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A small box arrives at my desk , it’s no more than a 5″ cube. Inside the box is a new product from Demo Air Net (shown above in its packaging). A former jet mechanic turned historic-home renovator developed the Demo Air Net to clean and recycle air pollutants including carcinogens on the jobsite. While there are different sizes available, the product we received fits over a 20″ box fan. The company claims that the air net will capture dust particles down to five microns in size.

After I pulled the product from the box, I passed it around to staff members and waited for first impressions. There were many comments, but the most interesting was that the Demo Air Net resembled a laundry bag because the material felt and looked similar.

After a few additional comments, I wrote to my contact at Demo Air Net to get a few answers. The reply included a note from the inventor wherein he explained that the material was “more than just a laundry bag.” In fact, the material progresses through 15 steps, the last of which is a heat cure to 480Ã?° Fahrenheit. It’s that step that locks in the “filtration” properties. According to the company, the Demo Air Net filters down to a micron range of 0.00019685″.

Capturing the dust particles is only a part of the advantages to the end-user. The bags, after being used on the job, are cleaned by washing in a machine at a gentle cycle then left to air dry (the company suggest you turn the bags inside out). Some companies clean the bags daily.

And this is where the wheat gets separated from the chaff. After extensive testing, Demo Air Net realized that there’s a small window of opportunity to both capture a particle of dust and let airflow continue unobstructed. Lesser fabrics are cheaper, but break down under the stresses of the expansion and contraction of washing and won’t trap all the airborne threats that the Demo Air Nets filter.

Demo Air Nets are available from $40 (fits a 9″ round fan) to $290 for the Monster that fits a 42″ shop fan. Check out the available size options at Eagle America, or click here.

An upcoming project is built using mahogany , the red dust spreads all over the shop and is easily seen. During parts of the build, I plan to put the Demo Air Net to the test. I’ll run a few comparisons to other collection methods to see how this product performs. I plan to compare to a simple filter placed on the infeed side of a box fan, as well as allow a dust collector to run during the operation, but I think this method is at a distinct disadvantage given the 4″ or 6″ intake area. If you have a suggestion , a suggestion that I can replicate in the Popular Woodworking Magazine shop , pass it along in the comment section. I’ll be looking.

-Glen D. Huey

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Showing 7 comments
  • Murphy


    Thanks for continuing to update us on products in the market. The information your folks provide is a great service and I for one always appreciate the time and effort you folks take for presentation of the facts.

    Please consider the claims of this product carefully and compare them to known repiratory standards. Look up Particulate in the Wikipwedia for a good primer.

    I think we can all agree that we do not really want any dust getting into our lungs. However, as woodworkers we tend to accept that as a given. What we need to know then is when that gets to be hazardous. The answer is that it depends on a number of variables. However, in simple numbers particles larger than 10 micrometers or 0.0003937 inches get fairly well filtered out by our respiratory defenses, though not absolutely. On the other hand, particles at 2.5 micrometers or 0.0009843 inches are referred to as respirable (read: really bad for you) and can pass into the deepest parts of our lungs and beyond.

    According to the specifications provided, the Air Net filters down to 0.00019685 or 5 micrometers. Since it passes roughly half of the range of bad for you particles (below 10 micrometers) and 100% of the really bad for you particles (2.5 micometers and below) with the added bonus that it continues to circulate them through out your shop, it would seem a bad idea for you to test the Air Net at all.

    Using it as a laundry bag would certainly work. But, that would be wasting its filtration properties. Consider making smaller bags out of the Air Net and using them to make labneh – yum.

  • Bill Siegl

    Could you unwind the Gortex material in a shopvac clean sweep filter (I think it is 1 micron) and cover the fan with that?

  • Alan Schaffter

    All these filter products are missing the point- to protect against fine dust, you need max CFM to get it at the source. Fine filters, etc. that allow you to return air to the shop, work against collection at the source. Air cleaners that pickup floating dust after it has wafted around your shop giving you multiple opportunities to inhale it, are no better. The air flow through any filter (bag, cartridge, etc.) is restricted from the start and degrades more over time as the dust clogs more and more of the fine air passages. There is [b]absolutely NO way around this[/b], it is physics. Reduced air flow through the filter means reduced air flow at the source where it is needed most!

    The solution is a DC with cyclone or other separator that removes most of the dust, then discharges the air OUTSIDE. No need for expensive filters, no need to clean filters, and absolutely no reduction caused by the filters initially, and over time. Due to OSHA regulation, this is probably not permitted in a commercial shop. As to heat loss, not as big a problem as most think. Walls, floor, ceiling, machines, benches, etc. have thermal mass, retain heat, and quickly stabilize the shop air temp (like happens with your refrigerator)- unless you run your DC continuously.

  • Chuck Beck

    I’d like to see how it would do while sanding the snot outta some Dalbergia on a lathe. It’s always about a minute in with a cocobolo something when that faint cinnamon smell follows some wicked coughing. It would probably show up nicely in that bag too.

  • allmanjoy

    who’s gonna be the chump that takes the bag home and washes it in their machine???

  • David DeLano

    I recently purchased some solar vent fans to put on my house. On a whim, I ordered an extra on. Currently, I use an air filter clamped to a box fan. My plan is to build something that uses the solar fan instead. This might just be a good alternative to using air filters, or even in addition to.

  • Steve

    From a woodworking perspective, 5 microns is at the high end of particle sizes that do damage to your lungs ("respirable" dust). Particles larger than that are mostly cleared by your lungs’ own removal mechanisms, or fall out of the air on their own before even reaching your lungs.

    This kind of air filtering device makes a lot of sense on a remodeling job site, where a large volume of dust is generated over a short period of time, and where you need to get equipment in and out quickly.

    In a workshop, though, where there is chronic dust generation and chronic exposure, you need better protection, not against the dust that seems to coat every surface, but against the stuff that you don’t see. Workshop air cleaners offer sub-micron filtering. HEPA filtering is even better, although the availability of affordable HEPA devices for whole-room use is pretty much nonexistent.

    The best thing to do is to confine the dust at the source, rather than try to collect it after it has already spread around the room. My Porter-Cable random orbital sander has excellent dust collection when used with Abranet and a shop vac. For hand sanding, the new pads by Mirka that have a vacuum hose connection (and are also used with Abranet) work great, although the hose sometimes gets in the way.

    For the remaining cases where you can’t help but generate dust, an N95 dust mask is inexpensive and not exactly onerous. N99 or N100 masks cost somewhat more, but are even better.

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