Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight DC #4: Clean Up

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Blog entry by newTim posted 05-05-2011 06:54 AM 4946 reads 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Cory to the rescue Part 4 of Hot Rodding a Harbor Freight DC series Part 5: Woodcraft Remote Control... it really works! »

Some final thoughts on this blog before it gets relegated to the archives. First, many thanks to all for your advice and participation. I learned many new things, made some new friends, and ended up with a very nice little system. While I haven’t yet built a Thein separator or installed the duct work, I have added some accessories like the Dust Right System from Rockler. As these pictures show, the whole unit makes for efficient storage of these items and it is working great.

Putting on my MBA hat I believe the market has an obvious hole which creates a real opportunity for a manufacturer to exploit. Clearly what is needed is a two-stage cyclone, 1,500 to 1,800 cfm, collector with a 1.5hp or perhaps a 2hp motor, preferably a 110 connection, with a relatively small footprint, a remote control, and a canister filter in the $400 – $700 price range. I saw that Jet just came out with a new 1.5hp collector that purports to have some new cyclone-type (vortex?) technology, but it is single stage with a cost around $650. If it sounds like I’m asking to much just take a look at this blog and see what people like us are doing on our own. The other thing I believe people would buy is a clear can with some type of cyclone. Not only would you be able to see if it needs to be emptied, but you’d be able to watch the cyclone in action which would be kind of fun.

In summary this trip has been a blast, yup I wrote that, and it didn’t suck at all, yeah, I know. Thanks again to everyone.

-- tim hill

7 comments so far

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3135 days

#1 posted 05-05-2011 08:41 AM

I’m no expert in this field by any means, but from reading Bill Pentz’s site I believe to achieve 1500 cfm w/ 2hp requires you to break some laws of physics. The CFM numbers you get from manufacturers are based on having little to no static pressure (SP). In a 2 stage system that’s the performance of the blower when the cyclone isn’t attached! How useful is that?. With a standard impeller design, you will need at least 3hp and 6” pipes to get over 1000cfm through a cyclone.

View Cory's profile


760 posts in 3415 days

#2 posted 05-05-2011 04:12 PM

Nice work, Tim! Looks great. I’ve been considering that Rockler Dust Right kit for a while. How do you like it?

-- The secret to getting ahead is getting started.

View newTim's profile


607 posts in 3602 days

#3 posted 05-05-2011 06:15 PM

Well I’m no expert either, but my reading of the coefficient of the derivitive of variation of the launch angle means nothing. Actually the fact that I’m still above ground breaks the laws of physics on a daily basis. Clearly I’m kidding about this and do appreciate the comments and the opportunity to learn new things. I’ll have to re-read the book I got on dust collection to get a better understanding. I guess the bottom line is that even though I’m running the collector through a length of 4” hose it is working great. I have noticed that some companies like Grizzly are producing smaller, mobile cyclones designed for smaller shops. But these run around $1,200 and are still a little large for my type of operation. I just think there exist a large gap in the market between the 1.0-2.0hp single stage systems and the 2.0-3.0+hp cyclones.

Cory… thanks. So far I like the Dust Right system. The main advantage is simply the large 4” attachments. You can see in the background of the pictures of the 2.5”x25’ hose I used to use. The smaller diameter restricts the flow so it is not as efficient, but it is quite a bit lighter than the dust right hose which has metal strung through it. The dust right is like a giant slinky, if you remember what that was. One thing to watch is the listing of items included with this system on the Rockler site. I was a bit confused as to what specific parts were included with the kit and what additional parts I needed to be purchased separately. I suggest picking up the swivel if it is not included in the kit because the hose is so heavy. You can’t move this thing around like you can a regular 4” hose. The hose uses its own suction to compress and store it on the rack and is held in place by magnets. You cannot store the hose without the rack, but it is handy and doesn’t take up a lot of space. One alternative is to buy the 4” attachments and hook it up to a regular 4” hose.

-- tim hill

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3169 days

#4 posted 05-05-2011 06:23 PM

A fair number of people have made a similar modification, but …. I don’t think any of them wound up with anything that looks any nicer than yours.

Bravo !!!

-- -- Neil

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3723 days

#5 posted 05-05-2011 08:33 PM

If those are the woodcraft polyurethane casters, I think you WAY over did it on the quality of your wheels (-:

This is a great example of hotrodding a machine and I have plans to do something similar in the future. Excellent work!

View newTim's profile


607 posts in 3602 days

#6 posted 05-06-2011 12:20 AM

Ha! yes they are the expensive wheels. But they had this sale, 30% off. And everytime I move something around I’m glad I have good wheels. The front swivel locks are the real luxury so I don’t have to mess around with those teeter totter side locks that I can never reach with my big feet and are always on the inside.

-- tim hill

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3723 days

#7 posted 05-06-2011 03:12 PM

i agree. the woodcraft wheels are the best I’ve found yet and i reserve them for projects that will either 1) weigh a ton or 2) need to be moved a lot. I don’t have a dedicated run for dust collection, so these might end up on my DC when I get to it.

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