My woodshop lives in one of the two bedrooms of my 675 square foot apartment, and as you might imagine, dust collection is pretty critical in a space that size. I recently picked up the air filtration system made by Jet Tools (AFS-1000B) and am going to take a moment to share my initial experiences and answer a few questions I had myself before purchasing.
The size of my woodworking space is 126 square feet, and since it's in a rented apartment, it's still covered with wall-to-wall carpeting. Not ideal in terms of cleanup, but fortunately it's dense low-pile carpeting. The need for a comprehensive dust collection setup became painfully apparent shortly after moving the workspace indoors. Before adding this Jet to the mix, my dust collection plan only involved collection at the source using a Oneida Dust Deputy hooked up to a Ridgid shop vacuum. (I'll be adding a journal post in the not too distant future about that setup. Until then, know that it's awesome and I highly recommend the Dust Deputy.) It's incredible how much dust just the shop vac alone is able to collect at the tool, but it wasn't enough. I would still be plagued with a fine film of dust all over everything hours (or even days!) after a woodworking session.
After a few late nights of internet research, I was set on buying this Jet AFS-1000B. I was about to grab one off of Amazon and then the sudden thought to first check Craigslist popped into my head. I'm glad I did! A cabinet maker happened to be selling one of his units and he was only an hour away! I drove to meet him, and $200 later I had a nearly new AFS. Very stoked.
A couple things I noted right away were the two handles recessed into the body of the filter. They're offset to the heavier side of this 54-pound unit so that the entire box is balanced while carrying it. Clever!
The kit comes with hardware to mount on a vertical wall, rest on a shelf, or to hang from a ceiling. I opted to use the supplied eyebolts to hang it from the ceiling. My floor space is at an über premium, as I'm sure some of you out there can relate to, so the decision to hang it was easy for me. I've seen these systems placed on tall shelves and racks quite successfully, so that could be a more portable option to consider if you have the space. Overall dimensions are 30-1/4 x 24-1/8 x 12-1/8 inches.
The system also comes with an awesome little remote that works really well. I've noticed that remotes are sometimes an afterthought for some manufacturers, so to see one that works as well as this does is super refreshing.
Starting this up for the first time yielded an unexpectedly pleasant noise level. I think due it's size I thought it would be pretty noisy, almost akin to a shop vac. The opposite couldn't be more true. At the lowest speed setting, the sound level seemed similar to inhaling a big gust of air. It's barely noticeable. Actually, I've come to prefer the white-noise it creates when I'm working at the computer.
There are three fan settings that are easily toggled with the remote. The noise levels for this beast are as follows:
On it's highest setting, this box runs at 1044 CFM, with medium and low clocking in at 702 and 556 CFM, respectively. Jet claims that for a 20' x 20' room with an 8' ceiling, the AFS-1000B will cycle the air 19.5 times in an hour.
One of the questions that came up pretty frequently was whether or not this unit vibrates much. From my personal experience with the unit, there's zero vibration on the lowest fan setting, and if there's vibration occurring at higher fan speeds, it's immaterial. I don't notice any.
I think calling this section FEATURES is perhaps giving this simple fan-in-a-box a bit too much fanfare (see what I did there), but it does have one feature that's pretty swell and worth mentioning. The kind folks at Jet included a timer that allows the fan to operate for either 2, 4, or 8 hours before shutting off. Pretty awesome if you want to scrub the air while running errands.
The unit comes with two filters. One is the familiar blue electrostatic filter manning the front of box. This filter measures 12x24x1 according to the size printed on the filter itself, but some folks report the filter being slightly smaller, making replacement with a big-box filter less elegant than just getting one from Jet. There is a washable version and a charcoal version of this outer filter available from Jet as an alternative to this electrostatic version. The outer filter filters down to 5 microns.
The second filter is the inner filter and consists of three partitions. Jet says this filter can be cleaned out using compressed air. The inner filter filters down to 1 micron.
Even if I bought this at full retail, it would've been worth every penny. The air is very noticeably cleaner not only in the shop, but throughout the entire apartment. It's almost beautiful watching twinkling specs of saw dust levitate upward in the sunlight. Pretty impressive. It's definitely not a sexy purchase, compared to a new saw or new set of bits, but it's absolutely as essential.
Feel free to ask questions below and I'll be happy to answer!