All Replies on Soo...I sucked up a tape measure in my HF dust collector....

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View exterminate's profile

Soo...I sucked up a tape measure in my HF dust collector....

by exterminate
posted 01-30-2013 10:03 PM

35 replies so far

View cutworm's profile


1075 posts in 2821 days

#1 posted 01-30-2013 10:18 PM

Darn. Hate that. Sorry man.

-- Steve - "Never Give Up"

View GaryL's profile


1099 posts in 2858 days

#2 posted 01-30-2013 10:21 PM

Wow!! I bet that was better than caffeine for waking you up.
Good luck on the repair.

-- Gary; Marysville, MI...Involve your children in your projects as much as possible, the return is priceless.

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2703 days

#3 posted 01-30-2013 10:22 PM

you will never be able to straighten it and make it work right. Sorry to hear about your problem but you will need to order some parts from someone.

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2034 days

#4 posted 01-30-2013 10:46 PM


*note to self… If I ever get a dust collection system up and running, remember to NEVER do this!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2455 days

#5 posted 01-30-2013 11:03 PM

Been there done that, time for you to get a thien or cyclone type of separator before the dust hits the fan. That way your tape measure get full of dust and nothing much else happens. I would not put a larger fan on because that would overload the motor and then you will have another can of worms.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Mark's profile


919 posts in 2002 days

#6 posted 01-30-2013 11:07 PM

+1 for exelectrician. Not trying to hi-jack a thread, but when did you bail EX. I started the 7 day weekend last Jan. after 38 yrs. Quite pleased, after all those years and I never blew my self up.

-- Mark

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2998 days

#7 posted 01-30-2013 11:19 PM

Would not have been a problem if you had a drop out box, or cyclone in front of the fan.

I would not try to change the impeller size. Very likely to fry the motor.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

10543 posts in 3456 days

#8 posted 01-30-2013 11:39 PM

Sort of a hint to put ANY kind of separator ahead of the impeller.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 2455 days

#9 posted 01-30-2013 11:47 PM


I bailed at age 67 with 51 years (including apprenticeship) experience. I had one huge arc flash burn episode with 2 weeks in the burn unit at age 29, as soon as I was able I went right back to work. Slowly getting more and more into electronics and machine control.

I am soo happy being retired. Woodwork, gardening and keep fit regimen, takes up all my time.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View Don W's profile

Don W

18754 posts in 2595 days

#10 posted 01-30-2013 11:51 PM

One of the few times the story sucks because it doesn’t suck.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2949 days

#11 posted 01-31-2013 12:39 AM

I have screens on the inlets of all my dust collection ports (7 of them)

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15369 posts in 2646 days

#12 posted 01-31-2013 01:04 AM

That sucks, as they say… Sorry you have to do repairs, though.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2055 days

#13 posted 01-31-2013 01:20 AM

Thanks for the replies guys. When it hit, I thought the shoud was going to turn into shrapnel! My wife came running out to make sure I wasn’t hurt. Sounds like I’ll be calling the manufacturer for a replacement. Don’t want to overload the motor. Thought maybe it could handle it, but probably not. And, a seperator is definately in order. Just need to figure out a compact way to do it. Perhaps screens like jim suggests in the meantime. Thanks again for the advice!

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2379 days

#14 posted 01-31-2013 01:34 AM

What’s the tape look like?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Craftsman70's profile


244 posts in 2152 days

#15 posted 01-31-2013 02:02 AM

If you don’t mind, I’m curious how much they charge for the replacement impeller.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2216 days

#16 posted 01-31-2013 04:34 AM

Must be a fairly lightly built impeller. I’ve done similar with a Delta collector and only had to straighten a blade or two on the impeller.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 2863 days

#17 posted 01-31-2013 04:58 AM

I would bet that the dust collector could easily handle a bigger impeller. Although it isn’t a true 2hp, most tests I’ve heard of suggest it is still a 1.5hp machine. Take a look at all the clone models which are advertised as 1.5hp models and you’ll find they do have bigger impellers and having opened mine up found that there is easily room to go an inch bigger which is what the same sized grizzly comes equipped with. Downside was the only impeller I found ran about 75.00, I’m also interested in the HF price.
I took a look after sucking up a bad sounding matchbox that my daughter left in a dust pile, even left a couple dents in the housing but the impeller was fixable.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View Vrtigo1's profile


