Help me with my dust collection dilemma

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 11-21-2011 09:55 PM 1873 views 1 time favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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983 posts in 3924 days

11-21-2011 09:55 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dust collection soundproofing

Problem: Want permanently plumbed DC system.

Limitations: DC noise MUST be kept to a minimum. Anything over 70-75ish DB won’t cut it. Also, no room in electrical box for a second 220v circuit which limits DC size.

Current solution: HF 2hp DC sits unused because it’s too loud and currently I haven’t done permanent ductwork. Fein shopvac dragged tool to tool + ceiling mounted air cleaner.

I believe my shop will push the limits of the HF DC. As you can see from the shop layout in my last blog entry, there would have to be 2 runs of 25’ to the two tool areas. I am wondering whether the HF unit will be able to handle this, even with modifications (eg stovepipe) and a Wynn cartridge.

Aside from whether it will provide enough dust collecting oomph, I also need to limit the noise. I think I can frame out a little closet/compartment where the DC currently sits. However, if it can’t handle the ductwork runs, building the soundproofing closet will be a waste. Alternatively, the ductwork will be a waste if it turns out I can’t muffle the sound enough. See the conundrum?

Any advice/insights etc. are appreciated. I’m open to other DC systems as well, but I know they cap out at 1.5hp/1000 cfm at 110v.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

12 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8600 posts in 4562 days

#1 posted 11-21-2011 10:03 PM

25’ run is really asking for trouble from this dc…speaking from experience, even a 15-20ft run of PVC duct I noticed a serious reduction in air flow (with wynn filter). I have now reduced runs to 5-10ft (including flex) to get back to good suction and air flow

as for noise. my dc is by far quieter then the planer/TS/Jointer when in use. is your dc louder then your tools?

(disclaimer I am using a jet 1100DC with close specs to the hf dc)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3924 days

#2 posted 11-21-2011 10:15 PM

Hey Sharon,

Thanks for replying. The HF DC, though fairly loud, isn’t louder than some tools under load (eg planer and TS), but it needs to run a lot more than those tools. And with quieter tools such as router table, drum sander, OSS, bandsaw. For reference, it clocks in at 87db using an iPhone SPL app at 5’.

But I am suspecting you’re right re: the long runs giving this DC problems. I wonder if this (Fein + air cleaner) is the best I can do given the noise and power limitations?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3589 days

#3 posted 11-21-2011 10:21 PM

I have read that 20’ is the longest run a 2 hp can make. I know the HF is a 2 hp (at least the ones I looked into were 2 hp). This kept me from buying into that plan. I am saving for a larger unit.

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 3885 days

#4 posted 11-22-2011 12:48 AM

The HF dust collector will suck the chrome off your bumper.
Well, maybe not completely.

Seriously, if you are not able to get this collector to work just as well with a 20ft duct as anyone elses 2 hp collector I would be suspicious of the pipe size and number of elbows and their location. Not the collector.

And a blanket statement of 2 hp can’t handle more than 20ft of duct is just not based on objective engineering data.

The HF 2 hp collector with its stock, 5 micron dust bag will have all the power required to fully utilize a 4” duct and a 2-1/2” duct, both open and working at the same time with 25ft runs. I do it every day. No problem. Wouldn’t bother me if the ducts were 40 ft long.

Now, put a 6” duct on there and the velocity will go down an you could have a problem. Same thing with running two 4” ducts at the same time.

You know, a tight radius 4” elbow has the same flow resistance as 10 ft of 4” straight pipe. Using the right size duct, long radius sweep ells and a minimum of flex duct is key to making these systems work.

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5311 posts in 4874 days

#5 posted 11-22-2011 12:54 AM

Hmmmm? My HF unit is not all a that loud. I have 4” flex on it. I just move it around as needed. The planer is far louder than the DC. I put 1 micron bags on it for better “capture” without any probs.

-- [email protected]

View brtech's profile


1068 posts in 3836 days

#6 posted 11-23-2011 07:31 PM

Build the closet, insulate it well. Plumb with 4” PVC all the way to the tools (no flex)
Blast gate the two runs (only one at a time, only one tool at a time). No 90s, only 45s with a short straight section.
Must upgrade to the Wynn filter, both for your health and for better airflow.

