Dust control - quick and cheap

If you’re new to CNC or just need a quick and cheap way to control the smaller airborne dust your vaccum doesn’t get around the shop, I’ve been astounded how well this “red neck dust reducer” works:

-Pick up a cheap 20x20 box fan and a 20x20 furnace filter. Duct tape the furnace filter to the fan. I have mine on the intake to keep the fan cleaner. Done. Total cost ~$50 and 15 minutes of time. Make sure you get a good seal all the way around with the duct tape.

I run mine when the Longmill is on and also when I am done for the night - I let it go all night. It doesn’t eliminate all the dust but it is amazing how much it captures and how it gets rid of any burnt wood smells etc. You’ll find some examples on YouTube comparing this to small shop ceiling mount systems and the results are shocking. It’s very similar with the fan at a fraction of the cost.

Pro-tip: Write the date you install the filter on the fan on the filter housing so you know how long you’ve been using it. I’ve had some success vaccuming off the outside of the filter and extending the number of months quite a bit.


Edit: The date on mine says this is from Feb, 2019 so it needs a change Been cutting a lot of MDF doing testing of spoilboard designs and jigs, so its gotten quite dirty. Still works great though…


An excellent idea @jwoody18. I am also going to set one up for my paint station. Maybe double filter. I’m going to set it up in a small external window so it blows outside. Should catch most of the paint overspray and some fumes I hope.

My upgraded one, if I can figure out what the shape of the “circle” is on the fan, it’s slightly out of round as I found out after cutting two large circles that don’t fit, is to use a much higher throughput fan from home depot and do intake and output filters as you said.

There are a few nice youtube videos making a square enclosure with multiple intake filters and one output one, but none of them quite work for what I want. And I want to be able to easily change the filters, like on a furnace, so that’s an upcoming project.

This is the model of the new one I hope to use: https://www.homedepot.ca/product/commercial-electric-20-inch-3-speed-high-velocity-floor-fan/1001094669

It has great stats: CFM: H 6000/M 4350/L 3480

But it is not simple to install, going to need to make something and I already spend my time budget on my first few attempts. Hard to beat the simplicity of the 20" box and duct tape…

I haven’t added the fan to my “smart shop” yet, but I intend to stick it one of the wifi smart outlets that I hae tied together. I’ll make a program to run for 4h in the middle of the night or if I can figure out how, to run for X minutes after I kick it off at the end of a work day That way I don’t need to remember to pop out and turn it off.


@Heyward43 You may be referring to the same thing about your paint cross draft area but years ago I saw an article in one of the woodworking magazines that detailed a cheap and cheerful “finishing booth” which was essentially set up in the corner of a ship where the perpindicular walls both had windows, and there was an intake fan drawing fresh air in and an outlet fan push the shop air out immediately. Is that what you’re thinking? I think it was fine wood working if you end up looking for it.

Yes, something similar. I only have one window to work with though so it will only be an outlet fan. I figured I could build a small enclosure out of cardboard to kind of channel the air flow. Nothing fancy just something to reduce paint buildup in my garage/shop.

A few thoughts on the topic…
First I would advise against putting a filter on the inlet and outlet of a propeller type axial fan. They don’t like static pressure and the harder they have to push the more horsepower required which means more heat which isn’t being removed as readily because you are restricting the airflow needed for cooling the motor. This can drastically reduce the lifespan of the fan motor.
If you want better filtration use two filters on the inlet, a media/horsehair type filter first to catch all the bigger particulate and a pleated style filter second. This way the pleated filter will last longer and you will just be changing the cheaper media filter.
For a small spray booth, if you exhaust air out of the booth you end up sucking dirty air into the booth that can ruin a nice finish and you can end up loading the fan blades up with paint, varnish etc shortening the life of the fan. Instead, have a fan with a filter on the inlet blowing into the booth to pressurize it and an opening for air to escape with another filter to catch the over spray.
An old furnace blower is ideal for this kind of thing. Just build a plywood box for it to live in with one side of the box made out of a filter.

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Thanks @Gadget for that information. I’ll have to figure out how to build something like that. I have limited space and location in my garage/shop but think I can come up with something. Good info. If you are up to it could you put up a document in the Finishing category that might help other folks with issues like this. Thanks again.

Hey buddy recently i purchased a Festool CT 48 E HEPA Dust Extractor for dust control.

I am saving money since some weeks to purchase it and yesterday i final purchased it.

I really like its features. And i surly think it is value for money thing.

I am read about woodworking tools on an article (link) and after reading its specs i decided to purchased.

This tool offers perfection in dust extraction with less energy consumption, less noise, and great work. It also contains a feature of variable suction force that allows you to regulate the suction based on your tasks.
This tool has made working easier with its amazing design and performance. There is no doubt in the performance of this work so we need to get it.

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