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Ok, everyone, quick question here: I have a small basement shop, probably about 10 ft x 20 ft (give or take a foot each way), and my current dust collection system just isn't cutting it. I have a shop vac that I roll over to each tool (band saw, miter saw, table saw, router table) and hook it up to them when using those tools. It gets some of the dust, but it seems like it doesn't have enough suction to pull it off the table before it gets airborne (I think it's a 3 hp shop-vac, but I could be wrong on that).

I bought an air filtration system because of this and mounted it on the ceiling. It certainly helps, but dust still lingers in the shop for a bit until the machine can clear it out and I'm stuck walking around with my dust mask on for quite a bit. Even then, there is a fine layer of dust that settles everywhere that I have to contend with.

Rather than relocate it or buy a second one (I don't want to spend the money, nor is there a better spot on my ceiling for it, or extra space for a second one), I'm looking for a way to catch most of the dust BEFORE it gets airborne. Keep in mind that I don't want a full-blown system, with duct work running all over the place, and I'm content with rolling something over to each tool.

Suggestions?
 

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Tough problem to solve Brian. I think basement shops are particularly hard because they typically have no way to vent to the outside. I think anyone would tell you that even the best $2000 or $3000 shop cyclones still don't even get close to catching all of the dust at the tool. In an above ground shops, it isn't as big of a deal, you can open a few windows or outside doors and the fine dust that didn't get caught at the tool will float away never to be seen again. In a basement, it just floats around until it ends up on you or the floor or your tools. I think no matter what sort of vaccum system you use, you will still have free floating dust hanging around.

So what to do? My suggestion (which may be optimistic and impossible, but nevertheless) is to get the dust collector Jim is talking about above. I have it as well and it is the best sucking power per $ out there. Try to find a way to put it outside and run the hose to the shop. Then you could just have one free-floating hose to move from tools to tool as you worked. More importantly, you could leave it on during breaks in power tool use to suck the free floating dust out. This setup would keep you from having to get an expensive filter and also eliminate the risk of any dust getting through the filter and back into the space. It would also suck free floating dust out of the basement and send it to the great outdoors.

This may be far fetched, but I have come to realize that catching all the dust with a dust collector is important, but is very closely followed by replacing the dusty shop air with clean air. The truth is that even a very well set up dust collection system in a totally unvented room will still get dusty.
 

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Your mileage may vary, but the best space saving move I made was a ducting system so the DC could stay in one place, and I don't have to make room to roll it around.
 

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I have a roll around Delta DC that works ok, the big thing is as you mentioned capturing the dust before it becomes airborne. The vacuum pressure that a shop vac can generate is much greater than most DC, but the volume of air a DC can move is much greater than most shop vacs. Dust is light compared to everything a shop vac can pick up and you need more volume to pull it in. Good dust collection also starts with how it's collected from each tool, some are set up so that dust collection can be very effective, some aren't. I had to make a box to fit very accurately behind my miter saw to effectively capture the dust generated as the bag on the back of the dust port was poor at best as many are.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you may be onto the reason, yeti….my machines are hooked up good, and the shop vac does get the bigger stuff with no problem, it's the fine dust that goes everywhere. I was thinking I needed more suction, so perhaps a bigger, actual dust collector would be better, something that pulls in a greater amount of air. I'lll look into that avenue.
 

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I don't know about your area, but in mine the HF DC's can be found on CL from time to time. However, if you get the sale price and % off at HF, you may not save much on CL. I got mine on CL and saved about $50.

Do note that if you buy the HF, you will want to replace the bags. I went for the clear plastic lower bags and a 1 micron upper bag before I eventually went to a Thien baffle and venting it outside. The OEM filter bag is 5 microns and will let out some fine dust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I actually have been looking at the HF system and comparing it to what I can get locally. I think I'm probably going to go that route, it seems like it moves more CFM than anything I can get locally, and it's price isn't bad.
 

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There are several wall mounted DC's that might fit your requirements. Grizzly also makes one. 650 CFM is nothing to smirk at.

Combined with a cyclone I would think you have a good solution.

Just use a length of flex hose to attach.

Definitely hand on and use your air cleaner. Those filter bags are not very good.

With a cyclone you could vent outside - is this a possibility for you?

Good luck!
 

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My Thien collector is efficient enough at this point that I just have it vented outside without a collector.
 

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Well, I can't really put a collector or a box outside the house, either, we have plants and shrubs around the foundation that would prevent that, and my wife has spent a lot of time and effort (and money, lol) to make it look nice. I doubt she'd go for a collection box or some such thing out among them. So yeah, something that would have to stay in the basement.

I should clarify, that the size of the shop area isn't the entire size of the basement….there's two other rooms down there, one is about the same size as the shop area and it has the water heater and furnace in it, along with water faucet and floor drain.

The other room is smaller, probably about 8'x8' and that's where we stores stuff like christmas decorations, and so on. If push came to shove, I could buy the harbor freight collector (or whatever system I end up getting) and put it in that room, and run a hose through the wall out into the shop, I just don't want to have to be putting ductwork all over the place and running it along the walls or ceiling, because I'm not dead-set on my shop layout just yet (I may move something, in other words) and don't want the hassle of having to move ducts later on. Not saying I won't ever put up ducting, just not yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Also, I do have space in the shop area for something the size of the HF collector. So space right now isn't a factor. It might be an issue later on, as I expand my shop and get other tools (i'm looking at getting a planer and a jointer, but I think that may be about it).
 
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