Whew! Last night I put the finishing touches on the new filter project for the dust collector.
The biggest challenge was the bag and getting that all together. I emptied the old bag and contents into a huge 55 gallon contractor style (2mil thickness) garbage bag. When I went to put the system back together I just grabbed that bag and put it back together. There was a metal band around the old top filter, so I used that on the plastic bag and tightened it up. I anxiously flipped the switch and poof—I had saw dust all over the place. Hmm.
Upon closer examination, the band clamp that I was using had a gap and right there it was letting the bag let things escape. I grabbed some cardboard to bridge the gap and re-tightened the clamp. I still wasn’t impressed by the holding power. It seemed like the bag and metal band against the collector wasn’t exactly making a super tight seal. I decided to use the cloth bag with the plastic trash sack in the interim . . .but that lead to discovery #1.
I took the plastic bag down and realized that my pristine air filter was now jammed up with wood dust/shavings. In my haste (and penny shavings) I had simply grabbed the garbage bag I already had out (full of dust) and viola . . . tons of the stuff all inside my new filter. Normally that shouldn’t happen quite like that since the separator should get a larger portion of that. I was quite disgusted. I banged the filter with the bag off and a large “foomp” of sawdust hit the floor. I cleaned up the mess and then went to put a new garbage bag on.
I must have been making some very grumpy sounds (ok—I KNOW I was) because my wife peeked in. I don’t know how exactly I would describe the way i was trying to get the bag combo on but it wouldn’t involve nice language. The plastic garbage bag was staying up (they are WAY too big . . . I need about a 32 gallon size) but the cloth bag was being very cantankerous to say the least. I’d get one side up, reach for the other and try to slither it up and then “shoomp” the other side would come off. I tried holding one side with my legs/knees while bringing the other side up with my arms . . .hugging it. Again . . not a pretty sight. I hope the neighbor’s didn’t peek in the window during that moment, because they might think that I was taking this new woodworking hobby a wee bit too far.
Peggy came in and offered assistance and we had the bag on in 30 seconds. An extra pair of hands was very handy to have! She and I agreed that it’s always better to just ask for a little help before you get in over your head. I flipped the switch again and this time I had a much better seal with cloth bag there also.
So now the only thing left is to move the dust collector back over to where it will ultimately live. I bought a garbage can to dedicate to the chip separator but it ended up being slightly too large. The lid ended up being the exact size of the lip of the can. I guess I’m off to the local hardware store to get a metal can to fix that problem once and for all. I’m going to build a platform right above the blower motor to reduce the footprint of the setup. Ideally I’d like to run an 90 degree fitting and pass it through the middle of a garbage can with 6” pipe for dust collection duties . . but that’s a project on the back burner. I’m planning on duct work down the center of the garage, but decided tha it will have to be beside the existing air return duct work.
Next up—the garage overhead cabinets!
-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO - http://myoldgarage.blogspot.com