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Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight DC #2: Verticality Controversy Rages On

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Blog entry by newTim posted 03-17-2011 07:15 AM 5633 reads 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: If you build it, dust will come. Part 2 of Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight DC series Part 3: Cory to the rescue »

The question before us is whether it is 1) safe, 2) feasible, 3) advisable, 4) possible to align a HF Dust Collector motor horizontally. There have been many examples in the review section of doing this and there have been a lot of comments both pro and con. A couple of folks (CovenantCreation and MichaelJ) have done so and reported success, while others have added that vertical motors should not be run horizontally. The basic reason seems to have to do with the bearings. However, beyond the general and equally useless suggestion to “check the motor”, I have not seen any details regarding the risks or how to identify whether a motor can in fact be rotated.

So I’ve pretty much decided to go for it and set up my 2-stage in the horizontal position. This alignment has some clear advantages the most obvious being the ability to line up the center of the cyclone with the blower intake without any angles or extensive runs of hose. However, since my Woodcraft cyclone lid does not have a center hole it looks like I’ll go ahead and build a Thien Separator Lid. Following are some pictures from these links and my Sketchup with the horizontal motor. In the meantime, I’d be real interested in hearing from some experts on on this subject.

CovenantCreations

MichaelJ

Phil Thien

Updated Sketchup

-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com



14 comments so far

View Steve2's profile

Steve2

75 posts in 2255 days


#1 posted 03-17-2011 08:10 AM

IMHO, the in and out ports should be on the same plane on the lid, at 3 o’clock and at 9 o’clock, so to speak and both must be pointed in the same direction (clockwise); not one in center pointed downward in the drum while the other is at radius in direction of flow.

A shop vac does a minimal or poor job on such a lid presumably because of relatively low CFM in a 2” hose. Just use it directly connected to a low volume producer machine.

-- Regards, Steve2

View ptweedy's profile

ptweedy

75 posts in 2078 days


#2 posted 03-17-2011 05:40 PM

I am confused by your talk about vertical and horizontal alignment of motors on dust collectors. every diagram and picture shows the motor in the vertical position. Did you mean the blower in the horizontal ? phil

View ClayandNancy's profile

ClayandNancy

479 posts in 1700 days


#3 posted 03-17-2011 05:53 PM

I too have asked this question about motors because I would like to build a cyclone with either the HF collector or a 2 or 3hp Grizzly motor, ptweedy I believe he’s using the HF motor which comes as a horizontal motor and he wants to mount it vertically. Sorry newTim if I’m stepping on your toes.

View newTim's profile

newTim

554 posts in 2291 days


#4 posted 03-17-2011 06:05 PM

Steve… I’m not an engineer and Phil Thien and others have done a lot of research, but I think the idea is the dust (inflow) from the shop is circulated around the top of the trashcan which forms a cyclone. The air winds around to the bottom where the dust is deposited before traveling back up to the top through the center and on into the blower/dustbag/filter. I’ve seen various arrangements like the one you suggested with two ports set in opposite directions, again to promote the cylconic effect. I don’t know which is best, but the center hole makes it easy to line up with the blower (induction?) inlet when set horizontally.

ptweedy… here is a picture of the factory setup for the DC. I guess you could say the motor is horizontal while the fan housing is vertical. The question is whether it is okay to flip this unit 90 degrees on its axis so the motor sticks straight up (ie vertically) and the fan rotates horizonatally (ie parallel to the bottom or floor).

-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13751 posts in 1360 days


#5 posted 03-17-2011 06:29 PM

newTim,
I’m about to do a similar modification to my 2HP HF DC. Do you have the model # for the cartridge filter? Is it a Wynn, and what are it’s spec’s? Could someone post the link for it? I’m not sure what cartidge will work and don’t want to get one that doesn’t fit.

Thanks, in advance for the info.

BTW: The addition of the plastic bag (in the SketchUp model) looks good, well done.

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

View Cory's profile

Cory

723 posts in 2104 days


#6 posted 03-17-2011 07:29 PM

I’ve been running my HFDC in this configuration for over a year with no problems:

Click for details

I lost a little bit of airflow with the separator lid, but it’s easily a worthwhile endeavor. If I had it to do over again (and I might rebuild it soon), I would make a side inlet for the lid and raise the garbage can a little bit to make emptying it a little easier.

Good luck!

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View newTim's profile

newTim

554 posts in 2291 days


#7 posted 03-17-2011 07:50 PM

DIY… yes it is a Wynn. I think it is the 35A, but the Wynn website lists the filter-DC matches. And they are very familiar with various setups so if you have any doubts just send them an email or call them.

CORY! You nailed it, brah! Thanks so much for the response. I’m going to use your design if that is okay.

-- tim hill www.newcalshop.com

View Cory's profile

Cory

723 posts in 2104 days


#8 posted 03-17-2011 07:53 PM

Tim: Glad to help. If you have any questions during the build or need anything at all, don’t hesitate to send me a PM and we’ll work it out.

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View JamesVavra's profile

JamesVavra

286 posts in 2001 days


#9 posted 03-17-2011 11:01 PM

I have a Thein separator that is very similar to what you’re showing up here – the intake is in the side of the barrel. It is a bit of a PITA to dump the container because of this – I have to disconnect the input hose each time and some dust will always spill out through the input hole while I’m dumping it.

When I get a new barrel, I plan to do something like what Cory is showing – with a short length of flex between the output of the barrel and the input of the blower – so that the lid easily lifts up and the barrel can be slid out.

The way you’re mounting your blower to the top could make it difficult to pull the lid off when it’s time to empty it.

James

**Edit: @DIYaholic: http://www.wynnenv.com/35A_series_cartridge_kit.htm

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13751 posts in 1360 days


#10 posted 03-17-2011 11:37 PM

newTim & JamesVavra,

Guys, thanks for the info and link.
Looks like my bank account will be shrinking. I’ll be forking over some money to get me a Wynn 35A274NANO kit. I’ll be sure to post a “Build Log” and pics of the process.

Again, thanks for the help.

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

View George M's profile

George M

117 posts in 1449 days


#11 posted 03-18-2011 01:47 AM

Dont know if you are in a postion to or not, but if you can exhaust to the exterior, you will be able to reclaim some of the power lost to the Thien seperator and not have to buy the filter.

-- George, Parker Colorado

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13751 posts in 1360 days


#12 posted 03-18-2011 02:13 AM

GMotichka,

Not positive if you were “speaking” to me, but I can’t vent outside (at least not easily or efficiently). I did consider it. However, the DC would have to be in a less than ideal location and the ducts would be a PITA to run.

Sorry newTim, I don’t mean to highjack.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

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

View bigike's profile

bigike

4032 posts in 1973 days


#13 posted 03-18-2011 02:16 AM

it looks pretty dog gone cool to me I would set mine up the same way when I get it but don’t know if I have the space.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1512 days


#14 posted 03-18-2011 02:22 AM

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