Dust Collector Filter: Overview
In the last issue, I discussed numerous dust collector upgrades I have been making in the studio recently. Whilst those upgrades were a long time coming, there were a few more that did not make it in that issue because they had not been installed when the issue went to press. These included the upgraded central dust collector pleated filter, the upgraded ambient dust collector pleated filter and its pre-filter.
Dust Collector Filter: Jet DC 1100C Makeover
When I first installed my Jet DC1100C dust collector many years ago, it came with a 2-micron canister pleated filter known as the “Dust Dog.” This was an upgrade over the old 30-micron bag filters that were common on this type of dust collector at the time. This 2-micron filter worked very well for me over the years when I was doing production bowls. However, it was prone to clogging (impacted dust in the pleats), even though I used the internal flapper three to four times a day.
My Jet Dust Dog canister filter
was ready for an upgrade.
One thing I liked about the old Jet canister filter was the ability to wash it out with a hose. I usually washed the filter cartridge four to six times a year. This helped a lot when the airflow dropped off, but it still clogged quickly. Jet has a new design now with a “Vortex Cone” that is supposed to reduce internal clogging. If you really want to limit clogging though, install a cyclone… Jet also has a 1-micron canister filter upgrade available for some of their dust collectors, but it is expensive.
No matter what dust collector you choose to buy, get the highest filter efficiency you can afford. The tiny dust particles are the hardest to capture, and filters that work well on these tiny particles (1.0 micron or less) are expensive, but they are worth it. I’ve upgraded all of my dust collection filters to a minimum of 1-micron, some are 0.5-microns and some are 0.3-microns. If you have an older inefficient dust collector bag, or an older pleated canister filter, consider upgrading it to a 1-micron or less dust filter, your lungs will thank you.
Dust Collector Filter: Cyclones Rule
Production bowl sanding produces copious amounts of dust and is a challenge for any filter. Back in the day, I did not have a cyclone installed on my central dust collection system as I do now. If I was doing the same amount of production sanding today with my new Super Dust Cyclone installed, I think I would have had little if any clogging on the surface of the pleated filter. Those cyclones really do a great job!
Oneida super dust deputy cyclone.
Adding a cyclone to my system has been one of the best decisions I have made to increase the efficiency of my whole dust collector system. Almost nothing gets by the cyclone, so my collection bag stays virtually empty. That reduces the load on my pleated cartridge filter as well, which will save me money over the long run by limiting canister filter replacements.
Dust Collector Filter: Wynn Nanofiber Canister Pleated Filter
My upgraded Jet dust collector
with the new Wynn 35A filter installed.
This upgraded canister filter ($168.00) was purchased from Wynn Environmental and is rated 99.99% efficient at 0.5 microns. I purchased the 35A274NANO filter kit, which has nanofiber laminate filter media. This pleated filter is a MERV 15 rated filter, so it has a very high efficiency (approximately 99.999% at 0.5 microns). There are numerous other options out there as well, including a 1-micron Jet canister pleated filter ($329.00) and other manufacturers that offer super efficient filters, so check around.
I really liked the design and specs of the Wynn nanofiber canister filter, but it was not an exact fit for my Jet dust collector. This means that it would require some modifications, or fabrication to install it correctly… I usually stay away from doing this type of monkey-doodling if possible, as free time is always non-existent around these parts. I decided to give it a go anyway, as I really wanted to get a more efficient filter on my Jet dust collector.
Dust Collector Filter: Fitting Problems
Whilst the decision to upgrade my older Jet 2-micron Dust Dog canister filter was an easy one, adapting this new Wynn 0.5-micron canister filter was an adventure. It is somewhat smaller than the original Jet canister (approx. 17.5” x 23,” but with a larger 274 Sq. Ft filter area). Since the new Wynn filter was smaller in diameter, you are supposed to mount it on the top of the dust collector's metal cone shield, as opposed to on top of the outer rail, where the original Jet canister mounted. This fitment was less than ideal in my opinion.
Wynn suggests mounting the filter on top of the metal
cone shield as shown in this photo.
There is a foam seal on the bottom of the Wynn 35A canister filter. The Jet internal cone shield is tapered, which would mean the Wynn’s foam gasket would only be contacting the metal cone shield at its outer most edge, not across the entire surface of the foam gasket. Whilst this arrangement might work just fine, I did not think it was optimal, so I decided to find another way to mount the new filter.
I thought there must be a better way to mount the new canister to my Jet dust collector. After all, this is not rocket science. The manufacturer includes three small turnbuckles and three bolts with wing nuts to aid in adapting the filter to fit various styles of dust collectors. In checking the manufacturer's website, I found several adaptations that other blokes had used to fit the smaller Wynn filter to their dust collectors. Whilst they were all great ideas, I did not think that any of them were the best choice for my particular situation.
