Garage Re-Do #11: Dust Collection Thoughts

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Blog entry by MyOldGarage posted 02-17-2009 04:26 PM 1986 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Sales Bonanza Part 11 of Garage Re-Do series Part 12: Dust Collection Decision »

This past weekend was a lot of fun. Peggy and I went to two woodworking shows and a wood working store. It’s a new affliction we have—with the new shop toys we are looking at what we “can’t live without”. Thankfully nothing else followed us home, but we did get pretty excited about dust collectors. When we were doing the Christmas gifts the sawdust being generated was being dragged into the house each time we’d come in from the garage. Peggy looked pretty amazed when I told her of the virtues of a dust collector.

At the show we looked at a lot of things, but the ShopFox dust collector (the only one setup and running) was the one that I think made the most impression . . . it really (in a good way) sucks! It was a bit alarming to put your fingers in front of it and suddenly “whoosh” it would suck them in the hose. They had a really sweet deal on that particular model at the show, but we decided we’d stop and look around some more.

Once I got home I began reading and researching further. I’m more confused than ever, but I think we are going to remain status quo for a bit while working to pay off other debts. Instead we’ll keep watching for a smokin’ great deal on something like that at a sale of some type. We’ve had good favor being patient and waiting on the right deal to appear, and I suspect this will be the same way. In the mean time I contemplated building a air scrubber to instead do the heavy lifting for a dust collector. From what I read, most of the time unless you change to a better bag, you are just spewing all the ultra-fine dust right back in the air with a dust collection setup. If you vent the dust outside, your emptying the AC or heat too. Since we’re working on the premise of everything being portable, a huge dust collector setup with ducting isn’t going to be a great idea.

This might be an idea, but I envision this constructed to go under the Shopsmith with a small 5 gallon bucket for dust collection duties. In the meantime I’ll work on ways of using my current (minuscule) ShopVac to keep up with the sawdust.

Last night I continued to work on the cleanup of ShopSmith #2—the 510 model. I went to put it on the high speed side and the speed changer was difficult to turn and the speed seemed to lag quite a bit. I opened it up and put my new machine oiler to work. I found two different ones, one with a long snout in the 3-in-1 oil variety, and another in a special machine “turbine” oil. I went with the turbine oil version—that promises to be non-gumming, a definite plus in my opinion. I showed Peggy how the pulley/speed changer system works. (She was a lot happier when the belt covers were back on—at high speed she was a little alarmed.)

I got some Naval Jelly for the jointer top cleaning. I’ve waxed the tubes and I took the quill out and gave it a thorough cleaning. The unit is a lot happier now, but I still think there’s some improvement to be made in the speed changer dial—it probably needs cleaned out also. It’s very relaxing to me to work with my hands like that—because my day job is computer programming. There’s just something satisfying about the mechanical side of things . . . which is probably because of the long line of mechanics in my family. Soon we’ll have more projects out of the way—we’re very excited on that prospect. When we get a nice warm weekend I think we’ll destroy the front porch and rebuild it. Ah projects!

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO -

11 comments so far

View TraumaJacques's profile


433 posts in 3524 days

#1 posted 02-17-2009 04:55 PM

Yeah! dust management is right up there on my “I need to have” list but my shop is so small I don’t know what the solution is for me… I am thinking a good shop VAC might just do the trick. Let us know what you decide.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View MyOldGarage's profile


93 posts in 3451 days

#2 posted 02-17-2009 05:19 PM—considering a cyclone like this. The little mini on the “one particular vacuum manufacturer” conversion looks pretty good. It’s a lot more than was looking at spending, but will just start saving my pennies and decide how much medicine/sinus infections would cost instead.

