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Dust Collection: Ideal vs Adequate, Stationary vs Portable

by CharlieW
posted 01-27-2013 09:22 PM


35 replies so far

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1878 posts in 2055 days


#1 posted 01-27-2013 10:15 PM

i am no shop veteran (shop nOObie is more like it, still learning).
but i am at the point you are, when it comes to dust collection. Sure, you can spend $1500+ on some ultra dust collection model which does not include the air flow infrastructure. Or, as you noted about portable units, can hook a more portable, economical dc unit right up to the machine (as long as 850+cfm).
But what i have learned here on LumberJocks is think long term, if buying something new as an investment. Your portable dc unit will work, but you have one more power cord on the floor to watch out for, wheeling the unit around to the machine you are working on. Over, and over, and over again.

As i set up my shop/2car garage for this coming spring, i will be looking for a 3HP dust collection system on Craigslist or some super sale deal like at Harbor Freight, that is not portable with 6” ducting throughout the shop. If nothing pops up that my wallet can afford, i’ll look for 2HP dc’s.

some of those laguna dc system do come on wheels, but do you really want to huff and puff and push that thing around all the time?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

View crank49's profile

crank49

4032 posts in 2997 days


#2 posted 01-27-2013 10:31 PM

How much you are willing to spend and how many tools you want to run at one time are two main questions I would have.

I built a couple of pattern shops at the foundry where I worked for 30 years and we had 2 to 6 people working in these areas. The collectors ranged from 2000 CFM for the 2 person shop to 10,000 CFM for the 6 person shop.

With careful planning and dampers you can set up so that only one machine is being serviced by the collector at one time for a one person shop.
OR, as you suggested, you could get a small unit and move it from machine to machine.

For me the choice, after cost consideration, would be noise and hassle tolerance.
If I had to listen to a small fan (or a shop vac) screaming all the time I’d be less likely to turn it on.
Likewise, if I had to move things around and clear the floor every time I wanted to roll the collector from the jointer to the table saw, for instance, I’d probably be less likely to move it; especially for a quick crosscut or two.

I have my shop in my basement so another factor for me is my wife wanting to know what the +&^* I’m doing if she sees dust drifting up the stairs. So, in this case, I am more likely to do some of those things I just said I was not so likely to do.

Now, I have a Harbor Freight, 2hp dust collector. It can be bought , with a coupon found in the back of many woodworking magazines for as little as $149. It’s almost identical to collectors sold under at east four other brand names for 2 to 3 times the price. I have it setup so I can collect from my table saw and band saw at the same time, or switch it over to the jointer and belt/disk sander. It can handle a 4” and a 2 1/2” connection simultaneously. This arrangement works well for me, I like it. If I do an upgrade it will be to add another 2hp HF collector so I can not have the switch, or to add a couple more pairs of machines to the list. I don’t want a 6” pipe in my ceiling and since I work alone I don’t need a 3 or 5 hp machine on a big pipe.

Many other LJs on this forum have ithe same collector. Many have replaced its bag with a cartridge filter. Many others have added a pre-filter cyclone or drop out chamber to improve its effeciency. I love building machines and things like this so it is a good option for me. Your mileage may vary.

In a perfect world I would have a dust collector outside the shop (for noise reduction) and vent it back into the shop through a HEPA filter. This would save having to condition (heat or cool) all the air it sucks out of the shop.

You also need an air filter. Those can be built for little money, or you can buy a comercial unit, but either way be sure it collects the under .5 micron dust. These units just circulate the air in the shop and get the fine dust out. They typically run all the time when you are in the shop and make very little noise and use very little power. I think the air filter is just as important as the dust collector; if not more so..

Good luck with your shop and welcome to Lumber Jocks.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19623 posts in 2701 days


#3 posted 01-27-2013 10:37 PM

I’m lazy, so I will be ducting my shop!!!

Ok, being lazy has almost nothing to do with it. It is about smooth, quick and efficient use of shop time. I would rather make sawdust and projects, than spend time setting up equipmment and moving a dust collector and hoses around. This especially comes into play when you have everything setup for a repetitive operation and then find you need to make one small cut on a different machine. I’ll just make the quick cut without dust collection…..Why do I have a dust collector???

However, as you are just setting up shop, final tool/machine locations will probably change. Running the main trunck lines and using flew hose may make sense and then when you nail down machine placement, install the drops to each machine. This gets you up and running and leaves flexibility for future shop arrangements.

