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Recommendations for dust collection/air filtration

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  • Recommendations for dust collection/air filtration

    My shop is located in my small one car garage. Roughly 20 x 14. The tools I have are: table saw (ts2424) band saw, drill press, planer, jointer, oscillating sander, router table, miter saw and a bunch of hand tools. I also have two work benches which are 6x2, and a lumber rack that is 8x3. My problem is this: I currently have no dust collection or air filtration system. I would like to get one, but with all the tools and everything else, my space is extremely cramped, and at the moment there is no chance to expand the garage.. Can anyone recommend a very compact but effective dust collector/air filtration system?? Also, how much do they usually cost? Any help is appreciated!

  • #2

    I too have a problem with cramped space. It sounds like your shop is about the size of mine, except mine is in the basement. I bought the dust collection system from ridgid, and it worked well, as long as you had only one dam open at a time. Now I have 2 vacums. The first I move from my ts., to the jointer, to the sander, to the router table. The other I keep under the bench of the chop box. If or when I buy a house with a 2 car garage, I will buy a proper dc unit. Till then this works great.

    It is a pain in the neck to move the hose around from tool to tool, but it is less time consuming then sweeping the shop every hour. Not to mention the nagging of the wife of saw dust in the living quarters.



    • #3
      I have just a little smaller shop and I have upgraded to the Harbor Freight 2hp dust collector. It is night/day difference between my old ridgid shop vac. It cost just a little more than a shop vac and get much more dust collection.


      • #4
        Thanks for the tips. I was wondering about the Ridgid dust collection system. I really don't know much about dust collection/air filtration at all. Do you buy just the dust collection system? Or do you buy the overhead air filter too. Or do they work better together?


        • #5
          A shop vac-based system is better than nothing, but a true DC system, even its is smallest form (generally speaking of course). Check out Penn State Industries (, they have some great systems starting at less than $200, as well all the fittings, options, etc.

          Regarding the separate dust filter units, most do a great job of cleaning the air, but of course are not designed to handle the accumulation or removal of sawdust and chips. I would go with a DC system first and foremost and then add a filter unit if air-bourne dust still presents a problem.

          Shop space is always a problem and I've seen a lot of shop designs (especially pro shops) where the DC system is installed outside. In the case of the garage, I'd consider building an enclosure on the end wall (outside) that would keep my DC out of the weather. Add a door for accessing the dust unit and allow chip and sawdust removal outside the work area. This also cuts down on the noise.

          Hope this helps,


          [ 09-29-2004, 02:26 PM: Message edited by: CWSmith ]


          • #6
            Do you use your shop during the winter months? If you do, do you heat the garage?

            CWS's suggestion about installing your DC outside is a good one for warmer weather climates. In the winter months here in WI though, you'd be sucking out the heated air from your garage faster than you could replace it.

            If you don't use the shop during the winter months and usually work with the garage door open, you might not need an air filtration system at all. The open garage door should provide enough ventilation and air movement to keep the level of fine dust particles down to a minimum. A good blowing out with a leaf blower or compressed air should also keep your tools and the garage dust free.
            I decided to change calling the bathroom the "John" and renamed it the "Jim". I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.


            • #7
              Thanks for the tips everyone. I will look into it. I have a breezeway in between my house and garage and I could possibly use that space for a dust collector. As far as heating, I don't currently heat the garage, and so I don't use the shop in the winter too much.. This is something I'd like to explore in the future though. Badger Dave- I don't work with the garage door open because for some reason, my shop attracts bees like you would not believe.. and since I am allergic to bee stings, I don't want to take any chances.. Thanks again everyone!