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4491 days

#7 posted 11-23-2011 07:39 PM

I agree with the idea of a closet but outside if at all possible then you may be able to place it in the middle of your shop and cut the distance in half. I have 3 different Hf dust collectors and have found them to be very satisfactory and not any louder than any other dust collector although I do have 2 of my 3 mounted outside.


View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3589 days

#8 posted 11-24-2011 05:17 AM

Crank, I am just telling you what I have read. I don’t own a dust collector but want one and I don’t want a $1000 mistake. I read think in Fine Woodworking I think. Wood also had a section this month on dust collection. Both magazines are widely read but those guys are not engineers, they are writers. They ran some tests and wrote the results. I would have to reread the articles and was merely suggesting live4ever do the same. I have read some of the stuff you have written and if I remember correctly you tell us you have designed some systems. Most of us only know what we read in the papers ( I borrowed that- I think Will Rogers said that) so we don’t know much about some subjects. I have a 30×40 shop with a 10 ft side wall and would like to put the collector in another room on the end outside the shop area. If I was sure the HF collector could do it I would try to get one tomorrow (Thanksgiving) but I am not sure it will do what I want. In fact the coupon I have says you can buy 3 of them for the low price. So, the question is do I need to park further away to save the chrome on the bumper or do I still sweep everything?

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4491 days

#9 posted 11-24-2011 05:40 AM

Hey Grandpa
I have 3 harbor freight dust collectors all three cost less than many of just one of the other Dust collectors, that look and and from the reviews say that I’ve read don’t really preform any better. I’ve had mine for 11 years and the work fine. Some might say why 3 units and the answer has to do with price. I found that ducting would cost more than another unit. So I have a dedicated DC for my table saw and one for my Jointer and one for all the rest. All but one are mounted out side. I think each unit cost $129. Your shop is not much bigger than mine so I don’t see you having a $1’000 mistake as a possibility. If you have your ducting in place and try one unit (I think $149 now) even if you don’t like it your not going to throw away the duct work. If you want to use your coupon, buy all three units open one and if you don’t like it HF has a great return policy so you can take one or all of them back if you want as long as you do so in the (I think 60days) your good to go. It sounds like Crank has the duct work about right from my experience.


View Grandpa's profile


3263 posts in 3589 days

#10 posted 11-24-2011 05:57 AM

Thanks, Jim. I would like to do it right the first time. Yes the HF coupon has the units at $149 until the first of the year and I think those are supposed to be 2 hp units. I have the 30×40 shop then added another 20 feet to the end about 18 months ago. I use that for storage of many things not related to wood working but I would like to put the collector or collectors in that area. That would move them out of my immediate area. Should help with the noise. I would need to run the duct overhead so it is already 10 feet long to get it out of the floor then the machines would be as much as 25 feet down into the room. When they get to the wall I would penetrate that and it would literally be downhill from there. I have my saw on one side of the shop at the mid point. I have a planer and jointer about midway on the other side of the room about 10 feet from the wall. I have a lathe at the mid point on the wall opposite the tablesaw. I have a mortising machine in the corner but near the end where the collector would be. I have a scroll saw, band saw, miter saw, disc sander and drill press on the end wall near the collector. I have an oscillating sander that hasn’t found a permenant home yet. What size duct do you use (rigid I mean)? I could easily have 35 or so feet of duct on each leg of the system. I suppose you use a separator on each collector?

View a1Jim's profile


118144 posts in 4491 days

#11 posted 11-24-2011 07:02 AM

Sounds like a great shop with a good layout. Because I have less than 15 feet to any machine I start at the five inch connector to the dust collector and reduce to 4” .but with long runs it helps to keep reducing it down depending what you connect it too. I think Onieda has a chart to help and free duct layout if you buy it from them and I think grizzly some good prices last time I checked
here’s another


View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2080 posts in 3553 days

#12 posted 11-24-2011 08:23 AM

Closet ? YES
HF 2.0 DC ? YES
Rockler DustRight ? YES
Quiet ? HELL YES.

Good luck and have fun !

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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