HF Dust Collector: Anyone add a bucket instead of a bag under the filter?

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Forum topic by Chad posted 03-13-2016 01:39 AM 1870 views 1 time favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chad's profile


15 posts in 836 days

03-13-2016 01:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: harbour freightdust collectorhf

Hello everyone, this is my first official post in the forums! So I’m getting ready to purchase the HF 2HP dust collector in a couple weeks and am just laying out my build and upgrades that I’m going to do. I know that I will be building a thein top hat on top of a bucket and purchasing the Wien 35a filter as well, but has anyone replaced the clear plastic bag under the filter with a bucket/barrel? It seems no dust ever gets in that bag and the plastic is just begging to be ripped in my opinion. Like I said, I haven’t purchased yet so I can’t physically see if there are any build limitations so I would like to see if I could get some thoughts from you guys. Thanks!

8 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4765 posts in 2377 days

#1 posted 03-13-2016 03:15 AM

How are you going to seal it?

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2658 posts in 2947 days

#2 posted 03-13-2016 03:16 AM

You will need an air tight connection of the can you want to use to the dust collector. I do not see how that could be done. Any air leak will spit out about all the chips and dust you collect. I have a Grizzly and I now use harbor freight heavy duty bags , two of them, one inside the other for the lower bag. This way I can just toss them when full.

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

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2823 days

#3 posted 03-13-2016 04:13 AM

A can works better as a cyclone or pre filter on the suction sde of the fan where the negative pressure helps seal it. On the exhaust side where the filter bag or canister is the positive pressure will make it more difficult.
That said, I do use plastic ice cream containers under the filters on my big DC at my home shop (Canada). The seal is made with a rod bolt clamp and some rubber gasket material. I did a blog on my system here.

You can also save yourself a few bucks I if you use a Donaldson p181038 filter.
They are available at any highway truck parts supplier at around half the price.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View DirtyMike's profile


637 posts in 928 days

#4 posted 03-13-2016 04:23 AM

stumpy nubs just did this on his you tube channel. attaching an air tight vessel under the filter shouldn’t be any harder than installing the winn 35a if you are handy.

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1450 days

#5 posted 03-13-2016 01:13 PM

I have eliminated the bag on my design and it works flawlessly. I have very small collection area below the filter housing but I have yet to fill it in the 1 1/2 years of use. Most of the fines are from the cleaning of the WE filter than from what gets past the Thein cyclone in the trash can.

-- Brad, Texas,

View Matt's profile


160 posts in 977 days

#6 posted 03-23-2016 09:20 PM

My HF is for sale on CL in MD if you’re in the area.

-- My "projects" always look better with beer goggles.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2830 days

#7 posted 03-25-2016 01:28 AM

Another suggestion here:

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View English's profile


658 posts in 1503 days

#8 posted 03-25-2016 01:56 AM

My DC came with a chamber under the filters and the filters were stacked on top of each other. I separated them and build another matching chamber, added a duct back to the suction side with blast gates. This way I can recycle the dust that makes it to the filter back to the cyclone for collection. I also have blast gates on the inlet side of the filters so I can draw air through one filter while I filter with the other. This allows me to clean the filters without removing them. If I gently tap on the filter that’s being cleaned it releases the dust caught in the pleats.

I showed this here on a review of my DC.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

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