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Forum topic by Digelectric posted 08-15-2020 05:06 AM 535 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Digelectric

23 posts in 119 days


08-15-2020 05:06 AM

I have a fairly small shop with a bandsaw, drill press, radial arm saw, and use a bunch of hand tools like routers and orbital sanders (1 router is going onto a table when I finish it). I was looking into some dust collection options for my sander but ideally want something that I can connect to at least the radial arm saw, router table, and sander, to get most of the troublesome fine dust and bigger stuff.

I was looking at the wet/dry vac type systems like DeWalt makes that have a tool operated start but suspect it’s not ideal for multi-tool due to the lower suction and I’m guessing it’s noisy.

I’m quite new to dust collection… anyone care to point me in a direction or two?


17 replies so far

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

164 posts in 1901 days


#1 posted 08-15-2020 12:02 PM

As with moist things, there is an abundance of information available on the web, some good and some not so good. Bill Pentz has written extensively on this and you can find some information here…......... Dust Collection
Bill is certainly not the last word on the subject by any means but definitely a good place to start. If you are not ready for a system, something is better than nothing and there a numerous designs/suggestions available using shop vacs with some sort of cyclone for large particle collection.
Hope this helps your search, good luck!

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

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Robert

3950 posts in 2334 days


#2 posted 08-15-2020 12:03 PM

Most decent shop vacs will do a good job of collecting one tool at a time, but it could be done with blast gates I suppose. The radial arm will be the most difficult to collect. You might consider a small unit rather than a shop vac.

That said, you already have, or are going to need a shop vac anyway so I would suggest starting setting up a mobile cart with a mini cyclone and go with single tools use.

I use a dedicated wall mount for my miter saw and router table. It works much better than a shop vac and is MUCH quieter!

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

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Axis39

345 posts in 450 days


#3 posted 08-15-2020 03:05 PM

I went the Harbor Freight DC path recently and am glad I did. I haven’t turned my shop vac on since I bought the HF DC… I use the DC with a 4” to 2 1/2” adapter and run the shop vac hose and wands.

My shop has never been cleaner.

I will admit that I did purchase a large heavy plastic barrel that I built a Thein baffle into and am glad I did.

But, I bought my DC on sale and the barrel off Craigslist. I bought the 25’ flexible hose from Rockler. Then use the relatively inexpensive DSW 4” pipe for runs and actually for adapters into tools as well. All in, I’m well under $500, probably under $400, actually. Although, I do still have some fittings to make/buy.

You can get a good shop vac for. right around $100, maybe $150 and be collecting dust right away.

I spent decades using a shop vac to try and collect dust. It worked better than nothing, but I never wasted time trying to collect dust from my table saw, or miter saw with them. (But, I was also usually on the jobsite at the time). I always disliked how often I had to clean or replace the vac filters and empty the bin, etc. Plus, I was always tripping over the body of the vac, it was always in the wrong place, in the way. So, for me, the DC is 100% the way to go in a shop…. Also, my DC is mounted to the wall, out of the way.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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Digelectric

23 posts in 119 days


#4 posted 08-15-2020 09:13 PM



I went the Harbor Freight DC path recently and am glad I did.

Can you post a link? I have a shop vac and the sound is ear piercing. So I’d either need to put it outside the shop and have a longer pipe/hose and lose suction or get something with more power I think.

That more or less seems to be the reason why shop vacs suck unless they make them considerably more quiet than the ones I’m used to using.

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Digelectric

23 posts in 119 days


#5 posted 08-15-2020 09:14 PM



As with moist things, there is an abundance of information available on the web, some good and some not so good. Bill Pentz has written extensively on this and you can find some information here…......... Dust Collection
Bill is certainly not the last word on the subject by any means but definitely a good place to start. If you are not ready for a system, something is better than nothing and there a numerous designs/suggestions available using shop vacs with some sort of cyclone for large particle collection.
Hope this helps your search, good luck!

- Blindhog

I’ll check it out. I was having trouble finding useful info so it’s really helpful to get suggestions. Thanks!

View northwoodsman's profile

northwoodsman

335 posts in 4599 days


#6 posted 08-16-2020 12:03 AM

I purchased a Bosch VAC090 a few weeks ago and I’m blown away by it. It’s quiet, powerful, has adjustable suction/power, I can plug my tools into it and it starts with the tool. It also has a self-cleaning HEPA filter. You can turn off the auto mode on the filter cleaner. I added an l-boxx 3 to the top of it to hold all my hoses and attachments. I wouldn’t use it on a planer or a jointer but I use it for my table saw, bandsaw, router table, routers, sanders, miter saw, jig saw, scroll saw, track saw, etc. It compares to the Festool of the same size with the same features for about $250 less. I found that my large dust collection system works good on the larger tools but not so well on the smaller tools like sanders, routers, portable saws, etc.

-- NorthWoodsMan

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

345 posts in 450 days


#7 posted 08-16-2020 12:23 AM


I went the Harbor Freight DC path recently and am glad I did.

Can you post a link? I have a shop vac and the sound is ear piercing. So I’d either need to put it outside the shop and have a longer pipe/hose and lose suction or get something with more power I think.

