Clear Vue dust collector install #4: Final thoughts on the installation

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Blog entry by BillyJ posted 01-06-2012 05:40 PM 12332 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: FINISHED - AT LAST!!! Part 4 of Clear Vue dust collector install series no next part

As a qualifying opening statement, please read this post as my views, observations, and beliefs. They do not necessarily reflect “industry standards” or your experiences with dust collection, Clear Vue dust collectors, or any science related to dust collection.

That being said, here are some observations of my installation of the Clear Vue 1800 DC.

1. If the instruction suggests, or others tell you something regarding the size, placement, type of, or anything else regarding the installation of dust collection – you might want to listen to them.

In the CV documentation and in many posts I read regarding the size of room needed to install the CV DC, the minimum size was a 4’ x 4’ room. MAKE YOUR ROOM LARGER. Yes, everything will fit, but it would sure be nice to be able to easily install, fix, replace, and work on everything without hanging upside-down from a rafter or lying on my back.

2. Unless you operate a business and have to worry about OSHA regulations, PVC piping poses less danger then breathing the dust itself. I am by no means an expert, however, after reading articles by people with PhD’s in fields relating to electromagnetic discharge, the facts are clear. Your health (as related to inhaling various wood dust particles) is at greater risk then using PVC ducts and risking an explosion.

That being said, if you have the money to spend on metal ducts, and it would make you sleep better at night, then do it. If you want to read some good articles on this issue:

3. Continuing on with the ducting. In one of the posts I read that it’s best not to permanently attach the ducts. I have to concur. On more then one occasion, I changed things around (you know how that goes – you put it together just to see a better way after you’re done), and had to remove / relocate / re-do the ducting. Using HVAC aluminum tape is best. First, unlike duct (or Duck) tape, it does not deteriorate. Second, it gives a wonderfully strong seal that does not allow air leaks. I would recommend that over screwing pipes together.

4. Rather then relying on Occam’s razor, I first chose to make everything as complicated as possible. I ran wiring so I could have multiple switches to control both the motor and the remote start. Unless your DC is hundreds of feet away from the circuit box (mine is about 20’), there is no need to have multiple switches.

I also used vibration isolators, and now wonder whether I needed to invest in anything that extreme. After observing the startup, running, and shut-down of the DC, I cannot see much vibration. Perhaps it is eliminated by the isolators, and perhaps someone who is using the supplied rubber grommets would be able to confirm, however, what I did might be over-kill.

5. Unless you are going for a NASA-type clean room, I’m not really convinced that spending hours measuring and calculating resistance static pressure, zoning considerations, etc, etc., is all that necessary. My shop is small (about 1,000 sq ft). I have one main run, and currently have one branch run (which will change to two eventually). I am the only person working in my shop, and as such, will only run one machine at a time. I measured, calculated, recalculated, and sweated over the length of runs, power, diameter, and everything connected with dust collecting. I read almost every available book, article, and pamphlet on the subject (within reason). When it was all said and done, I better hang on to anything in my hand if I’m close to an open duct.

In the video I posted, I had placed about two pounds of chips by my router table duct opening, and then hit the remote. To be exact, there is 22’ of duct between my router table and the CV-DC. It took about 1.5 seconds for the chips to be sucked into the DC from that distance.

I’m not suggesting that anyone with a 20,000 sq ft shop running multiple machines just slap a bunch of ducting up and hit the switch. However, for the average LJ with a small workshop like mine, I cannot imagine having to do all of this again for such small runs.

Again, these are my observations and thoughts. I know many of the things mentioned will cause consternation with some people. I do not mean to make light of anything serious, and perhaps someone can document actual cases where great harm was incurred by not following industry “standards.” But I believe a lot of woodworkers and industry spokespersons have over complicated a rather intuitive process.

One final thought:

If you don’t have a dedicated dust collection system – get one! You’ll forever be thankful.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

10 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3628 days

#1 posted 01-06-2012 07:18 PM

Very sage thoughts.

Nice job on your system !!

-- -- Neil

View Manitario's profile


2778 posts in 3337 days

#2 posted 01-06-2012 07:19 PM

I have a Clearvue cyclone that I finished installing a few months ago; I love it, but it was a long process to get it set up. I think the only other cyclone that compares with it would be one of the larger units from Penn State Ind. 1) I agree, I made my closet ~3×3’ which is very, very tight! Also messed up putting the impeller on the motor shaft..partially b/c I didn’t read the instructions thoroughly. 3)I went with quick-fit ducting for that very reason. Cost a bunch, but was rediculously easy to put up. 4)My shop is 17×30: I debated about getting a remote, but realized that I’d probably not be shutting the DC off and on too often, I tend to switch it on, do all my power tool work and then turn it off if I’m going to glue up or do some finishing. Plus, 30’ is not that far to have to walk to flip a switch… 5) I used a static pressure calculator on Bill Pentz’s website, mainly to ensure that my basic set-up of my ducting would work. My main concern was optimizing the airflow at my mitre saw, which I put at the beginning of my duct runs, and ensuring the airflow at the end of the ducting was adequate. It was a useful exercise for me to go through the simple static pressure calculator as it really demonstrated the effect of duct size, “T”’s, wye’s etc. on CFM. Also confirmed that basically all single stage DC don’t have the power to capture fine dust.

