Air exchanger / cheap

  • Advertise with us
Project by SST posted 03-17-2007 09:38 PM 4158 views 23 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Since my shop is in my basement, I decided to try to minimize the dust problem created by using tools that really didn’t come with all the dust management features of the newer stuff. I noticed that besides the obvious sawdust, everything in my basement was developing a layer of fine wood dust that had settled out of the air..
I went to a couple of furnace installers, and discovered that when they put in a new furnace for someone, they often just toss out the old one, and I obtained a furnace blower motor and “squirrel cage” fan from just such a unit for free if I simply took it out myself…which I did. Next, I was trying to design a proper “box” for it, when I came across some old kitchen type cabinets (actually from an old dental lab) that I added to my shop for storage. I had an extra, and as the pics show, it was just the ticket. I used the logic that air in equals air out for my vent area. The air is drawn in through the lower vents, goes through the filter, and blows out of the one on top. When not in use, I have a piece of counter top that I put on top so I can set junk on it if I need to.
The reason for the drawer was that my original idea was to add a hose port to suck sawdust away from tools and collect in the drawer but I don’t get enough suction with the fan motor to pull particulates, but the drawer was there anyway, so no great loss. Maybe I’ll experiment with adding and old shop vac motor in the future.
The pics should be self explanatory. The motor was actually a 3 speed that I use on low and it really moves a lot of air and is quiet, too.
As a test, I used an air gun/compressor and blew all the dust off my shop area into the air and turned the unit on. After about 15 minutes, I had clean air and a dirty furnace filter in the unit.
Since I got the fan and the old cabinet for nothing, and had the casters (casters are a must) my only cost was the vents, so I’m a happy guy. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

9 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5851 days

#1 posted 03-17-2007 09:53 PM

Nice setup. I have an Air filter but the shop is so large that I’m not sure that the air movement is very great from one end to the other.

That would be nice to have to put in different places in the shop.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5611 days

#2 posted 03-17-2007 10:09 PM

brilliant idea!!!
AND recycling. A bonus to Mother Earth. Nice.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5612 days

#3 posted 03-17-2007 10:34 PM

Great job SST. Another innovation by a Lumberjock.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5612 days

#4 posted 03-18-2007 07:43 PM

Maybe you can start making these to sell to other small shops. Just think, off the shelf products and you have your own air cleaner. Good job.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5540 days

#5 posted 03-18-2007 08:10 PM

If you altered the top, you have a downdraft table.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 5612 days

#6 posted 03-18-2007 08:13 PM

Double use for it..good idea Giz.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

View Drew1House's profile


425 posts in 5538 days

#7 posted 03-18-2007 11:51 PM

Awesome… I think I could suggest one thing to improve it. At our home we were getting a lot of dust when the neighborhood was new and there was a lot of construction. I had a buddy over who was a furnace guy an asked him to put an electrostatic filter in for me and he told me NO?
The thing he did do was change the filter box out in our furnace and now we use these 4 inch thick deep pleated filters which are wonderful. They hold about 4 times as much dust and can filter to a smaller particulate level as there is much more surface area. I already have visions of how I could use a motor and blower from him for a box like yours with a deep pleated filter set up hanging from the ceiling so as not to take shop space up.


-- Drew, Pleasant Grove, Utah

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5750 days

#8 posted 04-05-2007 12:03 PM

A great job of recycling.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Bureaucrat's profile


18340 posts in 5102 days

#9 posted 08-13-2008 04:31 AM

I just picked up a furnace blower from a friend in the HVAC business in Janesville WI. I’m planning on hanging it from the ceiling above my dustier equipment.

-- Gary D.

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