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Air extraction for small workshop

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Jeremy Nako

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Hi All

I've spent the last couple of months settting up a new workshop for woodworking.

It's tiny.. 2/3rd of a single garage, so 3m long by 2.4m wide, but it's my first dedicated space so I'm happy with it.

I've got a cheap Scheppach vacuum / extractor unit, and that does a reasonable job when connected to machinery, but of course there's lots of situations where it can't work.

Can someone please advise on the best way of cleaning / extracting the ambient air ?

My initial thoughts were to install a bathroom type wall extractor, but obviously one that is more suited in power to a workshop than a bathroom, but any other ideas or suggestions would be most welcome.
 

Myfordman

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A ceiling mounted recirculation filter should do the job. Easily home made, based around standard filter elements or buy ready made from the usual suspects like Aximinster.
I run mine for a couple of hours before varnishing or other finishing jobs - makes a real difference.

Bathroom type extractors are useless.
 

samhay

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I have small shed/workshop. I put a Record AC400 in it eventually - was reluctant to give up the space for a long time - and it is one of the best purchases I've made. It means I can't store much timber in there any more, but is well worth the compromise.
 

MikeK

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I have a small (25 square meters) basement shop with no windows and a 3HP dust collection system. I also have a Dylos DC1700 air quality monitor to track the fine dust in the shop as best as I can.

The Dylos has two display readings. One is for dust greater than 2.5 microns, and the other is for dust greater than 0.5 microns. The dust collection system does a great job of the chips and dust for the table saw, band saw, router table, disc sander, and planer/thicknesser. However, some of the tools, like the miter saw and random orbital sander are more difficult and I wear a respirator when I use these tools. After about 20 minutes of use, I can see the particle counts on the Dylos increase to over 1,500 and my only option at that time is to take a break.

I recently installed the Record Power AC400 to filter the ambient air. I selected the AC400 because my shop has a low ceiling and is crowded with dust extraction ducting and lights. I installed it over my saw, since that is one area where I don't walk and it helps circulate the air around the shop. When the Dylos indicates small particle counts over 1,000, I let the AC400 run for about an hour, and the particle count drops to values between 75 and 125. By contrast, the particle count in my living room upstairs varies between 2,500 and 10,000 depending on the pollen count and other particulate in the air. The Dylos can't differentiate between wood dust and pollen...a particle is a particle.

The other major improvement I made was gradually replacing my Bosch and Metabo power handtools with Festool, with a Festool vacuum and Oneida cyclone. I can sand for 30 minutes without the small dust count going over 200.

If I had the option, I would consider installing a ventilation fan to move as much of the airborne dust outside. This wouldn't work in the winter time since the outgoing air must be replaced with incoming external air.
 

twodoctors

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Same issue.

I did install a bathroom fan. Don't think it's doing that much good to be honest.

Also have a floor standing "air purfier" from Costco, costing about £60 (on offer). Plenty of air coming through, not sure about filtration however. The filter seems pretty clean so far, plenty of dust in the garage however.

Other dust extraction devices includes a decent wet and dry vacuum, a Record Power Chip collector and an old Axminster Dust collector.

I did wonder about "hanging" the air purifier up nearer the ceiling and see if it helps. Also thought about making one myself. Where would one buy the filter element itself from though?

A
 

sunnybob

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Dont skimp dust extraction. You and your entire family are at increased risk of respiratory disease, all for the sake a couple hundred quid at most. An "air purifier" from costco is NOT sawdust extraction.
 

Fern

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Jeremy,

I’m just starting out on setting up my workshop that is identical in size (and extraction issue).
I’d be interested in how you’ve configured the space and your setup.
Do you also make use of an openable garage door to allow you to work with larger pieces?
 

robgul

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Another vote for the Record AC400 - I mounted mine against the ceiling in the centre of my workshop, using the remote to switch it on and off. Usually leave it running for an hour or so after I've finished working. I also have ducted dust extraction hooked up to all the machines, and a separate hose to connect to portable tools - with a blast gate on each port. All home-made!

Pic isn't very clear but you get the idea - being tall, I now have a small plywood "pocket" on one of the timbers holding the machine so I can keep the remote handy. [The grey shrouds are 3 of my push-bikes hanging up!]

IMG_20200522_153000728.jpg
 

PeteBowen

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I suffer from allergies so I am a bit paranoid about dust. I started with a bathroom extractor but it didn't do much. I've currently got a Record 400 aircleaner mounted under the ceiling and a 350mm extractor fan (Industrial Ventilation Extractor Metal Axial Exhaust Commercial Blower Plate Fan | eBay) built into the wall.

