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There is no excuse to be working in a dusty environment, you wouldn′t accept it in the workplace so why do you accept it with your hobby. The excuse used is normally cost - well that has been solved with the Microclene MC100 made by Acro Ltd.
Price: approx £128 (check out availability on google).
This is a small neat unit that is very nicely finished.
There is a built in stand that means you can just rest the unit on your bench wherever you are working.
There is no power switch on the unit, just plug the kettle lead into the back and then into the mains and you are away.
Once the fan has got to speed the noise level is quite ok in a workshop and easy to work with, a good point as it is best to leave this on as much as possible when you are sanding or making dust in some other way.
The front grill is fixed in place with a single bolt in the centre of the grill. Remove this and the grill comes away, the filter can then be pulled out.
Once again the machine is built very well on the inside.
A second grill stops any fingers being pushed into the fan if you should happen to switch it on when changing the filter.Of course this grill is there to support the filter and stop it being pulled into the fan, but the secondary feature of protection is nice to see.
The filter is a single stage variety, very light and around 20mm thick. The filter media is fire retardent polyvee glass.
The unit comes with one page of instructions, very simple indeed. One of the most important things is it tells you how to test when the filter needs replacing:
When new and installed, turn the unit on and place a sheet of A4 paper over the front.
Allow the unit to get to speed and then turn it off.
Measure the time it from switching the machine off to when the paper falls away from the unit.
Repeat this process reularly and when the time between switching the unit off and the paper falling down decreases to half that when the filter was new, replace the filter.
I have used the unit for around an hour whilst sanding down a piece of ebony that I have been working on and already can see the effect on the colour of the filter.
What I noticed most was that I came away from the workshop without quite the same level of dust over me.
A wall mount is available as a separate accessorie at extra cost.
Here you can see that I have mounted the unit to the right hand side of my main bench - this is where I tend to sand, saw, circular saw etc.
The great thing is the wall mount is just a bracket that the unit rests in - so still very easy to just pick the unit up and move it to where you are working.
This is at such a good price and so elegant and simple I wonder why I have put my health at risk up until now? OK there are times when you should still use a mask and you must use a good dust extractor. However, the benfit here is that after you remove the mask this little unit goes on cleaning the air.
This unit is so portable I brought it into the house and used it whilst decorating and it did a really good job of keeping the dust down.
This is a small unit that is very simple to use straight out of the box. The design is very nice in it′s purity and simplicity.
The price is superb and the cost of spare filters very competitive at around £10 for 5. A big advantage is the low power consumption which means you can leave it running all the time you are in the workshop.
If you need a larger filter with more capability, such as for airbrushing or resin, then worth looking at the MC760, it the most versatile air filter we make, as bought it is an air filter that copes with 750 cu mtrs per hour,suitable for a 3 car garage. there are 3 filters available, the normal dust EU4, the carbon filter for removing fumes, smoke and solvent smells, the third is a washable dual layer polyester filter for water based paints and varnishes. There is also a booth that attaches to the machine by magnet, ideal for airbrush work or power tool sanding of small objects, it is our best selling machine we do.
This dust filtration unit is made by http://www.acrolltd.co.uk.
Acrol Ltd have been making the Microclenes for 20 years now, and over 90% of the first machines they sold are still running, the motors have an expected life of 40,000 hours, that is 8 hrs a day for 20 years. They are sold in 15 countries in many environments from workshops to police indoor firing ranges, Morgues, Madam Toussards, BT cable ships, hospitals and so on.