Mobile Downdraft Sanding Table / Assembly Table

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Project by bowtie posted 01-27-2012 04:55 AM 7248 views 20 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last winter I built a cedar strip canoe and decided to build a shop air filtration system. A buddy gave me a used furnace blower large enough to build a downdraft table/assembly table. The filters can be serviced externally. I use 2 16×20 3m filtrete filters with 2 “cheap” prefilters. I used foam weather stripping to seal the filters . I have 4 receptacles on each side, an 8 hour timer and a plug for an extension cord to power the table. One end is open for storage the oposite end has a shopbuilt louver to direct the exhaust.
I was going to drill a plywood top but I had a piece of left over pegboard and it works reasonably well. I use holey non skid shelf liner to hold the wood as I sand. The cabinet is 33w x 49L x 38 H and is built of 1/2 ” plywood. It rolls on 4 casters. Cabinet is sealed with caulking to ensure air is pulled thru filters only. The fan is surprisingly quite and seems to pull in most sanding dust.
I want to build a lightweight torsion box top that I can use for more precise assembly. Thanks for lookin, I’m constantly amazed by projects posted on ljs.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#1 posted 01-27-2012 07:25 AM

That’s pretty darn creative.


View bigfish_95008's profile


250 posts in 4384 days

#2 posted 01-27-2012 05:21 PM

Nice, good working design, I like the angle panels directing air flow to a small slot for pre filters and secondary filtering. Storage for sanding items. I like the idea of a removable torsion top for assembly, dual us roll around.
This is minor, but from an electrical safety standpoint I would have used metal boxes and armored cable. As I say minor, but I work with (sometimes against) EH&S (environment, health & safety) guys all day and sometimes the safety natzy in me comes out.

-- bigfish "I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it." Vincent Van Gogh

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4518 days

#3 posted 01-27-2012 05:58 PM

Ok, where’s the photos of your canoe? I’ve always wanted to build one, but never found the time. If I ever build a strongback and the rest of the jigs, I don’t think I can build just one…

-- Hal, Tennessee

View NEFFCONCEPTS's profile


10 posts in 3598 days

#4 posted 01-27-2012 06:00 PM

Nice Design! Great idea using ‘pre-filters’, I’m considering building a shop made air handler, and I’m definitely going to use that! Thanks!

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3627 days

#5 posted 01-27-2012 06:08 PM

good point on the wiring i routed and stapled the romex out of the way but your right armored cable would be better. if i built another i would probaly hardwire a 10 gauge extension cord .

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3627 days

#6 posted 01-27-2012 06:09 PM

i would probaly hardwire a 10 gauge extension cord to power the table.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3627 days

#7 posted 01-27-2012 06:14 PM

hal, i will post some canoe pictures soon. i built a 14 ’ than a couple of years later built a 11 footer with the same forms, slightly modified forms and spacing. i still have the forms and would like to build another.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View Tokolosi's profile


678 posts in 3636 days

#8 posted 01-27-2012 10:27 PM

Ingenious! Awesome idea!

-- “There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.” ~ JRR Tolkien

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4837 days

#9 posted 01-27-2012 11:50 PM

Yes, an awesome table

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View BentheViking's profile


1782 posts in 3845 days

#10 posted 01-28-2012 04:32 AM

gnarly dude

-- It's made of wood. Real sturdy.--Chubbs Peterson

View millzit's profile


111 posts in 3583 days

#11 posted 02-06-2012 03:51 PM

i can see that being on LJ will increase my desire for things, lots of things… a sanding table for one. hey bowtie, you a chevy fan? where in n bama are you, i live in sewanee,tn?

-- cut that out!

View terryR's profile


7677 posts in 3589 days

#12 posted 02-06-2012 04:16 PM

Love it! Thanks for sharing…I sure need one of these.

Pegboard, huh…simple solution to drilling 5000 holes. very smart…

any idea how many cfm’s you are pulling through the top, or how many horses your motor uses? I wanna copy this build asap!!! <g>

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3627 days

#13 posted 02-08-2012 12:37 AM

I didn’t see any labels on the motor but its about the size of a 3/4 – 1 hp motor. comparing blower cfms to blowers at work I would estimate about 500cfm. Wish I had more info , it was a gift from a friend who details cars.

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View DIYaholic's profile


19921 posts in 3956 days

#14 posted 02-08-2012 01:07 AM

Nice table.

Afew Q’s if you don’t mind.
1)What is the MERV rating of your filtrete filter?
2) How quickly do you need to clean/change out the filters.
3) Were you to build again, would you stay with the blower/filter combo or go with a DC?

I ask because I need a downdraft table. I was going to repurposed a furnace blower, but think I will hook it up to my 2HP HF DC, instead.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View terryR's profile


7677 posts in 3589 days

#15 posted 02-08-2012 01:42 AM

bowtie, thanks for the info! I’ll start with 400-500cfm on a slightly smaller table…most of the projects I make are small, but dust intensive…gotta build this baby!

thanks, again for sharing…

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

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