Keep children and animals away from the ports!

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Review by Manitario posted 10-30-2011 08:35 PM 11381 views 4 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Keep children and animals away from the ports! Keep children and animals away from the ports! No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Finally, after many months of moving, new shop set, starting a new job, etc. I have got my Clearvue Cyclone up and running. I’ll run through a bit of my decision process leading to my purchase, then the installation, and finally its performance.

Decision I had an average setup; a 1.5hp canister DC connected to a short run of 6” pipe with 4” flex hose drops to each machine. The setup worked well to capture the chips from the jointer and planer, collect the shavings from the TS cabinet, and catch about 50% of the MS sawdust. What I wanted was the ability to improve my MS dust capture, and be able to have two 4” ports open at once (for the 2×4” ports on the bandsaw and the 4” port on the TS blade guard) without a huge hit to the suction. As well, my new shop would be almost twice the size, which would require longer duct runs, and the corresponding increase in DC capacity.

My starting point was a rough layout for the new shop; deciding where the tools would go, gave me a starting point for figuring out duct runs. This in turn allowed me to roughly calculate the amount of static pressure for the ducting. I calculated the maximum static pressure the DC would have to handle at the end of the longest duct run (convenient calculator on Bill Pentz’s site). This number gave me a starting point in deciding how large of a DC I needed.
My target CFM was at least 800 at the maximum static pressure for my ducting system. Basically all major DC manufacturers had cyclone units that fit these specs. Without going into exhaustive detail of what I thought the pros/cons of each DC was, I narrowed my list to the Clearvue CV1800 or Penn State Industries 3.5HP Tempest. Some of my reasons for excluding Oneida, JDS, Grizzley were price/filter size/poor specs etc. In the end I went with Clearvue as the cyclone had slightly better higher CFM.

Most DC manufactures have some sort of graph that plots CFM vs. static pressure. This was the most important data in trying to decide on a new DC.

The Clearvue Experience The cyclone unit was shipped promptly, but there was a several week delay in shipping the filters as the supplier (Wynn Environmental) had some manufacturing “issues”. Unfortunately, the cyclone unit arrived broken and missing one of the pieces needed for setup. Clearvue quickly sent me a new unit and the missing piece though, and I was able to begin the long installation process. Theoretically, the cyclone could be installed over a weekend. It was relatively easy to assemble, and most of the instructions were straight forward (other than a poorly written section on installing the impeller). Installation is labour intensive though, all the parts must be assembled and the joints caulked. As well, I’d read a lot about how loud it was, and elected to build a closet to put it in to cut down on the noise. The other assembly issue is that the cyclone doesn’t come with a dust collection bin. The instructions have a detailed explanation about using a metal trash can for this; the space that I was installing the cyclone into would not accommodate the height of a trash can, so I ended up using a 30 gallon fiberboard drum. There is an great online community of CV owners on the Clearvue website where I got a lot of good ideas and help for installation.

Performance The first time I started it, the cyclone sounded like a jet engine. I was impressed and frightened by how loud and powerful it seemed, and hesitant to put my hand too close to the intake. My cheap sound meter measured it at 95 decibels 10 ft away with the door to the closet open, and 88 with the door closed (the closet is insulated with 3 1/2” of “Safe and Sound” soundproofing insulation and 1” of sound dampening foam). Overall, I’m extremely pleased with how well it performs. With the 4” cabinet port and the 4” Shark Guard on my TS I get close to zero sawdust ejected. As well, with a simple enclosure around my MS with a 6” port, the dust capture is > 90%.

Overall I’m happy with my choice, but I did have moments during the installation where I’d wished I’d bought the Penn State cyclone and not had to do so much of the installation myself. The upside to installing it yourself is that there is a lot of flexibility to the configuration of the DC (again, the forums on the CV website offer some interesting alternate installation examples). I would buy CV again, after using it for awhile I can’t imagine having a DC that performs better. Update: Here are a few pics of the DC hood setup I made for the MS. It looks like crap, but it works fairly well. It was a challenge trying to design something that would accomodate the rails on the SCMS. The advantage to the small 8 1/2 Makita MS is that its small footprint allows me to move the DC port in closer to the saw. Currently the port is 6” but I’m thinking of changing the port to 4” and adding a 2nd port to the back of the hood to improve air flow.

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

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3692 days

13 comments so far

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3983 days

#1 posted 10-30-2011 08:38 PM


Great closet. Great DC system. Great write-up. Nice job !

From the first pic … that thing make margaritas ???

Lucky dawg…..

-- -- Neil

View woodsmithshop's profile


1414 posts in 4355 days

#2 posted 10-30-2011 08:56 PM

I have had a Clearvue for a couple of years now, one of the best decisions I have made for the shop.

-- Smitty!!!

