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Harbor Frieght Dust Collector Modification, or, not leaving well enough alone! #4: Good enough for now!

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Blog entry by luv2learn posted 02-10-2015 07:26 PM 3083 reads 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Dust Collection Barrel Modifications Part 4 of Harbor Frieght Dust Collector Modification, or, not leaving well enough alone! series no next part

I have created four zones, so to speak, for my D.C. upgrade. They are controlled with four 4” blast gates all located close together and close to the D.C. I will only use one zone at a time for maximum efficiency. I used a combination of D.C. fittings, blast gates, sheet metal fittings as well as sheet metal duct work. Now an explanation of the various zones.

The first zone on the right is dedicated to my planer and later to my joiner once I get it modified.

The second zone is dedicated to my table saw for now but I plan on sharing this zone with my router table and possibly use it as a floor sweep.

The third zone runs across the ceiling of my shop and is dedicated to my miter saw. This freed up my shop vac which I had been using for this purpose.

The fourth zone, and longest one, services four tools, my drum sander, combination belt/disk sander, scroll saw, and spindle sander. All these tools are mobile.

Zone one, planer!

Zone two, table saw!

Zone three, miter saw!

Oh, I have an air filtration unit sitting above my table saw.

Zone four, spindle sander, scroll saw, belt/disk sander, drum sander. Two tools share a 2 1/2” port with blast gate.

This is as far as I a going right now with this system.

I still have my Jet D.C. which I plan on using for my lathe and drill press. That is it for now. I don’t pretend to be an expert on designing D.C. systems, this just suited my needs the best. It is a step up from what I had. Thanks for all your comments and suggestions, I appreciate every one of them.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green



14 comments so far

View Notw's profile

Notw

467 posts in 1215 days


#1 posted 02-10-2015 08:21 PM

Very good looking dust collection, I am starting a similar path with dissecting a harbor freight dust collector so I’ve enjoyed reading your journey

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

5811 posts in 1754 days


#2 posted 02-10-2015 09:35 PM

Looking good. It looks like all of your blast gates are located close to the dust collector unit. Since I located all my blast gates close to the tool for which that blast gate opened up for vacuum to that tool, my question is there any special reasoning that I missed? I’m wondering if your system doesn’t reduce loss of vacuum by not have long runs to tools before the blast gate is there to turn off the vacuum. Thanks for the posts and your thoughts—always enlightening.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

5221 posts in 1504 days


#3 posted 02-10-2015 09:42 PM

I think you have a great set up Lee. It is a lot more work than meets the eye. I definitely have to build something around my miter saw similar to yours. Those are one of the dusty ones.
Why not have the blast gates by the tool unless you need to go by the D.C to turn it on. And or (suggestion only) I installed 3 way switches for my D.C and shop vac. so I can turn them on at 2 different locations. Saves a lot of steps.
Or maybe you have a remote and I missed that.
Clean shop too.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View NormG's profile

NormG

5499 posts in 2465 days


#4 posted 02-11-2015 01:36 AM

Looks like you have everything covered pretty well, like the way you mounted the runs with the curved supports and straps. I am no expert on these systems but it sound like a good idea to have the blast gates close to the unit. Nice job

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1764 days


#5 posted 02-11-2015 01:39 AM

John, thanks for your comments. Since three of the four zones service only one tool which is at the end of the zone I opted to group the blast gates closer to the D.C. so I can open the zone I want at its source while switching on the D.C. My thinking, such as it is, was that if I wasn’t using a tool on a particular zone why leave all that duct work open? I duct taped the joints but I still might have leaks in the various runs. Having said all that I could reconfigure my system to be like yours with little trouble later on.

Dave, the way I have the D.C. setup now is way better than when I just had my shop vac attached to the exhaust port of the miter saw. See what I wrote to John about locating the blast gates by the tool. I can see a remote switch in my future buddy. Oh, I only took pictures of the clean part of my shop the rest is a mess :-)

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

5221 posts in 1504 days


#6 posted 02-11-2015 02:24 AM

John, I also see the 4’’ main connected to the miter box you built around the miter saw. Is that smaller hose connected directly to the saw? Interested cause I really need to cut back on sawdust from the miter saw.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1764 days


#7 posted 02-11-2015 02:57 AM

Dave, you are seeing things right, the smaller hose is connected to the exhaust port of the miter saw. The 4” duct creates a negative pressure around the saw to keep the saw dust from escaping the enclosure.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1764 days


#8 posted 02-11-2015 02:59 AM

Thanks Norm, I appreciate your comments.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1764 days


#9 posted 02-11-2015 03:03 AM

Notw, good luck with your D.C. system. Thanks for your comments.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Roger's profile

Roger

19867 posts in 2265 days


#10 posted 02-11-2015 12:34 PM

Looking good Lee. How is the suction on the end that goes up and across the ceiling? Thnx in advance. I’d like to get my hoses off the ground one of these days.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1764 days


#11 posted 02-11-2015 04:38 PM

Roger, the run that goes across the ceiling is about 25’ long. I didn’t realize it was that long when I put it up. However, the vacuum it creates at the end is sufficient enough to keep the dust created by my miter saw from escaping the enclosure. Keep in mind that I have the other three zones closed. I don’t believe running hose up and over for that distance would be as effective as the sheet metal ducting. My goal for the D.C. upgrade was to eliminate as much hose as possible in favor of the solid sheet metal ducting. I hope that answers your question buddy :-)

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Roger's profile

Roger

19867 posts in 2265 days


#12 posted 02-12-2015 12:21 PM

Yes, Lee. Thnx a bunch.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. Kentuk55@yahoo.com

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

623 posts in 821 days


#13 posted 08-29-2016 02:15 AM

Great setup all around. Your shop is so clean and shiny! :)

So I am curious as to why you went with metal ducting over a plastic? Cost? Safety? Preference? I’m assuming that the metal ducts are seamless? Are your connections just duct taped or did you rivet before taping?

Thanks for sharing your shop with us. It’s educational seeing how others make things work in their shop.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2461 posts in 1764 days


#14 posted 08-29-2016 03:04 PM

Hi Paul, I felt that the metal ducting provided less friction as some of my runs are 20’ long. The ducting is not seamless and the connections are just friction fit and duct taped. I preferred the light weight of the metal over the PVC.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

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