(Another) Dust collection question for a very small shop

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Forum topic by gurnie posted 04-22-2013 01:33 AM 2126 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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342 posts in 3602 days

04-22-2013 01:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collecting dust small shop tiny shop small shop dust

I’ve read a number of threads on dust collecting but i think I need to post because my situation seems to be A LOT different from others.

1. We live in a condo. I “negotiated” with my husband, a space that will probably be 8FT X 7Ft for my shop. We’re talking small, but it’ll beat the crap out of doing stuff on the patio just on the fact i’ll finally have temperature control (yay! heat & air conditioning)

2. This room will be rightnextto our kitchen AND laundry area. Meaning i am looking for a solution that sucks up every tiny particle of dust – I don’t want exotic wood dust on my bake chicken, nor will my husband tolerate floating dust (dust allergies, and we all know small partials of dust are bad for us.

and to add to these logistics – i’m in a condo. my solution needs to be curious (as much as possible) to the people who live around me (on person above us). i don’t want the cyclone mega 4800 dust collector if it sounds like a missile launch. it would also be considerate of me not to annoy my husband, as he did compromise and give me space in the tiny condo. So it should at least be as quiet as possible

so shop vac is out. but a good dust collector and air filtration system, i’m willing to pay, with whatever is in reason (which is a broad stroke statement). The price should probably shock me, but maybe not, i expect i’ll be paying an amount that makes me go “hmmmmmm, ok yeah it’s worth it” for an uber good dust collector that isn’t loud.

i did see this: ”": but didn’t know how loud it was. I do know it has a good CFM rating

machines: mini lathe (with fine sanding), scroll saw, Rikon 10-305 Bandsaw With Fence 10-Inch and sanding with a osolating sander (and electronic hand sander).

i’m psyched this is going to happen. Alright suggestions very much appreciated.

-- Please visit my Etsy site, or You can also follow me on my artfire blog:

12 replies so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8874 posts in 3409 days

#1 posted 04-22-2013 01:50 AM

Condos in my experience are like drums very thin walls! Even a quiet shop vac? And you will be running other machinery? I’d suggest that you Think about sound proofing this if you own it? Run your loudest machine and ask your neighbors you might listen from their place?

Ever consider going the hand tool route?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 2515 days

#2 posted 04-22-2013 01:59 AM

Any impeller style DC is going to be loud. I have a 3HP cyclone and the neighbor 1/2 mile down the road can hear it when I fire it up, but look out small kids and pets. When I worked in a cabinet shop the corian guys had 2 of these. They were very quiet, I believe they only used them for sanding field seams. I don’t remember if they were this exact model, but they looked just like it and I know the they were made by Fein.

View bbasiaga's profile


1243 posts in 2562 days

#3 posted 04-22-2013 02:32 AM

I have the 2hp Harbor Freight unit. It’s plenty loud. I don’t have a way to measure it, but it is at least as loud as my shop vac. Not as loud as my planer.

In a space that small, you might be best off getting or making an air cleaner. If your work area is/can be enclosed, the air cleaner will recycle air within the room, cleaning the dust out of the air by using furnace filters. You’d still need to vacuum up the heavy portion of the dust that remains on the floor/benchtop.


-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View AlbertaJim's profile


47 posts in 2995 days

#4 posted 04-22-2013 02:34 AM

A dust filter is certainly a lot quieter and you could use a broom & just sweep the dust/shaving etc from the floor. While you are working you would need to wear a respirator.

-- My Boss was a carpenter

View Dave G's profile

Dave G

335 posts in 2615 days

#5 posted 04-22-2013 09:05 AM

You would learn a lot by asking an HVAC guy for a quote on the complete ideal system. These involve quiet air handlers, like those used for central air, various barrier filters (think large furnace filters) and a fine filter system (HEPA or precipitator). Probably not for you but getting a free quote will get you access to an expert. Find an HVAC guy that specializes in DC.

This may be obvious: for your small space you will want to make sure you can completely isolate it with walls, doors – no cracks – while you work and collect dust in side of it. Vent and draw air from inside of it directly to the outdoors without going through the rest of the living space. You may be fine with a sealed off room and a small, quiet overhead air filter and leaving the door closed. Very cheap to try and probably want that equipment anyway.

In my basement I used cheap painters’ plastic to hang floor to ceiling drapes separating my shop area from my wife’s space and used one of these to catch what I could by circulation. It doesn’t work very well but keeps the dust confined to my space.

You may not solve your problem, but you may be able to contain it.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

View ellen35's profile


2746 posts in 3999 days

#6 posted 04-22-2013 10:33 AM

+1 to the jet air filtration system. As an example of what it can do… I had a “bag explosion” with my HF dust collector (OK, I messed up putting the bag on!) and filled my 18×20 shop with fine dust. Turned on my jet and in 20 minutes, the air was incredibly clear. It did not take care of the stuff on the flat surfaces but a small shop vac may help with that. The jet is quiet but it does cool the air pretty quick (it is a fan). I would check out all the shop vacs for the lowest decibel level.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View AandCstyle's profile


3223 posts in 2824 days

#7 posted 04-23-2013 01:20 AM

Take a look at the “dust extractors” aka shop vacs by Fein, Festool and Nilfisk. This model is rated at 59 dB which is comparable to conversation in a restaurant. If this is not sufficient (likely), you can then consider an air cleaner such as this one. HTH

-- Art

View gurnie's profile


342 posts in 3602 days

#8 posted 04-23-2013 02:42 AM

Hello and thank you for your help everyone. I’ve been reading what everyone has to say and showing it to my husband so we can understand the options that are out there.

