Dust Collection

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Forum topic by EdsCustomWoodCrafts posted 02-14-2016 12:49 AM 1112 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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931 posts in 1849 days

02-14-2016 12:49 AM

I have a basement woodshop that has a bulk head and 4 basement style Windows ..

I need to sort out a collection system for me TS , chop saw and router table and I don’t have a ton of money or know how in this area..

My primary concerns are my lungs and a adjacent room in the basement for Droege that is getting destroyed with saw dust on the floor and a thin film of sawdust on my household stored items and I have a gas heating system with the furnace as well and that is getting saw dust …. A possible fire hazard can anyone recommend a system for me that doesn’t cost a fortune like under $200 ..

If I don’t sort this my woodworking says might be coming to an end because of health risks and my wife my kill me..


-- Thanks Ed “A bad day woodworking is better than a good day working. ~Author unknown” . Come check out my website for more about what I make and how at

7 replies so far

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3181 days

#1 posted 02-14-2016 03:29 AM

I haven’t been on here in awhile so I am not sure what people are using. I think the best cheap system is still the Harbor Freight system. This will need filters added to it so that must be added in. I understand some were using K&M brand truck air filters. Some were getting these used for nothing and using them since the dust can be blown off the filter and it apparently wasn’t doing any damage to health.

View sawdustdad's profile


379 posts in 1391 days

#2 posted 02-14-2016 04:09 AM

No dust collection system within reason will eliminate dust getting into adjacent spaces with a basement workshop. You just can’t capture 100% of the dust, especially from a router, table saw, lathe, miter/radial arm saw, etc. You can do pretty good with a planer or jointer since they make shavings rather than fine dust.

Either live with the dust, seal off the spaces hermetically, or move the shop elsewhere. Even if you seal the spaces off, you’ll track the sawdust about with your feet and clothes.

I ALWAYS recommend a detached building for a wood shop.

-- Murphy's Carpentry Corollary #3: Half of all boards cut to a specific length will be too short.

View joey502's profile


555 posts in 2024 days

#3 posted 02-14-2016 04:44 AM

Keeping the dust under control for $200 is gong to be tough, but some improvements can be done for that amount. In my opinion the biggest concern is the dust floating around a gas furnace and/ or water heater.

I read your post a couple weeks back about blocking the doorway to your work area, that would be my first step. Something as simple as a shower rod and sheet will help keep the dust contained and the two areas somewhat separate. Staple two overlapping sheets to the joist above, wrap it around the pipes to seal off the space if you need to (don’t hang it from the pipes though).

The router table mess can be contained pretty well with a shop vac connected to the fence. The Ridgid vac I have has a HEPA filter and I keep a bag in it. It does a very nice job on edge cutting operations. Dados and other cuts where the entire bit in in wood is less effective. On these cuts I am only able to collect from below the table but collection is still OK.

I have not completely figured out how to collect dust from a chop style miter saw. They are notorious for spewing dust all over the place. My saw is a slider, the dust collection on them seems to be better than the regular chop saw types. The blade on a slider is lowered out past the work and then pushed in to cut. The angle of the tooth and the position of the board in relation to the blade’s center when cutting keeps the dust shooting toward the dust port much better than a chopping/ plunge action saws. Long story short, I am not much help with this tool. A shroud of some sort and the shop vac from the router table will help for sure, a DC would be better.

The table saw will require a large volume of air movement to effectively collect dust. Only a dust collector is going to work here. The HF collector seems to be very popular and is on sale right now for $170. I do not know if you can use the 20% coupon in addition to the sale but if you could that would knock another $34 off of the price. The filter on this unit is 5 micron, you will need to upgrade that down the road if you want effective filtration. Even 5 microns is better than using nothing now.

Are you using a power sander at all? Those things will fill a room with small dust particles with a quickness. A shop vac with good filter and a bag will help here a lot as well. I have read that shop vacuums are not made to run continuously and it is not the best idea to run them for long periods. My ROS is hooked to a small shop vac and I have not seen an issue yet. A true dust extractor is the long term solution here but they are very costly.

I would make incremental improvements. Work on the worst offending tool first and then move on when more funds are available.

If you have a shop vacuum now get a new filter and bags for it, the filter on mine is about $25 and the bags are around $8 each. The filters last a long time if you keep a bag in the vac.

The fittings and hose for collection systems add up quickly. A system that stays in place and works with everything is too costly at this point. Moving the DC/vac from tool to tool will keep cost down.

View David Taylor's profile

David Taylor

326 posts in 1593 days

#4 posted 02-14-2016 05:36 AM

I was unaware of this system until I saw it on someone’s video yesterday or the day before, but Shop-Vac has a Sawdust Collection System for actually a reasonable amount of money The whole system can be seen here, but you can also buy individual components on this page. Might be an option to look into.

-- Learn Relentlessly

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1930 days

#5 posted 02-14-2016 07:33 AM

This is my HF solution. The seperator is in the metal trash can to save space.

I am using a Wynn Environmental 0.5 micron filter. THIS is the key to maintaining a healthy environment for you and your family. See my projects for more details.

-- Brad, Texas,

View robscastle's profile


6354 posts in 2710 days

#6 posted 02-14-2016 08:35 AM

Under $200?....yes you can do it!
Look on ebay or the likes and buy a second hand unit,

Mount it outside your basement and route the pipes in.

Make a separator with two plasticbuckets.

Does it work, yes it does and the buckets collect about 95% of dust and chips, then once its full the bag takes over

Try it and see how you go!

BTW did you check out the box I dedicated to you?

-- Regards Rob

View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3310 days

#7 posted 02-14-2016 11:01 PM

Ditto what timbertaylor said. If you have a Harbor Freight near, you can’t beat their 2hp collector. Be sure to find a 20% off coupon. They just had them on sale again not long ago for 150 bux or so

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

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