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Dust Collection Question from a newbie

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Forum topic by Pennington posted 02-05-2016 06:35 PM 751 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pennington

4 posts in 309 days


02-05-2016 06:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection shop vac dust cleaning basement

Hi all – I’ve been reading here at LJ for a couple of months now, but just created an account today. I’ve found a ton of great info here and have been reading up on this topic as well, but I’m looking for some advice/input targeted to my specific situation.

I have a small basement woodshop and am really trying to improve my dust collection situation. Right now I have a Craftsman shop vac with a 1 1/4” hose that I plug into my router/router table, portable table saw, and DIY downdraft table. I also use it for general shop cleanup.

During the warmer months I carry the table saw up to the driveway where the mess isn’t an issue, but during the winter I use it several times a week and it throws wood bits all over, even with my current shop vac hooked to it.

I’ve been reading online and see good things about the Ridgid 16gal shop vac (200 cfm). It has a larger 2 1/2” hose, which is the correct size for the table saw, and more cfm than my current shop vac.

Or or I could save a little bit more cash and get an actual small dust collector like the Rockler Dust Right wall-mounted collector (or the Shop Fox version on Amazon). I do realize that the Rockler has about 3x the cfm as the Ridgid, but with the associated costs it’ll probably be April/May before I’d be able to get one.

I’m just not sure if the Ridgid would really be “good enough” for my needs, or if the Rockler would be overkill? But either way, before I start spending (even more) money on the shop, I wanted some input.

(I’ve also looked at the HF 2hp model, but don’t think I have enough room – vertical or floor space – for something like that.)


15 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3668 posts in 1188 days


#1 posted 02-05-2016 07:51 PM

It sounds like the Ridgid might be a good option for you. One of the big things you need is greater CFM, the larger vacuum will offer that to a degree, but not nearly as much as an actual dust collector. Where the vacuum excels is in the ability to keep the dust contained. The OEM filter is so-so but you can get a better filter to keep it from releasing the finest (most dangerous) particles back into the air. The Dust Right wall mounted collector only comes with a 30 micron bag which will capture and contain most of the larger stuff, but not contain the small stuff. Checking out the Shop Fox, for under $210 it comes with the same size bag, but with a 2.5 micron rating which is much better. That is what I would recommend if you’re tight on space. I have a 1 micron felt bag on my relatively small DC and it works far better than the 30 micron bag it came with.

View eflanders's profile

eflanders

87 posts in 1318 days


#2 posted 02-05-2016 08:20 PM

The problem with most portable table and contractor saws is that they are open under the table and a lot of dust just falls through being missed by the vacuum port. If you are handy with a sewing machine or know someone who is, have them make a dust bag to mount under your table saw. There are commercially available units also available, but you can make one for 1/10th the cost. Some guys I know also just use a simple cardboard box that has been sized to fit and taped t the underside of the table to collect dust and chips. Using this along with your shop vac, will improve matters a lot.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 687 days


#3 posted 02-05-2016 09:07 PM

a dc will work better for you.

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 464 days


#4 posted 02-05-2016 11:58 PM

FYI

Have a look at Bill Pentz’s web site concern DC and health issues. He’s done a lot of work pulling together information. It will give you some ideas of the difficulties of dust collection and discusses the health implications.

http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

Shops in basements are a big concern because if the basement shares ventilation with the rest of the house, you could spread the most dangerious fine dust throughout your home.

This fine dust is truly invisible. I’ve recently started using a Dylos particle counter to get some real feedback on dust in my shop. It is like Bill had said. Just walking into the shop kicks up fine dust. I can’t see it, but the particle counter does. I envision if could seen this fine dust, it would look like a pickup truck going down a dirt road.

Currently I’m using a Rigid 14 gal vac using a HEPA filter and a Dust Deputy. Not sure the CFM. According to Bill nothing under about a 3 HP system is going to move enough air fast enough to collect the fine dust at the tool. In my case, I wear a 3M 7500 series respirator with P100 filters while making dust and for some significant time afterwards. I also use a Jet room filter. The Jet works really well.

I don’t think of the Jet as making the room safe enough to NOT wear a respirator while making cuts, but it does pull the particle count down pretty fast after making cuts. I also use the vac and run it around a lot at the end of the day in an attempt to get as much of it up as possible.

I think this is working okay for me. Though I have a SawStop PCS and the dust collection with that works pretty good, even with just the shop vac. Things would no doubt be more difficult with a open contractor saw.

-- Clin

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 921 days


#5 posted 02-06-2016 12:12 AM

For those who always want top of the line:

Here is something a little more practical:
Link

-- Madmark - Madmark2150@yahoo.com Wiretreefarm.com

View ChefHDAN's profile

ChefHDAN

809 posts in 2317 days


#6 posted 02-06-2016 12:13 AM

If you go to a bigger shop vac, you’ll soon get to the point where you’re going to need the DC, I start with the DC now, the dust right is a good option that will always have a home in your shop until you go with a full ducted shop system

-- I've decided 1 mistake is really 2 opportunities to learn.. learn how to fix it... and learn how to not repeat it

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 859 days


#7 posted 02-06-2016 12:25 AM

It doesn’t have to take up room in your shop. Can you run a 4” hose through a basement window to outside? Look into putting a real DC just outside a basement window, with some sort of a tarp or something over it to protect it from the weather.

It’s true that it will be pulling warm house air from upstairs down into your shop and then sending it outside. That will up your heating costs a little while you’re running it. On the plus side, it will make your shop a “negative pressure” zone while you’re using it, which will mean you won’t be sending dangerous dust upstairs for the rest of the family to breathe.

