size of dc for a2o'x24 shop - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-25-2015, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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size of dc for a2o'x24 shop

I have a 20'x24 shop with a 10'x12' addition. I have a scroll saw, lathe, drill press,band saw, table saw and 2 miter saws. What size dust collector for my shop? I made a home made one last year but it is not efficient enough though. my breathing problems are getting worse. any advice would be much appreciated. gmcooter
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-26-2015, 12:06 PM
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The Harbor Freight 2 hp dust collector should be more than enough for your needs. Put it as close to your table saw as possible and pipe out to the rest of the equipment.
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-26-2015, 08:19 PM
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This page has some great dust collection tips

as well as a calculator to help you determine "how much" dust collector you need.

This page is a test of numerous home shop type dust collectors and you'll see all of them "fudge" the numbers. I went with their top rated Delta 50-760 coupled to an Oneida Super Dust Deputy cyclone and 5" ductwork which works very well for me.


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post #4 of 7 Old 11-29-2015, 02:15 PM
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If you have "breathing problems" the only responsible answer is to get fitted for a respirator.

There are two components to dust collection. The most efficient is to use a dust collector directly at the source of the dust generation. In other words use dust collector design for attachment directly to the machine. If you are really referring to air cleaners that purport to clean the total air in the shop, be aware that then are next to worthless and do not remove dust particles until the dust generator is turned off.

Here is some excellent info about air cleaners.

Here are some general rules based on Nagyszalanczy's "Workshop Dust Control" and some of my own experiences and thoughts.

The two most important criteria for an air cleaner are the CFM and the filters. You want a CFM factor that will clean the size of your shop and a filter that removes the particle size that you are concerned about.

To determine the size or required air flow, use this formula: Volume of your shop (Length x width x Height) times Number of air changes per hour (typically 6 - 8) divided by 60. This will give you an answer in Cubic Feet per Minute which is how air cleaners are measured. MOST AIR CLEANER MANUFACTURERS RATE THE CFM OF THE FAN ONLY, but there are losses due to the filters. If you are building your own or if the air cleaner you are purchasing rates only the fan, figure you will lose about 25 - 40% for filtering losses.

As important as the air cleaner size is how and where you mount it. Try to mount at about 8-10 feet above the floor (no lower than 6'or 2/3 of the floor to ceiling distance if less than 8' ceiling). Mount along the longest wall so the intake is approximately 1/3 the distance from the shorter wall. Mount no further than 4-6 inches from the wall.

The exhaust is the largest determiner of the circulation pattern. You are trying to encourage circulation parallel to the floor/ceiling so ceiling mounting is not recommended. Use a smoke stick (or a cigar) to observe and maximize circulation. Use a secondary fan to direct air to the intake if necessary. Also, consider that a standard 24" floor fan moves a lot of air and, in some shops, just positioning it in a doorway with a window or other door open can accomplish as much or more than an air cleaner. It's all in the circulation patterns.

The exhaust is the clean air so that is where you want to position yourself. Do not place the air cleaner over the a dust producer. That will guarantee that the operator will be in direct line between the dust producer and the air cleaner. The operator wants to be in the clean air stream. If the dust has to pass your nose to get to the air cleaner, you get no benefits. If you have an odd shaped shop, two smaller units may be better than one large one.

DO NOT RELY ON A AIR CLEANER TO ACT AS A DUST COLLECTOR. The purpose of and air cleaner is to keep airborne dust in suspension and reduce airborne dust as quickly as possible AFTER THE DUST PRODUCER HAS BEEN TURNED OFF.

Finally, if you are looking for health benefits, you will not find any air cleaner manufacturer that makes health claims because there are few health benefits. CATCHING DUST AT IT'S SOURCE IS THE BEST LONG TERM GOAL. Rick Peters', author of "Controlling Dust in the Workshop", makes the point that spending your money getting the dust at its source is a better investment than trying to capture it after it is already airborne. If the dust is in the air, it's going to be in your nose and lungs too. Robert Witter of Oneida Air Systems has noted that "overhead cleaners can only lower ambient dust levels AFTER THE SOURCE OF EMISSIONS IS SHUT DOWN, and they take several hours to do this. This is why they are not used in industry." The absolute best answer, if health is the primary concern, is to use a NIOSH approved respirator. The dust cleaner will help keep your shop cleaner but have minimal or no health benefits. OSHA takes this position too. They measure the number of particles per a volume and most air cleaners will not satisfy their specs.

