by Dave Munkittrick
Gone are the days when a dusty shop was considered a productive shop. Now, a dusty shop is a hazardous shop. Fine dust makes a mess of everything, including your lungs. Due to this heightened awareness, dust collection has become a fast-growing area for manufacturers of woodworking equipment. Air cleaners are designed to hang from the ceiling where they can reduce the amount of fine dust suspended in your shop's air (Fig. A).
Air cleaners are not dust collectors. They are simply not designed to collect large quantities of dust. Most air cleaners use disposable heating and air conditioning filters. These filters are designed for relatively clean, slow moving air. Filters on dust collectors are designed to take heavy dust loadings and repeated cleaning.
Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse
Before rushing out to buy an air cleaner, get a high-quaiity dust collcctor with proper filters first (for more on this, see AW #80,"Tool Test; Dust Collectors," page 80 and AW #100, "Central Dust Collection," page 54). Add a shop vacuum to collect from your hand-held power tools (see AW #80, "Tool Test: Shop Vacuums," page 69). Together, these two systems will capture the vast majority of the dust your shop produces. An air cleaner
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