Dust collection ....what'd the best...

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Forum topic by Scarecrow posted 10-19-2010 05:40 AM 5070 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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63 posts in 3930 days

10-19-2010 05:40 AM

Here is the delima…I would at best say I’m a beginner wood worker…I have buit a couple of cabinets for my wife..and they must have been good enough that she allowed me to finish out the laundry room….so I am thinking of expanding my shop…a very small part of the basement …it is closed off the rest of the house…would say it’s 28×15….I’m expanding tools and whatnot…I want to get a dust collection system that will produce the least dust….I will probably be using metal 4in tubing for collection with only using one machine at a time….also want one that will be easy to dump out and changing out dirt wood chips…...I have read so many reviews….just do not know where to start….any Issas on cyclone…thanks…

-- Wish I had more to say-Just love playing in Wood

15 replies so far

View Sarit's profile


552 posts in 4192 days

#1 posted 10-19-2010 10:31 AM

You’re gonna have a lot of reading ahead of you if you really want the “best”. Bill Pentz is your guy. His website is full of the research and details on what it takes to make a system that will keep the most harmful dust out of your lungs.

Long story short, if you want a cyclone, try Clearvue Cyclones. You’ll want something like a 5 hp motor with a 15-16” impeller and 6-7” ducting to all your machines with blast gates at each. Pretty much everything you need to implement Bill’s recommendations are available from clearvue.

If you are in need of a more budget friendly option, many buy the 2HP Harbor Freight dust collector and modify them with a Thien Baffle and Wynn Environmental filters. This provides the same level of filtration, but you’ll have to move the unit to each machine because long pipe runs will kill off the cfm needed to get the most harmful microscopic dust.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 4024 days

#2 posted 10-20-2010 09:12 PM

I can’t argue the fact that a cartridge filter with .5 micron rating will catch more dust than a cloth filter bag with a 5 micron rating. If all the dust particles were 5 microns or bigger then it would not matter, but the very fine stuff, the kind that hangs in the air like fog, is down to .3 microns or smaller. That fine stuff, since it does hang in the air, is what you suck into your lungs and may some day cause permanent damage.

Having said that, there are more than one way to capture this fine stuff. I know some folks on here freak out when I say this, but I prefer to keep the bag on my dust collector, or go down to a 1 micron bag, which is cost effective, then add an air filter for the shop air. The reason is simple. Dust collectors are noisy. You won’t run it except when you are using a machine that makes dust. The shop air filters are not noisy, and they can be left running the whole time you are in the shop and even a couple hours after you leave with a timer.

Now, if you want to spend the extra money for a dust collector with cartridge filters on it that’s great. They do a good job filtering out the dust they capture, but there will still be a lot of dust generated that doesn’t get caught by the hoods and ducts on your machines. Are you going to put a hose on your hand when you are hand sanding? Would you install a hood on the top of you table saw as well as the dust port on the bottom? The point is, a shop air filter is the easiest way to catch these fugative emissions.

By the way, you do not want to run 7” pipe and then only connect a single 4” dust source to it. The pipe will fill up with dust because the 7” pipe will reduce the velocity of the dust stream by a factor of 3 to 1 if it is supplied with only a 4” connection. A 7” pipe connected to three 4” pipes would be balanced. In terms of dust collector power this would be about a 5hp system.

A 4” pipe will convey about 400 CFM at a velocity of ~4500 FPM; if you have enough fan power. You feed this flow into a 7” pipe and the velocity will drop to about 1500 FPM. Heavy dust and chips will drop out of suspension below about 2500 FPM. I was a foundry engineer, dealing with EPA bull-$-hit for over 30 years so I know a thing or two about dust.

A little 2hp collector will usually pull about 600 CFM at enough static pressure to use a couple of 4” ducts, max., regardless of what the manufacturer says it will do. The Harbor Freight 2hp unit is no exception to the laws of physics. It can, at most handle two 4” ducts; it’s better with one 4” and one 2 1/2”. If you use metal pipe, or smooth plastic pipe, and no more than 3 wide sweep elbows with a minimum of flex duct you can easily use that 2hp collector to pull dust as far as 25 to 30 feet. That’s feet of pipe, not distance from machine to collector.

