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In my woodworking workshop I have a cyclone style 2-stage dust collector (Oneida Supercell) and workshop air filtration system (Jet AFS-1000b) but I'm always feeling like I could/should do more directly around where I am working.

Would there be value in putting one or more floor-standing home HEPA filter systems, like this style?

Note: I am not asking about specific brands, only showing the form factor. I ask because I do not see much mention of this in Google searches or woodworking forums.

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    Do you have any sense of how cleanable those home hepa things are? I’d expect them to clog very quickly in a workshop. Maybe another jet with improved filtration? Jan 22 at 14:35
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    "I ask because I do not see much mention of this in Google searches or woodworking forums." That alone may tell you something significant. It's NOT definitive (not by any means) but it's not unusual that if something is of value it's done enough that you find more than a scattering of previous mentions. One thing I've heard enough in recent times is that HEPA filters and high-dust environments are not a good mix, unless of course there's pre-filtering of the larger particles.
    – Graphus
    Jan 23 at 8:16
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    Only you can determine if there's "value" in it, which, inherently, makes this opinion based. If you think that there's still too much dust in the air, then there will be value in adding some sort of additional filtering. Whether it's another system like your JET or the one from Amazon is your call.
    – FreeMan
    Jan 23 at 18:06
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    "but I'm always feeling like I could/should do more directly around where I am working." Perhaps this is the thing to look at. Presuming it's not just a feeling, I presume this is based on seeing there IS something that could be done better, pretty much guaranteed to be based on seeing more dust than you'd like. See if there isn't something that could be done to improve dust collection at each stationary machine — there frequently is, and thankfully the Internet is heavy with advice on this area, esp. I think for router tables and chop saws, and now for bandsaws and drill presses. [contd]
    – Graphus
    Jan 24 at 8:46
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    For hand-held power tools, sanders especially, either considering switching to a machine with known superior dust collection (may be $$-$$$, but worth it?) or building a sanding table. For projects that can't be done on a downdraft table you might just resign yourself to getting used to wearing a decent dust mask when sanding! Alternatively work towards planing and/or scraping more, because this inherently produces almost zero dust (plus is generally way faster and more efficient).
    – Graphus
    Jan 24 at 8:51

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The answer is - it depends on your situation. Only you can know what you need or what will be effective in your situation. Getting good data is the beginning of good decision making.

but I'm always feeling like I could/should do more directly around where I am working.

Maybe your feeling is correct, and maybe it's not. How to evaluate?

Would there be value in putting one or more floor-standing home HEPA filter systems

Suppose you purchase extra filtration - did it make a difference? If so, how much of a difference, is more needed?

The first step is to understand how dusty your environment is. There are devices available to measure this. You are looking for devices that will measure particulate matter and volatile organic compounds. Here is a popularwoodworking.com article on selecting a monitor.
Knowing this data point will enable you to select a solution appropriate to your situation and then measure improvement.

Googling "home dust monitoring system" is a good way to start learning about a very complicated and important topic.

Keep in mind that there is no substitute for wearing a mask for air filtration.

Here is a link to a discussion on air quality monitoring in lumberjocks.com

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In your case, not at all.

You would be better off getting a HEPA kit for your Jet system and then wearing some level of particle mask.

The filter you have filters as much air in a minute as the system you're looking at does in an hour.

And that doesnt even consider the smaller system would only be making the air safer near the exhaust port, which is not necessarily where you're breathing. Plus you'd have to drag it around and set it up all over the shop. Not a good use of your time.

I think you're right to take a belt and suspenders approach to protecting your lungs. But I think there is a more effective and straight forward solution: a respirator. Better to put the filter in front of your airway instead of several feet away.

You could do something as simple as a KN95 particle mask all the way up to a full-face HEPA PAPR respirator. I've seen guys use them for heavy duty lathe work and it seems really sharp. That way you're protected during really dusty operations and by the time you're done the JET will have pulled most of the crud out of the air in a couple minutes (unless your shop it super huge).

Best of luck and three cheers for respiratory safety!

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  • Some really good points, thank you. I do indeed wear an N95 respirator as well - I see it as layers of protection. Are you aware of a HEPA filter kit for the Jet AFS models? (AFS-1000B). I am seeing nothing HEPA-wise for either the outer or inner filter.
    – Matthew
    Jan 29 at 14:06
  • I found a MERV 13 (same particulate size and level filtering as HEPA, as I understand it) inner filter on filtrasupply that should work with your unit.
    – YoStephen
    Jan 30 at 2:19

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