Shop Air Cleaner

  • Advertise with us
Project by GMatheson posted 12-23-2010 05:45 PM 25917 views 36 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I acquired an older furnace blower saw it as a perfect opportunity to make my shop a little cleaner. The unit itself is pretty large at 33”x22”x19” tall. I have two 16”x20” filters on each side and the air blows out the top. I splurged and installed a one hour timer on it. It’s mostly made out of scrap 1/2” ply to attempt to keep the weight down. With the 1/2HP motor it really sucks. You can watch the dust travel 10 feet straight to the filter. It was an easy build that only took a few hours to make. The hard part was lifting it to the ceiling by myself.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

12 comments so far

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4831 days

#1 posted 12-23-2010 05:57 PM

i was looking at filters for this too

where did you get the timer

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View GMatheson's profile


478 posts in 4459 days

#2 posted 12-23-2010 06:02 PM

just grabbed it at the hardware store. it was a timer used for hot tubs.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View TZH's profile


643 posts in 4630 days

#3 posted 12-23-2010 06:03 PM

I agree with patron – sweet. I can certainly understand lifting a unit like that by yourself to hang it. Maybe an alternative might be to put the unit on casters to be able to move it around the shop. This might also make cleaning/changing the filters a little easier, too. Just a thought. I have three furnace blowers with motors that I was looking for a way to use for dust management in my shop. I do believe you’ve given me the inspiration. Thanks for sharing.


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View GMatheson's profile


478 posts in 4459 days

#4 posted 12-23-2010 06:11 PM

I dont have a whole lot of real estate on my floor to roll it around but changing the filters is pretty easy since its hanging about 6” above my head.

-- Greg in Ontario, Canada

View ghazard's profile


394 posts in 5000 days

#5 posted 12-23-2010 06:34 PM

This is a great idea. Being 6’4” I don’t have a lot of head room but i wonder if I could utilize this same concept but put the bulk of it up in the attic above the garage ceiling? Filters at ceiling level and an outlet blowing down… Did you have to give much thought to the inlet vs outlet size? I’m sure it is important but I wonder how critical…

Thanks for the inspiration! Great job!


View DragonLady's profile


298 posts in 4497 days

#6 posted 12-23-2010 06:57 PM

I’ve been keeping an eye open for a furnace blower so I could make something similar. Right now I’ve got the “box fan with filter taped to it” version :)

-- A woman's work is never done-but power tools help!

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4595 days

#7 posted 12-23-2010 07:19 PM

I have had one of these blowers sitting in my shop for a few years. I took out a forced air unit from my mobile home. I know the furnace heating unit was 220. Is the fan run on 110? that’s what I have in my shop. Your unit is exactly what I have envisioned building. thanks for sharing.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View sedcokid's profile


2738 posts in 5089 days

#8 posted 12-23-2010 08:07 PM

Say, that is a nice unit. I can tell from the size of the blower and motor that it would really suck….

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View SteveW's profile


397 posts in 4348 days

#9 posted 12-24-2010 01:57 AM

Built a lot like mine, and I like it a lot.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! SteveW

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 4487 days

#10 posted 12-24-2010 02:33 AM

Inpirational. Mt furnace fan is still sitting on my foor waiting for mr to make a cabinet. I need to mount mine in ceiling as well, I have NO floor space left. Knowing how well these do work, time to get at it !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Sodabowski's profile


2404 posts in 4323 days

#11 posted 12-30-2010 09:24 PM

Whoa dude. One of the things on my “to-do” list.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View derMike's profile


1 post in 2980 days

#12 posted 04-28-2014 03:10 PM

I built and hung one of these also, using an old HVAC blower and motor. You can get them for maybe $20 from an HVAC service business. I put two 16×20 high quality filters on it (actually 2 in series and 2 in parallel) to reduce the air velocity through it. In each of the 2 suction openings, the first filter knocks out the bigger stuff, and the second recovers down to the under one micron range.
I used one outlet through a 10” diameter elbow. The elbow can be rotated to aim the discharge in the direction of interes. I found that useful in the hot summer and cold winter.

1. Given the amount of air blown, the air turnover in my 2-car garage has to be only a couple minutes. This keeps it clean, but there is almost too much wind. I wish I would have designed it to be able to throttle the suction. Throttling the suction (not the discharge) reduces the motor amp draw, and I really don’t need that much wind.
2. As noted in the article, it is heavy. You should have someone to help hang it.
3. I wish I had made a rolling cart with a work surface for sanding, scroll saw, etc. This would have drawn the fine sawdust downward away from my nose instead of upward past it. I expect mounting like this might require insulation for noise and vibration control.
4. Using 4 filters works great. Note that there is no need to change them very often at all, but this depends on how much dust you create. Don’t change them just brecause they appear a bit dirty. And by the way, use the same size as your house HVAC so you can reuse those that you change out from the house.
5. 10” outlet elbow is too large. It makes the entire unit hang too low. You could design something with a couple 6” diameter elbows, but you need to control the discharge air velocity.
6. I need to buy a timer like this author did.

All in all it works great.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics