Investing in new dust collector/air filtration

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Forum topic by NeophyteGrant posted 07-30-2019 04:03 PM 1138 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 1751 days

07-30-2019 04:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector air filtration shop safety

Hi All:

I’m in an insulated and enclosed 2 car garage (about 400 sq feet) with little air flow (for the insulation). I have a Shopfox 1HP DC that claims its 800CFM.

I try my best to wear my respirator (I really do!) while cutting or sanding (I tend not to wear it with the chips of a planer/jointer with DC on, though maybe should change that habit?) and for a bit afterwards, but in the summer it can be a bit oppressive and helps fog up my safety glasses, too.

I’ve been noticing dust in my nasal passages—kind of like dripping down my throat. And I think just being in there is an issue of just being in there and kicking up dust (when I’m just assembling I don’t wear a mask).

I’m thinking about upgrading to a cyclone 1.5 HP and adding air filtration. And to my question:
I don’t have 220 and rent. I had planned to go to a 3HP when upgrading but can’t. I move into a house next year, but as this is a health potentiality I wonder if a.) I need to go to a 3HP in the future b.) I should better my DC now. My current is servicable but could use an upgrade for ease of use and performance.

Should I make these upgrades? Thoughts? If so, suggestions? I had been eying Grizzly’s Cyclones with a Jet air filtration to keep the cost around 1k.

21 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


6184 posts in 4486 days

#1 posted 07-30-2019 04:34 PM

If you can, I would recommend venting to the outdoors. This will not require a filter. DC’s that use a filter pass fine dust through the filter media back into the shop. As the filter loads up, it cuts the air flow. Just using a box fan set low to the ground and blowing away from you will get rid of most, if not all fine dust. Directing the air flow through a large duct to the outdoors will keep the shop reasonably clean.

View GrantA's profile


3164 posts in 2650 days

#2 posted 07-30-2019 04:58 PM

Grant what do you mean “with little air flow”? Since it’s insulated is it air conditioned?

Ron don’t be so quick to suggest venting outside. If it’s a conditioned space then all the conditioning also goes outside.

Look into an air cleaner to hang from the ceiling and a filter upgrade for your existing DC

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#3 posted 07-30-2019 05:17 PM

It is air conditioned, two-hose model, so it is pushing air outside. Now that I think about it, I’m not sure how the shopfox 1hp bag works—the upper half is filter I’d imagine? Do I need to do anything with the cloth upper half to keep it clean? That may be an issue I’d overlooked.

I would consider venting through the window but outside of the hoses for the air conditioner I papered it over with foam board and 2xs. I live in Chicago and have gotten robbed, so part of the closed, low ventilation is do to buttoning the windows up for security.

GrantA—do you have any suggestions on filter upgrades or where I would start with that?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7229 posts in 3736 days

#4 posted 07-30-2019 06:26 PM

The upper bag is the filter and one the one I just looked at it’s only 2.5 microns. There will be a dust cake build up on the inner surface of the bag, but that actually increases filtration (and slows air flow). Anyway, I suspect this: the bag is leaking the finer particles (which pretty much coat everything), and you pick them up in your nostrils when not wearing the respirator. Given the circumstances of the rental and other things…I’d just suggest you get an ambient air cleaner, that should reduce a fair amount of the airborne dust. But you might want to wear the respirator more than you do now as well. I wouldn’t change the filters on that unit. Personally I don’t see it as having enough ass to help much with the DC function. Yes I think you need a larger unit, and a 3 HP would be a nice add (with 1micron or better filtration). My 2ยข.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MPython's profile


398 posts in 1055 days

#5 posted 07-30-2019 07:13 PM

Grant, My shop is a little shy of 400 Sq. Ft. Have all the usual machines, all of which generate lots of wood dust and fine particles. I worked in it without dust collection for years until I started getting really bad sinus headaches after a day in the shop. I finally decided I needed serious D/C so I installed a Clear Vue cyclone. It captures over 90% of all the sawdust and fines at their source. My headaches have disappeared completely, I don’t have to wear face masks to work and shop is much cleaner that it was before. My wife is happy, given the fact that wood dust is a known carcinogen. I think your plan is a no-brainer. Do it for yourself and your long term health. When you get the opportunity, upgrade to a serious cyclone. They capture a LOT more of the dust and fines than free-standing dust collectors. You will thank yourself, and your wife will too.