-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO -

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3788 days

#3 posted 02-17-2009 05:42 PM

You should have some type of air filtration and a dust mask also. The air filtration can be something as simple as a box fan with a filter, or a furnace blower in a box with a filter, or a air filtration machine that hangs from the cieling. I bought a Delta 50-875 air filtration machine because it takes up almost no shop space up on the cieling, and I also use a box fan with a filter close to where I’m working, especially if I’m sanding, then I have a AOSafety Woodworkers dust mask ( about $15 ) and I have a cyclone DC. After alot of years of breathing dust in the shop, the last couple years I’ve been geting serious about the hazzards of it, plus it’s less cleanup at the end of the day.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3672 days

#4 posted 02-17-2009 06:06 PM

knowing the dust collection is a subject that can be very confusing to all, my comment is not to try to confuse you even more, just to give you remind you that the clearvuecyclone attachment for the shop vac is great to protect your shop vac motor, and help separate the larger chunks from the fine dust, but it is in no way comparable to a large dust collector. the 2 machines although sucking air have different specs and different strenghts! While the Shop vac has a higher sealed pressure (the force to pull something in) then a dust collector, it is by far underpowered when it comes to air flow where a large dust collector excels and can move a LOT of air very fast = sucking more dust and chips from a larger area.

a Shop vac works great for smaller tools like sanders, routers (mostly handheld tools) but for a Table saw, jointer, planer, bandsaw) a shop vac is insufficient.

I’d recommend (if not already done so) check out Bill Pentz website for the best (in my opinion) online source for dust collection info

also search LJ.. theres a ton of good info, debates, ideas, peoples’ setups that you might find useful and fitting to your situation.

and always check out your local craigslist for used dust collectors at a fraction of the price of new ones… Here's Mine.

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

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4123 days

#5 posted 02-17-2009 07:44 PM

PurpLev is right, shop vacs are high pressure-low volume machines. Dust collectors are lower pressure-high volume air movers.

Once you invest in dust collection you will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner. I was like everyone else in my thought process, placing it low on the priority list. That is a definite mistake but I did not realize it until I got my dust collector.

I bought a ShopFox 2hp unit with the 30 micron cotton bags. Later I ordered a 1 micron canister filter because the dust collector was filling my lungs with brown goo every time I worked in the shop. I would not buy anything other than the 1 micron canister filters now.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3737 days

#6 posted 02-17-2009 09:25 PM

go to reviews, click on dust collectors. You will find a number of reviews from people not involved in selling dust collectors IE. LJ’s I have found this to be the best source for unbiased info. and have made several purchases based on the information that i have found there. air filter is a must. i use my shop vac with my big rigid ROM sander. and for vacuuming or blowing. the hose fits the dust outlet on the sander. If you can’t do this as a minimum the buy a respirator type system for each of you and wear it every minute you’re in the shop. 2nd hand sawdust is just as deadly as 2nd hand smoke.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 3737 days

#7 posted 02-17-2009 09:39 PM

Oh yes on all of your machines that have the 2in opening I simply clamp on a length of hose and attach a 2”/4” converter and can then attach the 4 inch hose directly. Ideal since my DC is mobile.

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View Rob1's profile


26 posts in 3422 days

#8 posted 02-17-2009 10:11 PM

And look at the Oneida Air – Dust Deputy. My garage is my shop also. I use to have 1/4 of saw dust everywhere. Now with the Dust Deputy hooked to all my tools the shop, err…, I mean garage is clean.

-- Regards, Rob

View WoodSpanker's profile


519 posts in 3416 days

#9 posted 02-17-2009 10:13 PM

A wise man once told me: “The most important tool in your shop is your brain, followed closely by your pencil and your dust collector. without these tools, you can accomplish nothing”. Truer words have never been spoken.

-- Adventure? Heh! Excitement? Heh! A Woodworker craves not these things!

View mountainsky's profile


29 posts in 3421 days

#10 posted 02-17-2009 11:20 PM

During the past 6 years, I’ve bought nearly all my stationary tools from Grizzly. Including there 3 hp twin dust collector. Couldn’t be happier…........

View Bob42's profile


456 posts in 3814 days

#11 posted 02-18-2009 05:11 PM

Check out the blog I started about shop air filtration. I gave some basic info. The latest spoke about ERV’s (air exchangers) that can save your energy. Of course this all comes with spending money that is tight now but maybe for the future. I love my dust collector with the 1 micron. I have the 50-760

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

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