That more or less seems to be the reason why shop vacs suck unless they make them considerably more quiet than the ones I’m used to using.

- Digelectric

Here's the one I got.

It is quieter than the shop vac, and at a much lower frequency. Much easier on the old earholes.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Robert's profile

Robert

3950 posts in 2334 days


#8 posted 08-16-2020 12:51 AM


I went the Harbor Freight DC path recently and am glad I did.

Here s the one I got.

It is quieter than the shop vac, and at a much lower frequency. Much easier on the old earholes.

- Axis39

You should use 6” ducts it will perform much better than 4”.

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

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Axis39

345 posts in 450 days


#9 posted 08-16-2020 01:53 PM


You should use 6” ducts it will perform much better than 4”.

- Robert

LOL, there’s a lotta things I SHOULD be doing…

No, seriously, you are correct. I haven’t really begun plumbing in the whole shop yet, and that is a good reminder.

I think the largest diameter that comes on the HF DC is 5”, though. Also, I ran 4” into my barrel Thein conglomeration. That’s a somewhat easy fix… But, will 6” get me anything if it chokes back down to 5 at the collector?

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

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Digelectric

23 posts in 119 days


#10 posted 08-18-2020 02:55 AM

Ok I guess there’s something more fundamental I’m not getting here.

There are things like the dust collector that Mirka sells with their pneumatic orbital sanders with hepa filters and auto on/off and no cyclone between it and the tool.

Other systems have cyclone and other traps.

Is this just a matter of volume and particle size? So sanders produce small particulate and therefore don’t need a cyclone or wide tube? Bigger particles like from a table saw need the cyclone and wider feed?

Thanks.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6424 posts in 3346 days


#11 posted 08-18-2020 10:29 AM

Wow, there’s a lot of material to cover and the first step should be to go through the Pentz FAQ section. But….Vacuums move a small volume of air at very high static pressures (resistance to air flow, or drag). DCs move huge (usually) volumes of air at low SP. They di not do the same job. Capturing the larger particles from a stationary tool is relatively easy, and almost any DC can do that. Capturing the finest particles is more difficult; that’s what requires the really huge air flow. Capturing them is only part of the problem, they have to be contained or exhausted in some fashion, many DCs have filtering media so poor that all they do is blow the fine particles back into the shop. The primary purpose of a cyclone is to keep the dust particles from reaching the media, so the clean media keeps passing air and the air flow isn’t impacted. But cyclones introduce a lot drag so they generally need larger blower/impeller combos to keep the air flow up. That air flow is impacted by more than just havign the right DC, the supporting ductwork also needs to be designed to allow that air flow. This goes on and on, best to wait for other input and review that stuff at the Pentz site.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Blindhog's profile

Blindhog

164 posts in 1901 days


#12 posted 08-18-2020 12:11 PM

What Fred said…............

-- Don't let perfection get in the way of plenty good enough

View Digelectric's profile

Digelectric

23 posts in 119 days


#13 posted 08-20-2020 05:35 AM



the first step should be to go through the Pentz FAQ section.

That’s the most comprehensive resource I’ve seen. I appreciate you posting it.

I think for me, I’m concerned mostly with dust from my sanders so I’ll start there. It looks to me like what I really need is something like the Harbor Freight tool that was posted by Axis39 but ideally with a better filtration unit like one of the setups in this video has. Looks like I might be in for $1000-1500.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGOGgzFqkLA

Are there smaller units that could accomplish the same thing without the high price tag but with good filtration? It also seems to me that exhausting outdoors (safely) would work without the need for the same level of filtration since my shop is in the garage. Thoughts?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6424 posts in 3346 days


#14 posted 08-20-2020 10:26 AM

No idea about smaller units, I just don’t think they are capable…but that’s just me. As for exhausting outside, it’s a great way to run a DC. There are some caveats. If you have a fairly tight shop with combustion appliances in it (like a gas water heater) you may draw in CO through the flue. If the room is heated/cooled you will be exhausting that conditioned air. Remember even a small DC might pull several hundred CFM, but if none of this is of concern…blow it outside.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View HorizontalMike's profile

HorizontalMike

7894 posts in 3767 days


#15 posted 08-20-2020 11:47 AM

My HF-DC has an added Thein-Style separator and a Wynn Spun Filter. Even with all of that, I can still smell/feel the finest dust particles in my nose. That said, I have now added two additional air filtration units, using a couple of old furnace squirrel cage blowers. Each air filtration unit has the following filters:
  • 2 FPR
  • 5 FPR
  • 7 FPR
  • 10 FPR (4in thick)

THIS has made all of the difference!

My filters AFTER 18-months and the dust accumulation. Didn’t do a whole lot of WW-ing, though my ammunition reloading & testing dominated during this time. It shows in the dark gray dust collected on the filters. I have been impressed with how quickly this system eliminates odors in the air.

Both of these were quite discolored/full. IMO mostly from gunpowder residue from operating my small handgun range (half of which is inside shop and other outside shop)
Left FPR-5 Right FPR-7 BOTH replaced at this time.

Below FPR-10 4in filter. Has only slight dust collection, still in very good condition! NOT replaced, and may last 2x the other filters.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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