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#6 posted 07-31-2019 02:34 AM

Thanks again all. Couple things:

1. Ordered the air filtration; consensus is better DC. I have the funds (and by gosh, now I have the fright in me, but its one’s health) so should I pull the trigger on a bigger, better DC with better filtration? My options are 1.5HP now or 2 or 3HP (maybe) next year. Gosh, I’m worried about the health now!

2. Why doesn't this sell in Cali? I get Prop 65 is on everything including the kitchen sink there, but prohibiting sale?

View ibewjon's profile


2641 posts in 4035 days

#7 posted 07-31-2019 03:06 AM

Look at Wen filters from home Depot. Two different size models, and not a bad price. You may be able to buy two for more capacity.

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#8 posted 07-31-2019 07:00 AM

Third question, I guess: overkill to put two of the Jet 1000s (1100 cfm) in the shop? 20×20x8 height?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

7229 posts in 3736 days

#9 posted 07-31-2019 10:25 AM

Well, when it comes to your health is anything overkill?

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bugradx2's profile


332 posts in 1262 days

#10 posted 07-31-2019 03:37 PM

That grizzly has a nice price. I agree with ibewjon that you could look at the WEN air filter too. I have one in my shop that’s about the same size as yours and it really does a number on airborne dust. I added a dust deputy cyclone (didn’t want to make one) to the shop vac this year and started using it more with the tools and that really made a difference too.

-- The only thing not measured in my shop is time

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#11 posted 07-31-2019 04:41 PM

@Fred: Touche. You aren’t wrong on that count. Preventative is always the way to go.

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#12 posted 07-31-2019 04:43 PM

The thing I can’t make my mind up on is whether to move up to 1 1/2 DC or to wait until i have 220 service next year in a new place. I know the answer is probably wait til I can get 3HP. I always get frustrated with the 220 thing. Sera Sera.

Ah! I see the Wen is 75 less than the Jet (which I bought on Amazon). For something so basic, I imagine brand name doesn’t matter too much…Thanks for the tip IBEW adn Burgradx2

View NeophyteGrant's profile


147 posts in 1751 days

#13 posted 07-31-2019 05:51 PM

Update: Picked up a JFS-1000 for an amazon discounted $350 (not sure why it was discounted last night. I also got a WEN 1044 CFM for $309. I wanted the $287 model (the difference is the higher cost remote is radio versus Infrared and easier to use) because I can go through the trouble to walk over and point, but the lead time was almost a month. The $309 will come Saturday. Thanks for the advice you WEN folks.

View RichBolduc's profile


1453 posts in 1359 days

#14 posted 07-31-2019 06:02 PM

I don’t know if you need to wait really. I have a full shop with a 2HP HF setup going through a 55 gallon seperator. It’s plenty for one tool at a time without duct work. I use a DustRite system and just move it from tool to tool. I plan on switching to a 1.5HP Onieda or Grizzly with a built in separator in the near future because of size restraints.


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View therealSteveN's profile


8852 posts in 1816 days

#15 posted 07-31-2019 10:45 PM

I’m with ya on wearing a mask on these stinkin hot days, outright uncomfortable. I too have been picking my battles like sanding, most anything with MDF, and a few others, but planer, jointer, BS, and all hand tools, except hand sanders, and routers. I have started putting a HUGE fan at my back, blowing out toward the front of the shop, no tools out there, just storage.

I’m getting quite the film of dust on the floor up there, and haven’t had any discolored snot since I started doing it. Just a crazy thought.

-- Think safe, be safe

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