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  • Ait filtration

    This may not be such a big deal in metal shops as it is in wood shops but... dust.

    I'm setting up a basement metal shop and it is pretty dusty - we haven't used the basement in 15 years. Even once I hose it and vacuum it, it will be dusty. Does anyone have any experience with affordable air filtration systems?
    Last edited by ; 10-22-2007, 01:07 AM.

  • #2
    How about make our own?
    A used furnace blower, or something similar, mounted in plywood box with large furnace filter on the input side. It won’t catch micro fine dust but should pickup your generic run of the mill dust and small bugs.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mad Scientist
      How about make our own?
      A used furnace blower, or something similar, mounted in plywood box with large furnace filter on the input side. It won’t catch micro fine dust but should pickup your generic run of the mill dust and small bugs.

      I built one just like this , however I put filters on 2 sides of the box instead of just one. I used GOOD(Read expensive) filters that claimed to trap even smoke. It worked pretty good actually.


      • #4
        I'm cheap, and I really don't care about a little dust. I do have a 1500 cfm attic fan sucking at the end of my shop, the wood saw end. But, if I had a continuous dust issue, I'd start by duct taping high quality furnace filters to a box fan. That might, in a short time, fix your problem. If there is dust being dumped in the basement, that's another problem.

        When I was working, we sometimes needed really dust free enclosures. Instead of purchasing expensive units, it was easy to use a boxed HEPA ~12" x 12" x 24", with a squirrel cage blower on the input.

        My shop is above ground, but not heated, in a relatively low humidity area. I run a de-humidifier 24/7, (actually it doesn't turn itself on for days, if the humidity is low). You might need to keep some LPS #2 around to squirt your stuff.


        • #5
          Our upstairs smelled like an attic when we moved in, and we bought some Home Despot air filters. They did a superb job of removing the particles that caused the smell. However, I was looking for something that moved more air.

          My basement isn't particularly dry - there's a sump well in the opposite corner and the basement will flood on occasion, up to 6" in places. A musty dusty smell is part of the problem.

          I really want to make a nice working environment. I have plenty of 1/2" ply and a spare 1/4 hp motor. No squirrel cage however.

          What's LPS?
          Last edited by ; 10-21-2007, 10:39 PM.


          • #6
            To get rid of the musty smell you need lots of good ventilation when the weather is nice a window fan is the way to go but for hot muggy days you want a de-humidifier .

            basement will flood on occasion, up to 6" in places
            Place all important stuff on 7” legs.
            Seriously, I have done this with my house furnace and a corn stove that I use to heat the shop. Other then that only things that can afford to get wet are directly on the floor.

            If you can find a decent size fan blade the ¼ HP motor could make a nice fan.


            • #7
              If you are going to push air through a filter you need a centrifugal blower like a squirrel cage. Propeller fans don't work against back pressure unless they are ducted and even then not well.

              As for wood dust, you really want to keep it out of the air, especially certain types. Cedar dust was reclassified back in the 90s to a semi toxic dust/allergen rather than a nuisance dust. Various tropical hardwoods are very irritating or toxic.
              Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


              • #8
                Grizzly sells shop air filters,it's just a pleated hepa filter mounted in a housing with a blower.Delta and a few others have them.

                There is an additonal option to help,water based urathane varnish.It's being used in buildings here with blackmould.They clean and kill the mould,but to keep the spores stuck down so they don't migrate they spray everything down with the varnish.The same thing has been done with asbestos fibers.

                It's nothing fancy,they thin the varnish with water and spray it with a pump up garden sprayer,once it's dry whatever is on the surface is stuck down and won't become airborne unless disturbed.
                I just need one more tool,just one!


                • #9
                  Well truth be told there IS a lot of dust down there. However, my concern is asbestos. The floor tiles down there are almost certainly asbestos. I'm half afraid to sweep (or use a shop vac, which could have a pin-hole in the filter) for fear if stirring something up. So a filtration unit could suck up lots of things I don't care to breathe, asbestos being among them.

                  I'm probably way too paranoid about it.


                  • #10
                    First, you are probably paranoid about the asbestos. But I have my issues too. You might look into an epoxy or other floor paint to cover the tiles. You need to be comfortable to enjoy your "man cave".

                    LPS is a brand of lubricants that are sold in many tool stores. The LPS #2 is a lubricant, and barrier to water, thus no rust. It doesn't solidify, and you don't need to remove it before using tools or off stock. I use it a lot for stock of drill rod, and tools that don't get a lot of use.

                    page 370


                    • #11
                      some good info in this thread. i also have a basement that sometimes get damp after heavy rains. i have been afraid to put any tools that i value down there for fear of ruining them. i'll have to give that LPS oil a try.

                      as for filters, as others suggested a small squirrel cage unit mounted in a box with two or three open sides, and then put air filters into the open sides. actually, once the filters get a bit dirty they will filter smaller particles, but they will also move less air volume. if you had three filters in your "filter box", i'd say just change one every few months and rotate between which one you change.

                      for the possible asbestos floor, there are tons of different sealers available. i believe the local home improvement stores even sell a few varieties. i still have to pour concrete in one section of my basement, but once i have the entire floor poured, i plan on sealing it.

                      andy b.
                      The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining


                      • #12
                        This site is well worth a long look, whether metal or wood.

                        Just got my head together
                        now my body's falling apart


                        • #13
                          First off, before you get hyper worried about the asbestos floor tyling, realize it's only about 10% or so and used as a binder, not the entire tile (just like asbestos siding for the exterior of your home.) Anything with a trace of asbestos is automatically labled horrifically dangerous when that may not be the case unless you are breaking the stuff under you nose day after day.

                          The problem with cedar that Evan eluded to is that it's unique charastic is that you can become alergically sensitized to it so that one day all is well and the next day you are near death from breathing its dust.

                          I bought a cardboard box of sanding belts from a guy who said he was not working wood anymore since he took on the project of making a Brazillian Rose Wood silverware case. They found him on his basement floor and he ended up in the hospital. Many foreign woods are so beautiful because the toxicity they have keeps teh bugs and creatures at bay in the difficult conditions they grow in.
                          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
                          Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

                          It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


                          • #14
                            amen to that, YOD
                            even MDF is a bitch!
                            Just got my head together
                            now my body's falling apart


                            • #15
                              I second the Bill Pentz dust cyclone site. Read all of the info to get an idea of the physics involved. You may not need a 5hp blower on a 6" or better pipe, for something like a scroll saw or a router, but a large belt sander, lathe, or arm saw requires more effort to contain the dust. Another option (depending on climate) may be to establish airflow straight though your entire shop space. Have the air enter one side and exhaust the other side. I live in a town home and grew up on an arm saw, so I am working on dust cyclone. The blower is the main expense, everything else is easy to fabricate by comparison.

                              I would seal the flooring and not worry about it unless you drag heavy machines all the time and leave large grooves. Just don't cut the stuff with power tools or sand it or anything. I've helped friends remodel where they found asbestos tiles 3-4 layers down, so they just sealed and put new stone or hardwood over it. You may want to talk to somebody about the water first. I would hesitate to seal a known flood area before fixing the water problem.