Dust extraction options for small workshop


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New member
10 May 2024
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Hi all,

The dust extraction at the workshop I've just started at is rubbish and needs looking at. I've replaced all the L-Class mobile extractors with M-class, swapped all the sanding discs out to the meshed variety, replaced the Dewalt plunge router with a Festool, but now need to figure out extraction for a table saw, bandsaw, disc sander and fixed belt sander. The table saw is currently hooked up to an SIP single bag extractor. I'd like something more enclosed as it spits dust everywhere as soon as you turn it on. It's also doing a terrible job of extracting anything and most of it ends up on the floor under the saw. The blade guard currently has Titan wet dry vac attached to it (not good).

Been looking at either an iTech FM400, or an Axminster Professional AP154CEH. erhaps this is overkill for out setup but I'm wondering if that one unit would be sufficient for hooking up all of the machinery mentioned. The full enclosure is appealing as I've really trying to limit the dust released as much as possible. I'd also prefer 230V but 16A may be doable.

We're moving workshop in a year or so so can't get an LEV system installed properly. Any advice on this would be gtreatly appreciated.
Your disc and belt sanders are where I'd look first. Horrid things. They throw out a ton of fine dust and are usually poorly designed for extraction. Make sure you have extraction on them with short hoses. You may find a 3 motor camvac or 2 motor numatic nvd750 comes in handy. I'd almost suggest you buy one of those multi motor machines and try it on the sanders and bandsaw to see where it helps. Buy another if it works in different roles.
The advantage of that type of machine is that it has the suction to overpower the really poor performance of 63 and 50mm flexible hoses.

I'd also look at an ambient air filter to help deal with all the fine dust that escapes your extractor. Get a generously sized one that will achieve 6 to 12 air changes per hour.
Thanks! So smaller freestanding units for the sanders? Any thoughts on the table saw? I'm still looking at the cyclone extractors I gave links to. Wondering if those units could be hooked up to all the equipment and still do it's job (and whether it's suitable in general for a table saw rear exhaust).

On the blade guard I'm beginning to understand that a dedicated shop vac may be the best solution as it will work better on the smaller outlet. Need something better than a Titan hoover (feel embarrassed ever time I type that!)
I understand the difficulty choosing a DC when they appear much the same on the outside. Unfortunately the makers and sellers have a tendency to exaggerate and emphasize some aspects and ignore others. Of the two machines you're looking at the iTech has twice the horse power as the Axminster yet only a little more airflow. The Axi is an exaggeration. The iTech will support larger ducting, 150mm which is what you need.

The Axi has better stated filtration than the iTech but it is hard to really know which is better. One could always get a new filter from one of the industrial filter suppliers with better specs but that would bring the cost closer to the smaller machine.

One thing to note is that short cone cyclones are not efficient separators, hence the need for frequent filter cleaning. In order to function well the short cone cyclones need good airflow so if you only use one of the three 100mm ports there will not be enough flow to separate properly. More dust into the filter again. You should use 150mm ducts to the machines you are using with the unused machines closed off with blast gates. You also need to open the machine ports to 150mm too in order get the airflow. No point in choking down to a smaller port on the machine. In the case of the table saw if you want to use the DC to pull from the blade guard you will need to make/buy a bigger guard that will accommodate a 100 or 125 duct (100mm into the cabinet).

If you are going to chose one of the two I think the iTech would be better if they have an upgrade filter or you bought a better one. Otherwise look for a 2.2kw machine with better filter.

Check into https://www.djnuk.co.uk or https://c-airfiltration.co.uk/dust-cartridge-filters/ to see if they have or can make better filters.

Lastly I strongly urge you to read Bill Pentz's site to understand better the whats and whys you should use bigger ducting.
The basics from his blog https://billpentz.blogspot.com
The comprehensive information http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.php A read that will take you a number of nights to get through.

Before I have a chance to process everything you've brought up and linked to - thanks for such a good response, really appreciate it.
Hi all new here but I have dust extraction hacks that I use
A for small tools ; like the circular saw the Bosch sander, etc. I use a ash vac
B for my wood thicknesses I have... don’t laugh... I have a cheep leaf vac that I connect with a 100 mm tumble dryer plastic hose.
It works and will do until I can afford a “proper “ dust extraction
Cheers, sure that works for your small set up, but I have staff that I'm trying to protect