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Does anyone have a solution for the ambient dust diffused into the air while running the shop vac? I've thought about putting an exhaust hose on and wrapping the open end with a couple of swiffer dust cloths. Any suggestions?
I've seen a device that draws through a 5 gallon bucket filled with water. The water is supposed to trap dust. An ****** search should be able to find it. It might not be very portable, but sound like it would control dust
thank you both for your suggestions; the big box stores don't seem to carry smaller micron blocking capable filters; the filter bag sounds interesting although I suspect the finer particulate dust that escapes the exhaust side is too light to drop into the barrel of the vac.
You should be able to get a micron filter that fits over the motor. Here is one for Sears and most big box stores carry differnt sizes for ShopVacs.
Though it builds up into a muck, sheetrockers keep a couple inches of water in the bottom of their shop-vacs which greatly reduces the dust ouput in use. You just have to always keep it wet and de-muck the canister as needed when you're done working. "Cyclone" filter canisters also help but aren't very portable- those are mostly for shop use.
There is an intermediate water bath available for shop vacumns. It is a second 5 gallon canister with water in it. The vacumn hose goes into this unit first and the air perculates through the water and then exits on its way to the shop vacumn. Dry wall dust clogs a normal shop vac filter in short order. The wet bath pre-filter gets most of the dry wall dust before it gets to the shop vac.
Most of the general shop vacs available are crap when it comes to filtration, the only vacuum capable of excellent filtration without alternative filters or devices is a Fein, they are spendy, but they work extremely well. I speak of this from experience.
In lieu of that, then using a water filter or adding water to the shop vac canister will certainly help. The thing is, adding water makes it less portable and easy to use, which leave dry filtration apparatuses such as the one JLM suggested.
In a similar vein, how do you control ambient dust in an dusty environment, such as when sanding drywall, working in a woodshop, or sweeping super dusty areas? You can easily and cheaply do it with box fans and cheap mesh furnace filters, simply tape an appropriately sized filter to BOTH sides of your fan. As the filters load up, you can take them outside and bang them out, blow them with compressed air, or simply replace them because they're so cheap. This does not negate the need for wearing a dust mask, but it does significantly reduce the ambient dust levels in these environments. Again, I speak from experience.
When my drywallers are sanding, I'm usually out of there. Same with hardwood floor sanders.