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HFDC Dust Collector Optimization #3: ASSEMBLY, Installation & 1st Use

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Blog entry by Morton WoodWorks posted 01-27-2015 08:16 AM 2217 reads 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: HFDC Dust Collector Optimization - Cutting the TOP HAT pieces Part 3 of HFDC Dust Collector Optimization series no next part

First off, wow, I can’t believe that I never finished this blog. And, for that, I apologize but I was too excited after I completed it that I never took the time to get back to it. So, here it goes.

Unfortunately, since it is all put together, all I have to provide is the minimal pictures that I took during assembly. Nothing about putting it together was very difficult, but ensuring an air-tight seal makes it run all the better.

The first aspect of construction is to create the frame that will hold the plexi. You don’t have to use plexi, but it’s just so cool to see the dust swirling around inside.

This is where my pictures stopped. I really wasn’t able to take pictures while holding the plexiglass in and attaching everything. Therefore, I present the finished separator mechanism resting nicely on top of my 55G drum.

The hole in the center is 5” diameter to match the inlet of the HF dust collector. Also, I never really explained or showed the reason that I left the 3/4 plywood in the middle but this picture should explain it. It is basically only a support for the 1/8” hardboard that is used as the drop separator plate. You want to keep this plywood support back far enough to not inhibit the air flow, but not too far that the drop separator plate becomes weak and flimsy.

Here is a close-up picture of the inlet where you can see the details on the inlet hose from my machines. I chose to do a taller baffle which increase the separation of the material.When I did this, I then had to take a scrap of the leftover hardboard to finish off the circle to keep the flow going smooth around the separator.

After all of that construction, I now have 2 very large items taking up very large amounts of room in the garage where my wife likes to park her car….crazy idea isn’t it.

But, with this separator reducing the amount of dust going to the bag, I attempted to begin a re-design of the stock system and took to stacking. Since the bag isn’t going to be used for the main dust collection, I reduced the capacity by almost 1/4 or less by simply cutting it off. I then took the bag and rolled it up to shorten the height of the bag as well. Once I had these dimensions, I bolted 2 support legs to the green stock separator and then attached them to the baffle separator I made. One key note, make sure that when the bag hangs down at full extension that it does not block the end of the motor. Then, after I got all of this done, I tried to simulate emptying the can. Well, that was an epic failure. This stuff is SUPER HEAVY! So, I developed the lifting system you see here. I threaded in 4 eye bolts into my baffle separator and attached them to two hinged arms with chain that also have eye-bolts in the ends as well (again, sorry, not pictured). There are also 2 chains with large S hooks hanging from the ceiling that you can’t see in these pictures. So, when you want to empty the bin, simply remove the wing nuts that hold the separator to the 55G barrel and lift on the hinged arms and hook the eye bolts to the S hooks and the entire system is suspended allowing you to easily remove the full barrel.

Now, I have been using this system in my shop for over 2 months running my table saw, panel sander, and thickness planer all to this DC system and I JUST filled it for the first time last week. And, I was amazed at the cleanliness of the bag. There is virtually no dust at all in the bag. I would estimate that the baffle captures 99% or more of the dust that goes into the system.

Almost forgot! How did I connect the motor outlet to the stock separator? I used the factory hose with two 5” ducting elbows. One suggestion I would give is to ensure that you tape all of your seams. I noticed while I was emptying it that there was some leakage around my seams.

I took a test video to see how it would perform before the construction was complete. Wow was I impressed. Even with no bag or filter system, the separator performed perfectly. It is really neat to see the dust go through the cyclone and then fall into the can (and nothing blowing out but clean air). I have seen some guys that talk about blowing the exhaust out of an exterior wall, but then I would just be blowing all of my heated air outside. And, that is not something you want to be wasting on the cold Illinois winter nights where temps can routinely fall below 0* F.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPqly2OC_nI&feature=youtu.be

Next phase is to enclose both the air compressor ($100 CL find due to a broken valve. $5 fix and it runs like new) and the DC in a couple walls to reduce the sound even more. I also plan to wire a few 4-way switches around my shop so that I can power on my DC from my mitersaw, planer, sander or table saw without having to go manually flip the switch on the machine.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/mortonwoodworks



7 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile

BTimmons

2298 posts in 1948 days


#1 posted 01-27-2015 05:27 PM

That’s an interesting system. I like how it’s all vertically integrated. Might have to come back to this.

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

View ScottKaye's profile

ScottKaye

471 posts in 1416 days


#2 posted 01-27-2015 11:09 PM

I watched your video clip. The whole thing looks very efficient. I couldn’t notice ANY dust spewing out the unfiltered exhaust.. on the last picture above you are showing the unit with its “top hat” on. I’m assuming that you sealed the bottom of the top hat where the bag normally goes, correct?

-- "Nothing happens until you build it"

View Morton WoodWorks's profile

Morton WoodWorks

16 posts in 1373 days


#3 posted 01-28-2015 05:41 AM

When I did the testing without a bag and unfiltered exhaust, there was nothing visible coming from the exhaust. The last picture I posted unfortunately isn’t the final operation status of the machine. Like I said about half way down, I cut the bag down to almost 1/3 of it’s overall height and attached it like normal. During the entire time it took to fill the barrel, the dust in the bag would probably not even fill a 20 ounce soda bottle cap.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/mortonwoodworks

View Roger's profile

Roger

19868 posts in 2267 days


#4 posted 01-28-2015 11:46 AM

Very good. There is certainly nothing wrong with a HF collector for the price.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

1984 posts in 1308 days


#5 posted 01-28-2015 10:48 PM

Looks great Morton,

Did you heat the plexiglass to get the curve or is it thin enough to bend (is that possible)?

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View Morton WoodWorks's profile

Morton WoodWorks

16 posts in 1373 days


#6 posted 01-29-2015 12:58 AM

I got my plexi from Lowe’s and it was just thick/thin enough to bend to that circle. I used truss screws to attach the plexi. When you do attach it, make sure that the hole in the plexiglass is big enough that the screw can slip through or the screw/pressure could crack it. It works so well and seeing the dust swirl around in it is neat.

-- www.etsy.com/shop/mortonwoodworks

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

1984 posts in 1308 days


#7 posted 01-29-2015 03:29 PM



I got my plexi from Lowe s and it was just thick/thin enough to bend to that circle. I used truss screws to attach the plexi. When you do attach it, make sure that the hole in the plexiglass is big enough that the screw can slip through or the screw/pressure could crack it. It works so well and seeing the dust swirl around in it is neat.

- Morton WoodWorks


Thanks,

I have a similar drum and would want to make a top hat, not the one that goes down into the drum.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

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