Let's clean the air (really)

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Project by hotncold posted 03-05-2014 02:37 AM 8103 views 54 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After building my first shop project, it was obvious that I needed to control some dust. I started with a 1200 cfm blower assembly, an Aprilaire whole house pleated media filter and a 2” pleated pre-filter. Cabinet made from 2/2 and 3/4” construction grade plywood and “skinned” the whole thing with 1/2” MDF. I added a 3 speed ceiling fan switch with pull chain for operation. Hanging this beast was a chore by myself.
After hanging, I used my air compressor to blow off everything in the shop…what a dust cloud! In 20 minutes, the air was completely clear. This beast works great in my small 900 sf shop!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

29 comments so far

View Steve Cherry's profile

Steve Cherry

201 posts in 3045 days

#1 posted 03-05-2014 03:10 AM

Nice; I could really use something like this too. Did you have any plans or just make it up on your own. If I tried to do something like that without detailed plans I don’t think it would turn out very well. I’m sure your shop is much more pleasant to work in with that unit cleaning the air. Nice work.

-- Steve - Front Royal, VA

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2758 days

#2 posted 03-05-2014 03:18 AM

Thanks Steve – sorry but I don’t have any plans as I just built it “on the fly” using components that we sell at work for home air cleaning. But it’s pretty simple. A filter (or filters) on the intake side, a grill on the discharge side and a furnace blower assembly in the middle.
I’ve seen several versions on Youtube so check those out. Most folks only use a couple of pleated filters in some type of track but adding the pleated media filter makes a HUGE difference in the final outcome.
Best to you!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3641 days

#3 posted 03-05-2014 03:19 AM

When it comes to clean air there is no such thing as overkill.
You gave us a really good example to follow if not the best I have seen in a long time.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Bobsboxes's profile


1673 posts in 3877 days

#4 posted 03-05-2014 03:38 AM

Using the big 4” filter is a great idea, thanks for sharing.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Greg D's profile

Greg D

238 posts in 3165 days

#5 posted 03-05-2014 03:51 AM

Awesome project! Thx for sharing!

-- Greg D, Cen. CA, "Keep it on the Level, Do it Right the First Time!"

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2762 days

#6 posted 03-05-2014 04:48 AM

Very nice project. I have a similar blower unit waiting to use for something. Your design is pretty sweet, where would you find a pleated media filter? HVAC shop?

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2758 days

#7 posted 03-05-2014 05:03 AM

freddy – most HVAC wholesale companies carry the Aprilaire or GeneralAire filters. You can also find them on Amazon but I would try the HVAC wholesalers first. You can buy just the filters on Amazon (and the complete housings as well) and make your own filter track. I opted for the quicker, simpler method of getting the complete unit since we sell them at work.
Hope this helps.

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View Vince's profile


1292 posts in 4643 days

#8 posted 03-05-2014 10:25 AM

That’s a high end build…great job.

-- Vince

View Tugboater78's profile


2796 posts in 3405 days

#9 posted 03-05-2014 11:15 AM

Been wanting to make one of these things. i have a small blower like that but havent sat down and thought how to set up a filter system with it. this gives me more of an idea, thanks for posting.

-- "....put that handsaw to work and make it earn its keep. - summerfi" <==< JuStiN >==>=->

View Steve Cherry's profile

Steve Cherry

201 posts in 3045 days

#10 posted 03-05-2014 12:44 PM

hotncold, thanks for the info; I’ll definitely check out the youtube videos. This will be a must have for my shop.

-- Steve - Front Royal, VA

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4017 days

#11 posted 03-05-2014 01:45 PM

This is a fantastic, simple engineering build. Thnx for sharing the simplicity of it. Breath right. Keep makin dust for this to eat up. :)

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

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9972 posts in 3542 days

#12 posted 03-05-2014 02:03 PM

Smart move….. Combining an air filter with dust collection at the machine is (IMO) the best strategy.

I have all fixed machines and a down draft table plumbed to a DC with 1 micron pleated filter, and I also hook up a shop vac (with a HEPA filter) to any hand tool that has an attachment. (SCMS, ROS, belt sander, biscuit jointer, etc…).

On top of all that, I run a Jet air filter…

And even then, if I’m doing a lot of sanding, I ware a dust mask.

I started wheezing at night when I lay down and my doc diagnosed me with allergy onset asthma. I never had allergies growing up, but when I hit my mid 30’s I started getting fall allergies, which have gradually become worse over the years. I’m able to manage the allergies with OTC meds and the asthma with a maintenance med.

But after 4 years of laboring to set up (what I think is) a really nice basement shop, I don’t want to get sensitized to wood dust and lose it all.

OBTW…. love the tall ceilings. Having a larger volume of air actually plays into the dust management a lot.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Matt (MWA Woodworks)'s profile

Matt (MWA Woodworks)

305 posts in 2826 days

#13 posted 03-05-2014 02:21 PM

can you give some specs on the blower? what is the make and I assume you got it where you work?

-- Follow me on instagram and facebook @mwawoodworks

View Nathan H.'s profile

Nathan H.

76 posts in 2777 days

#14 posted 03-05-2014 03:17 PM

You and i are experiencing the same things. I have a blower on order for this purpose, however no so massive, lol. At the moment i am working on building my own dust collector with cyclone, i hope that to be my 1st project post here, should be done with that in a couple of weeks. My air filter will be next. Great job here! I hope mine works as well as yours!

Here are a couple of web instructionals i have found that i got my ideas from.

-- - Nathan H., Iowa

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2758 days

#15 posted 03-05-2014 04:10 PM

Mainiac – you’re right about the high ceilings – 13’ so the large blower assembly actually keeps the air “stirred up” when it’s running and increases the amount of filtration.

Matt In Franklin – I took this blower assembly out of a new furnace with cabinet damage that couldn’t be repaired. It is probably larger than necessary because it’s a 1/2 HP 115v 1075 rpm 3 speed PSC motor. The blower wheel is an 11” diameter with an 8” width. In the original furnace, the blower was sized to deliver 1600 cfm @ .5 in WC.
Since I’m not running this through a duct system, I mounted the discharge side of the blower assembly to 3/4” plywood with an opening smaller than that on the blower so that I could “replicate” the increased resistance of a duct system. I also run it on low speed most of the time (around 1250 cfm).

Honestly, there was no “engineering” that went into this process. I just used what I had. I think the motor and blower could have been smaller and still be effective. The fact that it’s moving so much air AND that it’s pulling through the 4” Aprilaire media and the 2” pleated pre-filters, there’s virtually nothing that passes through.

Thanks for the comments and I didn’t even know there was a “Daily Top 3…how cool!!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

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