View Fuzzy's profile


298 posts in 4797 days

#3 posted 10-31-2011 01:24 AM

I know what you mean about the “JET ENGINE” scenario … I fired mine up once … then moved it into the attic … took a bit more “engineering”, but in the long, run, it works GREAT !!!

-- - dabbling in sarcasm is foolish … if you’re not proficient at it, you end up looking stupid … ... ...

View mondak's profile


71 posts in 3210 days

#4 posted 10-31-2011 04:00 PM

Your closet is almost a dead ringer to mine. I built 2×4 frame and used 3-1/2” fiber insulation and covered it with OSB. if I remember correctly, it took the db’s from the high 90’s down into the mid 70’s.
From jet engine noise down to being able to carry on a conversation.
I have had mine for about 4 years and if it were to quit me…..I’d purchase another one immediately.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 4608 days

#5 posted 11-01-2011 12:51 AM

i have one on the other side of the wall from my shop in a structure I spray foamed to keep the noise down.. works well

-- making sawdust....

View longboarder's profile


29 posts in 4074 days

#6 posted 11-01-2011 08:19 PM

Do you have some kind of return air coming in to the closet. How is motor being cooled if needed.

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 3710 days

#7 posted 11-02-2011 05:13 AM

Thank you for the useful and detailed report of your experience. I decided to go with a 5 HP Oasis portable one-stage system. It will be used as a stationary unit with 4” PVC carefully intalled around the shop ceiling. I’ll report back after intalling everything this weekend and then using it for a couple of weeks.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3692 days

#8 posted 11-04-2011 05:16 AM

Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Longboarder; the thing attached to the closet in the second pic is the air return; there is a duct inside the closet that runs from near the ceiling to the floor, then through a series of sound baffles. Paul: if you have 5hp why just use 4” duct? You’re basically killing off your CFM; not even 5HP will be able to make up for the reduction in airflow.

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

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 3710 days

#9 posted 11-04-2011 01:35 PM

Thanks Manitario. You raise a good point and I have even wondered whether I would burn up the motor. I am not an air flow physicist, but I have guessed that running twin parallel 4” PVC would be easier (i.e. it fits in my ceiling trusses), cheaper ($9.00 per 10-foot section at Lowe’s down the street), and just easier to work with. I did one simple calculation: the combined cross sectional area of two 4” pipes is almost the same as that of one 6” pipe. My drum sander has two 4” ports, so that’s what made me think of the twin 4” system. This may not work. I really don’t know, but I will pass along to the LJ community any lessons—good or bad—that I might learn.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3692 days

#10 posted 11-04-2011 05:22 PM

Paul, I agree with you that 2×4” pipes are almost the same as 6” in cross section. The issue though, is that by using 2×4” pipes you are increasing the friction ie. the static pressure of your system by almost 30% more than if you just used a 6” pipe. The efficiency of your system is dependant on the amount of friction it faces, which is partially related to pipe diameter; this is related to the amount of pipe wall the air is exposed to; for example if you used 9×1” pipes you would have the equivalent cross sectional area of one 6” pipe. However, the amount of pipe side wall the air would be exposed to in 9×1” pipes would be much greater than compared with just using one 6” pipe. Therefore, the friction in this system would be much greater and the efficiency and CFM much less. As I mentioned, 2×4” pipes increases the amount of cross sectional diameter and therefore the friction of the system by 30%. A 30% increase in friction leads to higher static pressure = poor CFM.
My 2 cents is that if you are going through the time, effort and expense of putting in a dedicated DC system with a powerful DC, do it right the first time!

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

View thebigvise's profile


191 posts in 3710 days

#11 posted 11-04-2011 07:30 PM

Thanks, Manitario, for even more specific information. I have not attempted to do the quantitative analysis, but your numbers make perfect qualitative sense to me. My hope is that I can get away with 4” pipe in the context of: (1) the 5 HP blower (2) smooth interior walls of PVC (3) minimal changes in direction and (4) minimal total length of runs. The acid test will be actual use in my shop. Anyway, I am committed to a 4” system with pipe and fittings currently piled up on my shop floor. Give me a couple of weeks to get up and running and I’ll see how it goes. Again, thank you.

-- Paul, Clinton, NC

View Dan Roth's profile

Dan Roth

2 posts in 3155 days

#12 posted 01-23-2012 12:54 AM

Hi Rob, I am considering options for a new DC and was interested in your review of the ClearVue 1800. Are you still happy with it? What are the outside dimensions of the closet that you built?

View Manitario's profile


2816 posts in 3692 days

#13 posted 01-23-2012 02:07 AM

Hi Dan, Yep, I’m still glad I bought it; it has really transformed my ww experience; I was at the point where I was thinking about wearing a dust mast, which is really uncomfortable; having the DC has eliminated the majority of dust from my shop. The closet is 40×50” although I wish that I would have made it larger.

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

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