Exhausting Dust Collection Outdoors with No Filter

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Forum topic by TheWoodenOyster posted 05-22-2015 12:42 PM 1336 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 2851 days

05-22-2015 12:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector

Hey guys,

My wife and I finally are about to close on a house, so I’ll finally get to make a shop just how I want. Thinking about dust collection, I have a very real opportunity to put my dust collector in a totally enclosed and separate space from the shop. I am wondering if I can simply build a cyclone and then NOT even install the filter – just let the fine dust blow free to the great outdoors. I’d get way better airflow and wouldn’t have to buy or clean filters. I’d probably just make a large louver on two sides of the closet or lean-to where the collector was to get good airflow. I’d still catch a ton of the dust and chips, but wouldn’t have to deal with a filter.

Any thoughts? Anybody done this?



-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

13 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


6837 posts in 2636 days

#1 posted 05-22-2015 01:00 PM

It can be done, you will have to worry about where you’re blowing the fine dust and who it might effect. You’ll also have to worry about replacement air if you have your shop air conditioned or heated, the replacement air sucked in from the outside won’t be.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View conifur's profile


954 posts in 2067 days

#2 posted 05-22-2015 01:10 PM

I have read from others who have done it, it it is a real messy situation outside after just a short bit of time depending on how much your are machining, and on rainy days.

-- Knowledge and experience equals Wisdom, Michael Frankowski

View cpd011's profile


91 posts in 4153 days

#3 posted 05-22-2015 01:13 PM

I do this exact thing though I don’t worry about replacement air because my shop is not heated. The only downside that I’ve noticed is that the exhaust can be pretty noisy outside.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6571 posts in 3409 days

#4 posted 05-22-2015 01:39 PM

It’s a great way to do things and solves a lot of problems (filter cleaning)and creates a few others. Besides what was mentioned above, you have to watch the amp draw on your blower. Without resistance on the discharge end, it’s possible the motor may overload, easy to check with an amp meter. I;ll be trying to set up mine so I can blow outside during the warm months and re mount the filter for the winter.

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

View johnstoneb's profile


3161 posts in 3088 days

#5 posted 05-22-2015 01:42 PM

You still need a bag or something to catch what coarse stuff gets through the cyclone and also catch things when you forget to empty the barrel under the cyclone.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View josephf's profile


217 posts in 3012 days

#6 posted 05-22-2015 01:46 PM

i have a cyclone and vent to the outside without a filter . noticeable increase in suction .hardly any dust goes outside . i vented with a 6” line . Also used a 50 Gallon shaving tank under cyclone .they fill real fast .

View barada83's profile


88 posts in 2102 days

#7 posted 05-22-2015 04:14 PM

This is exactly what I do. I have had some issues with the noise but have reduced it to what sounds like a high powered bathroom blower with in in-line muffler on the output. The only stuff that gets through is really only when I overfill the can. There are a few little pieces now and then that get through but nothing substantial. I get pretty good fine dust dropout in bin versus exhausting when I’m sanding on the downdraft. I run 4” ducting for my whole shop and it works well even though I reduced the blower from 6”.

-- Mike

View Puzzleman's profile


417 posts in 3860 days

#8 posted 05-22-2015 04:21 PM

I have done this time with all 3 dust collection systems at my shop. Like mentioned above, the only time I see any dust buildup is when I do not empty the catch bag. So it is my fault. I set mine up as a push cyclone where the blower and motor are in the building and the cyclones are outside. This allows me to just use a plastic trash bag for the collection. When the bag is 3/4 full, we change it. Makes things much easier.

-- Jim Beachler, Chief Puzzler,

View DocSavage45's profile


9023 posts in 3758 days

#9 posted 05-22-2015 06:28 PM

It depends on where you live? Venting dust to the outside in lage quantities is a form of polution, like burning materials. I have my dust collector in my garden shed. I can do a small oil heater to reduce motor stress in MN winters.

I think you have read my stuff before. When I build I usually insulate as well as I can to reduce noise to not disturb neighbors if possible and to maintain average heat/cooling and humidity throughout the year. You have an opportunity only limited by money. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View TheWoodenOyster's profile


1335 posts in 2851 days

#10 posted 05-22-2015 09:40 PM

Thanks for the input guys.

I hear you on where the stuff will be blowing and who it’ll be affecting. This is a neighborhood with kids and such, so I obviously don’t just want to be blowing fine dust all over the place. That said I don’t really make enough dust to make much of a dent. I mill my stuff on the front end, but after that I am pretty hand tool oriented. Not much routing. I’m sure my truck is worse for the population of the earth than the fine dust I make.

I’m not too worried about replacement air. I’d rather breathe outside dustless air than conditioned dusty air.

The needed resistance on the end is something I hadn’t thought about…

I do think I ought to try to insulate for sound purposes.

-- The Wood Is Your Oyster

View skatefriday's profile


465 posts in 2398 days

#11 posted 05-22-2015 11:09 PM

I built a Thien separator and vent directly through the wall.

Every once in a while I go take a look at where it vents and
while you can tell dust gets through if you didn’t know what
you were looking at you wouldn’t know. e.g. There’s no mound
of dust and just trace amounts elsewhere. I’m not a commercial
shop, so I don’t really worry about a tiny amount of dust outside.

It would be worse if I weren’t collecting at all, or had a
contractor saw which is what a lot of garage tinkerers do.

View DocSavage45's profile


9023 posts in 3758 days

#12 posted 05-23-2015 01:52 AM

sounds like you have a workable plan. One last consideration is placing the dust collector outside your shop area in a shed? I switch on and off with a wireless remote.

Have fun!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View splatman's profile


585 posts in 2315 days

#13 posted 05-24-2015 04:15 AM

Here’s something on YouTube.

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