Shop Upgrade: Protect Your Workspace and Your Lungs with a DIY Dust Filter

Looking for a good way to upgrade the shop? Start with the nuisance dust that ends up coating everything (including your lungs). Here’s a rundown on the ideas I’m looking at for taming that woodworking haze in my workshop.   Working in the shop has some great benefits. It relieves stress, and I get the churn out some great projects. Along with those projects, I churn out even more sawdust. To address the massive amount of shredded wood, I’ve installed a large dust collector for the bulk of the cuttings. Unfortunately, the rest of the garage still ends up covered with a fine layer of dust, and I have to imagine my lungs don’t come out unscathed. That’s where a dust filter comes in handy, from what I’ve heard this small box hanging from the ceiling scrubs the air nice and clean. So after I’m done with my major kitchen upgrade, this project is on the to do list.

Here are a few ideas I’ll be looking at:

Box Fan Filter

1. Box Fan Filter

For about $45 this fan looks great, and does a decent job filtering the air. It won’t blow enough to really scrub the air, but as a cheap measure it’s a good start. The ease of getting the fan and filters makes this a good choice for the budget minded guy, or someone who wants something fast. This design can be as simple as a filter strapped to the fan, but if I’m building something I have to look at all the time the nice frame is a good touch.Hanging Filter

2. Hanging Dust Filter

If you can find an old squirrel cage fan from a HVAC repair shop, it’s worth building a filter box around one. The fan is efficient and moves a lot of air for a fast turnover of the shop. The key with a hanging fan is to place where the majority of the sawdust air moves directly into the bottom input, and push it out horizontally to get a good circulation of the air.

For more in-depth info, take a look at this nice resource from Popular Woodworking – Air Scrubber Trio.

For now, I’ll probably pick up a small box fan with a matching filter to start the process and upgrade to the larger squirrel cage after seeing how well it works.  What upgrades are on your to do list in your shop?