Homemade Air Cleaner

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Blog entry by rowdy posted 02-03-2009 10:44 PM 6331 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My “new” air cleaner has now reached a state of completion. I started with a free squirrel cage fan from an old A/C unit. Then I constructed a box to house it and affixed two 16×25 electrostatic MERV 11 filters, one on each side. I am not sure how long the MERV 11 filters will last in a shop environment. From what I have read a higher MERV would be desirable, but those seem to have such a short useful life that they are not practical. Each of the MERV 11 filters has ahead of it a MERV 4 washable dust filter. This thing really moves a lot of air.

My garage shop has a 10 ft ceiling and measures about 10×25 ft. I try to collect all of the dust that I can at each tool with a commercial dust collector. However, I have found it difficult to collect dust from the band saw and the table saw throws a lot of dust when I use a zero clearance insert or a sled (and I use both extensively)

I plan to run the homemade air cleaner along with a ceiling hung PS air filtration unit and wear a N95 dust mask when working on dust producing projects.

Any comments about other things I should do to improve my dust collecting efforts and/or protect my lungs?

Finally, has anyone used one of the snorkel types of dust masks sold by one of the supply houses.



-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

3 comments so far

View MedicKen's profile


1615 posts in 3858 days

#1 posted 02-04-2009 05:07 AM

Some pics would be nice. I am going to be building one myself and am looking for examples.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their [email protected]

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 3838 days

#2 posted 02-04-2009 06:16 AM

I am pretty new to LJ and have not yet learned how to post pictures. I will work on it and try to get something visual out for you to look at. Basically, I just built a box from scrap. Started by building two rectangular frames out of 3/4×3.5 inch wide pine, such that the openings in the frames were about 2 inches smaller in both dimensions than the size of the 16×25 inch filters I planned to use. I then cut out a rectangular base from some scrap 1/2 inch thick particle board that was wide enough to mount the fan on and the same length as the width of the frames. Next I attached the side frames to the bottom piece and added some 2×2 cross members between the sides where necessary to complete the box frame. Then I mounted the fan on the bottom of the box. The remainder of the box with the exception of the two open sides and the fan exhaust is enclosed with quarter inch ply. I installed a switch in the back. All joints were sealed with caulk to make the thing as air tight as possible to force all incoming air through the filters. Around each filter opening I added strips of wood that support the filters on all four sides and hold them in place. I also put 1/2×1/4 inch weatherstripping around the perimeter of the opening to help seal the filters in place. While the thing is not a work of art, it is functional. Hope this is useful to you. I will try to answer any questions you might have about my construction.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View goggy's profile


74 posts in 3812 days

#3 posted 02-05-2009 05:35 AM

I recently built a shop air cleaner and it works very nice. I used a three filter system (bag filter, middle, and large particle cheapy outer filter). This has made a dramatic difference in minimizing dust in my basement shop.

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