Since I started woodworking about 2 years ago I’ve been using a Powermatic canister dust collector along with a overhead air filtration unit for dust control in my basement shop. It did a nice job of chip collection. But, after a while I noticed there was always a layer a fine dust all over the shop.
After a while I did some searching and found Bill Pentz’s site on dust control, and decided I should try to upgrade the filter cartridge on my DC, so I bought a Nano filter from Wynn. It went on easily and seemed to really help with the fine dust being recycled into the shop. I also added a trash can separator in front of the DC to knock out the chips and prevent the Wynn from clogging up. I used a purchased lid on a metal trash can. This set-up improved the fine dust situation, but it also reduced the suction noticeably.
About 6 months ago my Wife was down in the shop, which doesn’t happen too often, and she was choking on the dust. I suppose I’ve gotten used to some dust, or I’m less sensitive to it, but it was killing her. She’s a doctor, specializing in chest no less, and she was not happy. She pretty much insisted I upgrade the system.
After more research, and some email exchanges with Bill Pentz, I decided to go with the ClearVue. PSI, Grizzly, and Oneida have some nice products, but I felt more comfortable with the ClearVue. I’m not trying to start an argument, as I know some folks really dismiss Pentz, but I found his story compelling. I think the thing that really sold me was the fact Bill posts his cyclone design for free so anyone can build one; seems like a odd angle to take if he’s scamming.
Anyway, I purchased the CV1800 (5hp Leeson motor, 15” impeller) along with the nano filter upgrade, cleanout box, electrical box with remote, and their 6” blast gates. Everything shipped quickly. The filter drop shipped from Wynn and arrived first. Within about a week all the parts were on hand.
The next decision was on ducting. At first I was leaning toward heavier gauge metal ducting from HD. I kept hearing good things about thin walled PVC, the ASTM-2729 spec material. Neither HD or Lowes carried it, nor could their people tell me if it could be ordered. The guy at Lowes finally told me to try a local independent supplier. I called them but they didn’t stock it and recommended a third place, and irrigation supply house. that was the ticket, they had the pipe in stock, and it was just about as expensive as the metal duct.
I sketched a layout of my shop and decided how I wanted to pipe it up, figured out my parts list and bought the supplies.. My intent was to take 6” to everything I could, and avoid hose wherever possible.
Electrical – The 5hp motor requires a 30amp 220V feed. Fortunately, my main breaker panel is in the basement on the opposite side from my shop. Unfortunately, it was full and could not accommodate any additional breakers. I had an electrician install a subpanel; I got bids and the cost (~$400) really didn’t make it worthwhile to do it myself.
The ClearVue electrical box is a prewired box with outlets, a relay, and a remote control system included. It’s easy to install. You run your 2 conductor (plus ground) 10gauge 30amp 220V cable to it. It also requires a nearby 110V outlet to plug the remote into. I’m not entirely sure why they didn’t just take a 110v circuit off of the 220V feed, but they wanted a separate circuit. The whip from the motor plug into the electrical box with a twist lock connector. Overall it was easy to wire up.
Wiring the whip into the motor was pretty straight forward, just a bit tight getting the wires into the head. One thing I thought was interesting was that the motor leads were only 14 gauge wire. I suppose it’s because the length of wire is so short.
This is getting bit long so I’ll break it into parts.