Air Filtration for Lathe Sanding Dust in Indoor Workshop in Canada

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Forum topic by Shaun posted 05-03-2017 05:56 PM 3940 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1038 days

05-03-2017 05:56 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question lathe sanding

For the last year, I’ve been working in a small garden shed. As I started getting into turning, I’ve found it was too small. Last week, I came home to find that my wife had cleaned out our rough-finished attached garage for my new workshop. This is great news for me.

Of course, the second thing she said was, ”You’re going to need something to make sure the dust doesn’t get into the house.”

The question is, how do I clean the air and collect sanding dust when I’m lathing in the shop? I need to keep the air clean so the dust doesn’t pour into the kitchen when I open the door. And I don’t want to kill my lungs.

Venting to the outside isn’t a good option since winter in Canada gets cold and it will cost me a fortune to heat if I do that.

Two options that I’m considering are:

  • Rikon 62-400 Air Filtration System (or similar) to collect dust out of the air
  • Rikon 60-100 Dust Collector (or similar) to collect dust near the lathe

I was thinking the two-pronged approach might give me the best filtration.

I’m not stuck on these being Rikon or those specific models. We don’t have as many choices in Canada, however. I also know that I could build rather than buy but I’d rather buy and get lathing in my new shop.

Am I on the right track with my thinking or is there a better way?

Here’s the work space information:

  • Attached single-bay garage
  • Approximately 10’ x 19’
  • Previous owners had finished it to be a den
  • Floor is aspenite/OSB sitting on some kind of sub-floor (we pulled up the carpet that was there)
  • Wall between the garage and the house is concrete block
  • Garage Door (door the car comes in) is gone and replaced with an insulated exterior wall
  • Walls are dry-walled and insulated
  • Ceiling is dry-walled with a large quantity of blown-in insulation
  • Two furnace registers that come from the basement under the kitchen
  • Regular interior door between the garage and the kitchen
  • Exterior double door to the backyard

My drafting skills in Windows Paint speak for themselves ;-)

Obviously, my first order of business is:

  • Close up the furnace registers completely and use a local heat source (eg: infrared heater)
  • Replace the door between the kitchen and workshop with something that seals tightly (fire door?)

With that, my attention is on filtration and dust collection.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

- Shaun

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

14 replies so far

View gwilki's profile


330 posts in 2082 days

#1 posted 05-03-2017 07:24 PM

Shaun: You may want to consider making something like this

My shop is in my basement, and I have a 2HP dust collector and a ceiling mounted filtration unit. The key really is to get all the dust you can from the source with the collector. Once it’s in the air, even with filtration, some will get where you don’t want it. In warm months (I”m in Ottawa but there are a few of them even here.) I use a large box fan to draw air in from one window and blow it out the other. With no way for you to get a cross breeze going, the may be more difficult, but a box fan near your doors to the outside would pull some of the dust out, I would think.

-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View mrg's profile


860 posts in 3608 days

#2 posted 05-03-2017 07:45 PM

Change the door between the kitchen and garage to an exterior door. They close much tighter and will help to keep the dust from getting into the house. The dust collector or a shop vac with a big gulp attached to collect the dust while sanding will help. Also think about putting a furnace filter inside the return for your heat/ac so it does not travel the dust through out the house. An air filter or simple box fan with a filter will help with dust in the air. Change your shoes and shirt and jeans before going back into the main part of the house.

-- mrg

View LDO2802's profile


167 posts in 1039 days

#3 posted 05-03-2017 08:42 PM

I hope you are wearing a mask with a good filter while turning. No matter what kind of filtration you have, it will reach your face before the air filter and you will be sucking it in.

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 1373 days

#4 posted 05-04-2017 01:02 AM

Lots of good information already provided. I also have a basement shop. When I installed my lathe I provide dust ports under the lathe. It works ok for collecting larger chips but is not very satisfactory for collecting finer dust. The u-tube link provided by gwilki is very interesting and looks like it would do a much better job. I agree with the suggestion to wear a face mask. If I were doing a lot of turning I’d invest in one of those Positive Air Pressure masks with a filter and power pack.
Just a note about the door between the garage and the kitchen … here in NYC the Building Code requires that door to be a minimum 1hr rated fire door with a curb at the threshold. You might want to check your local Building Codes and put in the required door and frame the first time.