434 posts in 3019 days

#18 posted 01-31-2013 05:46 AM

My HF has a built-in screen just before the impellor. Well, it did. I removed it because it had a tendency to clog with large wood shavings from the 15” planer and 8” jointer. I never figured anything that big or heavy would make it that far, guess I was wrong! My 4” PVC runs straight up the wall about 6-7 feet on the way to the DC though, I figure if I ever get a DC strong enough to pull a tape measure up that far then i think the DC will eat the tape measure for lunch and not think twice about it!

View Pete_Jud's profile


424 posts in 3780 days

#19 posted 01-31-2013 06:24 AM

My oldest son sucked up one of my sanding blocks the other day. Both the impeller and the rubber sanding block came out OK. But I have an older Jet 2 HP with a metal impeller.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2055 days

#20 posted 01-31-2013 01:07 PM

bondogaposis – Tape measure was a 16ft stanley, so it was the smaller one. It was toast. I had to unwind the tape from the impeller. Case came apart in several places. Some made it to the bag, but most was till in the housing. I’ll let everyone know the price once I call them latter today. Vrtigo1, I was having the same problem with the screen in front of the impeller, and had removed it also. Had I not, i wouldn’t be in this situation, but I had to unclog the screen every couple minutes when using the planer. I don’t have any runs, just one 10ft hose that I switch from machine to machine. My garage is tiny, so piping would be a bit overkill.
Derosa – Thats kind of why I was thinking It could handle a larger impeller, but it appears the general consensus is that it will overload the motor. I guess I’ll stick with the stock one – at least until I have money saved up for a replacement if I kill it completely. I’d hate to go back to just a shop vac. It worked, but was loud and not nearly as efficient.

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5000 posts in 2521 days

#21 posted 01-31-2013 01:26 PM

You may find pulling that impeller a PITA. They usually kinda gaul onto the shaft, if you have room to get a puller under it you will be way ahead.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2395 days

#22 posted 01-31-2013 01:39 PM

check penn state too…


View StumpyNubs's profile


7604 posts in 2828 days

#23 posted 01-31-2013 02:25 PM

Funny- I just watched this video the other day…

Your best bet is to watch Craigslist for a used HF collector. An impeller will cost you almost as much. Then you can use the motor from the old collector for something else.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View JoeinGa's profile


7736 posts in 2034 days

#24 posted 01-31-2013 02:32 PM

So howcome the tape didnt get shredded in that video? If he removed the impeller, there would be no suction, right?

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View StumpyNubs's profile


7604 posts in 2828 days

#25 posted 01-31-2013 02:42 PM

The cyclone captures the chips, dust and measuring tapes before they get to the impeller.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#26 posted 01-31-2013 02:47 PM


would be interesting how much replacement parts would cost (compared to getting a new unit all together). at the cost of the HF DC I would suspect simply getting a new unit might be the solution.

if you could keep us posted with the reply from HF regarding replacement parts that would be valuable info.

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

View HorizontalMike's profile


7758 posts in 2941 days

#27 posted 01-31-2013 03:00 PM

Like Crank says ADD A SEPARATOR. You can build a very good Thien trashcan separator w/can for about $50. They work great and there are many LJs who have done just that.
Mine is UGLY, took some tweaking but works so WELL that it will never need replacing. The best thing I ever did for my DC before adding a Wynn filter. Plus it protects the impeller.

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View moke's profile


1182 posts in 2804 days

#28 posted 01-31-2013 07:18 PM

I have a Golden Retriever that has a ball obsession. She came into the shop as I was cleaning up, dropped a hard rubber “kong” ball beside a DC drop that was open, and it sucked it in immediately and the impeller cut it completely in half. While “Maggie” was upset, I had from that point on, a new found respect for DC impellers.

