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Building a cyclone system

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Review by Crickett posted 73 days ago 3454 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Building a cyclone system No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

**I built my shop within the past two years and at first, I have to admit the dust collection wasn’t much of a concern to me. I simply would use adapters and wheel around my shop vac to different machines as needed. The more and more ignored this problem (for the sake of more time woodworking of course) I would notice how many respirators I started going through. But being how I am, I couldn’t just go by a cyclone system from someone – I had a burning need to piece one together.
I purchased the Penn State DC250SEMB 2hp motor blower, and mounted it inverted on a wall in my shop, and using top grade 6” flex hose than connected the inlet to an Onieda Super Dust Deputy which is mounted to a 35 gallon drum. I than had a custom 2 micron shaker felt bag built by a specialty fabric company to the outlet port.
Aside from all of that mumbo jumbo, lets get back to the motor here. This beauty has a really nice and unbelievably quite motor even at full load. I really appreciate the soft-start feature so you avoid harsh jolts at startup. Also, if avoiding China parts is a concern of yours, this machine is manufactured in a ISO9001 facility in Taiwan so you know it’s made well. The outside flange mates to a rubber gastet that’s already intstalled and than bolts directly onto the housing with machine screws giving you an airtight housing. Wait until you see the massive 12” all metal impellors as well – they’ll pull any in that’s within reasonable distance. I was concerned that using different connectors and not always having straight lines into the motor would somewhat diminish the suction but I haven’t noticed any measureable dip. If making your own system appeals to you as much as it did to me than you need to give this motor a hard look. You will be amazed – but hey, what else would you expect from the Kings of dust collection!! Have woodworking and be safe.




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Crickett

61 posts in 75 days



19 comments so far

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Manitario

2254 posts in 1478 days


#1 posted 73 days ago

Penn state make some great dust collectors, and if I had to buy another cyclone I’d get one of their Tempest models. However, this is still just a 2hp motor with a 12” impeller, quality motor or not…

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

View WoodNDust's profile

WoodNDust

181 posts in 701 days


#2 posted 73 days ago

Sounds interesting. More pics please.

View jeff's profile

jeff

634 posts in 2060 days


#3 posted 73 days ago

yes more pics…

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

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b2rtch

4286 posts in 1643 days


#4 posted 73 days ago

Thank you for posting

-- Bert

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3646 posts in 2258 days


#5 posted 73 days ago

I have a Super Dust Deputy with an underpowered Jet DC. Yours sounds like a viable option for me … would appreciate any pix you can provide and info on how you handled filtering return air , etc.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Roger's profile

Roger

14090 posts in 1399 days


#6 posted 72 days ago

Nice write up Crickett. I just added a Super Dust Deputy (the plastic one) and a 30 gal. can to my Harbor Freight 2hp collector. Wow! What a difference. It is a very large improvement of dust collection. I’m gonna try and post it soon.

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

View Crickett's profile

Crickett

61 posts in 75 days


#7 posted 72 days ago

Here are some pictures of the dust collection system I’m running with the Penn State motor. While you say it’s only a 2hp motor, it pulls 1350CFM which is more than adaquate for the machines in my shop and is higher rated than similarly priced Powermatic/Jet units. This may not suffice for a commercial shop, but I’m more of an extreme enthusiast and hardcore weekend warrior.
You asked about how I filter the air return; in the picture you’ll notice the shaker felt bag which has a 2 micron rating that’s clamped to the output hub. It looks like it’s leaning in the photo but that’s just becuase the motor isn’t running so the bag is not inflated. It’s a very large bag which is custom made (and relatively inexpensive) and calculated with the propery surface area dimension to handle the CFM output rating of the motor. The last thing you want here is an undersized bag for your CFM rating as this will (1) never stay put with a powerful mortor, and (2) create back-pressure in your collection system and severly reduce suction. I look forward to your responses/questions and hope you share some of your homemade systems. Happy woodworking.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3646 posts in 2258 days


#8 posted 72 days ago

Crickett—Thanks for the additional details!

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View John Obelenus's profile

John Obelenus

23 posts in 796 days


#9 posted 72 days ago

I have the metal SDD on my Grizzly collector – been trying to find a larger drum for it – that 17 gallons fill up in a minute when running the planer…any ideas???