View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1038 days

#5 posted 05-04-2017 05:50 PM

Thanks, everyone, for the advice. I especially like robo hippy’s video. My lathe wouldn’t lend itself well to his exact solution but I think I can take a lot of inspiration from it.

Sounds like my plan should be:

  • Wear a proper filtering mask while turning/sanding
  • Get a dedicated dust collector and rig it up to collect as much dust as possible from the source (might use a big gulp or something similar to robo hippy’s homemade setup)
  • Get an ambient air filtration sysytem to capture as much dust as possible that makes it into the air
  • In warmer months, open the door to the outside and setup a box fan to blow dust out
  • Replace the Garage-to-Kitchen door with an exterior door (possibly fire rated) to seal up the room
  • Completely seal off the room from the HVAC system in our house (this is easy to do)

Does that sound about right?

Now I have to choose a dust collector and ambient air filter.

Rikon has some availability in Canada and JET seems to be completely unavailable.

Craftex is very available since I live 20 minutes from Busy Bee. I know Craftex doesn’t have the best reputation but I would think that their dust collection would be fine as long as the specs are there.

Here are the ones I’m considering, based on what is available to me:

Dust Collector:

  • Craftex CX404 ($279): 1HP, 825CFM, 10” Aluminum Impeller, 6” static pressure, 1 Micron filter
  • Rikon 60-100 (couldn’t find a Canadian listing for the product): 1HP, 640CFM, 9” Steel Impeller, static pressure not stated, 5 Micron filter

Air Filter:

  • Craftex CX407 ($370): 556 CFM to 1044 CFM, 5-Micron and 1-Micron Filters
  • Rikon 62-400 ($250): 300 CFM to 400 CFM, 5-Micron and 1-Micron Filters

As near as I can see, the only difference is the Craftex has a higher CFM. (The Rikon 62-100 is similar to the Craftex but the cost is $500 Canadian.)

Any advice on these potential product choices? Again, product selection is somewhat limited in Canada. I certainly like the price on the two Craftex units since I could have full collection running for cheap.

Thanks again to everyone for your help.

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

View RobS888's profile


2635 posts in 2453 days

#6 posted 05-04-2017 09:20 PM

The big gulp as a lathe dust collector was a disappointment for my wife. The opening is too far from the sanding, so the suction is more diffuse than you want. If you turned it over and had the scoop portion down it may collect chips, but that isn’t what you need. You need to collect the small dust particles. I tried a few different approaches until I can see what looks like smoke flying from the sanding point into the dust collector. This over arm collector from Rockler is great, because you can position the smaller scoop very close to where you are working. You can rotate the scoop horizontally for pens or flip it for bowls.

-- I always knew gun nuts where afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View mrg's profile


860 posts in 3608 days

#7 posted 05-04-2017 09:20 PM

You don’t want to seal off the room from the AC, it will throw the balance of your system offf. Put a filter in the return vent to catch the dust. Air will still pass without the dust.

-- mrg

View Kelly's profile


2637 posts in 3553 days

#8 posted 05-04-2017 09:54 PM

I just used a piece of 8” plastic pipe, after I capped the ends and installed a connection port. This runs off my 3 horse and makes a HUGE difference. It works especially well when sanding.

It would work remarkably better, when sanding, if the lathe were running in reverse. Unfortunately, mine doesn’t, so everything wants to toss off the top, front. As such, a flattened pipe coming in under the lathe and at the bottom, fed by a Y [so you still had the top collection, would be a huge improvement.

As an aside, I’ve noticed NOT following established best procedures (e.g., riding the bevel and tipping in only slightly) results in more of what is kicked off the knife being collected. This makes fine, almost dust fee work possible with just the hood cupping the turrning.

As such, playing with wind patterns from the collector and combining it with information about the effects of cutting wood off a spinning piece should allow us to to increase collection, without interfering with knife movement.

View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1038 days

#9 posted 05-05-2017 04:44 AM

The previous owner installed the ducts and didn’t rebalance the system. It totally threw out the system so theoretically undoing the modifications he made should return it to normal.

