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Discussion Starter #1
Do you guys find it necessary to use Hepa Filters working new projects at home? Do you think
they’re overkill for home use on fresh hardwood projects.

HEPA is a important filter to have working onsite or when you’re working on home renovation projects. HEPA filters seven like overkill for dust collection when breaking down new plywood with a track saw or routing with a router table.

Hepa filters for Rigid, Festool, Bosch and dewalt bags are ridiculously overpriced. They’re also very fragile compared to a high quality self cleaning filter. You can’t use filter cleaning systems with them due to their fragile nature.

With dry wall dust, sanding oil stained and varnished surfaces, a HEPA certified filter is a must.

A lot filters sold by companies as HEPA filters don’t actually meet the current requirement to actually be a HEPA certified filter.

The current standard requires .03 microns.

A lot of filters sold for Rigid and ShopVac are .10 but are still being labelled as HEPA filters even when they don’t meet the current standards. This creates more confusion for people.

Bosch, Dewalt, Festool, Fein, ect are .03 micron.

What’s your take on HEPA filters on new projects your building in your home shop?
 

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This has been discussed quite a few times and it's difficult to find the right balance. The problem with fine filtration is that it reduces air flow and the finer the filtration the faster the filter plugs. If you are using a small or sub micron filter then you need at the very least a cyclone in the line upstream from the filter. Probably better is a series of filters with the first one or two easily cleanable.

That still doesn't entirely address the dust problem. Probably my worst offender is my table saw and although I plan on putting a pickup over the blade soon, that may still not capture enough of what it throws, so the hepa filter is probably something I should be wearing instead as a part of my DC.
 

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The fine dust is what hurts you. I suggest one look at Bill Pentz's website Billpentz.com to see the issue clearly. Bill is on oxygen now because of respiratory issues from wood dust. I built his cyclone and have the HEPA filters on it. Well worth the peace of mind and the capture of the stuff that does so much damage to your lungs. I converted all my tools to 6 inch pickup for the very reasons Bill explains. A hobby should not contribute to your demise.
 

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I had a massive dust collection problem with my burgeoning cutting board business (I sold 650 pieces last year. That's burgeoning). My Craftsman 1-1/2 hp dust collector finally gave up the ghost, and my Craigslist Delta replacement actually had a hole in the welding over the impeller. I had dust everywhere.

And with my garage-based shop, that meant Mrs M had dust everywhere. I was not a popular guy.

So, I upgraded. I got Oneida's V3000 HEPA-rated cyclone DC (read about the install, here). I also got the Festool dust extractor with my new ROSs.

It was not cheap, but it was worth it.

The result is that my shop is *so much more* dust free. The top of the table saw and the top of the router table still launch too much dust, but that's really about it. The Festools are amazing. My dust collection is not perfect, but I would purchase those 2 tools again in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had a massive dust collection problem with my burgeoning cutting board business (I sold 650 pieces last year. That's burgeoning). My Craftsman 1-1/2 hp dust collector finally gave up the ghost, and my Craigslist Delta replacement actually had a hole in the welding over the impeller. I had dust everywhere.

And with my garage-based shop, that meant Mrs M had dust everywhere. I was not a popular guy.

So, I upgraded. I got Oneida's V3000 HEPA-rated cyclone DC (read about the install, here). I also got the Festool dust extractor with my new ROSs.

It was not cheap, but it was worth it.


The result is that my shop is *so much more* dust free. The top of the table saw and the top of the router table still launch too much dust, but that's really about it. The Festools are amazing. My dust collection is not perfect, but I would purchase those 2 tools again in a heartbeat.
That makes sense. You’re actually buying products that are truly HEPA complaint versus store shelf brands like Ridgid and ShopVac that claim to be HEPA complaint but are not.

A lot of reviewers claim a Festool MIDI and a Cyclone will actually outperform the bigger CT 26 and 32 with larger capacities.
 

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I have a 1 micron filter on my HF dust collection system. But I also wear a mask for further filtration. There is also an anbient filtration system that runs for several hours after each work session. I have a similar system out in my garage, which is separate from my workshop shed. Both systems have chip collectors that actually catch the majority of the flying dust. The Wynn filters are easy to keep clean, but cost more than the DC units themselves. But cost vs your lungs is a no brainer. I read some time ago that OSHA found home workshops were far worse than most commercial shops for sawdust contamination. Made me a believer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have a 1 micron filter on my HF dust collection system. But I also wear a mask for further filtration. There is also an anbient filtration system that runs for several hours after each work session. I have a similar system out in my garage, which is separate from my workshop shed. Both systems have chip collectors that actually catch the majority of the flying dust. The Wynn filters are easy to keep clean, but cost more than the DC units themselves. But cost vs your lungs is a no brainer. I read some time ago that OSHA found home workshops were far worse than most commercial shops for sawdust contamination. Made me a believer.
It’s part of the reason I’ve been forced to work outside on many projects.

I’ll have to invest in improving my dust collection to get permission to work inside more often.
 
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