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Shop Made Air Filtration System

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Project by SplashMaster posted 12-21-2018 01:24 PM 1174 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When the old air-condition unit went out, I knew a Shop Made Air Filtration System was in my future.

After determining that the squirrel cage blower still worked I settled on a cart design base off Jay Bates Air Cleaner Cart. The main criteria for this build was to make it the same height as my saw horses and portable work stations and to be from about half of a sheet of plywood. The filters are 20 X 20 X 1 which are the same for the house unit (actual filter dimensions 19.5” X 19.5” X .75”).

To begin I made the corner supports from plywood strips glued in an L shape and layered to make a rabbet for the filer to sit in. The horizontal stringer pieces are also plywood strips glued together to finish the rabbeted filter frame structure. The front top and bottom are just plywood panels. The frame was assembled with pocket hole screws and glue.

The metal return is 8” X 10” and was the cheapest one I could find on the clearance rack. I did bend some of the metal slats to a lower angle of air flow direction, so it will double as a fan in the warmer months. Fitting the fan inside the cart was more or less finding the best location for scrap wood shims to allow it to sit upright and screwing it in place. The fan has three speeds, so I put in a three-way toggle switch for speed selection and attached a power cord. The air filters are held in place with a friction fit. Lastly, the top received a round over and I put a few coats of finish on for a bit of added protection.

I have been running it in the shop ever since the wiring was completed and I cannot be more pleased with the function of this unit. For only a sheet of ¾” Birch Plywood, a three-way electrical toggle switch, and three filters this was much cheaper than buying a commercial unit (fan and casters were both salvaged). It is very satisfying to see suspended dust particles in the air migrating toward the filters of this unit will working in the shop!

I highly recommend an air filtration system for the shop even if it’s a box fan with a filter taped on the back.

Over all dimensions are…

Thank you for stopping by,

Matt Stillwell





8 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile

GR8HUNTER

7576 posts in 1489 days


#1 posted 12-21-2018 01:37 PM

nice Matt if I had room for floor model thats what I would have built mine might have had screen on top for sanding table GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View GLENNpm's profile

GLENNpm

25 posts in 573 days


#2 posted 12-21-2018 01:48 PM

Very cool. I’ve been getting into creating my own shop components lately and just started looking into air filtration as well. I’m a night shifter, so most of my work has to be done in an enclosed area to keep from waking the neighbors. I have to wear a mask most of the night – long after finishing my cuts – due to all the sawdust in the air. So, this could really do me a lot of good. How big of a difference has this made for you?

-- Never stop learning.

View SplashMaster's profile

SplashMaster

249 posts in 3638 days


#3 posted 12-21-2018 01:59 PM

Thanks Tony!
Glenn, It has made a huge difference. I sill wear my mask most of the time, but fill I can take it off 5 or 10 minutes after a cut (except for sanding, but even finer filters would improve control of that dust). Highly recommended (if nothing else a box fan with a filter strapped to it helps as well!)

View GLENNpm's profile

GLENNpm

25 posts in 573 days


#4 posted 01-04-2019 07:03 AM

@SplashMaster, I actually did the filter on a box fan last week! haha. It really has helped. But I’m wondering for how long. I’m still trying to get a working dust extraction system setup and after only a couple of days, the filter is completely covered with a THICK layer of dust. The fan is still pulling air somehow. It’s not really feasible to replace the filter every week, so I’m just going to beat the dust off as part of my cleanup every so often and see how long I can make it last. I’m guessing yours and even pro systems collect dust nearly just as fast. Unless they use some sort of cyclone (which I imagine would greatly restrict the airflow), they must operate in a similar way. I can’t imagine how they wouldn’t get clogged just as easy. I can’t imagine leaving the filter on my home’s central air in that condition. What’s been your experience and solution?

-- Never stop learning.

View SplashMaster's profile

SplashMaster

249 posts in 3638 days


#5 posted 01-04-2019 09:57 PM

Yeah Glenn, I have used my shop vac a few time to vacuum the dust off (witch then become trapped in the shop vac filter lol) and also put on a respirator and beat them off out side. I have only had mine in for about 6 months so far and I will probably change them at least once or twice a year. One of the nice thing about it being a cart rather than a hanging unit is I just push the whole thing out side for cleaning. Having the three filter on the air cleaner cart vs one on the box fan certainly increases the time in between cleanings though. Having a large dust collector piped to all the tools would probably help most (also having tools that have dust collection options lol one day…) Its a never ending battle, but so long as the stuff is not in my lungs I’ll keep making it! Also, I’m glad to hear your battling your shop dust, I wish I had done this a long time ago myself. Thanks for the conversation

View GLENNpm's profile

GLENNpm

25 posts in 573 days


#6 posted 01-05-2019 12:18 PM



Yeah Glenn, I have used my shop vac a few time to vacuum the dust off (witch then become trapped in the shop vac filter lol) and also put on a respirator and beat them off out side. I have only had mine in for about 6 months so far and I will probably change them at least once or twice a year. One of the nice thing about it being a cart rather than a hanging unit is I just push the whole thing out side for cleaning. Having the three filter on the air cleaner cart vs one on the box fan certainly increases the time in between cleanings though. Having a large dust collector piped to all the tools would probably help most (also having tools that have dust collection options lol one day…) Its a never ending battle, but so long as the stuff is not in my lungs I ll keep making it! Also, I m glad to hear your battling your shop dust, I wish I had done this a long time ago myself. Thanks for the conversation

- SplashMaster

Oh yeah, I bet having 3 is really nice. I might have to look into something similar. Just the one helps, so I imagine 3 is great. And it’s really good to hear they’re lasting you so long. About your Shopvac filter, I’ve got just the thing for you! You should look into getting a cyclone type dust separator. It prevents like 99% of dust from ever making it to your Shopvac. It fills up a separate bucket instead. It’s super cheap considering the lack of dust in your Shopvac should considerably extend the life of your filter and motor. I just ordered this Dustopper from the Home Depot website, slapped it on a 5gal bucket, and will now rarely ever need to empty my Shopvac or change my filter again. It’s way easier to empty the bucket. For now, I just have the separation bucket bungied onto my Shopvac to keep it from falling over, but planned to make a cart for it and the vac. I might have to combine that with an air filter system like yours now.

-- Never stop learning.

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GLENNpm

25 posts in 573 days


#7 posted 01-05-2019 12:22 PM

Oh, also, I feel you on the low-end tools without dust extraction options. I’m currently working on homemade solutions to enhance all my major tools with everything I can think of, including my Shopvac centered dust extraction system that I’m planning to eventually tie together and automate. I have big plans, my friend. BIG PLANS! haha

-- Never stop learning.

View SplashMaster's profile

SplashMaster

249 posts in 3638 days


#8 posted 01-05-2019 01:56 PM

I actually do have the dust deputy cyclone! I made a plywood bucket lid for it and have been very pleased with it (first home depot bucket actually collapsed under the shop vac suction haha). But I still haven’t made a cart so, it does fall over every once in a while lol I hear ya man! Same here with the big shop plans! Good luck and I look forward to seeing your projects!

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