I’ve recently gotten religion on Dust Collection – both my stationary and portable ‘systems’. Articles within Lumberjocks and Fine Woodworking finally penetrated my thick skull – for me, woodworking was more about the cutting and shaping, not the start-to-finish process.
Having said this, I have an older ‘Fein’ shop vac – the basket type; though, this is not the essential point. Thinking about the shop vac as a system never occurred to me, prior to the excellent counsel in this forum (recently becoming a member) and “The Wired Workbench” and “Revolution in Shop Vacuums” articles in FW.
I purchased the Oneida Dust Deputy as a separation device ahead of the shop vac, and added a HEPA filter canister inside the Fein vac – the 5 micron basket filter remains in place, and is now a pre-fliter for the 1 micron HEPA (most sources have complained or commented about clogging the HEPA if no pre-filter exists).
I’ve cobbled together this solution – as I’ve not heard of combining the basket and HEPA filters (Fein provides some type of filter bag when you purchase the HEPA conversion package). Interestingly, I haven’t lost CFM draw with this arrangement – now, I have respirator-free sanding, though, I will still use a mask). The Dust Deputy is every bit as effective as FW and others rave about.
I go through this detail to encourage others to get serious, or to recommit themselves, to creative solutions which meet their equipment and budget constraints.
For my main DC, I’ll install the Super Dust Deputy (I have no affiliation with Oneida, so maybe there are other effective solutions out there), and go to a HEPA canister upgrade for my single-stage machine. My total investment was approximately $150 for the shop vac (HEPA upgrade and Dust Deputy), and will be approximately $400 for the main system.
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