I'm a fan of making some sawdust, and I produce plenty of it in my shop every chance I get. While it might be fun making the mess, breathing those fine particles is a major problem for your health. That's where shop air filters come in. The principle behind it is to run dusty shop air through a set of filters to catch the fine specks that would otherwise settle in your lungs. There are plenty of ways to get sawdust clogged air moving and pushed through a filter, and most are built of two simple, easy-to-find parts: the filter and the air filter. Here are 4 shop-made projects to get you breathing easier today:
1. Attic Fan - This flat fan is set in foam and has a flat profile. A bit underpowered compared to a squirrel-cage fan, but will still get the job done.
2. Squirrel Cage Fan - High volume fans can be bulky, loud, and a bit hard to find but take a look at local HVAC contractors for an older fan you can pick up cheap. The amount of air they move makes it a pretty solid choice.
3. Handmade Filter - This builder actually went far enough to build his own filters. Not really worth the effort in my opinion, but still a cool process to see him work out.
4. Box Fan - The cheapest, easiest choice is to buy a simple plastic box fan and a few furnace filters. This is an entry level fix that is underpowered but still worth looking at if you're on a budget.
5. HVAC In-Line Booster - HVAC systems sometimes have booster fans built into the lines to push air to the furthest reaches of a big house. That small and compact fan is quiet but likely underpowered, but it still moves air through that filter.
With all of these shop-built air filters easily weekend projects, there is no reason to breath that dusty air another day.