-- Mike

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2055 days

#29 posted 01-31-2013 08:18 PM

Well, I called HF, but only got a recording that I would need to email them at Emailed them, and reiceved an auto response telling me to allow 24 to 48 hours for a reply…I guess we’ll see.

HMike, thanks for the link and pics. I’ll definately be looking into building one of these.

Stumpy – Once I know the price on the replacement, I’ll be able to make that decision. I’ve come to hate CL recently. The dealers and resellers have really crowded up the space, making it harder to find the really good deals. That, and I do most of my surfing at work, and CL is banned, so I’ve got to use my phone, which makes it that much less fun. At home, I try to stay away from the computer as much as possible.

thanks again everyone, and I’ll keep you all posted once I know more on the replacement.

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View RussellAP's profile


3104 posts in 2314 days

#30 posted 01-31-2013 09:01 PM

Good to know. I wouldn’t oversize that HF impeller though. The darn thing is already powerful enough and the design of the smaller impeller allows larger particles to pass through with out clogging.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2055 days

#31 posted 02-02-2013 05:48 PM

As an update, the impeller is $31.05 from harbor freight. Not too bad! Pla ed the order today, and should have it in 3 to 7 business days. Have a good weekend all!

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View exterminate's profile


136 posts in 2055 days

#32 posted 02-13-2013 01:08 PM

As a final follow up – I recieved the impeller yesterday. Replacing it took about 20 minutes at most. Hardest part is removing the old impeller. After a few love taps, and alot of pulling, it came off. There is a little key (like a loose tenon) that sits in a recess on the shaft. If you ever have to replace your impeller, don’t lose the pin. Mine fell, as I wasn’t expecting it, but just fell inside the housing and was easy to find. You have to line that up with a groove on the impeller in order to get it back on, and it keeps the impeller spinning with the shaft. I put a bit of grease on the shaft to help make it a bit easier to get back on. After all was buttoned back up, it was running good as new. A seperator is on the top of my to do list now, so that I don’t have this problem again!

Have a good one all!

-- Albert Einstein - "I'd rather be an optimist and a fool than a pessimist and right."

View helluvawreck's profile


31407 posts in 2894 days

#33 posted 02-13-2013 01:15 PM

What use to happen to me at the plant every so often was that I would stick my head into the back side of a molder to do some work on it and not thinking about the pipes in the top of the molder the suction would pull my hat right off. The shavings room was outside maybe 150’ away. If you wanted your hat you had maybe a couple of minutes to get out there before it would get covered up. Sorry about your blower.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2393 days

#34 posted 02-13-2013 02:13 PM

This is a cheap quick fix that will solve your problem. It werks great for me.

This is my setup. I have maybe $25 in it. I hope to build a Theine Separator one day to replace it and remount the DC.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2469 days

#35 posted 02-13-2013 03:00 PM

I did something similar with my Jet DC1100. I had put an internal separator into the ring because I didn’t want the static pressure hit from a pre-separator. Was turning a bowl once with one of those giant dust hoods behind the lathe. It wasn’t a large bowl, less than 4” in dia, so guess what happened when there was a catch and it went flying out of the chuck? Yup, up into the DC. Fortunately for me, I have a Long Ranger on mine and I was able to shut it down before any damage came to the impeller, but there was still a large and unsettling BANG. It was a cherry bowl, so at least while it was a junk bowl at that point, it was still able to be salvaged as a smoking wood.

A few months later, I was being careless while sucking up some debris and I accidentally sucked an entire glass jar of Shellawax. Unfortunately this time, I didn’t have the remote immediately on me. As soon as it hit the impeller though, the jar broke into a million pieces. Thankfully I think that saved the impeller, but wow, what a massive job to clean everything up. Fortunately I had the separator in the ring too otherwise I think there’s a chance my canister filter would have been toast. I did have to take a dremel to the impeller and smooth out some nicks in the impeller from where the metal lid stuck it though. It seemed to run fine even without removing them, but I didn’t want a crack to eventually form.

Not too long after that, I bought one of these cyclone separators off of eBay and just cannibalized the motor from the DC1100. I’ve been pretty happy with it, it would probably be a decent option for you. Or, as others have also mentioned, a Thien pre-separator is probably also going to work well.

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