Also, I agree with Sarit about the Clearview Cyclone. It’s a good machine, but might be more than needed for a small basement shop IMHO.

View Scarecrow's profile


63 posts in 3930 days

#3 posted 10-26-2010 05:33 AM

I appreciate the thoughts…I really Want the clarvue but having only doing this for a hobby not sure should invest that much money it it….but the long run is damage to the lungs…..definitely don’t want the cause that at any cost….

-- Wish I had more to say-Just love playing in Wood

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5105 days

#4 posted 10-26-2010 08:26 PM

I have a small garage shop…

The best that I have found for me is:

1. A large Rigid Shop Vac with a Dust Deputy connected in series with it (on it’s shop made carrier attached to the Vac.)

2. An extension cord to cover the general work area easily. The cord on the Vac easily covers the general area.

3. One of those switchable AC outlets for controlling routers in router tables, etc. , where the AC is plugged into the switch’s pig tail & the router is plugged into the switch & thus is switched ON/OFF from the switch.
(Similar to this...) If you watch, you can get them On Sale for about $20 or so…

4. I plugged the AC Extension cord to the switch Pig Tail, the Shop Vac into the Switch (turned off), and flipped the Shop Vac’s sw. ON… From now on, wherever the switch is, I can turn the Shop Vac ON/OFF without making a special trip to the Vac!

5. I also made a little carrier, from scraps, for the Switch… It has a Hook so I can hook over a can, etc. put over a table ledge, etc. It also has rare earth magnets to help hold it to metal objects.
On my band saw, the hook goes over the Base unit and magnets hold it securely.
On my table saw or sander, I hook it over the edge of a 25 gal. fiber drum (for scrap).

6. I find that I do not have to move the Vac very much at all… the hose gets to everything with very little effort (8-10’ hose).

7. I can now turn the Vac on/off from the band saw without taking ANY additional steps!
... maybe one step from the table saw or sander…

8. Best little Step & Time Saver I have developed!

9. AND… the Shop Vac is virtually empty all of the time with everything dropping off into the Dust Deputy 5 gal bucket (which is easier to clean than the Vac)... and the bucket is opague enough to see where the sawdust level is.

10. This is the Best for My situation… I’m convinced of it… without a doubt.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4196 days

#5 posted 10-26-2010 11:48 PM

If you end up wanting to go for the 2HP Harbor Freight one, there’s a sale coupon in the Nov 2010 Wood magazine, page 81 – normal price $249, current online price $190, coupon price $140.

View slowlearner's profile


8 posts in 3852 days

#6 posted 10-27-2010 01:23 AM

I have a question for crank49. Are you saying you use only the air filter without the dust collecter? I think this would be so much better than having to drag a dust collecter around the shop. I’m new to this also and am very curious since I just put a furnace in my shop thanks.

View brtech's profile


1118 posts in 3975 days

#7 posted 10-27-2010 02:41 AM

While my wallet would like it if it could avoid either a .5 micron filter for a DC or an air filter, the notion that you should take the fine dust out of the DC stream, shoot it into the shop, and sometime later, pick it up in the air filter just doesn’t make sense to me.

For sure the DC won’t get all the dust. But on the other hand, the air filter won’t get all the dust coming out of the DC before it gets to your lungs. You really need both.

If you only have a couple hundred dollars, the HF DC with the baffle is the best start. I think your next $100 ought to go into a .5 micron filter, and the next $300 go into an air filter. The difference between a 1 micron bag and a .5 micron Wynn single cartridge is small enough that paying for the bag doesn’t make much sense to me.

The HF DC at $140 is by far the best bang for the buck. A lot of us have them. FWW just did a review of air filters, and some of the lowest cost ones did an excellent job.

If all you have is the DC, use a respirator until you get the filter at least.

