Dust Collection??

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Blog entry by Bob Rodrigues posted 02-02-2016 01:14 PM 2215 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m in the market now for a dust collector. Being married with 2 kids there really isn’t a lot of money I can budget for this at this time. I’ve read the reviews on the Harbor Freight dust collector but I’m wondering If I could get some woodworkers perspective that have this unit. How is it? Does it work well? And is it ok to run pvc or gutter sewerage pipe instead of the metal stove type of piping???? Any info on this topic from all LJ’s would be great.

-- Bob, Fall River, Ma

10 comments so far

View MNclone's profile


197 posts in 2738 days

#1 posted 02-02-2016 02:38 PM

View Ken90712's profile


18048 posts in 4343 days

#2 posted 02-02-2016 02:43 PM

I would look into this, dust collector

I have had mine for 5 yrs or so. Cpl my buddies got the HF one and spent alot of time modifying or fixing them. Without opening a can of worms I’m not a big fan of there stuff.

Good luch hope this helps.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View shipwright's profile


8734 posts in 3952 days

#3 posted 02-02-2016 02:51 PM

You will see lots of good reviews here for the HF 2Hp dust collectors. Lots of clever mods to make them work better too.
One thing to note however, and I have no idea if it will change their effectiveness …. I was at HF yesterday and looked at the newest model. It is black instead of the old green (as noted on a recent thread) but also to my eye at least, the motor/fan assembly appeared a little smaller.

I still think they are far and away the best bang for the buck and you can add a canister filter like I did for under $50.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 2331 days

#4 posted 02-02-2016 03:02 PM

I have the Harbor Freight unit about $140. Then I replaced the upper bag with a Wynn Nano filter for about $180. Then I got fed up with trying to get the bottom plastic bag in place and the clamp engaged so I got a trash can and a sheet of MDF plus threaded rod to improve the seal on the Wynn filter for about $100. But I still have the problem of every time I empty the trash can I have to take the Wynn filter outside know the dust out and then vacuum the filter from the inside. So I bought the Super Dust Deputy cyclone (about $180) to separate out dust before it gets to the impeller and filter which results in a decrease in performance.

So after over $600 and many man hours of modifications I still don’t have a DC that can keep up with my 6” jointer.

My point: save your money and buy a good dust collection system. Also if anyone in eastern Missouri is interested in a Harbor Freight expanded system let me know.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View MrFid's profile


910 posts in 3059 days

#5 posted 02-02-2016 06:04 PM

Get the 2 HP HF unit. I set mine up just like this one:

and it works like a champ. The Wynn filter is a big upgrade over the bag. I have mine on a Long Ranger system, and it takes everything I send its way; primarily a DW-735 and and Jet 6 inch jointer. No problems.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View Grumpymike's profile


2480 posts in 3470 days

#6 posted 02-02-2016 07:43 PM

I have the HF 2 HP collector and it works well in my shop.
I did add the Winn canister filter upgrade after about a year of using it right out of the box.
My shop is 48 feet long so I set the DC kind of in the middle along one wall and ran 4” PVC to either end of the shop using blast gates to divert the air flow as needed.
From the main duct I go thru a separator, (30 gal container) then to the collector. The impeller pulls some of the fine dust to the bag, leaving the courser chunks in the separator.
Watch for the HF fliers and magazine adds for a 20% discount coupon, then go in the store during a sale like right now, and pick up the collector for less than $150 … some of the guys in the store will try to slip in the 1 HP, but just check the box before leaving the store.
You can spend a lot more money on other brands, but before you do, check the CFM air flow and compare it to the HF unit … If A,B,and C all suck ie 1500 Cubic Feet per Minute and A costs $ 400, B costs $300 and C costs $150, buy the one that fits your pocket book the best.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Bob Rodrigues's profile

Bob Rodrigues

48 posts in 2027 days

#7 posted 02-02-2016 10:37 PM

All very helpful information & I love the pics as well because that was going to be another on of my questions. What about what type of pipe to use??/ Is pvc ok or no? I know there is chaeper pvc out there instead of schedule 40. And when I pipe it try not to use too many 90 degree bends as well right??

-- Bob, Fall River, Ma

View Alan72's profile


222 posts in 3187 days

#8 posted 02-03-2016 12:21 AM

I switched from a 1hp Delta DC to the Harbor freight 2hp. Look on Craigslist, I see Dust collector all the time. When I first got my DC I switched the bag out to the Big Horn 1micron bag and then to the wynn filter. The Wynn filter was a big difference then the Big Horn. On the other hand the Big horn was much better then the one that came with HF DC. I paid $80.00 for the HF DC with 2 10ft hoses and connectors. If money is an issue I would look at CL and see what comes up. IF you do end up getting the HF DC Message me. If I can’t sell my Big Horn bag I’ll just sent it to you.

View Jarrett's profile


88 posts in 2282 days

#9 posted 02-04-2016 03:17 AM

i have the larger HF dust collector with a rigged 30 gal chip separator plumbed to my 15” planer and my two tablesaws, and jointer. I use the hose kit from h.f plus some from woodcraft without much issue, just have a gentle touch for the gates that come with the kit.
On the other side of my shop, I have the smaller h.f. Dust collector rigged to another chip separator, and then to my compound slide saw, radial arm saw, bandsaw, mortiser, and oscillating sander, all with sewer pipe. I bought another hose kit from harbor freight for the connections and flex pipe…if you have trouble getting sewer pipe to meet flex pipe, just heat flex pipe up a touch with torch (or hold over woodstove for a few min this winter!).
Take all I said with a grain of salt…sewer pipe ain’t grounded and harbor freight dust collector may not be the best, but if it can keep up with my 15” planer and all the lumber I put through it….well it’s made a believer out of me!!!!
Best of luck!

-- Jarrett

View Grumpymike's profile


2480 posts in 3470 days

#10 posted 02-05-2016 05:38 PM

Hi Bob,
I used the PVC drain pipe from the big box, it’s located near the sewer leach pipe. Costs less than schedule 40 and they will use PVC fittings for all those special curves.
There have been many conversations concerning static arcing and grounding wires for the PVC.
I believe that there are several ‘Witch Hunters’ on this site concerning the use of PVC in the shop for dust collection.
If you can afford the $5+ per foot for the metal ducting, by all means go for it, it is the best. However if you are like me, and working on a budget, look at the PVC 4” drain pipe for your duct at about $.80 per foot.
I have, in the last three years, never seen a lightning bolt flash across my shop. Nor have I seen or felt a static arc.
I will admit that there is a bit more dust settled on the ducts, but other than that I see no evil.
If you are in a commercial shop the rules all change and the fire marshal will tell you the rules, (and you will follow them).

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

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