I wanted a cleaner look, one that maintained the superior Jet mounting system. Once again, I wanted to have my cake and eat it too, with a tall glass of ice-cold organic milk please. I thought about it for several days, mulling over various choices including turning a custom mounting rim on my lathe, or having a custom mount CNC machined. The more I thought about it, the more I thought that there must be some way to use the old mounting rim off the discarded Jet canister filter.
Dust Collector Filter: Redheads can be Hardheaded
I really liked the idea of the original Jet design that featured a mounting rim on the bottom of the canister. To secure the canister filter to the dust collector body, you simply tightened four locking bolts that fit into tapped receivers on the outer rim of the canister. Jet’s canister mount is designed to sit on the top rail of the middle section of the dust collector. The more I thought about making spacers for the turnbuckles or drilling holes for the bolts through the cone shield, the more I knew that I wanted to keep my old Jet mounting system.
Call me hardheaded, but Jet had a nice design and it was in my opinion, far better than the other mounting options I had seen on the Internet. I decided to task myself to find some way to make the old mounting rim work with the new filter. My mum used to say I was hardheaded at times when I tasked myself to do something and she was right! The question was, how was I going to make the much larger Jet mounting rim work with the smaller Wynn canister. Visions of square pegs and round holes danced through my head, as I continued to mull how to make this all work.
Dust Collector Filter: Ka-Ching
After disassembling the Jet canister from the dust collector, I turned it upside down and looked at how it was assembled. There was a stamped and formed metal rim on the bottom of the canister that featured a shallow channel into which some type of adhesive was poured to secure the pleated filter. The external wire mesh screen was also set into this adhesive as well. A brace went across the bottom of the filter to hold the shaft for the upper handle bar, which moves the internal flappers. When the handlebars are turned, two flappers rub against the interior pleats to help remove any impacted dust.
Easy peasy, lemon squeeze. All I needed to do was separate the rim from the bottom of the canister and find a way to make the old mounting rim fit the bottom of the smaller filter. The wire mesh screen cut easily with wire cutters, although it took a few minutes to get it done. I used a long kitchen carving knife to cut through the internal pleated filter. This worked a treat. Now that the rim was off the canister filter, I had to clean and prepare it for the new filter.
Dust Dog canister filter with
lower mounting rim removed.
Dust Collector Filter: Cleaning the Mounting Rim
Close-up of the Jet Dust Dog mounting rim,
showing residual pleats and adhesive in the u-channel.
The old filter pleats were secured in place with a thick yellow adhesive. This adhesive also held the bottom of the external wire mesh. To mount the new filter, I had to find a way to clean off the residual pleats, wire mesh and the gunky adhesive. The adhesive was not brittle at all, but it would not scrape off. It still maintained its tenacious bond on the metal rim.
The mounting rim has been removed and
is in the process of being cleaned.
My chemistry knowledge told me that some adhesives do not like heat, so I decided to try a heat gun on the rail to see if it would soften the glue enough to remove it easily. Ka-ching! This worked a treat and the adhesive, the residual bits and pieces of the pleated filter and the remaining wire mesh all came off quite easily when heated. A bonus was that when heated, the adhesive left no residue on the rim at all; the surface was clean as a whistle.
The Jet dust collector mounting rim after cleaning.
Dust Collector Filter: Mounting my Recycled Rim
Once everything was cleaned off, I was ready to see if I could mount the new Wynn filter to my old recycled Jet canister filter rim. At first glance, it looked like the filter should easily sit on top of the rim, but the Jet rim had two small raised rims on the top surface of the rim, one on the inside and one on the outside. These formed a “U” shaped channel. This was no doubt to contain the liquid adhesive that was poured into this channel to secure the pleated filter and the wire mesh screen.
The top surface of Jet's mounting rim
features a u-shaped channel.
I quickly grabbed a measuring tape and measured the distance on the outside of the internal rim and the inside of the Wynn filters’ foam gasket and it was spot on… I set the Wynn filter on top of the rim and it snugged up on the rim just as if it was custom made for it! Woo Hoo! I started to dance a jig in the studio, but then I remembered that I could not dance, so I just hooted for a few seconds reveling in the attainment of my goal – a clean mounting that maintained the best part of the old Jet mount – the mounting rim itself.
Dust Collector Filter: Securing the Filter
At this point, the filter was mounted on the rim and it fit very well, but it was only sitting on the rim. To secure it completely, I used the three included turnbuckles to secure the filter to the old Jet canister rim on the inside of the filter, per the manufacturer’s instructions. This works a treat and in the end, I managed to have my cake and eat it as well, with an ice-cold glass of organic milk.
Wynn's 35A filter mounted on
Jet's recycled Dust Dog mounting rim.
