Following on from dust strategy update
I’m quite paranoid about the effect of wood dust (including MDF dust) on my health and that of my family.
Bill Pentz has some good information on the subject here.
I ordered a Microclene MC760 from Poolewood Machinery (AKA Hallvalue Ltd) on Monday night and it arrived on Wednesday.
I’ve never used Poolewood before but they were about £20 cheaper than anywhere else, so I gave them a try and I’m very impressed 🙂
My decision to buy the MC760 was largely based on the claim on the manufacturers website of filtering down to 0.4 microns, however having discussed it with the manufacturer, I now realise that the filter is only 65% efficient at filtering 1 micron and below particles, so I’m thinking about modifying it to improve this.
To achieve 1 micron filtering other filters and extractors use 2 or 3 layers of filters and I had assumed that the Microclene would be the same, but it only has a single filter made of a white fuzzy material which I can nearly see through in places. This is apparently a G4 filter.
The best resource I found to explain filter ratings was this, which (assuming it’s correct) tells me that a G4 filter is 90% efficient at filtering particles of 5 microns and above in size. There is also some information on performance testing here.
I’ve contacted the manufacturer (next day response from Ron – see update below) and the supplier (immediate response from Terry – very impressed!) and I’m now investigating fitting a second filter behind the G4 one.
Update 27/05/2012: I have received a response from Ron at the manufacturer, Acrol Ltd.
He states that the filter is made by one of the best filter media companies in the UK and is made to the G4/EU4 standards and is actually above the standards for G4.
He repeats their claim that it will filter down to 0.4 microns, however he also states that EU4 means 65% arrestance rate at 1 micron and 90% at 5 microns, so both the alternatives listed at the bottom of this post claim better effectiveness out of the box.
I have continued to correspond with the manufacturer and I think I’ve arrived at a solution which will work for me, at the expense of airflow.
Other than my concerns about the effectiveness of the supplied filter, the MC760 seems well made, with a thick steel body and a good paint finish.
The top has a handle, power input via a “kettle lead” socket and the on-off switch (the angled profile of the back panel can be seen in this view)
It’s a lot more compact than I was expecting, but this is no bad thing given the size of my workshop 🙂
Despite its small size it’s pretty heavy and this adds to the feeling of quality.
Update 23/10/2012: The filtered air is expelled from two slotted vents in the 45 degree angled portions of the back panel, allowing for the unit to be placed close to a wall without affecting the airflow.
Two mounting ears are provided (seen reversed below) for hanging the unit on two screws.
The Jet claims 98% effectiveness for 5 micron particles and 85% for 1 micron particles.
The Record’s bigger brother, the Record Power AC2 has 3 stage filtering and claims 99% effectiveness on 5 micron particles and 91% on 1 micron particles, so I would expect the AC400 to be less effective than that.
I’ve sent Record Power a message requesting the figures and will update this page when I get a response.
Update 28/05/2012: Record have responded to my query stating that the AC400 has two filters, the outer being capable of filtering 99% of 5 micron and above particles and the inner being capable of filtering 99% of 1 micron and above particles.
If this is correct then I don’t think there’s any reason to buy the AC1 or AC2, as the AC400 out-performs them both.
Update 02/06/2012: Record have revised their claims in relation to the AC400 after further questions. They now say the outer filter removes 98% of all particles from 1 to 5 microns and the inner removes 85% of particles below 1 micron
Things I like
- Extremely compact
- Very powerful
- Good build quality
- Very flexible – optional filters, stand and booth
Things I don’t like
- G4 filter only 65% effective at arresting particles 1 micron and below