A systems approach to dust collection - At the source

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"What makes our Enviro Air Cleaner unique is the amount of air turbulence it creates and how the airborne particles are captured," says company spokesman Stu Johnson. "Over 60 percent of the surface of the unit is [a rolled] filter. A sensor inside the unit senses air volume loss, causing the filter to advance. A warning light will tell you when you have only a few feet of filter left on the roll. Replacing the dirty roll of filter is a very simple procedure."

At the source
Festool has developed an impressive line of portable shop vacuums, featuring two compact models — the CT MINI and CT MIDI — for job-site use, and the larger capacity CT 22 and CT 33 models. The company offers HEPPA filters and a clever boom arm accessory, which keeps the hose and power cord out of the way, on the CT 22 and CT 33, plus a wide selection of cleaning accessories.

3M has come up with a new dust management system, incorporated into the company's first line of air-powered finishing tools. Introduced in February, the line features more than 20 orbital sanders and 3M's Clean Sanding Disc technology.

"The system is revolutionizing the dust evacuation process because the patented multi-hole pattern balances cutting surface with dust removal and helps trap and contain more dust during the finishing process compared to other 5- or 6-hole products. Uniquely designed backup pads further optimize dust removal, allowing the discs to cut more and last longer while lowering dust levels in the work environment, ultimately helping to lower overall costs," according to 3M.

3M adds that its filter bags contain electrostatically-charged Filtrete fibers that work like tiny magnets to attract and retain more of the micro dust particles sucked in by the vacuum. Capturing the dust inside the bag's "web" helps prevent dust from releasing back into the tool and into the air, which is critical in high-dust environments such as solid surface and woodworking shops.

More new products
Delta Machinery has introduced two new 1-hp portable units, models 50-720 and 50-720CT, which deliver superior filtration of fine dust and convenient fill-and-toss disposable bags, says the company. The 50-720 ($249) is equipped with a 1-micron, spun-bound filter bag designed with a patented integral halo support. Similarly, the 50-720CT ($349) features a 2-micron pleated canister, which allows for better air flow efficiency because of an increased filter surface area and an internal manual agitator for frequent and mess-free filter cleaning.

Woodstock International has added the Shop Fox 5-hp cyclone, model W1810. The unit, rated at 2,450 CFM, has a remote control with automatic shut-off timer and a spun-bond polyester filter system. It sells for $3,250.

Extrema has an extensive Typhoon line, including 2- to 5-hp portable collectors, 3- to 10-hp cyclone collectors, 5- to 10-hp modular collectors, as well as blowers and accessories.

JET's offerings include the JC-3BF cyclone with a 5-micron bag filter. It captures the chips in a 55-gallon drum and separates out 99 percent of the dust, virtually eliminating the need for ambient air cleaners, according to the company. The unit's 14" impeller provides 1,450 CFM of air flow. The collection bag has a 'snap-in' design for quick changes, while JET's exclusive pressure tube lets you use a plastic collection bag in the drum without worrying that it will get sucked into the cyclone.

Grizzly has extensive offerings in the dust collection category, including downdraft tables, portable units, air filters and cyclones. Dynabrade is also worth checking out for its line of portable vacuum systems and downdraft tables.