Actually, even your current shop-vac setup would be improved by just removing the internal filter, and piping the exhaust outside. Still increases your airflow, and still creates a negative pressure downstairs. The “accidental” design of the shop vac will tend to act as a (poor but significant) separator to take the bulk of the big dust and chips out of the airflow before it spews outside.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View sepeck's profile

sepeck

314 posts in 1609 days


#8 posted 02-06-2016 12:43 AM

Don’t forget the 1 HP Harbor Freight Dust Collector ( http://www.harborfreight.com/13-gallon-industrial-portable-dust-collector-31810.html). It’s spec wise comparable to the Rockler. Although you may want to get the Rockler 5 micron bag ( http://www.rockler.com/5-micron-replacement-bag-for-rockler-wall-mount-dust-collector )to pair with it and don’t forget the 20% off coupon.

It’s pretty much what I plan to do. Although I hadn’t seen the 1 HP Shop Fox mentioned in the first comment. I may have to go look at that now.

I am confused by this ‘pipe it outside with no filter’ stuff I see. I personally have neighbors that are near and if I don’t need to be breathing this stuff, then I suspect they may be unhappy with my tossing it out towards their house, not to mention when my garage door is open the air kind of circulates somewhat and then there is that dust again. Not to mention the dust plume I now have to go clean up.

-- -Steven Peck, http://www.blkmtn.org

View BurtC's profile

BurtC

101 posts in 2598 days


#9 posted 02-06-2016 02:21 AM

Besides the dust collectors that others have mentioned, I found an Air Filtration system really helps.
I have the Jet AFS-1000B and always use it when I am making dust.

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2200 posts in 949 days


#10 posted 02-06-2016 12:46 PM

If you haven’t left the building, my rec is a portable DC. You can find them on CL.
Your shop vac will work fine for the router table, miter saw but not something like a table saw.

Collecting dust is important for your health not just keeping your shop clean.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JeffP's profile

JeffP

573 posts in 859 days


#11 posted 02-06-2016 12:49 PM


I am confused by this pipe it outside with no filter stuff I see. I personally have neighbors that are near and if I don t need to be breathing this stuff, then I suspect they may be unhappy with my tossing it out towards their house, not to mention when my garage door is open the air kind of circulates somewhat and then there is that dust again. Not to mention the dust plume I now have to go clean up.

- sepeck

Most of us who “pipe it outside” include what’s called a “separator” just before the DC unit. It varies in complexity from a very simple “trash can separator” through “Thein separator” and on up to “cyclone”. All of them are just different ways to entice the majority of the visible (and some of the microscopic stuff) to fall out into a can before it gets to the exhaust.

With such a separator in place, the stuff you actually see outside varies from zero up to “not enough to worry about”.

Because it is escaping into such a huge volume of outside air, the thought is that what remains in the exhaust will dissipate to a point where it is of no consequence.

-- Last week I finally got my $*i# together. Unfortunately, it was in my shop, so I will probably never find it again.

View Pennington's profile

Pennington

4 posts in 309 days


#12 posted 02-06-2016 12:59 PM


For those who always want top of the line:

Here is something a little more practical:
Link

- MadMark

Holy cow, I think that’s bigger than my entire shop! :)

View Pennington's profile

Pennington

4 posts in 309 days


#13 posted 02-06-2016 01:07 PM

Thank you all for the input, I appreciate it!

My take away from this is that a real DC unit is the better way to go. I did stop at HD last night to look at the Ridgid – it’s very large and would take up as much space as my router table, which isn’t something I like.

So I think I’ll keep saving and try for a DC in the near-ish future. I’m not too worried about piping, etc, as I only use one tool at a time and don’t mind just hooking up to whatever I’m using at the moment. I should have mentioned before, I do have a thein baffle collector and a Wen air filtration system as well.

sepeck mentioned the HF 1hp DC. I’ve seen that one come up before, and do understand that a much better collection bag would be necessary, but the reviews always seem to be mixed on the unit itself.

Lastly, venting outside isn’t an option for me. I’ve got a small lot, and I could throw a wrench from my little basement window and hit my neighbor’s side door. Even with a separator, lean-to, etc, I’m afraid it wouldn’t pass muster, and they’re good neighbors who I don’t want to upset.

View clin's profile

clin

514 posts in 464 days


#14 posted 02-06-2016 05:44 PM


On the plus side, it will make your shop a “negative pressure” zone while you re using it, which will mean you won t be sending dangerous dust upstairs for the rest of the family to breathe.

- JeffP

Creating negative pressure has the potential to reverse flow in your gas furnace and hot water heater exhaust. There’s a risk to drawing CO back into the house.


Lastly, venting outside isn t an option for me. I ve got a small lot, and I could throw a wrench from my little basement window and hit my neighbor s side door. Even with a separator, lean-to, etc, I m afraid it wouldn t pass muster, and they re good neighbors who I don t want to upset.

- Pennington

DC’s are noisy and if your neighbors are close, I would agree this isn’t likely a good option. Though it might still be an option to build a sound proof enclosure and with a muffled exhaust, maybe that could work.

-- Clin

View lndfilwiz's profile

lndfilwiz

90 posts in 1068 days


#15 posted 02-06-2016 06:20 PM

I agree with clin! A large shop vac along with a cyclone will increase your dust collection. Also you will not remove air for your furnace with a shop vac. But do use an APR.

-- Smile, it makes people wander what you are up to.

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