 minutes run time clears the air well.

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    Ok- thanks.
    I mill LOTS of teak- odd thing is I am one of those few % who are allergic to teak plus mahogany rosewoods etc.
    I can get a rash on my arms if working teak when stinking hot- I understand the toxin is like that in poison ivy.
    I never notice particular irritation from it like I do with some mahoganies where I am coughing and have tears running down my face after a few hours of working.
    I wonder though what the inside of my lungs are looking like.
    I had to do some routing work this weekend and noticed all the damn dust in the air as the nice bright fall light was streaming in the windows- yikes!
    Plus- I got sick a while back- I rolled into the doctor and he said my pulmonary function was low- 200,when it should have been six... I wonder now what all this dust might be doing to my lungs.
    Too late?
    Maybe- a lifetime of various trades work later I have seen it all.
    Plus living in a old house with all the mess- one hundred years of mice running around, rock wool insulation drifting down the balloon frame from the attic- wow- it’s a wonder I can breathe at all..
    I guess I am thinking cleaning up the act now might help after all.

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    I'd suggest a good cyclone collector with appropriate fine-filter. I did woodworking for years with a generic bag/bin-collector and some makeshift ductwork--didn't work very well. About 10 years ago I installed a 3hp Oneida cyclone system with blast gates, and the "dustmakers" (tablesaw, radial-arm saw, overhead sander) can be used without generating hardly a bit of dust. I can use those tools and there might be a few chips or dust on the tables, but none floating around or settling in the shop. I also rigged a large duct up to a perforated plenum outfeed table (made from a couple of layers of pegboard on a 2x4 lattice frame) for hand-sanding. If I had it to do over again, the good dust-collector system would be the first tool I bought. You can also use the cyclone system for a "filter" by opening up all the gates and letting it run. For those highly resinous woods, might be good to wear additional breathing and skin-contact protection; I've read people can be quite allergic to these resins, and/or develop extreme sensitivities over time.

    Also read a report some time ago that many of the generic "air filters/scrubbers" used/sold for woodworking are not effective at all, and some can make the problem worse by keeping the small harmful sized particles (the ones to be concerned about), suspended in the air longer than they normally would without the filter. A main goal would be to keep most of it out of the air and workspace in the first place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Guys- I think I am killing myself with dust in the shop.
    I don’t have dust control on machines outside of a bag chip collector on the joiner/planer.
    What I am thinking is getting a stopgap measure by installing a air scrubber of some sort to clean up the operation a bit.
    What works?
    I would like something that is fairly quiet and easy to maintain- rinse or blow out the filter elements etc.

    I have the parts for a cyclone to be installed with drops to machine so I will get that installed eventually- what I need now is something that might help with the fine dust flying about now and against that future with chip collection at each machine.
    Small shop- 500 sq ft.
    I hauled both Micro-Aire 1800's from PA home, so I could easily deliver one to your shop if you'd like, and for not much money.

    I really only have need of the one, and both are still a long way from getting installed at all.

    My lungs? About 30 of the fifty years I have smoked were at the two to five pack a day level so, the only reason I'm not concerned is that lung cancer has a much lower ticket number in the waiting line than scrubbing up in Trichlor or clearing fields of fire for my machine guns, unaware that "Dioxin" even existed!

    The MX1800 are simple-dumb, basically a modest "air handler" 120 VAC single-phase with a two-foot deep pocketed "bag filter" in front of it, then 24" square HEPA same as "big box" stock stacked four deep in front of that.

    Not shown in current literature (I have the original somewhere) is a swing-away wire mesh "snout" in front of the HEPA filters for wrapping a length of inexpensive filter-wool around three sides of, ELSE paint-spray booth precuts.

    Not much noise at all.

    Whole line & company info here:

    Industrial air cleaners | HEPA | Ambient Capture | Micro Air

    Specs are here:

    https://www.microaironline.com/media/L2244.pdf

    My older ones do not have the activated charcoal "finisher" on the outlet, they have the woolly bats at the intake, instead.

    The bag fiter is about $100 each for generic, good for all year, what with periodic "rotation" of the HEPA by ditching dirty one at front, move all forward, add one new at the rear. Wooly-bats one can just shop-vac.

    If four-deep HEPA are good enough, one might not even use the bag filter.

    Air-handler fan is on a basic toggle-switch, two-speed motor.

    They are not at all that heavy, are usually hung up in the overhead, but can be run vertically as well as horizontally, so "wherever". The 24" square form make any/all of wool, HEPA, or bag - charcoal if you want to add it, easy to find at competitive prices, Big Box or online.

