Small shop dust collection recommendations...please

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Blog entry by HuntleyBill posted 12-14-2009 07:21 PM 6930 reads 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have a small shop in my basement. I am reading on LJ about the importance of air filtration/dust collection.
In my shop I have a small table saw, radial arm saw, router table, surface planer, scroll saw, band saw, and various power hand tools.

Right now, I am using my shop vac as my collection unit and I feel it is not addiquite as my shop is pretty dusty. I have a air filtration unit I built hanging from the ceiling and it is collectiong dust, but if it is collecting dust, that means the dust is in the air and I am breathing it ( not to mention it drifting all over the rest of the basement). The shop does not have a window.

I need help from all you good folks about a dust collection systems. Which one would you recommend? I am reading a lot of posts about the Jet DC 1100, Jet 1200 etc. I am a dust collection system moron. I need something that will adequitely clean the dust on the machines mentioned ( and additional tools as I get them ), that can run on 110 VAC.

Of course, I am not rich so I’d like to keep things resonable however, I want to keep my lungs clean!

What units would you recommend?

Thank you

-- If you think you can, or think you can't...your right!

16 comments so far

View Jim's profile


98 posts in 3571 days

#1 posted 12-14-2009 07:40 PM

When my son-in-law was in school they used one of these when they went on location to work on projects.

2 HP Industrial 5 Micron Dust Collector . Harbor Freight Tools sells them.

He said that it is easy to move from one machine to another and it works really well. I am going to pick one up for my garage shop.

-- Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity….

View HuntleyBill's profile


123 posts in 3570 days

#2 posted 12-14-2009 07:50 PM

I was hoping to set it in the corner and run duct work to each machine. I wonder how this unit would work for that? Thank you for the info.

-- If you think you can, or think you can't...your right!

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6627 posts in 3675 days

#3 posted 12-14-2009 07:53 PM

Greetings HuntlyBill : You didn’t say how big your shop is, so I’m presuming you need a good d.c. system. The Jet d.c. is a good system. A lot of the guys on here use them. I would go with a 1200 cfm(get the largest your budget will allow). The more cfm’s the better. I have a Delta 50-580 with 1200 cfm, and my shop is a 40’ x 50’, and it has no problem handling the dust and chips. It is also 110 vac. You need to run a main trunk line from the d.c (usually 4” is the norm, but you can go bigger) to each machine to capture the dust and chips at their source. I’m guessing you have 4” connections at the machines. Run drop lines to each one(or on the floor,which ever you prefer). Install blast gates at each machine so you can close one off, and open another. The planer and jointer are the 2 worst chip makers in a shop. I’ve had my Delta for about 10 years, and it’s a good one. But there are some good ones on the market today that do a good job. Get the biggest one you can—you won’t regret it in the end. Hope this has helped a little. Keep on keeping on. Rick.

-- " The secret to staying young looking.....hang around old people.." R.D.

View Jim's profile


98 posts in 3571 days

#4 posted 12-14-2009 08:33 PM

It is rated at 1550 CFM so I would think that it would work fine as a stationary unit. The casters just make it portable.

I’m not sure how soon you’re looking to buy but I’ll be getting mine in a few weeks. If you haven’t purchased by then I’ll give you my two cents worth on the unit.

-- Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity….

View rustfever's profile


773 posts in 3790 days

#5 posted 12-14-2009 08:53 PM
Before you spend any money, do a bit of on-line research. Go to Bill Pentz’s web site and read up on air filtration, dust collection, and the equipment required to do it correctly.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View dbhost's profile


5772 posts in 3712 days

#6 posted 12-14-2009 08:55 PM

The Harbor Freight #97869 linked above is the DC I use. There is a coupon in Wood Magazine and several others not too long ago that should be good until the end of january for that DC for $139.00. Combine that with a Wynn 35A Cartridge Filter, if you can spring the extra for the nano fiber model, it’s worth it. It’s not washable like the Spun bond, but it “releases” captured dust easier, and offers a much greater amount of surface area, and air flow than either the spun bond, or the paper blend…

Add a Thien Cyclone to the system either by installing the baffle in the inlet ring , which offers the advantage of no hit to air flow, and less floor space used in the shop, or as a pre-separator which offers the advantage of easier to change dust bin, MUCH larger dust bin capacity, keeping debris like cutoffs, and metal out of the impeller. I sacrificed floor space for a pre separator myself.

