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Shop air cleaner (exhaust)

The filter has 3 stages, a #4 furnace filter catches most of the larger particles, then a #7 filters out most of the tiny particles, and finally a #10 scrubs even the smallest particles and odors. The #4 will get dirty the fastest, but they're the cheapest filters, prolonging the life of the #7 and #10.

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Comment by Russ Haynes on September 19, 2013 at 2:13pm

Yeah, forgot to say -- the two filters side-by-side are a new filter on the left (same brand, type, etc.) and one I used for two weeks on the right.

Comment by Russ Haynes on September 19, 2013 at 2:12pm


Here's the first-stage filter after 2 weeks of normal shop use.  Wow.


A couple shots of the innards...

Comment by Ken Darga on September 16, 2013 at 10:40pm

Make a HomeMade Smoke Filter.

Material list:

paper towel tube

dryer sheets

rubber band

1.  insert loosely rolled up dryer sheets into the paper tube.

2. place a dryer sheet over one end of the paper tube and secure in place with rubber band

Exhale/blow the smoke into the open end of the tube.

(Don't blow too hard, so as not to force out the dryer sheets).

Help eliminate the smoke smell, by lightly coating the sheets with vinegar oil.


Comment by Russ Haynes on September 16, 2013 at 8:45am

Al -- depending on the filters you install, yeah I think it would work on smoke.  The last filter in the series is a #10, which is (supposedly) effective against odors. I can't really say whether that's the case because when I finish I wear a respirator (I have enough brain damage already!).  But I did notice that when I had some Waterlox open the other day that the odor of the finish disperses more quickly so perhaps the filter is catching some of those fumes.


I was sanding a bunch of maple this weekend and when I got to 220, I turned off the dust collector for a minute just to see what the air filter would do and I could watch the fine dust getting pulled in from 4 feet away.  I'm glad I went with a fan that everyone told me was ridiculously powerful for that space.  So if you had it set up pretty close to the source of the smoke and it has a filter that would capture it, I'll bet it would catch most of the smoke. 


LMFAO at Ken -- I love the note at the end.  But on the serious side, I have heard about people who step out of their shop for a smoke and leave the door open, and fine sawdust clouds/vapors don't mix well with smoke.  The other thing I'd be concerned about with that setup is that tobacco smoke seems to stick to everything, creating a fine, tar-like layer on surfaces.  I'd be worried about contact with milled, unfinished wood, plus contact with other surfaces that you want clean -- bench, assembly table, etc.  Any chance of enclosing the space with plastic sheets?

Comment by Ken Darga on September 14, 2013 at 9:51pm

The solution I use is, "NO SMOKING" inside my shop, including at or near the doorway/entry.

The smoker can stand or take a seat outside the building.


WARNING:   A potential hazard exists in any shop---fine sawdust, chemical fumes from solvents, or the like.


It only takes a spark or hot amber, to heat the material which then ignites and continues on to combustion.

Some substances have a relatively low ignition temperature.

A material that is flammable catches on fire from a minimal source.


Linseed oil in a partially confined space (such as a pile of oil-soaked rags left out in an uncovered container) can lead to a build-up of heat and thus ignition.


Ignition means lighting or setting fire to something.

Combustion means burning.



To eliminate the risk of an ignition, when the smokers enter the shop and before they light-up, remove all the oxygen from the area.

Comment by Al St. Aubin on September 14, 2013 at 5:49pm

Russ, how do you think that would work for smoke. Have a couple of relatives that smoke quite heavily and they have a portion of the garage they use. Was thinking of making something like this for them. Found plans in a magazine.

Comment by Ken Darga on September 11, 2013 at 6:52pm

Wearing a dust mask is beneficial.

Comment by Russ Haynes on September 11, 2013 at 1:40pm

Yeah, oak is bad.  So is plywood.  All the maple I've been working with the last two weeks though isn't too bad, and the air cleaner made a big difference.  Hate that black stuff coming out your nose for two days after.  I'll send you my cut list and a few more pictures -- it was a cheap, 2-hour project but it helps a lot. 

Comment by David Dean on September 11, 2013 at 12:49pm

Thanks for the kind words Russ but I could use one of them air cleaner's in my shop the oak dust kicks my but.

Comment by Russ Haynes on September 11, 2013 at 8:45am

Thanks, David -- love the oak and glass curio cabinets/linen closets you just finished.  Saw you got a plug from Diablo too - very cool!  Maybe Freud is going to start sending you free saw blades . . . wouldn't THAT be sweet!

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