    Teak? Allergen, as with Urushiol, not "poison".

    Clean-up your vitamin balance, and you won't be so sensitive to it.

    I'm not at all. I'd guess those who are be short on B complex maybe, and vitamin "D" almost certainly. D isn't really a "vitamin" anyway. It's a hormone. Key to regulation of a healthy immune system, "D" is, such that it does what it was meant to do, and doesn't get confused and do the auto-immune thing that Urushiol triggers. Or Spanish / Bird flu either, for that matter.

    Sixteen years in Hong Kong? Flu bites me? How would I even know what to look for as to symptoms?

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    Bill- that thing would never fit in your old Jag eh?
    LOL
    Drop me a line for what kind of price.
    Thanks.

    Edit..

    Vitamins Bill?
    Vitamins.......
    Allergic to them- I avoid at all costs..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Bill- that thing would never fit in your old Jag eh?
    LOL
    Drop me a line for what kind of price.
    Thanks.
    Aye, but my "other Jaguar" is a Town & Country Touring!

    I have TWO four-foot-by pallets still in the T&C into about the fourth week! - Mimik tracer and hydraulics tank & pump + B&S "0" universal mill table.

    No covered space left to unload into! Hence looking for serendipity on the filters!

    Message follows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by car2 View Post
    I'd suggest a good cyclone collector with appropriate fine-filter. I did woodworking for years with a generic bag/bin-collector and some makeshift ductwork--didn't work very well. About 10 years ago I installed a 3hp Oneida cyclone system with blast gates, and the "dustmakers" (tablesaw, radial-arm saw, overhead sander) can be used without generating hardly a bit of dust. I can use those tools and there might be a few chips or dust on the tables, but none floating around or settling in the shop. I also rigged a large duct up to a perforated plenum outfeed table (made from a couple of layers of pegboard on a 2x4 lattice frame) for hand-sanding. If I had it to do over again, the good dust-collector system would be the first tool I bought. You can also use the cyclone system for a "filter" by opening up all the gates and letting it run. For those highly resinous woods, might be good to wear additional breathing and skin-contact protection; I've read people can be quite allergic to these resins, and/or develop extreme sensitivities over time.

    A main goal would be to keep most of it out of the air and workspace in the first place.
    Ok- we think alike- I am going to finally install the cyclone I have sitting around.
    Yes on downdraft sanding table- it was on the plan for shop and never got built in the rush to get tools up and working..

    I used to sort of regularly blow the shop out with a leaf blower- I have been busy so things are grim lol- dust everywhere..
    Not a large shop- sort of simple tools on the wood side:
    Two band saws, joiner/planer, table saw, shaper, router table, wood lathe, pin router, sanding gear and all the portable power.
    The operations which throws the most dust by far are things like template work and free routing of stock.
    This clipping sheets to make up hatches in a sole panel was what got me this time:

    img_2906.jpg
    Last edited by Trboatworks; 11-12-2018 at 07:57 AM.

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    Geez, that's a pretty workbench...

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    Lol- only the best..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Lol- only the best..
    So it wood seam! Mout' watering, even.

    I shall be compelled to cheat. As usual.

    Convert the done-with-all-that-gnarly-shite "DC Drive experimental" bench to a woodchoppah bench. Bally top laying over in the corner holding up a wall has been out of work and begging a Day Job for 25 years, already.

    D'y suppose the salvaged "Herman Miller" heavy table as has been under the electronics is any good for the base of it?


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    Guys guys..:
    “The bench” lol:

    819e9563-61ce-4000-b9c0-ed88a9b65acf.jpg
    Quick built 1-1/2 particle board with a sheet of MDF slapped on top.
    Still doing the trick after years of screwing all sorts of work down.

    That other photo was a section of teak and holly flooring I am whittlin away at...

    The flooring on the other hand- 3/4” t&g pine- was cheaper and stiffer floor than 2x subfloor in this little framed shop.
    Looks good too..

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    Even with the dust collector my 30" disc throws a lot of dust in the air. Before the box dust cleaner I used to wake in the middle of the night with uncontrollable sneezing. The box eliminated that. Back then I was cutting a lot of mahogany and Sapele.

    My dust collection on the 2 CNCs does virtually nothing as far as picking up chips but it does capture the fine dust. I have to get the snow shovel out today to clean up chips around the CNCs. I need to add some shrouding to capture more of the chips. The problem is we are usually cutting parts 4" plus with long endmills so the shrouding needs to be very flexible.

