View Full Version : Dust collection! Cough!

01-08-2010, 01:04 PM
I'm now cutting a fair amount of MDF on my machine. MDF dust is BAD (much, much worse than I want to think about).

Quite early on I found that collecting the dust at source is the only way to deal with it, so I made a simple polycarb/insulation tape hood for around the bit, and connected up a cheap vacuum cleaner. Only problem is that the vacuum fills up too quickly (10mins).

I wondered what other people are using?

01-08-2010, 01:18 PM
You want a woodworkers dust collector - something like...


I got a cheap B&Q one (120 IIRC) and it's been fine for my occasional use. They shift more air than a regular vacuum cleaner but at a lower pressure and they're much quieter. They're available with different quality filters - if you're worried about the MDF dust you can go down to 1 micron. The collection bag is much bigger than an ordinary vacuum.

01-08-2010, 03:24 PM
Sounds to me your hoover is not very large in terms collection bag size?

Take a trip round car bootys on a sunday,you'll pick up a VAX for about 8 to 10 depending how well you can haggle :naughty:

01-08-2010, 03:28 PM

A vax,cut the bottom off,support it on an upright brace and clip normal binbags to itwhere you cut the bottom off.

The earlier type are metal bodied and are slightly deeper,all you have to do is cut out the bottom like you do when opening a tin of soup.


01-08-2010, 03:36 PM
Here's the earlier type...the container was deeper and made of metal.
As you can see no bids and going for a tenner at the mo

01-08-2010, 04:38 PM
Hi Tom,

I purchased one of those dustbin types with the motor on top over a year ago (R2D2 style), but wouldn't recommend it. Although cheap (100), it is quite noisy and gets quite hot, being a universal type motor. Much better are those shown by FatFreddie in post#2, which use induction type motors (quieter), have a good collection capacity, and run cool. My dad has something similar and it's a nice unit.
I found this unit, which is quite cheap:

Can I also suggest you try and run the 4" hose all the way to the cutting area, rather than throttle it down.

Even using the type shown above, with the filter bags on top, there will be fine particles released and would suggest you locate this near the door. MDF is nasty.

If the router machine you cut with blows cooling air down onto the workpiece, this often blows the fine dust out of the collector foot before the vac can suck it up. Even with brushes/flaps. The blowing out action spreads quickly, but the sucking up action is quite local to the pipe, so often looses out. I'm talking here about the really fine stuff that you might not see. You might be able to arrange it so that the machine exit air is ducted away, rather than down into the collector foot.

Another option is to arrange the dust collector foot so that it is at a fixed (but adjustable) height, independant of the Z axis moving up and down. Even between cuts, and when cuts are just starting/finishing you will have 100% coverage. Only works for low clamps and flattish workpieces.

Finally, when money allows, those ceiling mounted filters on a timer are another additional option e.g.:

Sorry I'm going on a bit, but dust is a slow killer in my view.

02-08-2010, 06:02 PM
Thanks all, really helpful.

The vax is very similar to what I've got now - it's very noisy (same as the kress), and I don't trust the filtration on it... And it needs emptying lots to keep the suction up.

Barry the one you linked to is nice and cheap, but not possible to duct outside. Like you say dust's a killer, so I'm going to steer clear of that one (unless you know any good tricks!)

The ceiling-hung filter unit sounds like a good idea. I may try making one at some point. If I built one I'd put HEPA filters on the exhaust to capture more nasties (99.99% of 0.3micron, rather than 85% of 1micron particles). I once bought filters from these guys - they know what they're doing...
Anyone interested in a group project in a year or so? Prefilter + Fan + HEPA filter + MDF casing = probably less than 300, and much higher airflow and filtration performance... In a previous life I helped design a cleanroom, so I recon I could spec something tidy.

On the axminster site that Fred linked to I found this extractor, which I think is my favourite. Filtration to 1micron, and the opportunity to duct the exhaust outside later (when the grand shed modification is completed). I guess it'll be a vortex type arrangement inside the bin, with the filter catching whatever's left. I like that physics does the hard work, and the filter just polishes the air up.

I'll do a bit more thinking, but thanks for the help...

Oh, while I was searching for particle sizes I found this paper - worth a read if you do any woodwork.

02-08-2010, 06:55 PM
i managed to grab a right bargain a month back.. got one of these off ebay for..... 75

It was brand new n'all

http://www.screwfix.com/prods/61318/Power-Tools/Benchtop-Woodworking/Kity-692-1000Ltr-sec-Dust-Extractor-240V?cm_mmc=GoogleBase-_-Datafeed-_-Power%20Tools-_-Kity%20692%201000Ltr%2Fsec%20Dust%20Extractor%2024 0V

02-08-2010, 07:07 PM
Why not have a go at making these mods? the results are really good, i had a very small version used on my workbench for when i was sanding balsa and it was great (used a childs dusty bin for the collection container. Another idea as well is the blower used to blow up bouncy castles and use it to suck with two recepters and filter pads behind it.? just some thoughts??????????


02-08-2010, 07:30 PM
Check out ... http://www.billpentz.com ... Interesting research.

02-08-2010, 10:13 PM
Hi Wobblybootie,
I'd also seen this link a while back. They made this cylone unit after suffering alot of health problems.

The last link product didn't get a great review, but looked promising in the picture.

In my dream w/shop I'd thought of arranging a seperate cupboard at one end (walk-in broom cupboard style), containing the induction motor type extractor with the dust collector at the bottom and filter bag at the top. This cupboard would vent through a grill to the outside via a small fan, and the cupboard door would also have a grill to give a through flow to remove the dust which escapes from the filter. The cupboard would have a 4" hole in one internal wall back into the main garage space which took the suction pipe from the cnc machine. This arrangement would make the unit very quiet, and no dust particles would enter the workshop. We can dream . . .

03-08-2010, 07:53 AM
I am going down a similar route. I am lucky enough to look forward to a new shed in a few months time (after the fruit trees have done their thing as the build will be very close). I have planned for the extraction system and compressor to be housed in a 'lean to' section with the 4" ducting and airline entering via the end wall. At present I have an old version of a Axminster SFCA-200 with an home built 'inline' collector for larger chips etc. However I will be fitting a roof mounted filtration system (probably from Axminster) as well.

03-08-2010, 04:37 PM
I have a 3 phase dust extractor for sale if you're interested, 2'sq and 4' tall. Not sure of the make as there's no makers panel on it, but it's all dark green with a tray at the bottom and a 2'sq filter section above this. There's a shaker arm on the right side, a rectangular exhaust at the back, and it has a 5" or 6" inlet on the right side.
It's in excellent condition, just came from a college. It's still tested as well.

03-08-2010, 06:28 PM
Here's a picture of my Homemade Clyclone :smile:
I made it for next to nothing using a couple of old beer brewing buckets and a cone shaped piece of plastic :naughty:
It worked a treat when I had my machine setup as a CNC Wood Router.
I emptied several bins full of sawdust, but the secondary bags (Now removed) remained completely empty :smile:


04-08-2010, 07:53 AM
So thats were the traffic cones are going. :rolleyes::heehee:

04-08-2010, 10:43 PM
Hi all,

Wow, loads of ideas! When I have something cobbled together I'll post some pictures!
Thanks for the offer of the extractor i2i, but I'm only on singlephase (and build one of these looks fun....) :whistling:

cheers again,