Advice needed for small shop dust collection... what is best choice under $1000?

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Forum topic by agfrag posted 10-29-2015 03:33 AM 4733 views 1 time favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 1490 days

10-29-2015 03:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection small 1000 help

Ok, I have been agonizing over what dust collection equipment to buy for too long now, so I am asking for recommendations. I have read as many posts as I could find here, spent hours reading specs, and of course Youtube fun too.

My shop in the basement is in the same room as my furnace, water heater, a refrigerator, the basement stairs, my 12 by 10 ft “music studio”, my Zenbot 24×48 CNC router, my Rikon 14 inch Deluxe band saw, my 6×48 Grizzly vertical sander, my drill press, and my 36×72 inch work bench, and two storage racks, and a bunch of basses and their cases, and a 60×30 inch metal school table. The whole room is 18 feet wide by 30 feet deep. The ceiling is 7 feet tall. And everyone in my family is tired of listening to my old Craftsman 16 gallon 2.5 Peak hp shop vac run for hours on the CNC stuff.

I don’t have much space…
And I need something quiet…
And I don’t have a wall to hang anything on…
And with the furnace ductwork under the 7 foot ceiling, it has to be short!

But I got about $1000 coming in soon.

Any suggestions would be very much appreciated!

35 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3509 days

#1 posted 10-29-2015 04:33 AM

Unfortunately, small and powerful and quiet are three things that almost never happen together.
You can usually find any two of those properties without the other one.
So, you an have small and powerful, but it will be loud.
Or, you might find powerful and quiet, but it will be large.
I would probably go for a 2hp Harbor Freight dust collector combined with a shop air filter.
The filter can run all the time you are in the shop and has a very low power requirement and is low noise.
The collector is designed to fit through a standard door so it is less than 7 ft tall.
If you shop carefully you can get both of these items for less than $500 and that leaves you with $500 to spend on a Fein or Dewalt dust extractor. These three tools will handle about any thing you need.
Use the extractor for sanding, routing, and sawing.
Use the collector for planeing, jointing and big sawing.
Then run the filter all the time.

View Robert's profile


3555 posts in 2019 days

#2 posted 10-29-2015 12:21 PM

Dittos on what crank ^ said. Excellent suggestions.

I would only add that you need to check the furnace and/or air handler make sure it is well sealed or build a closet around it to keep dust from getting into your central house system.

BTW if you can get hold of a coupon the HF dc is on sale right now.
Also be aware a 120V motor that size it will need its own circuit (personally I would change motor to 240).

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bearkatwood's profile


1808 posts in 1550 days

#3 posted 10-29-2015 01:15 PM

That reminds me of the saying,

Done well,
Done quick,
Done cheap,
Pick two.

Getting it all just doesn’t happen.
You can find many dust collectors for under $1,000. The really expensive part is the piping and blast gates.

-- Brian Noel

View tomsteve's profile


975 posts in 1757 days

#4 posted 10-29-2015 01:37 PM

maybe think about a sound proofed closet for the dc.

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 1715 days

#5 posted 10-29-2015 01:58 PM

I have the expanded HF dc with the Wynn filter and the super dust deputy plastic cyclone. If you were closer I would offer to sell it to you and use the money to buy a more powerful dc. As Brian said there is a real expense to the piping and blast gates especially if you want anything bigger than 4 inch.

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

View agfrag's profile


7 posts in 1490 days

#6 posted 10-29-2015 02:28 PM

Interesting suggestions. I don’t see myself installing ducting or blast gates though, I need everything to be as portable as possible, I cannot do two things at once, all my stuff except the drill press (which I forgot to mention) is on wheels, even the CNC setup. And I also forgot to mention I do have a home made 3 filter air scrubber.

Also, I don’t have a problem wiring the AC. I just installed a backup generator panel, and my main panel is actually in the shop!

One thing I’ve always wondered about is why is it there are no horizontal dust collectors? It would be great to be able to have say a system with ~1200CFM and maybe ~10 inch lift that would fit under my CNC machine. The area under it is about 3 ft by 5 ft by 2 1/2 feet and is completely wasted, I just have a shelf under it for hose storage.