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    I don’t typically cut much mahogany- where I find it though are in the laminate stack of some marine plywood.
    I get some that feels like cutting Sapele- rough to breathe any dust at all.
    Teak varies a lot as well- any black/dark grain and watch out- tough to breathe

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    The big "trick" is really to control the dust, mist, whatever at the source before it floats into the shop air.
    This means some sort of "enclosure" even if it is just plastic hanging around and over the machine on a 2x4 frame.
    Then you need enough CFM sucking inside this "tent" so the air is coming in the opening and none is leaving. For this size you would most likely need several "sucking" points or ducts.
    A furnace fan with filters in front will work but may load up quickly which is where a cyclone chamber or such helps.
    Tall, large diameter vertical tubes sized for a low airflow rate with a bottom dump or collection work also.
    Trying to clean the entire shop air volume needs a lot of power and some is going to get to you and settle anyways unless you move enough to develop a wind storm inside the building.
    Bob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    Plus living in a old house with all the mess- one hundred years of mice running around, rock wool insulation drifting down the balloon frame from the attic- wow- it’s a wonder I can breathe at all..
    Working on my old building is what prompted me to get an air scrubber, not much of a mice problem, the owls living in the building saw to that, but cleaning 20 years of owl poo from upper floors was nasty. The Aerospace America units are portable and easy for 1 person to move room to room, stairs will require help or creativity. IIRC my unit will do 10,000 cfm , it moves enough air the casters have to be chocked to keep it in place. After doing initial sweeping I will fire it off, and every few minutes rotate the machine so air blast stirs up remaining dust, anything heavy enough to settle out quickly does so, the floaters get caught in filter.

    For all practical purposes, its a box with a squirrel cage motor and a place to hold filters, no rocket science as mfr's name implies. I have seen other brands, housings are steel vs the AA being aluminum.

    Like I said, they are stupid expensive new, I found a low time unit on CL for $75 (had to clean it), and found a pallet load of nos filters on ebay for less than mfr wanted for 1 filter.

    Aerospace America - Air Filtration - Bay City, MI - Mike Alley

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    TR -- Here's what works for me:

    1) Central dust collector, with cyclone, located outside and piped to machines (2 disk/belt sanders, wood bandsaw, jointer/planers, wood lathe, table and compound saws) around the shop. Need to have a door or window cracked to have it work properly.

    2) Big chip collector (cyclone top on garbage can) with the main jointer/planer. Hooked to main dust collector. Saves frequently going under to empty the main cyclone and out to get to the dust bags.

    3) Stand-alone collector at the surface grinder. All steel hose & canister.

    4) Fein vac with Oneida baby cyclone for spot work and clean up around the wood shop (and also the two metal bandsaws and several belt grinders). Quiet and effective.

    5) Various sanders with their own semi-effective dust collection. One larger one (8" Fein orbital) hooked to the Fein vac as needed.

    6) Sandblaster hooked to a vac and baby cyclone with the exhaust piped outside. This would be better if I had a proper cyclone - the bags still load up too quickly.

    7) Stainless steel vac to pick up chips, cast iron dust, etc. when milling or turning.

    8) Supplied air respirator and face mask for wood lathe work, some sanding

    9) A cheap but effective Honeywell HEPA air filter (they use big circular HEPA filters inside and pre-filters wrapped around) screwed to the ceiling. These seem to run around $50 used, are very quiet, and filter finer than most $400 shop type filters. I use the same filters in my library (lots of microscopes here) and a gage / measurement room. Good solution on the cheap -- Craigslist will likely have these for not much money in most areas as they are kind of clunky for home use.

    10) A downdraft table for sanding, usually located just outside the shop.

    11) Table saw hooked to the central vac underneath and hooked to a permanently located vac from the plexi guard and tubular overarm above. Sliding compound saw also hooked to dust collection - but I tried to do it with a 3" duct at the end of a run and it's only semi-effective.

    12) I still seem to have too much dust around -- mainly from the several abrasive wheels and belts not hooked to dust collection (so far only a 12" disk and a 12" disk/6" belt) hooked up.

    It's tough to breath the woods you're working with. Beyond getting really good central collecton going, I'd consider investing in a really good supplied air respirator (they type run from a battery pack on your belt) and remember to use it more often than not. Something like the cheap HEPA filters mentioned above might be good for places you're not wearing a respirator -- work desk, computer, glue up and finishing areas, etc.


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