View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 4472 days

#8 posted 11-05-2010 09:40 PM

I’m sort of new to woodworking too…and bought an Oneida V3000 system. I also blew the budget with the ducting. I decided to go with Norfab ducting. This is unquestionably the best and probably the most expensive pipe and accessory parts. THe nice thing with the Norfab…first…it’s made in Syracuse, NY. secondly, all the pipe is laser welded and 22 ga. stock. the ends are “rolled edges”, and interconnect with special spring clamps. THe real beauty is at any time, ...the layout can be completely changed…kind of like leggos.
If you want photos,....I could send you some.
My bottom line was a shade over 5 grand…but I feel my lungs are worth every penny I spent. The cartridge is a hepa filter, and only very clean air is returned. If you have any questions, I’d be glad to help.


-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4285 days

#9 posted 11-05-2010 10:08 PM

It all depends on how much work you are willing to put into it, and how much money you have. My setup has been very functional, and is getting better as I go. I am using…

Central Machinery #97869 2HP Dust Collector.
Wynn 35A Spun Bond Poly filter. (The dust collector with the $139.00 coupon, and the filter combined cost less than most 1.5 – 2 HP single stage collectors without cartridge filters).
Thien cyclone separator based on a 55 gallon drum. Side inlet. I am running from the DC to the separator with 5” flex duct, and the side inlet is 5” that connects to a 5×4x4 wye that feeds into my 4” ducting system.
Grizzly G0572 Hanging Air Filter with remote.

I kept my duct as short, and as straight as possible, minimizing bends, and flex line as much as is physically possible. I opted for self cleaning blast gates from Lee Valley, but I figure regular blast gates mounted upside down will keep clean as well… All of my duct, including the 5” split duct is sealed with clear silicone sealant caulk.

I have only very recently run the hard line. Previously I had run a single 25’ 4” flex line. The ducting is making a HUGE difference!

If I had all the money to buy the toys I wanted? A 3HP 220V cyclone from JDS and full to the tool 6” ducting would be in order… And yeah, I would still go with Self cleaning blast gates.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View jerdebson's profile


3 posts in 3820 days

#10 posted 11-06-2010 07:22 PM

Hi all, thanks for all the info on this subject, also thanks to the OP for the question, I am looking too. dbhost seems to have gone the direction I am leaning. I am looking for a Wood magazine for the coupon.


View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4227 days

#11 posted 11-06-2010 07:33 PM

My setup is pretty much like dbhost’s, and I think it’s fantastic. Cheap. Works. Relatively quiet. The separator gives me a LONG time between DC bag dumps.

I have 28’ of flex hose that I run to each machine.

I also have a JDS 750 Air Filtration thingy. It, too, works great.

But … maybe my single biggest piece of equipment in THIS equation is my 3M 7500 series mask, with is P100 particulate filters and its organic vapor cartridges.

To me, they’re my first line of defense, when I’m really making the dust fly.

And … cheap—relatively speaking.

-- -- Neil

View Scarecrow's profile


63 posts in 3930 days

#12 posted 11-07-2010 03:26 AM

Hey thanks for everyones replies…..what kind of tubing everyone have for there cyclone system…thinking about 4 in…u think too small….am debating about 3 and 2 hp cyclone Oneida or jds…still up in air nut feel will be one of these…thanks agin..

-- Wish I had more to say-Just love playing in Wood

View scottfl's profile


11 posts in 1747 days

#13 posted 07-01-2016 10:30 PM

There’s a very small price difference between 2hp and 3 hp oneida cyclones. My thought is, with cost out of the way, why not go bigger?

View Sunstealer73's profile


192 posts in 3145 days

#14 posted 07-02-2016 02:45 PM

I just finished up a 3HP V3000 with 6” ductwork. I’m very happy with it. My shop is staying much cleaner and the bin is so much easier to empty than the old bags.

View RogerM's profile


807 posts in 3452 days

#15 posted 07-02-2016 03:15 PM

The Best would probably be Onedia.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

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