Do fan filters work??

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Project by prez posted 01-28-2014 07:26 PM 3414 views 7 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got this old fan from a friend and decided to make good use of it by converting it into an air filter. The last picture shows just how much “dust” is in the air. This is what the filter looked like after about a month of use! and on low speed…..made me re-think my airvac system…it obviously doesn’t pick up everything!


-- George..." I love the smell of a workshop in the morning!"

30 comments so far

View snoman1973's profile


111 posts in 3299 days

#1 posted 01-28-2014 07:36 PM

My father and I use a similar set up in our garage shop. Works really well.

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

View trees2pens's profile


160 posts in 3080 days

#2 posted 01-28-2014 07:50 PM

The last photo says it all. I am impressed.

-- When All Else Fails ... Hit Delete

View Hawaiilad's profile


3386 posts in 4473 days

#3 posted 01-28-2014 08:46 PM

Hey, whatever works to get that dreaded saw dust picked up. I am amazed the amount of dust that settles on the tools and such, “After” I shut down the shop for the night. In the morning it looks like someone was working in there while I slept.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Brianb1's profile


82 posts in 3614 days

#4 posted 01-28-2014 09:02 PM

I’ve been holding on to a box fan and spare filter for quite some time trying to decide on whether or not to proceed with this project, proceed I shall. Thanks for the post !

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4641 days

#5 posted 01-28-2014 09:08 PM

I have recently installed a air filtration system and was very surprised how much it has on the inlet filters. I use a central vac system for almost all my tools and couldm’t belive it. I’m a big believer now! Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View JKMDETAIL's profile


225 posts in 3107 days

#6 posted 01-28-2014 09:10 PM

Thanks for the post. I have been seeing this alot and wondered how much it really did. My shop is in the garage attached to the house and like posted above dust is every where the next morning.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 3062 days

#7 posted 01-28-2014 09:36 PM

I was thinking about adding a filter to a fan, I see that it works pretty well

-- steve, simple and effective

View Nickdarr's profile


76 posts in 3483 days

#8 posted 01-28-2014 09:41 PM

We use two in our little shop creating a slight circular air flow. The filters get changed about once a month because they always look as bad as your picture. I was amazed when we started using the fans at how dirty they get. We have a nice DC set up and still get that much. Makes one wonder about just constantly wearing a respirator.

-- Darren... Hmmmm, I got nothin.

View woodsawdustmaker's profile


46 posts in 5076 days

#9 posted 01-28-2014 10:00 PM

I have a 2 cycle dust collector connected to my radial saw and still my fan with filter mounted similar to yours collects dust. At first I tried just using a piece of screen wire as a filter which could be vacuumed clean but decided the cheap air filters work better.

-- Max - Birmingham, AL

View Thewoodman2000's profile


822 posts in 3422 days

#10 posted 01-28-2014 10:17 PM

Nice job. This is a great post. Look at how many have said they will now make one or the testimony for the one they already have. Thank you George
Sign me up – guess I know what I am making this weekend.

-- (the only thing in there she says is....tap on head..........tap..........tap..... saw dust) - James

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3640 days

#11 posted 01-28-2014 11:16 PM

Howdy Prez. You’ve got me sold. I was thinking about suspending a couple of units in the garage. The planning is over.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 4572 days

#12 posted 01-28-2014 11:24 PM

Cheap solution to a problem we all face

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View GOOD LUCK TO ALL's profile


418 posts in 3179 days

#13 posted 01-28-2014 11:28 PM

It looks impressive, but all it does is gives you peace of mind. Doesn’t help your lungs.
The finer particles, (1-5 microns) the ones that hurt your lungs, are just being recirculated.
I don’t believe household filters are enough to trap the harmful particulates. And even if you have a fine filter, you need to be recycling it in your shop many times an hour to remove it. A typical fan is not going to do this.
This is pretty good explanation.
From Rockler

View Jasonjenkins's profile


44 posts in 3055 days

#14 posted 01-28-2014 11:59 PM

well the article does recommend a Jet system that filters particles by pulling them through a filter just like this home version does. I would say it would depend on what type of filter you have no? Electrostatic filter that can handle particles down to 5 microns strapped to a fan, should filter right? Spend more on filters, save your lungs is an arguement that could be made. I like the idea of the home versions with the squirrel type blowers in them because volume of air is a consideration i agree. But as the article says, the small stuff can stay in air for 30 min so if what you have is a box fan, leave it running after you are done and pick up what you can out of the air. This would stop it from landing and then being stirred back up next time you are in the shop.

-- Growing a full beard is proven to instantly improve your handtool skills...

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1355 posts in 3387 days

#15 posted 01-29-2014 01:37 AM

The discussion above had me interested, so I checked out Rockler’s website. Per the website, the Jet air filters that they sell catch 98% of particles 5 microns in size and 85% of particles 1 micron in size. So, the “professional” air filters are not catching everything. It only would make sense that as long as you used a good filter, or even put a jet filter over a box fan, you’d be catching the same percentages of fine particles that passed thru the filter. In that case, I don’t see a reason to buy a big metal box with a fan in it that costs $700. I like the box fan idea, though it may not work quite as quickly, it should work just fine with the right filter.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

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