I open the window furthest from the extractor and close the other window and door when it's running and it produces a nice breeze across the space.
 

petermillard

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As mentioned further up the thread, bathroom extractors won’t do the job as they don’t shift enough air. I have a Thor Filtration Unit for a small workshop and really don’t recommend it - video here - ‘fan in a can’ - expensive for what it is, noisy, and a thoroughly indifferent buying experience. 🤷‍♂️
 

MikeG.

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For ventilating a workshop and helping prevent the rusting of tools and the build up of damp or even mould, then a bathroom or kitchen ventilator is excellent. Unfortunately the thread is somewhat mis-titled, because the OP isn't really interested in air extraction (ie ventilation) but actually in dust extraction/ air scrubbing. For this, others have more experience because I have no such system at all in my workshop. I do know that if I ever bothered going down that route then I'd be making a ply/ MDF box with a fan at one end and a long folded filter, rather than buying a pre-made unit.
 

wallace

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Sometimes its better and easier to replace the air within your workshop with fresh air. I've used a car radiator fan from a scrap yard with good results, they move alot of air. Dont forget if your scrubbing the air with a filter whilst your in their, you are breathing the same air as the filter.
 

Jeremy Nako

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Jeremy,

I’m just starting out on setting up my workshop that is identical in size (and extraction issue).
I’d be interested in how you’ve configured the space and your setup.
Do you also make use of an openable garage door to allow you to work with larger pieces?
Hi Fern

When I've finished I'll post a photo, though as a beginner - and a first time workshop build - I'm not sure that mine will be the 'road to excellence' to follow.

I've built the benches myself, and a mobile unit for the table saw. The table saw is exactly the same height as the bench tops which allows me to use the tops to support larger pieces when cutting on the saw.

Space is a major issue though. Although I buy my ply (for example) in full sheets, I have it cut in half by the timber yard to make it more manageable. I don't have the luxury of a garage door.. jut a regular 760mm opening. So.. at the moment, I'm limiting myself to smaller projects and working outside if necessary.

As I mentioned, I have a dust extractor'vacuum' which does ok.. but the mitre saw still covers everything in dust.. hence the post.

I'm thinking that a belt and braces job will suit me best. A powerful (small industrial ?) extractor fan coupled with a Record AC400 (which has been recommended here, and generally has good reviews..) is probably the way to go.
 

Jeremy Nako

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Unfortunately the thread is somewhat mis-titled, because the OP isn't really interested in air extraction (ie ventilation) but actually in dust extraction/ air scrubbing.
Well sort of... I have a dust extraction unit - I was originally looking at expelling or changing the air in the workshop to help remove air-borne dust, which an extractor will do.

Having read the very helpful comments, I think a combination of the two would probably suit me best.
 

samhay

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As mentioned further up the thread, bathroom extractors won’t do the job as they don’t shift enough air. I have a Thor Filtration Unit for a small workshop and really don’t recommend it - video here - ‘fan in a can’ - expensive for what it is, noisy, and a thoroughly indifferent buying experience. 🤷‍♂️
I was considering getting one of the little Thor units. I think it was your video that convinced me to get the Record, which appears to be significantly quieter. It (the AC400) is quiet enough to run at full speed late at night without any danger of upsetting the neighbours.
 

robgul

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Hi Fern

When I've finished I'll post a photo, though as a beginner - and a first time workshop build - I'm not sure that mine will be the 'road to excellence' to follow.

I've built the benches myself, and a mobile unit for the table saw. The table saw is exactly the same height as the bench tops which allows me to use the tops to support larger pieces when cutting on the saw.

Space is a major issue though. Although I buy my ply (for example) in full sheets, I have it cut in half by the timber yard to make it more manageable. I don't have the luxury of a garage door.. jut a regular 760mm opening. So.. at the moment, I'm limiting myself to smaller projects and working outside if necessary.

As I mentioned, I have a dust extractor'vacuum' which does ok.. but the mitre saw still covers everything in dust.. hence the post.

I'm thinking that a belt and braces job will suit me best. A powerful (small industrial ?) extractor fan coupled with a Record AC400 (which has been recommended here, and generally has good reviews..) is probably the way to go.
Mitre saw - mine has a hose connected to its dust port and another open ended bit of hose that's cable-tied just in front of the blade - the two hoses go into a Y-piece (made with a 3d printer) to the hose that connects to the dust extraction ducting. The mitre saw also has a "hood" all round it to endeavour to contain dust - the hood can be lifted off now and again to vacuum up the excess. It works pretty well [there are now blast-gates on the ducting to isolate each of the machines.

mitre-saw-hood-3jul20.jpg
 
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Just adding my solution for a small workshop. I mounted the AC 400 on a gantry to be able to move it back and forth. I can even "park" it above the mitre station to utilise more space in the middle of the shop. Size of the shop is 4 by 3,5 m. (currently no Table saw in the shop, I'm about to even out the floor).
IMG_0894.jpeg

IMG_1508.jpeg
 

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