Several months ago, I purchased a new dust collector. Before, I had a Jet 1.5 HP dust collector with a cartridge filter and vortex cone. It did an OK job and was piped into my shop with 4” PVC. My measurements of the flow at the dust collector were 670 CFM at the 6” port and only 450 CFM at the 4” port with a maximum static pressure was 10.25”.
I wanted to get a cyclone style and looked at the ClearVue and the Oneida. While ClearVue makes a very good cyclone, they do not provide a complete unit and you have to order things like the filters and dust bin separated. In addition, Clearvue does not post any performance curve for their cyclone. I decided that I wanted the Oneida Super Dust Gorilla. Initially I looked at the 3 HP model but the 5 HP model ended up being not too much more. I was fortunate as the wiring in my garage was sufficient for a 30 amp breaker which is required.
The specifications on the Super Dust Gorilla were
• 5 HP US made Baldor motor – 19.5 Amps
• Backward Inclined Cast Aluminum Impeller – 15”
• Max Performance 1860 CFM at 2.5” SP
• 8” Inlet
• HEPA MERV 16+ Filter
• Filter 110 sq. ft
• Height 97.5”
The unit arrived on one full pallet. The pallet was well packed and arrived with no damage and the driver moved it into my garage. One issue that I had is that there were a lot of individual boxes and only one or two of them were marked. That meant that I had to open them all to find the parts and make certain nothing was missing. Only one part, a blast gate, was missing.
The choices for mounting the dust collector was either a wall mount or legs. I chose to use the legs as I did not want to have any vibration transmitted to the house and the unit was very heavy and I would have had to reinforce the wall.
The first step was the assembly of the legs and putting the cyclone cone in it. I attached pressure treated 2×4 to the garage floor and drilled holes for the legs to sit in. This prevented the dust collector from moving due to any vibration and allowed me to level the legs.
The cone is thick steel and quite heavy and an engine lift was used to help get it in place.
Between every section, foam tape (1/2” thick and 1” wide) is used to seal the connection. This has to be carefully done to avoid any leaks.
To put the cyclone barrel on, a lifting plate was attached on top and then the engine lift was used. Again, this part is thick steel and quite heavy. It needs to be placed carefully straight down on the cone to avoid damaging the seals.
The next section was the Fan Housings which is made of some very thick, heavy duty plastic. This part went up easily and was not too heavy.
Now came the most difficult step which was installing the motor and impeller on the top. The 5 HP motor and 15 inch diameter impeller are very heavy and awkward. In addition, it needed to be put on carefully to avoid damaging the seal. I did not have enough room above the dust collector to fit the engine lift as the height of the completed unit is around 97”. I looked at putting a block and tackle up in the rafters but there was not enough room. This problem had me frustrated for quite a while.
I ended up laying the assembled legs, cone, barrel and fan housing on its side. I did this with the engine lift. I blocked it in place and then used the engine lift to maneuver the motor and impeller into place and bolt them on. The motor and impeller were awkward to lift and maneuver. Again, it was important to do this without moving or damaging the seal.
To get it back upright, I used the engine lift and a block and tackle attached high the wall to pull and lift it upright. It is difficult to explain how hard this was. My wife was a great help in getting things aligned.
(I have never regretted getting my Harbor Freight 2 ton engine lift. While not used often, it is a valuable tool and folds up to a fairly small space.)
The attachment of the filter plenum and filter were straight forward. There is a point on the plenum to add support to the filter.
A couple of comments about the assembly…..
• This is a heavy well built, solid unit. Unless you are tremendously strong, you will need a block and tackle or engine lift to put it together. It is important to put sections together without damaging the seals.
• The directions could be a lot better. They are barely adequate and for some will be difficult to follow.
• In several cases, the bolts supplied by Oneida were not long enough because of the thickness of the foam seal that one had to install. Not a big deal, but you need to stop and run out and buy new bolts. Of course once the ½” thick foam seal was compressed the original bolts were long enough.
• A couple of times, I did call back with questions and found that the people I talked to did not know very much. At that time, the person had never even put one together or had any hands on experience.
Overall, I am pretty pleased with this dust collector as it is a very solid good performing unit. There are a couple of things that Oneida could change to make it even better.
In the next part of this blog, I will describe the testing to determine the performance curve and comparison to that specified by Oneida.