American Woodworker

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Friday's Tip for February 28th

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No-Hassle Filter Cleaning

My air filter works great and sure makes my shop a cleaner and healthier place to work. But cleaning the pleated filter was always a problem. Blowing or shaking it out just made a big mess. I tried vacuuming it but my vacuum wand would attach itself to the filter like a leech!

I tamed the beast by drilling some 3/4" holes in the sides of the wand. Now I just shake the wand around inside the filter and it clears out the dust without clinging to the filter. The number of holes you put in the wand depends on how powerful your vacuum is. Drill just enough holes so the wand doesn't stick to the filter. 

Ralph Schafer

My Take

I actually have that exact filter, and I tried this with my shop vacuum. My experience was that it didn't work very well. I started with just a couple holes and increased the number of holes one at a time. It was just never very effective at pulling out the dust. These filters are meant to hold on to the dust, and be replaced when they're full, because they're no longer effective. Yes, they're a little pricey, but so are lung problems. Just how thrifty can you afford to be?