Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight 2hp Dust Collector #2: Step #1: Larger Filter Bag

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Blog entry by Kenny posted 02-24-2012 01:01 AM 6309 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Project Overview Part 2 of Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight 2hp Dust Collector series Part 3: "Upgraded" ducting at a discounted price? Sounds good to me! »

When I ordered my DC, I also managed to score another filter bag for it (Harbor Freight owed me a credit for some items I returned). So, being the crafty guy I am, I picked up some heavy duty sewing needles and thread for my vintage Singer sewing machine (I inherited it, and it’s handy, so don’t laugh!), and I’m going to get to sewing me up a double-wide filter bag here real soon.

I still need to figure out how to make a manometer to measure the flow, so as soon as that’s done, I’m going to test the factory bag, and then test the “after-market” bag and see what the difference is.

I think it’s obvious that it should net a positive result, but I’m wondering how much of a difference it will make. American Fabric Filter has a cloth to air ratio calculator, and for 900cfm, they recommend a minimum of 60 cubic feet for “good” flow, 90 for better, and 180 for best. So I’m anxious to see what will happen when I nearly double the filter area.

If It’s successful, I may opt to do the same with a pair of 1 micron bags from Highland. At $30 a piece, they seem like a pretty good deal, and I’ve heard good reports on them for catching fine dust. As well, the HF DC Board on WoodNet recommends them too.
It may not end up being a cartridge filter, but at $100 less, it’s fine with me! And 1 micron is a lot better than 5 from the factory bag.

I’ll post pics and results in a few days once I get the bag sewed up and a manometer made.

On a side note, I plan to do all testing using the same “test pipe” attached to the DC.
The main test pipe will be 10’ of 4” PVC (the thin, light blue, drainage type)
Then, I will make the same test through 10’ of flex hose pulled as straight as possible.
Once I get my ducting run, I’ll do testing at the end of my longest run, document it’s length, the bends involved and other info, and post that as well.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to test the difference between a section of PVC that is heated and bent at 90 degrees vs a long 90 degree sweep bend

I’m just looking to see what we lose depending on the type of pipe, flex hose and ducting that is used. And also the difference in flow between PVC and flex hose in general.

The more I figure out, the better off we’ll all be.

-- Kenny

2 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile


19137 posts in 2095 days

#1 posted 02-24-2012 01:30 AM

Sewing can make you famous…..Betsy Ross! Lol. JK

Looking forward to seeing the results of your testing.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2594 days

#2 posted 02-24-2012 01:54 AM

”The more I figure out, the better off we’ll all be.”

To a point.

If and when you establish that commercially-available upgrades—or oft-touted modifications—either don’t help, or actually decrease suction (ie, messing with the Conventional Wisdom), you could get bumped off LOL !

-- -- Neil

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