Dust Extraction

My workshop is small - converted garage, however it contains: table saw, bandsaw, combination mitre saw, lathe, bobbin sander, belt/disc sander and a LOT of DUST. My shop vac cleans up well, my leaf blower removes all dust prior to vac. I need a system for dust that I can attached to whatever piece of kit is in use. BUT! The whole subject is a minefield so I need some guidance please guys.

Shop vacs are generally HPLV (High Pressure Low Volume); great for providing plenty of suction through a small outlet on a portable tool, but move insufficient volume of air to work with larger stationary machinery.

An impellor based dust extractor; HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) can move a significant volume of air, but at fairly low pressure. This means they work well for creating a large air flow when attached via a 4, 5 or 6" machine outlet, but they’ll choke if you try to plumb one to the small outlet on a portable tool.

Even good dust extractors (like vacs) have a problem with debris vs dust. Fine dust clogs a filter bag (leading to loss of suction), and find filters get damaged by debris. Coarse bags capture the debris but basically just pump all the really dangerous tiny dust around the workshop.

If your goal is visually clean and you wear a respirator (and perhaps have a workshop air filter) a coarse bag can be OK. Alternatively, you’re in the realms of cyclonic separators (which only send tiny dust through the filters, and drop debris into a bin). They unfortunately tend to be relatively large and expensive though. The AXMINSTER CRAFT AC118CE is on the cheap end, but likely fine for a small shop.

One other option is to house an extractor outside of the garage, with dust being pulled through ducting. That way a coarse bag can be used without the concern that it will release the finest of dust.

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Peter N,

I too have a garage as a shop with a table and mitre saw, planner thicknesser, routers, sanders etc. I purchased an Axminster AC153E (HVLP) dust extractor with a canister filter (don’t waste your time with the bag filter) and made blast gates for three of the main machines. I bought 100mm ducting from Screwfix and a lightweight dust hose from Axminster, It keeps the garage almost dust free. I use a shop vac (HPLV) for the sanders, routers and pocket hole jigs. If you would like some photos of my setup, give me your email and I can send you some. Be careful with a cyclone separator as any one will dramatically reduce the vacuum airflow.

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