Anyways, welcome to the Clearvue world!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View SteveMI's profile


1137 posts in 3748 days

#3 posted 01-06-2012 07:20 PM

1. If the instruction suggests… – WHAT!! DAMHIKT

The reference to PVC grounding is great. Several years ago I asked an electrical engineer (who didn’t woodwork) about grounding PVC and he looked at me weird. Then he called a couple other EE over to his desk and had me repeat the question. Most smiled and one wanted to start into a dissertation on electricity. Bottom line was that there was no way to ground an insulator. They also questioned how a spark would be created inside the sealed stationary system.

Only real risk to them was a metal to metal scrapping in the fan system.


View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3628 days

#4 posted 01-06-2012 07:31 PM

”They also questioned how a spark would be created inside the sealed stationary system.”

My understanding, on THAT bit, is the rare chance that you suck up two screws, for example. At high velocities, they COULD spark, if they bang into each other.

Also true with a ferrous impeller. They aren’t all, but … I think some are. Hardware, hitting that, could spark.

BillyJ: I would LOVE the opportunity—if you could, would, and were so inclined, to see a video that showed us—for example—how fast a ShopVac sucked up a handful of shavings, compared to how fast your cyclone setup did.

No biggie, but … if you were ever bored … it might help ME get a better understanding of the difference in suction power.

-- -- Neil

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3657 days

#5 posted 01-06-2012 11:55 PM

Thanks for the additional comments. NBeener – that sounds like a good split-screen video. My point, though, was focusing on the distance covered and the CFM. Manitario talked about his chop saw being at the beginning of his run. Unfortunately, my shop set-up plans changed many times and where my DC was supposed to be originally placed was not where it finally ended up. My chop saw is attached to a small shop vac placed under the bench. The short 14” distance has less to do with diameter then the CFM of the shop vac. If, when I have nothing else to do (sure), I’ll probably sit down and recalculate everything and connect to my main DC.

Steve – I often wonder why people spend so much time worrying about the one in a million chances and avoid the monster breathing down their back. I recently read an OSHA bulletin discussing wood shop rules. Most fires in the wood industry begin with smoldering embers. Cleaning your shop at the end of the day will prevent most bad things from happening.

Along those same lines, I should probably have an anti-combustion electric motor on my finishing room vent. However, I doubt I would ever be able to replicate the inside of a piston given the size of the room (1000 cf), but anything might be possible. I’ll venture to say, though, that given the fact that the room is not hermetically sealed and the exact amount of VOC and O2 are not present (along with a spark from an ungrounded source), I doubt an explosion will occur. In the mean time, I’ll probably stick with water-based finishers anyway.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View Manitario's profile


2778 posts in 3337 days

#6 posted 01-07-2012 06:48 AM

Neil, I’ll try and post a video this weekend of a shaving sucking race between my cyclone and my shop-vac.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4700 days

#7 posted 01-09-2012 10:30 PM

Can anyone tell me if mounting the impeller part of a DC, the part that sucks, on its side would hurt the system. The actual DC that is. I’ve seen it done and wonder if it would cause problems with the DC.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3628 days

#8 posted 01-09-2012 10:30 PM



[clears throat]

WOO-HOO !!!!

I’m canceling NetFlix :-)

-- -- Neil

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 3657 days

#9 posted 01-09-2012 11:04 PM

Mike – mounting the DC on side is no problem. If you visit the Clear Vue photo gallery, there are a lot of ideas. Here is a link to a very good example. The impeller is mounted sideways and is separate from the cyclone body.

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3129 days

#10 posted 01-10-2012 12:44 AM

I agree that you can’t ground an insulator. I also read that there has never been a recorded incident of a fire from a collector in a home shop. There have been fires in commercial shops and graineries. Let me ask a question on this matter. If the PVC poses a problem, why doesn’t the Clear Vue cyclone pose a problem? Are we supposed to wrap copper wire around the Clear Vue cyclone and attach that to the motor? Another question. Why don’t we worry about the plastic hoses on our shop vacs? Makes me say hhhhmmmmm

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