My shop has always been unorganized. Every time I would get a new tool I would just find an empty space and stick it in there. Well, now I don’t have anymore empty spaces so I am being forced into organizing. A proper dust collection system has always been on my to do list but until now I have settled for making due with my 3/4 HP Jet Dust Collector, a Thein separator, lots of flex hose, and a shop vac.
I have been eying the 2hp Harbor Freight dust collector, model 97869, made by Central Machinery for some time. They finally ran a sale on these puppies and I pulled the trigger and brought on home, put it together, and fired it up. Compared to my Jet D.C. this thing whispers.
Now we get to the ”not leaving well enough alone” part. As soon as I knew it ran, I tore it apart. The space I wanted to put it in was the same space shown in the above photo but I didn’t want it mobile, I wanted it permanent. I also wanted to incorporate a Thein separator into the system. I didn’t like how low the motor sat to the ground and wanted to raise it up out of the way. Also, and I know this will probably cause some controversy, I didn’t want to deal with having to buy an expensive 2 micron after market canister filter for it. More on that later.
I realized that the design of the H.F. collector body was perfect for incorporating a Thein baffle with the minimum of effort and also, that as luck would have it, it sat perfectly on top of a drum I had sitting in my storage shed.
Those of you that know me, know that I will use materials at hand rather than to buy it. I also have a tendency to value function over form, and, I try to not modify anything to the point that it can’t be returned to its original state in case my grand plans fail expectations. The first order of business was to make a Thein baffle for the bottom of the collector body as well as a closure ring for the top. I used 3/4” OSB the make these since that is what I had on hand. I applied three coats of poly to them to smooth out the surfaces some.
I wanted to use the retaining ring on the drum as a way to fasten and seal the collector body to the drum. I cut a slot in the drum lid to match the O.S.B baffle, stiffened the lid by applying epoxy to both sides, then attached the drum lid to the under side of the baffle.
I had to support the Thein baffle and attached lid the to closer ring at the top of the collector body. I did this with four 5/16”x11” all-threads double nutted to both the baffle, lid, and closer ring.
Once the collector body with the Thein baffle, lid, and closer ring were all assembled I siliconed the collector body to the rim of the lid being careful not to interfere with the retaining ring of the barrel.
It is worth noting that this model of the H.F. D.C. has 5” dia. motor intake, exhaust, and collector body ports which is an awkward size to work with so I had to use 5” to 4” galvanized reducers so I could use the more common 4” dia. fittings and tubing.
Once I had the collector body modified with the Thein baffle and positioned on the drum it was time to place the motor in a more convenient location. I built a shelf and mounted the motor high enough on the wall as to not interfere with the location of the duct work.
Once the motor was secured to the shelf it was time to duct the exhaust through my shop wall. I realize that for some of the more environmentally conscience of you that may be reading this blog this might not sit right with you. Just let me say this, we live on 11 acres in Northern Idaho with gravel roads and drive ways, our dirt is like talcum powder during the dry months. The amount of saw dust exhausted to the outside is miniscule in comparison. Our neighbors horses stir up more dust in a day then I will exhaust in a year.
The next part of this blog addresses my solution to mounting the 4” duct work. I decided to use galvanized sheet metal duct rather than the more commonly used PVC.
Thanks for looking
-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green