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While old-style woven-polyester bags will handle the chips and shavings drawn in by a dust collector, you can’t rely on them to control the hazardous ultrafine dust. I’m a big fan of the cartridge filter. Cartridge canisters (with pleated filters) provide superior dust separation and require far less time to clean than felted-polyester bags, which also filter fine dust. At least half a dozen manufacturers now offer cartridge filtration for their 1.5-hp and 2-hp collectors for around $200. Felted bags are about $75.
On the other hand, if you don’t mind spending an hour or two on the conversion, you can have the benefits of a cartridge for the price of a bag. At about $70, Wynn Environmental’s 9E300BL requires a simple shopmade plate to adapt it to any collector. You’ll also need to replace the bottom bag with a plastic one. For a few dollars more, the very latest Wynn filters are made to fit popular collectors directly. For information, including installation guidance, go to www.wynnenv.com.
—Michael Standish is a woodworker in West Roxbury, Mass.
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