Dust collection advice needed

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Forum topic by Alongiron posted 01-19-2011 02:47 PM 4451 views 2 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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654 posts in 3660 days

01-19-2011 02:47 PM

Here it is guys. I have a 24×16 shop as you can see in the pictures. I have purchased a 1 HP dust collector for low dollars ($50) my shop is ready for a dust collection system. Here is the problem….. I do not have the first clue on how to get started! I thought about running 4” PVC around the top of the walls with drops at each of the tools. One run down the 24’ north wall, One run down the 24’ south wall, One run down the 16’ east wall and tie it all in to the dust collection at the end of my table by the mortising machine. I need some advise so that I do not mess this up. Please share any thoughts that you may have on my project. Thank you very much! Steve



-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

34 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4015 days

#1 posted 01-19-2011 04:23 PM

Very nice shop.
I have similar shop and I have a 2HP Harbor freight dust collector.
I believe that your 1HP will not be enough.
I strongly suggest that you go buy a 2HP for around $139.00 after discount before you do anything else as the size/capacity of your Dc will decide of many other things in your installation.
May be this is not what you wanted to hear bu this is the best advice I have for you.
In addition, if you make a search on the forum you will find a tons of already existing posts about this very subject.
I suggest that you begin by reading them as I believe that you will the answers to most of your questions.

-- Bert

View Alongiron's profile


654 posts in 3660 days

#2 posted 01-19-2011 04:33 PM

Thanks Bert

That is what I needed to hear. Do you think if i purchased that 2 hp DC I could run 4” runs through out the shop?


-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4041 days

#3 posted 01-19-2011 04:42 PM

My shop is about the same size (17’ x 22’). I use the rockler dust right system with the expandable hose. I have ports on 7 machines and a downdraft sanding box. It is connected to a 2hp DC. I can very quickly move the hose from one port to another and the travel distance from port to the DC is usually shorter than it would be with built in tubes. I like the system a lot.

Note – I ran a hose from one remotely located machine to a more convenient location and put the port at that location. It makes moving the hose even easier. All my ports are conveniently located and relatively close to each other.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4141 days

#4 posted 01-19-2011 04:50 PM


I’ve been trying to learn about dust collection, myself, lately.

There IS a lot to know.

My advice is to start by spending a few minutes on Bill Pentz's website.

It starts with what machines you have, and the CFM they need for adequate dust collection. It moves from there to duct sizing. It moves from there to static pressure losses. It moves from there to calculating the type/performance of DC you need.

If it were me (and it is/was), I WOULD start (and DID start) with the HF 2HP DC, and run a hose from machine to machine. If you start plumbing, and you’ve done it wrong … you might be sorry, later.

I say … do it once and do it right, and—until then—spend the $139 and run a hose …. WHILE you learn the fundamentals of dust collection—a fairly big bite to take :-)

Good luck !

-- -- Neil

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4015 days

#5 posted 01-19-2011 05:01 PM

As I said I have a 2HP HF. Everyone who has one loves it.
I am in my shop for several months and I just begin to know where I want each tool/machine to be.
So Niel’s advice is good, go buy a 2HP DC at Hf and also buy their hose/gate kit for around $59.00 then at first use a hose to decide where you want each machine to be and then and only then think about building a permanent ducting.
4” will be fine for what you want to do.
Contrary to what you will read PVC or ABS piping will also be fine.
Read and Read and Read about the subject so that you will be familiar with it and able to decide what is best for you.
I hope this helps.

-- Bert

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4921 posts in 4015 days

#6 posted 01-19-2011 05:10 PM

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4199 days

#7 posted 01-19-2011 05:14 PM

I have to chime in here. On the HF DC, I own one as well. There is a REALLY good reason folks swap over a Wynn cartridge filter on these DCs, the 5 micron rating on the filter bag is dangerously coarse. The Wynn cartridge is 99.9% at 1 micron, and just barely below that at .5 microns. Not to mention it really lets the DC breathe very well…

As a bare minimum I would…

#1. Get the HF 2HP Dust Collector $139.00 coupon and get that DC… #2. Get a Wynn 35A cartridge. The rating methodologies for the different media types is a little confusing, but to boil it down to soup & nuts, I wanted a fine filter I could wash out and re-use. Dick Wynn suggested I go with the Spun Bond Poly. $165.00 to my door. Worth every penny and then some…. Far less than the new PSI filters that are out there for sure! #3. Build and install a Thien Baffle in the inlet ring of the DC to separate the junk from the filter, so that only a little bit of the finest stuff gets to the filter in the first place. If the filter isn’t plugged, it’s flowing well and picking up dust right? (Go to Phil’s site, and fish around in his forums, there are a LOT of examples of the HF 2HP DC with the baffle installed…) #4. Run a short hose machine to machine, and simply wheel the DC around to where you are working. Takes longer on the setup, but less hose means less restriction, means more air flow, and better performance.

