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  1. #1
    Tom's Avatar
    Lives in Nottingham, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 22-11-2018 Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 176. Referred 1 members to the community.
    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?

  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3
    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:

  4. #4

    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.


  5. #5
    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

  6. #6
    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.
    Building a CNC machine to make a better one since 2010 . . .
    MK1 (1st photo), MK2, MK3, MK4

  7. #7
    Tom's Avatar
    Lives in Nottingham, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 22-11-2018 Has been a member for 9-10 years. Has a total post count of 176. Referred 1 members to the community.
    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.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MDF Dust Paper.pdf  

  8. i managed to grab a right bargain a month back.. got one of these off ebay for..... 75

    It was brand new n'all


  9. #9
    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??????????

    If the nagging gets really bad......Get a bigger shed:naughty:

  10. #10
    Check out ... http://www.billpentz.com ... Interesting research.
    Tim G-C

    I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

    (attrib. Voltaire but written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall "The Friends of Voltaire" 1906)

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