Shop Air Cleaner

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Review by Karson posted 06-03-2009 05:03 AM 14741 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Shop Air Cleaner Shop Air Cleaner Shop Air Cleaner Click the pictures to enlarge them

There have been posts on LJ’s and other places about taking a box fan and putting a furnace filter on it to filter the shop air. When I was on my Mini Shop Tour a couple of weeks ago, I noticed a home made one hanging in the shop of Greg3G.

On my way home from my surgery my wife asked me if I wanted to go shopping. I was willing. We went to an Salvage store called Ollie's Bargain Outlet

While I was there I spied this box fan. It was $25.00 I asked my wife what box fans cost now a days. She thought about $20.00.

So anyway today she was in another of their stores and she called and asked if I wanted one. I told her OK.

Here is the company advertising.
Lasko PERFORMANCE Air Cleaner w/Arm & Hammer® Filter

$56.99 Item #: 3900
The Performance Air Cleaner Fan takes in the unfiltered air and provides clean air throughout your entire room in just 3 easy steps… plug in, choose filtration volume and start breathing cleaner air in minutes! One pleated home air filter with ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda is included with the fan.

Product Description:

Three Speeds
Personalize with Your Choice of Replacement Filter (compatible with all national brands of 20” x 20” x 1” furnace filters)
Controls Common Allergens, Household & Cooking Odors, and Airborne Particles
Harness the Power Of a Whole-House Filter to Clean the Air in a Large Room in Less Than 5 Minutes!(15’x 15’x 8’)
Unfiltered Air In, Clean Air Out


The filter is rated to 5 Micron.

I plugged it in and the volume of air seems to be low, but I guess that’s the restriction of the filter.

The filter is 20” X 20” and is a standard furnace replacement type.

I’ve not used it in the shop yet.

The case around the filter has louvers and clips to the fan. a 2 second removal. Very easy. It will give me ideas for making my own shield if I go that way also.

I assume that it is a quality fan motor and probably a better quality than some other fans of no name brand. But that might just be me saying that mine is better than yours. Time will tell.

I gave it a 3 stars because it is untried as of yet.

-- 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]

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13 comments so far

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3648 posts in 5618 days

#1 posted 06-03-2009 05:11 AM

looks pretty much like what I (ok, everyone else too) cobbled together, for cheap. I never even attached the filter as the draw of the air pulls the filter tight. I would imagine this to be a much more powerful fan than the 15-20 dollar one at the BORG. I like to imagine mine does something, depending on my project I can see the dust move in the general direction of the fan (2-3’ from the lathe)... but today the sanding dust was just floating around. Time for a new filter? probably.

let us know if the rating goes up or down, we all need to clear the air, as it were.

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

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118297 posts in 4868 days

#2 posted 06-03-2009 05:26 AM

Hey Karson
I have tried that before an did not have much luck with it , I hope it works better for you.


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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5591 days

#3 posted 06-03-2009 05:34 AM

What I’ve read lately is 5 microns is not enough. They recommend 1 micron now.

I recently put a 1 micron canister on my DC.

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

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16292 posts in 5510 days

#4 posted 06-03-2009 02:10 PM

I guess the proof will be in the filter after amonth in the shop. If it dirties up pretty quick, you’ll know it’s working.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View lew's profile


13442 posts in 5047 days

#5 posted 06-03-2009 03:52 PM


Looks like it should work, especially if you close the big overhead door in the front of the shop.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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2570 posts in 4595 days

#6 posted 06-03-2009 04:04 PM

I use a 20” fan with a filter duct taped to the back of it. The filter starts to dirty up in 2 or 3 days and needs to be changed every few weeks. It catches a lot of dust.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4766 days

#7 posted 06-03-2009 04:33 PM

Had the same idea when I discovered a box fan in my mother-in-law’s attic after she died… too busy right now to fool with, but I need something in my sawdust room to help me breathe in there.

I’m looking around her house for other conversions. She saved everything. I’d like to use the pine cupboard doors from her original kitchen cabinets… and she kept the drawers. Too big for my work… but maybe I can disassemble and reuse the wood. Down in the cellar she has the electric frig that replaced the oak ice box that they had originally in the house. Did I mention that I’m not allowed to touch any of the 10 stain glass casement windows?

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View PurpLev's profile


8652 posts in 4940 days

#8 posted 06-03-2009 05:02 PM

I use a similar thing – got a box fan from someone, and picked up a couple of 20×20 filters from Costco – I put one filter in front of the fan, and it does filter the air infront of it – but it’s not powerful enough to pull the air/particles that are further away.

it does what it can – better than nothing – but not as powerful as the commercials filters obviously.

what I do with mine , is I’ll put it as close as I can to the dust source that I’m producing at the time.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View chickenhelmet's profile


99 posts in 4604 days

#9 posted 06-03-2009 07:23 PM

My method is like everyone eles’ with the fan and filter. Execpt that I once head that WoodWhisper guy say something to the efect of this when speaking of the commerical grade ones: Most people use these wrong. Running them as you are in the shop. Thus, disturbing the dust and pulling it past YOU as it finds the back of your filter. Suggested running overnight. Don’t know if it’s ture or not but it sounded good.I have since been cleaning up at the end of each day and running my “fan & filter” overnight. My filters still get dirty!

-- Larry , Colorado

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Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 4648 days

#10 posted 06-05-2009 12:46 PM

if you maintain it you will get longer life out of the filters. Vacuum the backside once or twice a day. My filter is 5 micron and it seems ok. Osha won’t be stopping by anytime soon to my basement, So somebody is making money off this woodshop rule of thumb. Always something, whats arm and hammer do to it. don’t they make powder materials? just blabbing it is a good thing
how much again?

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5142 days

#11 posted 06-08-2009 05:01 AM

Interesting buy Karson. Let us know how good it is after a couple of months.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View StumpyNubs's profile


7854 posts in 4092 days

#12 posted 09-26-2010 03:52 PM

If one box fan filter is good, wouldn’t ten be better? Why not put one above each of your shop machines? Walmart sells fans for about $10 each. Just a thought.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 3784 days

#13 posted 01-23-2012 07:23 AM

I picked up a nice ‘Torcan’ box fan today on Craigslist for $15. It’s a 3-speed model, 5-blade fan and runs nice and quiet. I’m going to build a wooden frame to hold a furnace filter. My shop is only a single garage, so I’m going to hang the fan from the ceiling on an angle so that the outflow air is angled towards the ceiling, hoping that the ceiling will act as a deflector to push the outflow air back down, providing good air circulation in the shop. I will post photos of it when I ‘git ‘er done’


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