As important as getting dust at the source is (best option), an ambient air cleaner will get what is missed. This will serve two purposes, the first is protecting your lungs and the second is a cleaner shop.

Good luck on your shop set up!!!

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

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 2710 days


#4 posted 01-27-2013 10:58 PM

I dunno…something is better than nothing for those of us that are not so concerned about the health aspects (I baled hay, bagged oats and worked around sawdust for years) as we are spending too much time trying to keep a shop clean.

My biggest criteria is the ease of emptying the thing. Having relied on shop vacs (after the fact) I would say that I put 10% of the material back in play. I’m toying with the idea of a portable to start.

View CharlieW's profile

CharlieW

28 posts in 1977 days


#5 posted 01-27-2013 11:58 PM

Wow, great input guys. I will be getting an ambient air cleaner to go along with the cyclone and I have a CT26 for hand tools. Going to continue to read the posts to try and sort out what will be best for me. Thanks!

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3075 posts in 2283 days


#6 posted 01-28-2013 01:22 AM

Charlie, since you are just getting into woodworking, I would suggest you “grow” into it rather than “go” into it. I have seen a number of people spend thousands of dollars on woodworking tools only to find that it wasn’t really for them. Then they try to sell the machinery at a loss.

You mentioned that you will take classes and that is a great idea. See what appeals to you the most and then determine what you need to pursue that particular interest. For example, you might decide that you really enjoy working with hand tools so a super dust collection system wouldn’t be necessary.

Working alone means that you will only be using one machine at a time. If you are organized, you can avoid having to change connections from one machine to another too frequently. However, since you are new at it, it will be difficult to be that organized. I agree with Randy that changing hook ups is a pain.

It will be difficult, but whatever you decide to do, buy your last machine first, i.e. try to never need to replace/upgrade any of your purchases. Good luck!

-- Art

View mnguy's profile

mnguy

193 posts in 3424 days


#7 posted 01-28-2013 01:37 AM

I think there is a lot to be said for a largish, portable DC with ~1.5 hp as an excellent ‘starter’ for your new shop. You may find that most of your work is on a handful of tools, and you would want them located near each other, where you wouldn’t move the DC much anyway. For example, I have my table saw and joiner near each other, and a wye on my DC with a blast gate and hose to each of them. When I need to connect to a different tool farther away, one of the hoses is extendible; yes, I get some pressure drop, but it works well for me. Part of my choice is my small oddly shaped shop; duct work could be more trouble for me than a convenience.

My advice; start with a good portable, and if you are moving the DC all over all the time, move up to a central cyclone with ductwork and put it outside the shop for maximum quiet.

Congrats on your retirement and on your new shop space!

View mbs's profile

mbs

1656 posts in 2966 days


#8 posted 01-28-2013 01:46 AM

The advice could be much more specific if we had an idea of the equipment you’re considering and the furniture you plan on building.

You may want to make a disclaimer up front on the equipment decisions you’ve made unless you want a lot opinions on brands. e.g. PM66 saw, delta radial arm saw, 6” jet jointer…..

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View GT350's profile

GT350

368 posts in 2007 days


#9 posted 01-28-2013 01:51 AM

I would definitely go with plumbing it in rather than moving a dust collector around. Usually when I start working with a piece of wood if it fits on my 6” jointer I will flatten one side on that. Next I will run the other side through the planer, then back to the jointer to square one side to the faces. Next to the table saw to make the width even now I usually will run that side through the jointer. I would hate to be moving that dust collector for every operation. I use 4” PVC pipe with blast gates at every machine that I just screwed together so it is cheap and easy to move if you decide to move a machine. I am not sure which dust collector would be best but I built my cyclone dust collector from the plans in Wood magazine. I think it is very important to have the ceiling mounted air filters. I built two and they work great.
Mike

View Cole Tallerman's profile

Cole Tallerman

392 posts in 2211 days


#10 posted 01-28-2013 01:54 AM

With a 3 car garage, I dont think you want to be hauling a cyclone around your shop. If its square, i would suggest putting at least a 3 hp blower just outside your shop with 6” pvc to your machines. A 3-5 hp blower can be had on craigslist for as litter as $120. In my small shop, I put a HF dust collector outside with 4” pipes to most of my machines. I would HATE to have to move it around to each machine. It is so nice to be able to quickly jump from machine to machine without being disturbed by moving your huge dust collector. I did mine pretty cheaply mostly with stuff I had laying around the house.