I like the idea of the dust port/hood. My lathe doesn’t reverse either so I may have to rig up a way to capture the dust at the front. I’m building my own lathe table so maybe I could build a dust port into it. Or I can have something that sits just in front of the bar. (I have a single round bar rather than a flat bed.)

Thanks again for the great ideas.

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

View Bob5103's profile


150 posts in 1442 days

#10 posted 05-05-2017 10:20 AM

I bought a hood similar to this : from grizzly. I used a muffler U-bolt and attached it to my banjo. The hood connects to my DC. It is simple and adjusts to the work piece. I have a Harbor Freight DC and when I am sanding on the lathe I can see the dust being sucked up. It also does a fair job of collecting the big stuff when I am turning. I was surprised at how well this works. I have the Rikon 61-200 (I think), that sits on a wall hung cabinet above the lathe. This wasn’t on purpose, it was just the best place for the air filter. The air filter runs continuously while I am in the shop and really does make a difference with fine dust. Even though I have a stand alone shop, the shop gets vacuumed every night, its quick and easy and helps maintain the peace in the house.

View gwilki's profile


330 posts in 2082 days

#11 posted 05-05-2017 05:00 PM

Shaun: The Craftex CX407 air filter looks very much like the one that I have. Mine is badged differently, but the concept is the same. Place it against a wall so that the intake is close to where you will be creating dust with your sanding and it will do a good job.

If you will only be creating dust by sanding pieces on the lathe, the CX404 will likely do the job. As as already been mentioned, the key is the hood or other fixture that you cobble together to suck the dust in.

I’ve heard lots of criticism of Craftex machines, but I’ve had nothing but good service from the ones that I have. My local store has been very good at addressing the small issues that I have had over the years. Good luck with your upgrades.


-- Grant Wilkinson, Ottawa ON

View OldCorps's profile


12 posts in 995 days

#12 posted 05-05-2017 07:16 PM

Shaun – My former shop was just shy of twice the size of yours and I framed in a closet in one corner, just large enough (I think it was just 3’x3’) to house my 3 hp Grizzly dust collector. I refitted the collector with 2.5 micron dust bags. I had a tightly sealed door on the closet and in the other closet wall I installed a simple 20×21 furnace filter frame with louvers on the shop side. I used a good washable filter in the frame. It was amazing how effective this system worked. I had a thickness sander and a downdraft sanding table (both very fine dust producers), two band saws, a joiner and table saw, all with collection ports. I built stringed instruments which required much fine sanding, and the thickness sander was used for hours at a time while preparing tops and backs. The 2.5 micron bags captured the fine dust so effectively that I didn’t need to take the garden hose to the furnace filters very often.

I wiped my machine tables down every evening and even after a full day of sanding, the next morning I could wipe my hand over the tables without leaving streaks. I did wear a respirator whenever working at the downdraft table. By recycling the air through the collector and back into the shop through the furnace filter I wasn’t losing any heat in winter or cool in summer. I live in south-central PA where it gets pretty cold in winter and hot and humid in summer.

View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1038 days

#13 posted 05-08-2017 11:55 AM

Brilliant! I love the ideas I’ve received. Thank-you, everyone.

Bob5103 – One of my local suppliers has a hood setup similar to this for dust collectors.

Grant – It’s good to know that, in spite of the reputation, Craftex might be worth looking at in this instance. The cost-to-specs ratio is just too good to ignore.

OldCorps – I like the idea of enclosing the unit and having a furnace filter for the outtake. If I got a 1 micron filter then that would be my effective filtration.

Last night I tried an experiment. I held our household vacuum cleaner about 1/4” from the spindle while I sanded. It captured all of the dust. Considering the low CFM, it did a good job. I’m thinking any dust collector that has > 500 CFM is going to work well for me.

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

View Shaun's profile


39 posts in 1038 days

#14 posted 06-05-2017 06:54 PM

Well, I took my first step towards dust collection this week with a Craftex CX404 dust collector. The specs looked good. > 800 CFM. 7A power draw. 4” hose. Optional canister, which I did buy.

I started to set it up yesterday and it turned into a disaster. The unit was DOA. I put a review here.

Customer service has been lacking so I’m probably going to do a return and maybe pick up a Rikon dust collector. I haven’t 100% decided yet.

-- Shaun, Ontario, Total n00b at wood turning

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