The sound-proofing is a good idea and actually be easily done – I can get what’s call ””egg crate foam””: and put it on our ceiling and maybe a few of the walls to help muffle the sound. Good idea, thanks Doc!!

I do have a very small shop vac:

that i use when i use the drill press inside. its loud, but not horrible. it’s louder than I prefer. I guess my solution would need to be (possibly) a two part system. One system that would suck up the large chunks and and a very good air-filtration system. I’m totally willing to put in some money for a really good air filtration system. The large chucks I completely agree, can be swept up (for the most part) and then vacuumed. it is the small particles i really, really worry about.

I am really hoping that I am able to get a air filtration system that is good enough that i could probably get away with using mostly a dust-be-gone mask. I already have to wear that in the shop to control my allergies.

what i think i really can’t see myself doing is wearing a respirator for a long time in the shop. I do it when i am exposed to fumes and other very harmful dust. but being a woman, my neck supports less weight, and can really only tolerate wearing a respirator for about an hour before I have to take a break and give my neck a rest.

David – my dad mentioned an idea similar to yours, using the outside window to pull air out of the room and thus creating a vacuum that would help the dust from leaking out into the main room. I’m going to see if we can also explore that idea more. The HVAC guy is also a smart idea. I am going to look into that. We also already have the clear painter’s shield as we made a similar shield for when i worked out on patio during the winter. so it’ll be nice to reuse some things i already have.

So it would be nice if my solution for large dust is something that i can connect to a main tube, which maybe splits and grabs the dust from each machine (with slots that close as to not lessen the suction), but something i can disconnect and vacuum my mini shop if i need to. I just don’t want a large pile of shaving to pile up as it can cause an accident due to slipping.

Then of course a very good air filtration system. I keep hearing the I should use the Jet air-filtration system. Does everyone agree the Jet 1000CFM Air Filtration System w/Remote Control is the best one for my situation?

-- Please visit my Etsy site, or You can also follow me on my artfire blog:

View Scott C.'s profile

Scott C.

160 posts in 2618 days

#9 posted 04-23-2013 02:57 AM

Egg crate foam will do next to nothing for “sound proofing”. Especially the stuff you listed, that’s really more for packing, acoustical treatment foam is much more dense and much thicker, but even that won’t do much for you. Acoustical treatment and acoustical isolation are two different beasts, the latter being much more complicated. The egg crate will simply effect the way the interior of the rooms sounds but not have much effect on the transfer of that sound to outside of that room. Acoustical isolation is a function mechanical decoupling of the two spaces (i.e. the sound of the machineary vibrating the drywall, the ceiling joist and then the floor beneath your neighbor) and sealing air travel between the two spaces.

Also, I would imagine egg crate foam is going to get full of dust.

Do a google search for green glue, it’s a construction adhesive type product that you use the double up the drywall wall, decouple them from one another, and change the resonate frequency of the panels. I haven’t used it, but short of a “room in room” decoupled double wall system, it seems to be the only realistic option for your situation. Honestly though, acoustical isolation is pretty difficult to acomplish without major surgery.

I’m not sure quiet and sucking up every tiny particle of dust are going to be able to coexist. The dust part is also going to require really well setup equipment as far as efficient dust pickup at the tool.

Not trying to be a jerk, just putting it into perspective.


-- measure twice, cut once, swear and start over.

View DocSavage45's profile


8874 posts in 3409 days

#10 posted 04-23-2013 03:41 AM

I have a Grizzly air filtration box. Read critiques on amazon before deciding. Jet had a problem with packaging and construction of motor supports. Grizzly was right on when I called tech support. Check it out.

Scott is right on about vibration. It’s like I said can amplify like a drum. I used foam insulation and fiberglass underneath and you can still hear my machines in the shop.

Fresh air transfer is an idea in air filtration. In my case I just open the window and turn on the air filter. Cleans it out quickly.

You can use 2×2’s and foam board to deaden sound. Or 2×4 and fiberglass or ther is blue jean insulation which may have more deadening effect?

If I were starting over I might just go with hand tools.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View gurnie's profile


342 posts in 3602 days

#11 posted 04-23-2013 04:49 AM

I really can’t go with hand tools because i have a disability that prohibits it. it’s a good thought but i can’t use them with as much ease.

my neighbors are young, like I am, and they are often up late. i hear them a lot. So i don’t think noise is too much of an issue, i’ll just talk with them, but i don’t really see them caring

if i had to prioritize the two i’d much prefer a sufficient small particle dust collecting system than a quiet system. does this help?

-- Please visit my Etsy site, or You can also follow me on my artfire blog:

View DocSavage45's profile


8874 posts in 3409 days

#12 posted 04-23-2013 08:30 AM

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