Outside Dust Collector Details

Professional advice, including fire safety and noise control details, for a dust collector built onto a shop's exterior. November 25, 2005

I am planning to locate my new dust collector (about a 2 hp model) outside my shop in an attached shed to save room inside my small space. I want to insulate the shed for noise so the neighbors don't get too offended. Any suggestions on how to do that? What requirements will I have to vent the shed for airflow? How can I muffle the air opening?

Forum Responses
(Dust Collection and Safety Equipment Forum)
From Curt Corum, forum technical advisor:
It is a good idea to locate your collector in an enclosure on an outside wall of the shop. As you have indicated, a couple of benefits are that you will save floor space, and most of the noise will be contained in the enclosure.

One important factor is that you cut in a filter frame near the ceiling, on the common wall between the enclosure and the shop. Try to achieve at least two square feet of area. Insert a couple of furnace filters in the opening. This will allow air to re-circulate back into the shop. The furnace filters are inexpensive to change and will provide for cleaner air returning to the shop. If you vent to the outside, I would use a fixed louver with screen, at least two square feet of area.

As far as sound attenuation, many have used carpet foam. It is not as costly as acoustical foam and it is porous enough to absorb sound. One important factor is the foam must be flame retardant. Many suppliers offer flame retardant carpet foam as well as flame retardant carpet. When we exhibit at trade shows today, we must use flame retardant carpet as well as the foam padding. The only other spot we can attenuate is if you are using a 2 stage collector, you can install a muffler/silencer between the cyclone outlet and after filter. Fine dust will be traveling through the silencer, so periodically you should vacuum it out. The silencer will require a larger shed. They are normally about 3 feet in length.