But I see most dust collectors use gravity to great advantage, thus we see vertical systems, not horizontal ones.

View agfrag's profile


7 posts in 1490 days

#7 posted 10-29-2015 03:21 PM

Seems many people mod the HF 2hp. I was going to stay away from it after buyiing the smaller one with the 30 micron bag, 650 cfm wasn’t pulling hardly any dust, even with the stock 30 micron bag, and the quality of the unit I got was questionable, I had a bit of bolt tightening and straightening work to do to get it right. But, one thing I really liked was it is really quiet, about 71 dbA by my meter.

How does the HF 2hp compare noise wise? For my budget witht eh HF 2HP on sale right now for $209.99, I can afford some pretty intense modding I suspect! Like a cannister filter on top from Wynn and an internal baffle of somekind.

View agallant's profile


551 posts in 3425 days

#8 posted 10-29-2015 03:40 PM

I don’t remember my HF being all that loud in my 16X18 shop

View a1Jim's profile


117746 posts in 4115 days

#9 posted 10-29-2015 03:40 PM

I would suggest having your DC outside ,DC and open flames on water heaters and furnaces could be an explosive combination. Build a small little shed house. outside and run the ducting inside,this will also eliminate the need of having to have to modify the filtration. HF units work great and you can use HF’s 20% off coupon to lower the price even more.

View Notw's profile


732 posts in 2292 days

#10 posted 10-29-2015 03:45 PM

Even though I have done a lot of “mods” to my harbor freight dust collector and it works well for me, I think if I had a $1k budget I might have to look real hard at the new jet cyclone dust collectors. They start at $1049 which is a bit high but i think it would be worth it. I am thinking about swapping my Thein collector out for a cyclone, if you are interested in my setup check out my blog.

View Holbs's profile


2249 posts in 2568 days

#11 posted 10-30-2015 01:30 AM

Yep…single canister dust collection enclosed with sound absorption material (you know..the triangular stuff you see in sound rooms to break up the high frequencies) built around knock down walls. That will “help” with motor whining. A single 6” HVAC main feed to get over to the general area of your machines (since you already have HVAC there already). Possibly more sound absorption material along the ceiling here and there. Can pick up the HF one or see what’s around on craigslist (I picked up my 3HP dual bag grizzly for $250). Should not cost more than $500. Or as Jim says… DC outside (which I just might do this coming summer).

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter "xylokopos/ξυλοκὀπος"

View agfrag's profile


7 posts in 1490 days

#12 posted 10-30-2015 01:39 AM

Notw, I read your blog. I am curious, why didn’t you place the impeller/motor assembly right on top of your separator? Was it for access or was it for some other reason?

And thanks all for the suggestions, but ducting outside or building a shed is prohibited locally, and I live next to one policeman, and back up to another, and don’t wish to push my luck… I get feedback already from the bass playing I do!

View nerdbot's profile


97 posts in 1900 days

#13 posted 10-30-2015 02:26 AM

Perhaps it’s just my particular 2HP HF DC but mine is about as loud as my 12 gallon 5.5HP shop vac. I was a little disappointed since I heard real dust collectors are much quieter than shop vacs. I even broke out a cheapo decibel meter and just a few quick tests showed them to be roughly the same.

The other day while at a woodworking demo, I noticed a Jet DC was pretty quiet – I was sitting pretty close to it and I could still hear the instructor. Granted – it may have been a smaller DC and the room was much bigger than my garage, but it still made me wonder.

View nerdbot's profile


97 posts in 1900 days

#14 posted 10-30-2015 02:27 AM

Just checked out Jet’s website – looks like it was a 1HP DC, so that may have been the difference.

View MT_Stringer's profile


3183 posts in 3769 days

#15 posted 10-30-2015 02:55 AM

I have the HF DC in my one car garage. The filter is one from Wynn Environmental. I also have a 30 gallon drum upstream of the fan with a Thein separator inside it.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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