View Marty5965's profile

Marty5965

158 posts in 1971 days


#11 posted 01-28-2013 02:00 AM

Don’t have much to add to the great advice here, except to say, if you put a zero tolerance guard on your table saw, make sure you have dc over the blade. You will be amazed at how much dust doesn’t get sucked down that huge hole…erm, that isn’t there anymore.

-- Marty, Columbus, OH, learning every day....

View CharlieW's profile

CharlieW

28 posts in 1977 days


#12 posted 01-28-2013 02:12 AM

ok, so I haven’t finalized all of my equipment decisions yet and was going to save this for another thread but here’s where I am so far:

Drill Press – Delta 18-900L to be delivered Friday
Jointer/Planer – Hammer A3-31 – final decision pending a visit to their showroom in the next 2 weeks
Band Saw – S400P (MM16) or Grizzly G0636XB or Hammer N4400
Table Saw – I have no idea yet but either Hammer, Sawstop or Grizzly…I think
DC – No idea yet!

I sold my boat so I have some funds available to be applied to a hobby closer to home :)

View History's profile

History

399 posts in 2007 days


#13 posted 01-28-2013 02:37 AM

In a portable DC I think that the Delta 50-760, 1 1/2 hp portable with an onboard separator is the best bang for the buck. I’ve owned a used Grizzly G1029 2 hp portable, and a new PSI 2 hp stationary cyclone, sold them both and am very happy with the Delta setup for my needs, which is in a two stall garage that we also park our vehicles in..

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1643 posts in 2659 days


#14 posted 01-28-2013 02:59 AM

I have an oldish Delta 50-180 with a whopping 1hp motor. It works well enough for me, in my tiny shop.
A small DC like this would not work for a centralized system with piping. Since I hook this up to a single machine at a time, and only use 8 ft of hose, 1hp is plenty. I’m not suggesting you buy a unit like mine. I’m just pointing out that a low horsepower machine is fine if you opt to hook your DC up to one machine at a time. IMO, you don’t need a big money, high power DC unless you’re setting-up a centralized unit…......or running a long collection hose.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2630 posts in 2909 days


#15 posted 01-28-2013 02:47 PM

Charlie; welcome to LJ’s and welcome to the often contentious world of dust collection. Like everything in life, there are a lot of different perspectives/opinions on what constitutes “dust collection”. Really, your choices in dust collection come down to what you want it for. If you want it to keep your shop clean, then your cheapest, easiest option is a small canister DC like the 2 hp HF DC. This will adequately remove chips and larger dust particles from your shop. If your goal is to keep the air clean you will have to step up to a larger, higher HP DC unit in order to have the airflow needed to capture the very fine dust. My own perspective is to treat the DC as part of your shop infrastructure; buy the best you can afford; set it up and don’t worry about it again. Personally, having to drag a portable DC around would drive me crazy, especially a large unit like the Laguna cyclone.
I have a Clearvue cyclone; it is well made, performs exceptionally well and the customer service and support is excellent. I am confident that it is the first and last cyclone I’ll ever need to buy. It is loud, but no louder than the tools I use; I built a small, insulated cupboard for it in the corner of my shop which cuts down on its volume.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View History's profile

History

399 posts in 2007 days


#16 posted 01-28-2013 04:57 PM

Thanks for the welcome Rob. Trust me, I’m no stranger to dust collection, infact I specialize in it in a few areas.

View brtech's profile

brtech

1029 posts in 2948 days


#17 posted 01-28-2013 06:30 PM

Go read Bill Pentz’ site:
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/

A lot of folks think he is overkilling the subject, but he has some pretty good research, and the nay sayers don’t seem to have any. Basically, it gets down to 1000 CFM at the tool in 6” mains, with well designed ducting. He says that the only way to get a real 1000CFM at the tool is to use 5HP, 15” impeller, a well designed cyclone and a cartridge filter.

Most systems you see are less than that. YMMV, but if you are nay saying, probably best to have a reason.

Now, that’s a whole lotta $$. Many, many LJs have much less than that. If they do, probably they should be using a mask.