Dust Collector Filter: Upgraded Filter in Use
It has been a several days since I finished my modifications and installed the new Wynn 35A canister filter. It works quite well and it has produced a noticeable increase in airflow throughout the system. The six-inch hose outlet at the lathe has a very noticeable increase in felt airflow, which is a big plus. Having a clean filter, especially one with 274 square feet of filter space has really made a difference and has increased my systems overall efficiency considerably.
This canister filter has been a welcome upgrade that will serve me well for a long time to come. If you have an old Jet Dust Dog canister filter and would like to upgrade your filter, consider using my mounting solution. It’s slick looking and it works very well indeed. If you purchase a filter other than Wynn’s 35A canister filter, you will have to measure to make sure it fits the old Jet-mounting rim without needing some sort of adapter ring.
Note: Since this Wynn filter is a paper-based filter, it cannot be washed. The manufacturer recommends using an air hose on the outside of the filter, blowing through the filter to the inside to remove any impacted dust on the interior pleats. Any dust removed, will fall into the lower collection bag. Since I have a cyclone installed, I may never have to do this to my filter.
Final Upgrades to my Jet AFS-1000
The last upgrade I wanted to make was to replace the stock Jet air filters for my wall mounted ambient dust collector. This wall unit runs continuously when I’m working in the studio and is the second part of my three part (1. Central station point of generation collector, 2. Ambient wall mounted dust collector and 3. 3M PAPR HEPA respirator) dust collection system. The original filters that Jet included with the unit worked quite well, but I wanted to install a higher rated filter that would capture more of the smaller particles that may be floating around in the studio air.
My Jet AFS 1000 ambient dust collector features two different filters, an external 5-micron electrostatic pre-filter and in internal 1-micron, three pocket pleated filter. The electrostatic filter can be washed, but Jet recommends replacing the internal pocketed filter when it became clogged. Since I’m a die-hard cheapskate, I washed the internal filter as well and saved myself a pant load of cash through the years. Whilst these filters worked, the electrostatic filter seemed to lose its charge in short order and functioned more like a normal pre-filter.
Jet’s internal pocketed filter worked great, even when it was repeatedly washed. I thought about replacing it after a few years of use, but the replacement cost was none too cheap, so I kept washing it -- just like I did with the outer electrostatic pre-filter and the old Jet Dust Dog canister filter. Since I was upgrading all of my dust collection filters, I decided it was time to get better filters for my Jet wall mounted collector as well.
Wynn also offered replacement filters for my Jet wall mounted dust collector, so I decided to purchase a set when I bought the replacement canister filter for my Jet central station dust collector. The old Jet electrostatic pre-filter was not rated, so who knows how efficient it was, but the new Wynn pre-filter (not electrostatic, $48.00 for 6) is rated at MERV 8, 35% ASHRAE.
Wynn's new prefilter mounted on Jet's AFS 1000.
Jet’s old inner three-pocketed filter for the AFS 1000 was 98% efficient at 5–microns and 85% efficient at 1-micron. The new Wynn four-pocket inner filter ($69.00 for 2) is rated at MERV 14, with 95% ASHRAE (99.6% at 5-microns, 92% at 1.0-microns and 79% at 0.5-microns) These new ambient filters did not require any modifications and were a snap to install.
Wynn's upgraded inner filter for the AFS 1000 features
4 pleats instead of Jet's original 3-pleat design.
With the installation of these last few parts, my dust collector upgrading is now complete. The only nit left to do is to install a new six-inch drop and blast gate for my Delta Unisaw table saw. The old girl is getting a lot more use these days and the temporary connection I had always used in the past is getting to be a pain to setup and take down. The journey continues…
Take a look at your system and see if an upgrade is in order. Remember, you only have two lungs and replacements are hard to come by. Your lungs and your loved ones will thank you.
Note: All of these items were purchased by me at regular retail prices via online websites/phone orders. There are other options besides Wynn filter products, take a look around the Internet and see what works best for you. Cheers!
Safety Note: Always follow all manufacturers safety instructions before working with your lathe, or any of the tools or products you may use. If you are unsure about any operation, obtain competent professional instruction before proceeding. Use and wear all necessary safety devices during turning and observe safe woodturning practices to prevent accident or injury.
Steven D. Russell is a professional studio woodturner, teacher and writer. He has written numerous articles for international woodturning magazines, which have been published in more than 78 countries around the world. Steve has demonstrated in numerous cities across the United States. His studio, Eurowood Werks, specializes in bowls, platters and hollow forms with unique visual and tactile treatments.
Steve is also the current and founding President of the Lone Star Woodturners Association, Inc., an AAW member chapter. The LSWA is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to teaching and demonstrating the art and craft of woodturning.
Steve is also a featured writer for the Guild of Master Craftsman's "Woodturning" magazine, published in London England. Woodturning magazine is the world's leading magazine for woodturners. Look for his articles covering technical topics, or project based articles in an upcoming issue.