Trying to save a ShopSmith DC3300 dust colletor or out it goes

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Forum topic by ohtimberwolf posted 07-01-2015 12:11 AM 9530 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ohtimberwolf's profile


1108 posts in 3590 days

07-01-2015 12:11 AM

Topic tags/keywords: shopsmith dust collector not happy dust question

I was cleaning my garage type shop and using my dust collector because the mess was mostly saw dust. I left to get a drink and when I looked back in the garage (it is closed) it looked like fog. I didn’t notice while working but the room filled up with dust coming through the top bag of the collector.

Every item was covered with a 1/16 inch coat of dust so I took the bag off and vacuumed it inside and out. There was dust piled on the top of the fan unit and up quite high in several places when I took it off. After vacuuming the bag I put pushed the gathered dust on the fan unit down into the plastic bag and put the top bag back on.

I started the collector and dust flew everywhere coating things again with a fine coat of dust even though I had my shop vac running near the top of the bag just in case to catch any dust that might come out. I expected a little dust but it just kept coming out through the bag to where I had to shut it off.

Now, I can clean my shop for the 3rd time in the morning. Not happy! My question for you all is this:
Is the bag the only thing there is to filter air on this or am I missing something. I bought it used but it looked almost like new. If this is how it filters and nothing else I’m afraid I will have to be getting a different one.

Any suggestions from you experts for this novice? larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

11 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4208 days

#1 posted 07-01-2015 12:21 AM

That is typical for many bag type dust collectors.
Older units often had 30 micron bags. That means anything smaller than 30 microns would pass through the bag.
To get rid of that cloud you were seeing you need a bag that is rated to only pass things smaller than 1 micron.
Really, 1/2 micron would be preferred but I never saw a bag rated for less than 1 micron for a home workshop collector.
If you can replace the bag with a 1 micron you will probably loose some capacity in terms of CFM. Only way to avoid that is to have a bigger bag, or multiple bags, or trash the bag and adapt the collector for a cartridge filter. The pleated cartridges increase the surface area and can work with 1/2 micron rated media.

By the way, cleaning the bag only made your problem worse. When the 30 micron bags get loaded up with dust, the “dust cake” helps to filter the smaller particles. cleaning the bag just lets everything pass through easier.

View ohtimberwolf's profile


1108 posts in 3590 days

#2 posted 07-01-2015 12:48 AM

crank49 – thanks for the info and you might know I fixed it wrong. When you speak of a cartridge filter do they make one big enough to fit on the collector and replace the bag or am I thinking wrong. Do you mean I should make something to fit a filter in the path of the hose? If you have a link to a site that I can see one I would really appreciate that. I will also see if I can find a bag of 1 micron on line.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4208 days

#3 posted 07-01-2015 02:05 AM

This is what it looks like on a Harbor Freight collector. Very popular combo.

The company that makes this one is Wynn Environmental.
Here is a link.

There are others similar made for air filters for big truck engines and I hear they are more affordable.

If you want to go the bag route, Woodcraft sells a 1 micron bag for the collector like the Harbor Freight and any of the dozens of other brands that these collectors sell under.

I just looked up the Shop Smith and see that it has a very short bag, but it might be about the same diameter.
It is just a 1/2 hp collector and is only rated for 300 CFM. That’s a little light. I don’t believe I would go to the expense of the Wynn Cartridge on that unit. However, if you can find a standard height bag with a 1 micron rating that will fit, that should make a pretty good upgrade.. At 300 CFM the finer bag should have no problem.

View shipwright's profile


8751 posts in 4035 days

#4 posted 07-01-2015 02:10 AM

Have a look at this blog . It details how I converted a larger bag filter to canister using truck air filters. They are virtually identical to DC filters, nano fibre technology, come in many sizes, and are much cheaper. While my blog deals with a bigger unit, the idea works for any DC.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

12396 posts in 4666 days

#5 posted 07-01-2015 11:24 AM

A simple solution is to vent the DC to the outside.
I live in the sticks so no neighbors to complain. If there were, I’d just rig a 35 gal waste can to accept what little dust that escapes the cyclone inside the shop.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5360 posts in 5198 days

#6 posted 07-01-2015 01:16 PM

You can get felted bags from Highland Woodworking in Atlanta.

I have ‘em on my HF collector, and they work just fine (no pun intended). Shake ‘em, don’t wash ‘em.

-- [email protected]

View ohtimberwolf's profile


1108 posts in 3590 days

#7 posted 07-01-2015 01:21 PM

Thanks guys, I think I can save it with all this info. I have a friend who has a trucking business so I might check out getting a used one and a price on a new one. larry

crank49 I checked it out and shipwright I looked at your blog. A lot help from those sites.
Gene, I just might try that if all else fails, thanks for the tip.

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2414 days

#8 posted 07-01-2015 01:21 PM

I converted my dust collector to use a Wynn nano filter on the top and a metal trash can on the bottom. Of course nothing fit, but a few pieces of MDF and some threaded rod to hold everything together.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View ohtimberwolf's profile


1108 posts in 3590 days

#9 posted 07-02-2015 10:43 AM

WoodNSawdust, gives me something to think about. Maybe a can that rolls. larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

View MyGrowthRings's profile


163 posts in 4911 days

#10 posted 07-06-2015 02:37 AM

I think what some of these fine folks have missed is the fact that this is a Shopsmith DC3300, which is built nothing like a Harbor Freight DC. My question is where is the dust exiting the unit? If it is passing though the filter hood it should be replaces with one of the replacement Shopsmith filter hoods. If it is leaking from either the point where the bag meets the blower unit or where the filter meets the blower unit this issue if in the band clamp. If it is passing through one of the joints in the blower unit you may need to replace a seal. Finally, if yours is one of the earlier units with the metal housing the plastic diverter may be disconnected, creating a direct flow of air and dust which is directed at the filter hood. I have both versions of the DC3300; one with a metal body and one with a plastic body and they have never exhibited what you are experiencing, but I did see a few of them back in my days working for SS and one of the four issues I mentioned were always the culprit. Scott

-- and

View ohtimberwolf's profile


1108 posts in 3590 days

#11 posted 07-06-2015 11:47 AM

thank you for all the info on the vac. Right now it is a non issue for me as I just sold it yesterday. I will attempt to do some homework on buying another one when the time comes.

I did notice after I agreed to sell it that when I took the plastic bag off to empty it that it had come loose in the back where I couldn’t see it. There was about a 4 inch flap open back there. Too late then! larry

-- Just a barn cat, now gone to cat heaven.

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