The popular budget system is the HF “2HP” (it’s less for sure) DC for which you can nearly always find a coupon for $149, and occasionally a better one. Then upgrade it with a Wynn Engineering filter, and probably something like the Thein baffle. Use 4” ducts with no 90 elbows or Ts (use 45s and a straight section and Wyes), or 10’ of flex pipe. That isn’t going to get you close to 1000 CFM, so use a mask.

I’m not sure anything between that and the Penz criteria is a good idea. If you need to wear a mask until you get to 1000 CFM at the tool, then you aren’t in a “more is better” situation until you get to that 1000 CFM. It’s very clear not many agree with that. There are tons of systems that are more than the upgraded HF and less than a 1000 CFM, good cylcone, good filter.

You can MEASURE air flow and you can MEASURE particle counts, so idle speculation doesn’t seem to be very worthwhile, but we get a lot of it :)

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SamuraiSaw

515 posts in 1990 days


#18 posted 01-28-2013 06:42 PM

Hmmm….....

You don’t get out much, do you?

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View History's profile

History

399 posts in 2007 days


#19 posted 01-28-2013 08:06 PM

I think that Bill Pentz is a little wishy washy and mind numbing with his numbers. Just a little common sense goes along ways.

View brtech's profile

brtech

1029 posts in 2948 days


#20 posted 01-28-2013 08:26 PM

No, he is factual and thorough. He has hard facts. He has measured his results.

His distractors mostly have no facts, just “common sense”. Common sense is not, at all, what is needed here. You need facts.

There are known medical health issues with specific levels of specified sized particles. There are instruments which measure the particle count. You can measure and tell, for sure, if you are meeting the recommended levels of airborne dust.

What Bill has done is show that if you have 1000 CFM plumbed adequately, with a good cyclone and filter, that you get results consistent with his curves.

There MAY be other ways of getting to similar results using different parameters. However, about 99% of the people who disagree with Bill don’t have any facts. They just have “common sense”. That kind of common sense could get you injured or worse.

There are other systems that have shown good measured results. I haven’t figured out if they are basically the same result (1000 CFM at the tool, good cyclone, good filter), or something else. I assume that you don’t HAVE to have 5HP to get to 1000 CFM, but its not clear to me what it takes, and it is clear to me that 5HP, a 15” impeller, a decent blower design, 6” mains, no sharp curves, etc. can do that.

FWIW, I have the HF, with the Wynn cartridge, but I usually wear a mask. Some day, I expect to get to the Pentz parameters, plus an air filter, and then I may not need the mask. YMMV.

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1643 posts in 2659 days


#21 posted 01-28-2013 08:44 PM

I don’t doubt the data. I doubt the data’s relavence to the amateur woodworker. I work in a small, but well ventilated shop and don’t work wood 40hrs per week. That said, my exposure is limited. I consider my situation pretty typical among the LJ rank and file. I look at dust collection more as a housekeeping function rather than an air quality function, but reducing the nuisance of airborne dust is part of the goal. I just think some of these gigantic DC systems are a bit overkill. And the notion that we’re wasting our time with anything less than a 1000cfm system is kind of silly.

View SamuraiSaw's profile

SamuraiSaw

515 posts in 1990 days


#22 posted 01-28-2013 08:46 PM

There is reasonable response to known hazards and then there is irrational paranoia…....

I can only presume you don’t fly in airplanes, eat in restaraunts, or use public toilets. Perhaps you should consider purchasing a positive pressure bio-hazard suit while in that horribly contaminated environment you call a work shop. And don’t cough, sneeze, or pick your nose while you’re at it.

-- Artisan Woodworks of Texas.... www.awwtx.com

View brtech's profile

brtech

1029 posts in 2948 days


#23 posted 01-28-2013 08:56 PM

I think that is incorrect.

There is no hard data on how much exposure to sub micron particles is safe, but we know it is cumulative. So, for sure, a 40 hour per week professional is getting more exposure at a given particle count than a 10 hour per week hobbyist, but, like smoking or asbestos, it doesn’t actually take a lot of exposure to cause some harm, and we don’t know if there is ANY safe level. More is worse, for sure. And most pros work in shops that have much better ventilation that home workshops we work in do.

If you use a mask religiously, then DC is housekeeping. Otherwise, it’s a gamble. How much exposure to fines is safe? It’s not nuisance, it’s health.

