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Harbor Freight Dust Collector Upgrade

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Project by ADHDan posted 07-29-2013 01:16 PM 4278 views 13 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally finished my (preliminary) dust collection upgrade. I took the 2HP Harbor Freight DC, turned it on its side, and mounted it on a rolling cart that I built over the original Harbor Freight metal cart. I used a 5” to 4” metal duct reducer to connect the 5” DC inlet to my 4” Rockler dust separator kit, mounted in a 55 gallon fiber drum. I’ll run the separator infeed to a length of S&D pipe mounted to the wall, with a wye splitter at the end running one line direct to the table saw, and the other to a 10’ Rockler 4” dust hose with quick-connect fittings for all my tools.

The cart is roughed together because at this point I don’t even have a workbench in my shop (just moved), but eventually I can make things a little nice. I just needed to clear space and get DC set up right away, and this keeps all my components neatly in a 2’ by 4’ rolling cart.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.





24 comments so far

View MT_Stringer's profile

MT_Stringer

1887 posts in 1885 days


#1 posted 07-29-2013 03:55 PM

Good job Dan. Add the Thien chip separator when you get your tools set up and you should be in like Flint!

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2342 days


#2 posted 07-29-2013 04:33 PM

Very well done : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Dallas's profile (online now)

Dallas

2906 posts in 1141 days


#3 posted 07-29-2013 05:00 PM

Nice build, and I don’t want to sound critical but why would you choke your dust collection by reducing from 5” to 4”?
Before you answer, try this:
Turn on the collector.
While it is running, remove the 5X4 adapter and let the motor run free.
If the sound goes higher, the motor is working more efficiently.
If it doesn’t change, it is not being inhibited.
The lower the sound, (relatively), the harder the motor is working, the more wear is being placed on the motor, and the more power the motor is going to draw from the circuit.

Throttling the unit back to 4” makes having a 2HP unit only as good as a 1HP unit in most cases.

Open that thing up and let it run!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View ADHDan's profile (online now)

ADHDan

441 posts in 763 days


#4 posted 07-29-2013 05:17 PM

Hmmm, I hadn’t thought of running a 5” line, since 4” is pretty standard for hobby-level DC. I suppose I can think of a few problems. First, 5” fittings and hoses are much harder to find and require much more cost and expense – with a 4” system, all of the basic Harbor Freight and Rockler fittings (including the quick-connect system) are readily accessible and work great. Second, relatedly, I’d have to custom-build more parts; with standard 4” parts, I made an out-of-the-box Rockler separator dirst cheap in no time, and I didn’t have to worry about finding adapters for all of my tool ports. Third, I think the Harbor Freight DC is designed to be run as a 4” system anyway; the OEM infeed fitting is simply a splitter that connects at 5” but separates into two 4” lines.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Dallas's profile (online now)

Dallas

2906 posts in 1141 days


#5 posted 07-29-2013 05:52 PM

Did you try the test I mentioned?

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View ADHDan's profile (online now)

ADHDan

441 posts in 763 days


#6 posted 07-29-2013 07:27 PM

I have not, primarily because I’m at work. Do you have recommendations for where I can get reasoanbly-priced hoses and fittings for a 5” system? I’m already pretty invested in my 4” system (I have everything assembled and just need to run my S&D pipe on the wall to get it fully operational), and I haven’t really been able to find 5” components.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2303 days


#7 posted 07-29-2013 07:32 PM

+ for 5”+ duct if you pla on going that route.

get reasonably-priced hoses and fittings… I would say it’s right there at the end of the rainbow next to the big sac of gold…

I went to “reasonably priced” 4” duct route myself, and was nothing but disapointed by the results that I took it apart and went back to “hose connected to 1 tool at a time” route

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ADHDan's profile (online now)

ADHDan

441 posts in 763 days


#8 posted 07-29-2013 08:19 PM

Well, I practically am running a hose connected to one tool at a time. The only split in my line is for the table saw; otherwise I’m using a single 4” hose to connect to all of the rest of my tools. My shop is only 12×17, so we’re not talking about a long DC run.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View Dallas's profile (online now)

Dallas

2906 posts in 1141 days


#9 posted 07-30-2013 12:06 AM

Think about it this way, If you had a 1970 Dodge charger with a 512 Hemi and a pair of Holley 650 Double Pumpers, would you put a Chevy 283 rochester 2 bbl air cleaner on them?
When you do the same thing with the dust collector you are essentially making the engine work much harder. It doesn’t matter how long the run is, it starts at the spot where you choke it.

Try this link to see what you are doing to the system by choking down the 1550 cfm system you have now.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11659 posts in 2342 days


#10 posted 07-30-2013 01:13 AM

I have the JET DC system with the 6” intake “y”ed down to a two 4” intake adapter.. One has a removable cap from the factory over it.
Nothing stated in the owners manual about having to run 6” plumbing throughout my shop and throwing away the 4” Y adapter.
If I leave the cap off the one side, yes , the motor does run faster, but I’ve never tried to measure if I get more suction or not through the side with the hose on it. From what I’ve read in the past, some restriction is good for the motors.
All I know is that I’ve never had any issues with any of my DCs by running them as equipped from the factory : )
My 2 cents is all.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2303 days


#11 posted 07-30-2013 01:29 AM

Len, your signature lines always crack me up ”- As seen on CL: 07/19/13 “Accordion to a recent scientific survey,”” – where do you FIND those things lol !!!

While the DC “as equipped from the factory” may work ‘OK’ it can indeed be made to work MUCH better by opening up the airflow. Much like the blade that comes equipped with each new table saw (or bandsaw for that matter) – nothing in the manuals says you should replace it with anything better… but doing just that is a difference of night and day with how the saw will cut.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TheBlueBever's profile

TheBlueBever

35 posts in 439 days


#12 posted 07-30-2013 02:15 AM

Also, if you have a Grizzly Master Catalog, check page 207 for reference material on CFM’s. I have the same Harbor Freight DC and I choked it down to a 4” pipe and it suffered greatly. I have also heard that if you run it with a large negative load and never let it get to the proper performance level, you have a greater chance of burning up the motor.

I now run 7” S&D as my and and then choke it down accordingly. I am definitely going to steal your idea with a chip separator though!!! Very excited!

Thanks!!

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

601 posts in 2484 days


#13 posted 07-30-2013 04:08 AM

Dan, I built a chip separator like that with Rockler fittings and a fiber drum like that on a small delta dust collector, it only lasted a few weeks before the fiber drum collapsed in on itself under the vacuum. I had to go out and get a metal garbage can and that has worked great. Keep an eye on it and if it starts to show any wrinkles on the outside of the drum that will be an early warning sign.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View Bill_N's profile

Bill_N

234 posts in 933 days


#14 posted 07-30-2013 10:45 AM

I have the same collector I just added the large filter
really like the system
one question though Are you not still choking it down at the tool connection anyway ?

-- I have the Saw Dust Fever

View Roger's profile

Roger

14566 posts in 1458 days


#15 posted 07-30-2013 11:13 AM

Gr8 solution Dan. I likes it.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

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