(Very) small shop dust collection

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Forum topic by Charliefreak posted 11-15-2017 09:07 PM 3317 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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19 posts in 805 days

11-15-2017 09:07 PM

I’m trying to work out the best approach to dust collection for a very small basement woodshop (approx 12’ x 12’)

I’m considering:
shop vac + dust deputy
dust extractor (i.e. higher-end shop vac) (possibly + dust deputy)
fixed one-stage dust collector – probably wall-mounted?

I probably won’t rig up a full static extraction system, and am happy to move the extractor between tools and unattach / reattach hoses when I move between tools. It would be nice to be able to tuck it out of the way when I’m not using a power tool. The wall-mounted dust collectors would be OK too. I do not have space for a floor-standing dust collector.

One of my main concerns is decibels. I have gone through a few shop vacs and they’re all too loud for me.

Any ideas?

Thanks for your help

14 replies so far

View ppg677's profile


219 posts in 1467 days

#1 posted 11-16-2017 02:37 AM

View ppg677's profile


219 posts in 1467 days

#2 posted 11-16-2017 03:45 AM

Note the Harbor Freight 1HP dust collector with its induction motor is way way quieter compared to a Shop Vac.

However I think it is borderline useless without the trash can cyclone. And the trash can takes up some floor space (but less so then a massive dust collector).

Also I upgraded the bag to this 3 micron bag:

Which works with some finagling and clamping.

View Redoak49's profile


4359 posts in 2600 days

#3 posted 11-16-2017 12:24 PM

It would be helpful to know what tools you will use it with.

I bought a Ridgid shop vac recently and was quieter than the older ones.

Of course a Fein or Festool are quiet but expensive but are really good.

View Dustin's profile


707 posts in 1352 days

#4 posted 11-16-2017 01:15 PM

I’ll second Redoak and say it depends on the tools and their ports. I have a large Ridgid shop vac (the larger ones are actually rated at lower db’s) with a dust deputy that I use for my 36-725 table saw, Ridgid oscillating spindle/belt sander, miter saw, various hand-held power tools, and general cleanup.

For my bandsaw, jointer, and planer, I use my HF DC. I had tried using my shopvac with an adapter, but it simply doesn’t pull enough air to work effectively.

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View Bob5103's profile


150 posts in 1445 days

#5 posted 11-16-2017 01:52 PM

I have a small narrow shop and don’t like shop vacs taking up floor space. I went with a central vacuum/dust deputy plumbed with 2” duct work for my miter saw, router table, drum sander, hand held tools and shop cleanup. I use a ducted HF 2hp for my stationary tools. Central vacs can be found on craigslist for a reasonable price, (at least in my arear) and most have the ability to either be exhausted outside, or have a muffler available to reduce the noise. Mine is rated for a 4000sq foot house and out sucks my no longer used shop vac, and I really like the space saving because it is hung on a wall. The ducting is proprietary to central vacs, and has to be purchased through a dealer, but it is very reasonably price.

View Nowater's profile


18 posts in 2552 days

#6 posted 11-16-2017 02:19 PM

Shop vacs are quieter if they are outside or in an insulated box that allows for air flow.

View Kelly's profile


2639 posts in 3556 days

#7 posted 11-16-2017 03:56 PM

If you can pull off, at the least, a HF, it’s, by leaps and bounds, a better bet for planers, jointers, saws and lathes. If you’re running hand tools, the cyclone and vac are fine (that’s what I run on them).

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4188 days

#8 posted 11-16-2017 04:31 PM

Welcome to Ljs
If you can run you dust collection outside. Don’t confuse the very poor 1hp HF unit with the 2hp HF unit it’s much better than the 1hp that as someone said is basically useless.


View ppg677's profile


219 posts in 1467 days

#9 posted 11-17-2017 02:55 AM

a1Jim, I think the 1hp HF unit combined with a trashcan cyclone works quite well. It takes up less space and draws less power than the 2hp HF unit.

View a1Jim's profile


117915 posts in 4188 days

#10 posted 11-17-2017 05:31 AM

I’m afraid we both have had totally different experiences with the 1 hp unit, I bought one for DC for my router installed in my table saw , it was far less useful than a shop vac I bought to replace it.


View Carl10's profile


115 posts in 1068 days

#11 posted 11-17-2017 03:13 PM

I agree with Jim, in that a 1HP unit would be useless See attached chart showing how underpowered a 1HP unit is, operating below the minimum 4” duct performance line. Add a separator and you will be getting close to a shop vac airflow level without the suction. Many people confuse/interchange a shop vac and a DC. Generally speaking, the DC moves a lot of air with little suction vs. the shop vac that moves a little air and lots of suction. A rule of thumb is small port tools are best suited for shop vacs and 4” and larger ports are better suited for DCs.

Since you plan to move from tool to tool there are many examples of people stacking a 1.5HP blower on a separator on a trashcan on a cart with good results. Just google Super Dust Deputy cart.

I think most people who buy 1HP units quickly realize how under powered they are as evidence to how many I see on CL everyday (Most in like new condition). On the other hand I rarely see the more useful 2-3HP units.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you do.


View richardchaos's profile


583 posts in 991 days

#12 posted 11-17-2017 03:23 PM

I had to move down to a shop half the size I had! BUT wanted to invest in a dust collection system to keep it safe clean and tidy so I invested in this system….

I am not sure about the horse power rating!

-- “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” ― George Orwell

View ppg677's profile


219 posts in 1467 days

#13 posted 11-17-2017 05:15 PM


I have a Dylos Air Quality monitor. The 1HP dust collector simply works for me with a trashcan cyclone…I use it exclusively for my SawStop PCS and DW734 planer. I attach it to a single tool at a time and don’t have a run more than 6 feet or so. Occasionally with a DW734 planer, it will get a clog that slows me down a bit to unclog.

I use a Ridgid Shop-Vac for a router table and general clean-up (but the 1HP dust collector is way better even for vacuuming up the floor).

The 2HP dust collector models require 20 amps just to run the dust collector. That leaves no power available for tools without a separate circuit.

In small shops, you have to make compromises all over the place. The 2HP models require more space and power.

View Kelly's profile


2639 posts in 3556 days

#14 posted 11-17-2017 05:55 PM

I have two Jet four baggers that replaced my Oneida Gorilla cyclone (I’m retired now, so went to a system more tolerant of being turned off and on throughout the day) and a HF two horse. I just sold my Jet 1-1/2 and gave a buddy my 1hp Delta. Said another way, I’ve played with a lot of arrangements of the past ten years. Somewhere in there was a no name one horse running through a trash can separator. Additional to that, I have several vacs, but, primarily, use the little five gallon Ridgid running off a Dust Deputy Cyclone.

In more simple terms, I’ve played with a dust collection a lot. Especially over the past ten years. From that, even a little one horse could be gold, if used like ppg677 mentioned (e.g., SHORT hose and not mutli-connections).

In fact, rather than ducting and gates, each of my pieces of equipment has a hose with one end suspended from the ceiling at the Super Dust Deputy cyclone, via pulleys, so I don’t have to reach down to swap between them.

For me, this reduced the bends in the system and increased efficiency enough my collector is my floor vacuum.

All that said, I’m not sure my system beats richardchaos’, providing it incorporates a leaf blower and, preferably, a HVAC squirrel cage in a shop wall.

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