THEN go to Bill Pentz’ site and melt your skull on all that engineering information. Excellent information there, but it is a LOT of very technical stuff and hard to take in all at once…

A word of caution, that Ridgid OSS works great, but dust collection on that one is tough, not as bad as a miter saw, but tough still… I have been thinking about a big gulp hood for going behind mine to help out the OE port… The belt throws dust faster than the extraction port can pull it away…

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View rieferman's profile


39 posts in 3658 days

#8 posted 01-19-2011 05:18 PM

This is just my opinion on boiling this topic down to an understandable summary level. I’m not an expert that will argue cfm, static pressure, velocity, etc. etc. etc.

When I was researching this, I found that there’s so much information out there that it gets overwhelming in a hurry. Bill Pentz’s website is amazing, but it’s very detailed and can (quite frankly) be intimidating.

If you want “boy in a bubble” perfect air quality: 6” pipe, blast gates at each machine, cyclone, huge dust collector (aka… clearvue or similar), quality filter (Wynn) OR vent outside.

If you’re willing to wear a respirator and still have to sweep up to some degree (but not much), and you’re the typcial small hobby shop: 4” PVC, blast gates at each machine, thien baffle separator (google it for countless examples), 2 hp blower of some sort (and many will choose the harbor freight model based on price, the longstanding good reviews, and the fact that it looks like they came off the same factory run as the expensive models by different names), quality filter (Wynn) OR vent outside. In reality, I’ve been in a lot of shops with setups like this that are working just great.

Regarding pipe runs… avoid lots of 90 degree bends that kill air flow. Place the DC such that the runs are as short as possible.

Cyclone vs. thien baffle, and venting inside or outside. A cyclone or thien baffle is in place to separate out most dust and chips in an effort to save the filter from becoming clogged. Both work for this purpose, but the cyclone will work a bit better (for a lot more cost) but both are good solutions. However, if you’re venting outside (rather than inside through a good filter) who cares? Save the money and build the baffle. The microscopic stuff will dissipate in the air anyways.

If you’re venting outside, make sure there’s a way for makeup air to get into your shop. Also, you’ll hear about “sending your heated air out of the building”... Really, the thermal mass of the objects in the room will allow your space to heat up again in a hurry, so it’s not that big of a deal. And, in most hobby shops, the DC isn’t running for hours continuously. Me? I vent outside.

Keep the extra DC you bought, it can be used for a nice downdraft table.

Good luck! Again, I’m no expert, but hopefully a plain english summary was helpful.

edit: I’ve read TONS of info from dbhost (see post above that snuck in just ahead of mine).. and found all of it to be very reasonable and helpful. SO, THANKS DBHOST :)

-- New to woodworking, old to barn fixin'

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4741 days

#9 posted 01-19-2011 06:23 PM

Great looking shop. I have a 2HP cyclone unit in my 14 X 21 shop. If you go to the second page of my blogs and look at the blog “Dust Collection In”. It will give you information on the installation and what duct work and equipment I used. Your 1HP unit might be a little lite. If you call Penn State Industries and tell them the size of your shop, equipment you have, they can tell you what you need. Good luck.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View brunob's profile


2277 posts in 5136 days

#10 posted 01-19-2011 06:30 PM

I have a 2 hp Grizzly. The pipe around the ceiling is 6” galvanized duct pipe. The drops are 4” with a blast gate on each.

-- Bruce from Central New, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View Alongiron's profile


654 posts in 3660 days

#11 posted 01-19-2011 07:32 PM

Thanks everyone for the great advise. I can see I will have to take some time to think this through to find out what is best for my shop. I will keep you’all posted!


-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

View rpete's profile


54 posts in 3982 days

#12 posted 01-19-2011 10:01 PM

This may be a dumb question but where are you guys finding a HF coupon for $139 dust collector?

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3660 days

#13 posted 01-19-2011 10:12 PM

I’ve got a 2HP connected to the cheap man’s galvanized trashcan cyclone. Works great. I have a TINY shop and a 1 HP did little for my dirtiest machines. The 2HP sucks harder than Kim Basinger’s “Cellular”. I’ve yet to run it overhead & have 4 inch hoses criss-crossing the shop. I guess you could say that I have little to add to the debate aside from don’t forget to ground properly. Good luck.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4015 days

#14 posted 01-19-2011 10:23 PM

look in magazines or on the Internet for the coupon
This one is expired but my store still accept them. May be look for a newer one.

-- Bert

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 4125 days

#15 posted 01-19-2011 10:54 PM

Pete: Look in the back of a current Wood Magazine issue. There is usually a $139 coupon for said DC unit. It’s a better value than the 20% coupon, which you should use instead on HF linkbelts, a stationary belt sander, a digital caliper, a lathe, or some other HF goodie.

-- jay,

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