Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Cheap Extractor Bags

It’s all good and well having a dust extractor to clear all the chips from your planer-thicknesser but, when you’re busy, you’ve got lots of timber and a lot of material to remove, you’ll soon find those bags fill up very quickly! Replacements (most commonly sold in packs of ten) from the manufacturer can easily work out at £1 per bag, or even slightly more. Then, with firms like Axminster, you also have the delivery charge (£4.95 – unless your order total equates to more than £50). With that in mind, I’m pleased to reveal that I have found a cheaper source of suitable bags for my ADE1200 extractor…

My replacement bags now come from Toolstation as heavy-duty rubble sacks. They’re less than a quarter of the price of the ‘red’ bags from Axminster (including delivery). Okay, they are opaque; meaning that you have to prod the top of the bag every so often to check that it isn’t full. Also, at 535x820mm, they are slightly smaller than the 560x915mm bags Axminster will supply but, they’re fine for the job, they’re durable and, I bet your local Toolstation trade counter is much closer to home than your nearest Axminster branch! 😉 Plus, you only need to spend £10 in order to get free delivery from them.

If you don’t own this extractor, or even one of near-identical size, I’m there are still other ways to reduce the costs of buying replacement bags. For instance, you could search locally for a wholesaler, from whom you may be able to purchase a larger quantity of bags for a similar amount of money. I’d also assume that ‘clear’ plastic costs more than the rest. If you know you’re only going to use each bag once then, I guess they don’t need to be classed as ‘heavy-duty’, either.

I use three or four (depending on whether or not I’ve lost one!) rare earth magnets to hold a new or empty bag in place while I secure it with the strap. If you’re unable to empty your sacks of shavings in to one of the ‘green’ bins at your local recycling centre and you have no other use for them, you could always try giving them away on Freecycle. I’ve had limited success in selling my bags in the past. Trouble is that, despite what you may think, a lot of fine dust is also produced by planing and moulding machines, which does make regular wood shavings ‘hazardous’ to small animals. That’s why larger firms exporting bales of wood shavings will filter the two so that they can be use for bedding.

One final tip – be sure to give your top cloth-filter bag a thorough clean, every so often:

Cleaning the top filter bag,

A vacuum really is the easiest and safest way to do this. This chore will also provide the added benefit of restoring the suction, airflow and performance of your extractor to its maximum.

Thanks for reading.

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