There are dust collector models out there with 1 micron bags that run for within $10.00 of the HF DC / Wynn combo, but none with 1 or .5 micron canisters. And the canister filter is IMHO tremendously important for filtration and air flow.

Now having said that, IF I had nothing but money, I would spend it on a REALLY nice cyclone….

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View Stewy's profile


33 posts in 3571 days

#7 posted 12-14-2009 09:03 PM

I agree with Rustfever or at least read Bill’s site, I would also have or make a small cyclone to work with a portable DC unit as the cyclone will keep most of the chips and dust out of your filters so the unit will keep operating at max CFM , as soon as the bags get coated with dust the CFM drops off fast. There are some Jocks
that have built the cyclones or you can buy one for Rockler. They sell a small on that fits on a 5 gal bucket or you can adapt it to what size container you want. The fine dust is the killer!!!!

-- Dennis in Iowa "You can have 30 years experiance or 1 year 30 times!!!!"

View Jimi_C's profile


507 posts in 3715 days

#8 posted 12-15-2009 12:54 AM

The HF is by far the best value, just remember it requires a 20A line. I’m still waiting to get my hooked up in my garage…

-- The difference between being defeated and admitting defeat is what makes all the difference in the world - Upton Sinclair, "The Jungle"

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 4011 days

#9 posted 12-15-2009 02:52 AM

I use a mini gorilla in my small shop.It is awesome

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3589 days

#10 posted 12-15-2009 02:25 PM

I have a basement shop as well. Penn State Industry’s dust collection systems had some good writeups in Wood Magazine. After Christmas, I am thinking about picking up this model. I can’t afford a cyclone system and I like the dual port. This would allow me to keep one dedicated to the tablesaw and the other to the less used tools.

I hope you find the system that suits you.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View HuntleyBill's profile


123 posts in 3570 days

#11 posted 12-15-2009 05:11 PM

OK…I bought the HF collector. Now, where do I get all the hoses, couplers etc. I know I can get the PVC piping from Home Depot. Rockler is kind of expensive with thier stuff.

Thank you ALL for your feedback.

After you let me know where I can get all the plumbing accesories, I will invite you all over to help me hook it up :-) I got the pizza!

-- If you think you can, or think you can't...your right!

View Jim's profile


98 posts in 3571 days

#12 posted 12-15-2009 05:34 PM

Do you have a local HarborFreight in your town or did you have to have it delivered?

Here’s a linke to the HarborFreight dust collection items.

-- Artificial Intelligence is no match for Natural Stupidity….

View PurpLev's profile


8551 posts in 4129 days

#13 posted 12-15-2009 05:52 PM

congrats on the purchase – it’s one of HF gem units, it gets really good reviews! you can upgrade it with a better canister filter as well which will give you better filteration and higher suction power.

flex. hoses I get from Rockler – everyonce in a while they’ll have a sale on the 4” flex hose. as for PVC – home depot, menards, and sewer supply stores will carry those. if you go with PVC, than the ASTM-2729 is the better pipes as they are lighter, and cost less than the other options.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4468 days

#14 posted 12-15-2009 06:11 PM

Good deal.

I went with PVC to every machine. You may have to mess with some adapting when you go to 4” flex hose but it’s not that big of a deal.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3601 days

#15 posted 12-16-2009 11:21 PM

I have a small Jet DC that I put a cylone before to filter out the larger chips from the jointer and planer. This seems to work pretty well for me. It’s small enough to move from tool to tool as needed and seems to have the CFM to keep dust down pretty well.

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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