How To Make Homemade Dust Collectors

Homemade dust collectors can minimize workbench dust and dirt. While they do not have the "cyclone power" of more modern models, they can help cut down on the amount of airborne debris that is swirling around in your garage work space. You can make an effective--albeit ugly--homemade dust collector using a box fan, a filter and duct tape in a matter of 30 minutes.

  1. Wipe down the fan to remove any dirt, dust or chemicals. Since you will be taping the filter into place, you need a clean surface to get the best adhesion from the tape.
  2. Find the back of the fan. Usually, it will be pretty clear because the front will be painted and the back will not. When the fan blows, it pulls air through the back, so the back is the opposite of the side that faces you when you feel a breeze.
  3. Fix the furnace filter to the back of the fan. Use the duct tape to create a seal around the entire filter. Do not tape over the filter itself.
  4. Turn on the fan. Point it away from your work area but place it in close proximity to the area where most of the dust is generated. As the fan pulls air in, it will pass through the furnace filter. Dust will get trapped in the filter and be unable to disperse into the air.

Things You Will Need

  • Box fan
  • Furnace filter that has the same dimensions as the box fan
  • Duct tape
  • Cleaning rags
  • Spray cleaner


  • Wear a dust mask to further protect yourself from inhaling airborne materials.
  • Use an anti-microbial filter to block allergens.