What the data shows is that less than 1000 CFM doesn’t get the small stuff. It looks good, but the dangerous particles are still there, and you can’t see them. You are in “out of sight, out of mind” territory. I think that is the nut of the problem here: if all you care about is the dust you can see in your shop, you don’t need 1000 CFM and a sub micron filter.

If you care about your lungs, then you should care. It’s definitely not “silly” to be concerned about your lungs.

Go to:
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/Introduction.cfm
and read E. Probability of Harm
It’s short (2 paragraphs) and says
“Our small shops average two to five times higher airborne dust levels by weight with particle counts of the unhealthiest particles thousands of times higher than shops that vent outside.”

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2630 posts in 2909 days


#24 posted 01-28-2013 09:17 PM

There are known risks to constant sawdust exposure, but as SamuraiSaw and Tedstor point out, it is of questionable relevance to the “average” home/hobbiest woodworker. That said; Bill Pentz started his research after he developed severe lung problems from his woodworking hobby. I developed a chronic cough from my own hobby woodworking, despite a well planned DC system with an average canister DC, which lead to me investing in a more elaborate cyclone DC. Will the average home woodworker develop lung or nasal/sinus cancer from their limited dust exposure? Probably not. Can they develop asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease? Absolutely.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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Tedstor

1643 posts in 2659 days


#25 posted 01-28-2013 09:45 PM

I guess the crux of the argument is to what ends a hobbyist should go to protect themselves from the POSSIBLE effects of dust. You seem to take a position that any DC that is less than “x” will result in inevitable harm. My position is that the effects of casual exposure with a reasonable level of mitigation will be negligible – at worst.
Bottom line is that I disagree with the notion that a new woodworker should invest a lot of time and money in a sophisticated DC system. This OP would be better off opening his garage door, using a decent shopvac to catch big dust, and turning on a couple box fans to circulate the air. Maybe after he’s finished a few projects, a high performance DC might be better justified. But probably not. The $149 HF special,with quality bags, would be plenty.

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teejk

1215 posts in 2710 days


#26 posted 01-28-2013 10:08 PM

SawStop and dust collection are “fight starters”...some people want risk-free (in some cases I would say they should sell all their tools and houses and cars and not eat or drink anything).

I do take offense when people use “fear” in trying to prove their points…nasal cancer? give me a break…asbestos??...it’s a problem pretty much isolated to exposure to asbestos…so give me a break again.

A state of the art DC system will cost $$$$. People that can’t afford that will continue to do with nothing. Where is the greater risk?

View History's profile

History

399 posts in 2007 days


#27 posted 01-28-2013 10:09 PM

Bill uses the health scare tactics much like SawStop does. A DC will not capture every spec of dust in a woodshop, there are some machines that are next to impossible to get it all, thats why I also have a air filtration unit and a dust mask.

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2630 posts in 2909 days


#28 posted 01-28-2013 10:10 PM

Tedstor, I agree with you; the risk is not absolute, or even significant; but it isn’t a theoretical risk and unfortunately with something like COPD once the damage is done, there’s no going back to normal lung function. I agree that it is reasonable to start with something small and see how it works for him. The arguement about risk/safety is a difficult and personal choice; I wouldn’t ever recommend the less “risky” option just because the risk is small.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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brtech

1029 posts in 2948 days


#29 posted 01-28-2013 10:28 PM

This is like asbestos in that exposure is cumulative. It’s like smoking in the same way. Your lungs react to small particles, whether they are from dust, tobacco smoke or asbestos fibers in similar ways. That’s all I said, and all I meant.

There is data on this. No need to scare anyone beyond the known facts. However, ignoring it won’t help anyone. No DC captures every particle, but there are available instruments that measure how many particles there are, and we use those tools to figure out if something works or doesn’t. No one is arguing for zero, and while Bill points out there is disagreement on what is considered “safe”, there are some standards that are published that we could aspire to.

The facts are that professional woodworkers usually work in an environment that is CLEANER than most of our shops. Testing shows this. Hobbyist shops typically have more fines in the air that pro shops do. A LOT more. It’s because of the regulations, the insurance company requirements, and how pro shops are typically ventilated. That’s factual. It’s been looked into with people who know what they are doing using instruments that measure particle counts. Your intuition that smaller exposure time as a hobbyist means you have no, or little problem is WRONG.

If you can’t, or won’t put in an effective DC, one that keeps the particle counts below the levels considered safe, then wear a mask. It’s cheap and effective.