By Robert Witter, Oneida Air Systems, Chief Engineer
"Air quality tests show that Source collection (dust collection) can lower the dust loading in a wood shop by a factor of 5 to 20 times over a shop with no or bad dust collection. The goal is to lower the dust level below 5 milligrams per cubic meter(OSHA reg). A good DC system can keep the dust loading down to 1-2 mgM3. This means you inhale the quantity of dust in ten years that might have inhaled in 1 year. A little dust is OK. Overhead cleaners can only lower ambient dust levels after the source of emission is shut down, and they take several hours to do this. This is why they are not used in industry.Cloth filters can accomplish 99.9 % sub-micron filtration. For example, carbon black can be filtered with cloth but at a 2:1 air to cloth ratio. That's allot of filter bags. Good Felt filters 16oz will filter 99.5% of material between 0.2-2.0 micron at 10:1 air to cloth ratio. Cartridges pleat more cloth area into a smaller space, that's all. In the air sample tests i have seen only a negligible % of wood flour is as small as 1-2 microns, so a filter efficiency of 99% @ 1-2 microns is more than sufficient, and ostensibly represents 100% filtration for wood dust."

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post #5 of 7 Old 01-07-2016, 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by HowardAcheson View Post
If you are really referring to air cleaners that purport to clean the total air in the shop, be aware that then are next to worthless and do not remove dust particles until the dust generator is turned off.

Here is some excellent info about air cleaners."

I am confused....If you believe that air cleaners are worthless, why did you post such great information on them? Did I miss something?

I agree with you on your number 1 & 3 priorities.

1. Collect the dust at the point of creation! Always the best defense against respiratory problems in the wood shop.

2. Collect the rest of the dust with an air filtration unit(s). They actually work very well. I have a 500sqft wood shop and I use two Jet AFS-1000B units. If I am in the shop, they are on. I also use a Dylos DC1100 ( to measure the particle count. I can easily tell when the AFS units need to be switched to a higher speed.

3. If you are having respiratory problems, you should be using a face mask or preferably a respirator. Or find another hobby.....

(Some people are more irritated by wood dust than others. Check out Bill Pentz's story at: . Just don't get paranoid about woodworking. Bill is highly sensitive to any type of dust. He replaced all the carpet in his house with hard floors. He also had to modify his house walls to get some relief for his respiratory problems. He designed and built his own air filtration unit for what ever room he is in.)

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post #6 of 7 Old 01-07-2016, 04:17 PM
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I think any answer anyone here could give with the info you provided would be worthless without more information.You listed the size of the shop and the tools being used but that means very little as far as dust collection.You mentioned a lathe for instance.Is it a mimi bench top lathe or a 6' lathe and what type of intake will you planning on the dust collection.Is the table saw a contractors type saw with a bunch of openings in the case and a aftermarket collection port under or a cabinet saw?I think you get the point that there are a lot of variables .Some of these can eat up a lot more of your dust collectors resources than others.I don't think anyone can give you a decent answer on a forum without more info at least and then it would be very debatable .Best to do your own research following manufacturers recommended data.
Alo consider what size and type of pipe you will run as that has a dramatic effect on effeciancy
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-07-2016, 04:29 PM
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Not sure about your breathing problems, but my sinuses get irritated if I don't make at least some sort of effort to take care of dust.

For the DC itself, the size of your shop matters less than how you use it. Generally a 1.5-2hp DC is good for one tool at a time. I have the same Delta as Marv and agree it's a good unit. I have a DIY separator (not a cyclone), but I'm happy with it.

When I only used the DC, I'd still get some irritation, so I added a JET AFS1000 ceiling mount air cleaner. Now I don't feel like crap after a day in the shop. My shop is about 15' x 30' with an 8' ceiling. For the size of your shop, I'd recommend 2 of them.

I still wear a N95 dust mask sometimes if I'm going to be churning out many cuts right in a row.
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