DIY shop air cleaner

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Project by woodworkingdrew posted 01-10-2014 02:21 AM 12681 views 12 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Constructed a box out of 3/4” MDF. used a broan gable fan and mounted it inside the box. Wired it to a switch with a cord. Finished it off by putting a 20×20 high efficiency air filter. Will update soon on its efficiency.

-- Andrew, California

15 comments so far

View wiser1934's profile


530 posts in 4233 days

#1 posted 01-10-2014 02:53 AM

nice. air in through the filter out the back, right? like to know how efficient

-- wiser1934, new york

View NormG's profile


6507 posts in 4090 days

#2 posted 01-10-2014 08:15 AM

Great and simple solution

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View TheCoolDad's profile


14 posts in 2686 days

#3 posted 01-10-2014 12:21 PM

That’s a great idea. Definitely going to follow his to see how efficient it is. Also, I would like to know how often you end up needing to change out the filter.

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 4142 days

#4 posted 01-10-2014 01:01 PM

I like it , great idea

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 4009 days

#5 posted 01-10-2014 01:29 PM

I’ve been using a box fan with a furnace filter taped on the front for 2 years. May not be pretty but it works.

-- Life is good.

View eztrigger's profile


162 posts in 3013 days

#6 posted 01-10-2014 01:47 PM

Yes, I am anxious to see your report on efficiency. I want to build something like this.

-- "Some get spiritual 'cause they see the light, and some 'cause they feel the heat." --Ray Wiley Hubbard

View BubingaBill's profile


297 posts in 2770 days

#7 posted 01-10-2014 05:45 PM

Great box/filter design.
I am needing to build one of these and I’m not an electrician. I have done enough simple electrical work to know I could wire this properly but I read somewhere that you need to have a fan with a specific type of motor on it. This is to avoid sparks in the dust build up. Ground wires are extra important to dissipate the static build up within the box to also avoid fires.

Do you know what this type of electric motor is called??

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

View woodworkingdrew's profile


190 posts in 2695 days

#8 posted 01-10-2014 06:01 PM

Bill- thanks for your comment. I am no electrician by any means but the wiring for this project is pretty basic. The fan is a Broan, ordered it off the Home Depot website. The fan also comes with a junction box which houses all the connections inside the box. Just get some romex 14/2 and you should be good. The instructions include a wiring schematic and clear cut instructions.

-- Andrew, California

View eztrigger's profile


162 posts in 3013 days

#9 posted 01-10-2014 07:04 PM

Bill, I assume air is sucked through the filter prior to passing through the fan blades on this thing so I would think dust buildup wouldn’t be any more likely here than in the intended use of that fan in someone’s attic.

-- "Some get spiritual 'cause they see the light, and some 'cause they feel the heat." --Ray Wiley Hubbard

View woodworkingdrew's profile


190 posts in 2695 days

#10 posted 01-10-2014 07:09 PM

Trigger your right. The filter will collect most of the dust

-- Andrew, California

View snoman1973's profile


111 posts in 2933 days

#11 posted 01-11-2014 12:20 AM

We have something similar in our shop using a standard window box fan and a whole house filter in a wood frame that my father built and it works really well.

-- The wood often tells me what it wants to be... great... now the voices in my head have company....;-P

View Michael Donnelly's profile

Michael Donnelly

26 posts in 3049 days

#12 posted 01-13-2014 11:17 PM


Have you considered adding a second, finer filter on the outgoing side? It should last for a while since you’d already be filtering the bigger particles out on the incoming side.

View woodworkingdrew's profile


190 posts in 2695 days

#13 posted 03-12-2014 06:00 PM


I have been meaning to post an update on my DIY dust collector, but havent had the time. I will start by saying I have made a few pretty significant modifications. I have listed them below.

1. I moved the box to the middle of my shop. I felt that the fan wasnt collecting a good amount of dust up against the wall where I previously had it. After moving it, I rotated it 90 degrees and now the air blows straight up into the peak of my shop. This means the filter is directly hanging over my head.

2. I cut the MDF box in half and moved the filter closer to the fan. I felt this was lost sucking power and made the fan work a little harder.

3. I got a smaller MERV rating filter. The previous filter would bog the motor down significantly and caused it to slow in speed.

All of these modifications have made a huge overall improvment in the performance of the unit. I have not needed to replace the filter as of yet, instead I take them out front and blow all the dust out with my air compressor. After doing this I can really see how much dust the thing is collecting. Overall I am pleased with the performance of the unit. I will post pics soon. Thanks

-- Andrew, California

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3093 days

#14 posted 03-12-2014 08:17 PM

Thanks for the update. Soon as I get a shop built I plan to make one of these

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3890 days

#15 posted 10-06-2014 12:29 PM

This is a gr8 addition to help with that nasty dust.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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