But don’t wave your hands. If you don’t like Bill’s data, get your own. Don’t refute his facts with your opinion.
Buy a Dyklos and MEASURE. It’s not that hard.

View CharlieW's profile

CharlieW

28 posts in 1977 days


#30 posted 01-28-2013 10:30 PM

I guess where my head is at now is that I take dust seriously enough to want to take certain precautions but I’m not going to obsess over it. I have my Festool CT26 for portable applications and I will probably go with something like a ducted 3hp Super Dust Gorilla by Onieda and a ceiling mounted filtration system. I will still wear a dust mask when I’m sanding because I always have and if any dust still gets into my system then so be it. Thanks to all for the lively debate and some excellent points of view, I learned from all of you.

View History's profile

History

399 posts in 2007 days


#31 posted 01-28-2013 10:41 PM

If you can’t, or won’t put in an effective DC, one that keeps the particle counts below the levels considered safe, then wear a mask. It’s cheap and effective. Here we go again, assuming that a DC will get it all. Amazing.

View CharlieW's profile

CharlieW

28 posts in 1977 days


#32 posted 01-28-2013 10:46 PM

Thanks Saw, but as my last posts states I’m using my CT26 and installing a 3hp Onieda Super Dust Gorilla and an air filtration system. On top of that I’ll wear a dust mask when sanding. I think that should be effective enough, at least for me it is.

View Tedstor's profile

Tedstor

1643 posts in 2659 days


#33 posted 01-28-2013 10:56 PM

Like I said. I don’t dispute the data. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there is dust and other particulate matter in the air. I feel no need to collect my own data. I don’t need data to tell me that the sun rises in East. It’s pretty obvious. Of course there is dust everywhere. Jogging on a beach or a dirt trail will expose the lungs to foreign debris.
What isn’t obvious is how much exposure is too much, what is a reasonable level of mitigation, and what level of risk is a person willing to accept.
As far as I can tell there are very few hobby woodworkers that have developed health issues. And most of them can’t definitively pin their issues on sawdust. It’s mostly anecdotal.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1215 posts in 2710 days


#34 posted 01-28-2013 11:54 PM

tedstor…I’ll repeat what I said above…A state of the art DC system will cost $$$$ ( a system I’ve been toying with probably about $3,000 before I get done). People that can’t afford that will continue to do with nothing. Where is the greater risk?

The human body is pretty primitive in many repects but when it comes to filtering air through the nostrils, it is pretty amazing (one would be grossed out at the amount of fluid produced in the sinuses). So my advice is keeping one’s mouth closed when cutting wood and quit plucking your nose hairs.

View TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

768 posts in 2883 days


#35 posted 01-29-2013 01:02 AM

Been following this thread with some interest. Here is my 2 cents worth.

I have read and appreciate Bill Pentz’s website and research. He is someone to listen to and as a former industrial controls designer his data is sound. My first cyclone was a Clear Vue mini based on his designs, still use it today.

I would love to have a large 5hp Clear Vue it is the best out there based on my extensive research. BUT.. For a hobby woodworker there are drawbacks.

1. Size.
2. Power requirements
3. Investment ( notice I did not say cost)
4. Noise levels

There is no better seperator than a cyclone..period. A Thein seperator is a cheaper but somewhat less effective at pulling out some finer particles. They do a good job for what they are.

A cartrage filter is a MUST. Wynn makes good ones and service is great.

An ambient air filter is also a MUST. Make one yourself or purchase one.

I would pipe all your big tools into a stand alone unit using good metal self cleaning blast gates. I used 4” S&D pipe with short runs of flex hose to the tools.

Get a wireless starter for the DC unit and keep it with you as you work. You will be more inclined to use DC for those quick cuts.

Make a hood for your power miter saw, this thing spews dust everywhere. Pipe it to your DC.

Put a drop above your table saw and rig a collector above the blade.

My solution was to modify my Delta 50-760 with a Onedia Super Dust Deputy Cyclone and Wynn cartrage filter. If I remember it was less than $800 total. Link to the blog post.

http://lumberjocks.com/TechRedneck/blog/29742

My ambient air cleaner is a 4’ x 4’ table fitted with a used 1300 CFM furnace fan pulling air through two sets of filters. It has a dial timer that can be set to run up to one hour. It is my sanding station and outfeed table for the table saw. Cost.. About $250

This setup is not optimal, but comes pretty close.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

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