-- If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life... www.jhostudios.com

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TheDane

3646 posts in 2258 days


#10 posted 72 days ago

John Obelenus—I made an MDF top for a galvanized garbage can and mounted the SDD on it. I opted for the 20 gallon can, but you could easily go with a 31 gallon or larger size.

Here’s a little more detail on my setup: http://lumberjocks.com/reviews/3242

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View brtech's profile

brtech

663 posts in 1518 days


#11 posted 71 days ago

You really want .5 micron filtering. 2 is much better than 5, but .5 is much, much safer. You will also find that a pleated canister filter gets you more airflow than a bag.

View Crickett's profile

Crickett

61 posts in 75 days


#12 posted 71 days ago

brtech – the shaker felt bag will wind up being roughly a 0.5 micron rating once you use it several times and build up an initial dust cake on the inside walls. Shaker felt also breaths as well or better that pleated canisters. To prove that, my bag barely inflates when the motor is running at full load which is a testament to how good the airflow actually is. Possibly you are thinking of the cotton bags that come on most collectors? One benefit I see in the pleated canisters is a smaller footprint for sure, but from an operating standpoint it’s a wash.

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brtech

663 posts in 1518 days


#13 posted 71 days ago

I believe all filters are rated after an initial “cake” develops. Mine is. A filter rated .5 microns stops more smaller particles than a filter rated 2 microns in the same environment, regardless of how it is made.

Airflow is usually proportional to surface area for a given rating. Pleated filters have much more surface area than bags.

If your bag is not inflating, I think you aren’t getting much pressure. I think that is a problem, but again, I’m not an expert. If you take out the SDD and just run suction direct to the motor inlet, does it inflate all the way? If it does, you have a problem. The goal of any separator is to get as much material out of the airflow without affecting suction. No separator is 100% efficient, but a good one doesn’t hit suction too much. If you don’t get much inflation with the tool connected directly to the intake, then the filter is either not stopping much, or it’s mighty impressive.

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Crickett

61 posts in 75 days


#14 posted 70 days ago

Please do some research on top quality shaker felt. They breath unbelievably well – equal to or better than pleated canisters. Feel free to reach out to American Fabric Filter who built the bag for me with the given dimensions and output of my system. If the bag were to fully inflate, that would indicate that the bag wasn’t breathing properly. Again, I think you’re referring more to the lower quality cotton bags that comes standard as an OEM bag. Also keep in mind that with high-quality cyclones systems that you can buy, they come standard with canister filters – but as I stated before, I wanted to piece my own system together rather than buy “off the shelf.”
As for surface area, if you were to actually unfold a large pleated canister filter you would see that they would have roughly the same surface area as my bag if they were laid out. Did you not noticed the size of the bag I have attached to the motor in my pictures above? It has a massive surface area. Please don’t compare my system to the small wall-hugn systems from Grizzly or Rockler as this is a waaaayyyyy better setup. Canister pleated filters really just take up less space but are no more functional that a quality shaker felt bag from an air-flow standpoint – yes micron ratings can vary. While my bag came from the manufacturer with a 2 micron rating, this figure is irrelevant to me (and should be to you too) as the inside quickly develops a dust cake and increases filtration from 2.0 to 0.5 microns. Since I have a two-stage highly efficient system, my bag is not used for material collection but just as filtration. What this means is that since the bag would probably only ever be emptied every few years, the filtration is more than adequate for my setup and dust control. I urge to you reads-up on shaker felt as this is what many pro-shops swear by, and please contact the friendly folks at American Fabric Filter to put your doubts as ease.

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brtech

663 posts in 1518 days


#15 posted 70 days ago

My 35A canister has 275 sq ft of surface area. Your bag looks, say 4’ tall, 2’ diameter or less. Pi*D x L is about 25 sq ft. I’m no expert, but I understand the difference between a felt bag and other materials.

There are a lot of ways to measure filter effectiveness. http://wynnenv.com/filter-efficiency/ has some interesting information. I’m using a MERV 10 @ .5 micron filter. Not the best they make, MERV 15 would be better. I haven’t seen a MERV rating on a felt bag. Do you have one? I looked at American Fabric Filter’s website – they don’t seem to quote any ratings or test methods for their woodworking bags, although they have a page on MERV.

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