Homemade Dust Filter Furnace Squirrel Fan


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In the process of setting up my new basement shop and and besides my new table saw and half delivered dust collector (long story with amazon), I am focusing on proper dust collection. This was not the case ripping wood on my fathers radial arm saw with nothing but a window fan in the basement window growing up, unaware of the dangers from dust.

My boss was fortuitously getting a new furnace this week so I managed to snag his squirrel fan and was planning to shop make a filter similar to the commercial units to save money for other tools, and let's face it, purely for the challenge.

I have located plans online, but the fan I got seems to be quite a bit larger than others referenced. It's about 1.5 feet cubed and I looked quickly at the motor which is a 115v, 10.5 amps GE. Now, it clearly can move some serious air and wiring challenges/research required aside, I'm worried about the potential size and structural challenges with the weight of this unit.

Given the 7 foot ceilings and smallish 11x26 foot shop, I'm thinking a vertical mount setup either from the ceiling or wall. Does anyone have any experience or suggestions I should consider as I start designing this?




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I have built a few, as simple as a 20x20 filter attached to a box fan, works pretty well in a smal area, for dad's body shop we build a 6 ft square box 12" thick, it is on casters. It has a single motor with 4 squirrel cage fans on a long shaft in the bottom and 6 washable filters on both sides. It is rather large but works very well in a 2500sq ft area

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I made one years ago and it worked great. A few years ago my shop furnaces squirrel cage seized up on one of the coldest days of the year, needless to say I gutted my shops filter and used it to revive my heat supplier. This summer I came upon another free squirrel cage and am going back at it. I have a full loft above my shop so I am going to basically build a U shaped duct which will pull the air up through the ceiling-through the squirrel cage-and return back into the shop, upon entry and exit of this unit will be a filter box. My previous unit was basically the same but hung from the ceiling, I have high ceilings so clearance isn't an issue but it wasn't fun getting it hung and it was an eye sore- this solves both issues;would this be a possibility for you?

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Being in the basement, my ceilings are only 7 feet, so a large ceiling mounted enclosure wouldnt be doable.  However, I am thinking maybe a smaller one mounted over my extension talble of the table saw...or some larger floor based unit with air inflow/outflows off the floor.

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  • 2 months later...

Figured I would pick up on the thread as I started construction today.

Ripped 2x4's into square stock and used the dado for half lap joints on the main frame corners. Used 18 gauge brads to hold the corners for the screws with glue.

The cross braces for the two frames were glued and screwed. I bolted the fan cage with four 3/8 inch bolts into t-bolts which sit flush on the other side. Seems pretty sturdy and with the to-be-attached 3/4 ply skin, don't think it's going anywhere.

Also picked up a two speed switch and plan to have two filters on each side...hopefully finish construction tomorrow.

Any suggestions on how to hang to the ceiling joists to limit vibration? Thinking there is something I could add besides the standard chain/eye hooks. post-16249-0-78537800-1421620856_thumb.jpost-16249-0-96164500-1421620881_thumb.j

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There are loads of options. You want rigging made for suspension. If it falls on someone, your insurance will dig. There are all manner of isolation mounts. I googled "vibration isolation hangers" and things like this pop right up.


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  • 1 month later...

I finally started my post construction cleaning and organization of my basement shop, the dust storm was terrible, a lot of stuff is leaving, anyway I gathered up some stuff that was laying around and I built a air scrubber/ sanding table out of stuff that was in the shop









I only had 2 filters on hand, I will also put a baffle inside the box to direct the air toward the bottom before exiting through the fan.

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