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Forum topic by Cathie Zimmerman posted 04-09-2016 09:45 AM 1025 views 1 time favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cathie Zimmerman

62 posts in 280 days


04-09-2016 09:45 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi!

So I used a router for the first time a week ago… I thought… Hey, I just have to use the flush trim bit for a few templates I’m working from. No big deal; no need to drag the shop vac over to hook to the dust port. I have bad allergies anyway (but really love getting into this new addiction!) so I wear goggles, apron, respirator, etc and thought… How bad could it be? 20 minutes later I was drowning in saw dust. Lol I was amazed at how fast it all piled up and made the floor slippery. So, I postponed that part of my project until I got a router table. Awesome! But, a pain to hook up to the shop vac.

I’m told that this is the part where you realize you’ve really committed to exploring this thing… I bought my first dust collector. Now, it’s just the HF 2 HP that a lot of folks get… I couldn’t resist them being on sale and 25% off coupon. Anyway, I want to design a simple system that I can hook up a table saw, band saw, router, miter saw and sanding station to.

Now for questions:

1) Anyone know of a good resource that would help me figure this thing out?

2) PVC, metal duct or flex hose? I’m really thinking metal duct then a short run of flex to the tool.

3) Are there any “what ever you do don’t do .” That I should know about?

Thanks in advance. My lungs and I appreciate any direction I can get!


15 replies so far

View hairy's profile

hairy

2384 posts in 2999 days


#1 posted 04-09-2016 12:22 PM

I have a 4” hose that I move from one machine to another. This makes it a little easier.http://www.rockler.com/dust-right-4-tool-ports

I ran it between the floor joists above and it hangs down centrally in my basement shop. I can reach everything.http://lumberjocks.com/topics/66128


Other ways are probably more efficient, but this was quick and easy and it works for me. My DC is used more than any tool that I own.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

View brtech's profile

brtech

906 posts in 2389 days


#2 posted 04-09-2016 01:52 PM

There is a lot of help here on LJ. Just search for it.

First of all, get a better filter. The bag is not good enough. You want a .5 micron canister filter, like the one from Wynn Engineering.
Most folks use a short length of flex duct with the HF. It just doesn’t suck enough (pun intended) for rigid piping.

Those that do use rigid pipe usually use PVC Sewer and Drain pipe, rather than metal, but as long as you don’t use the really thin sheet metal, it’s a fine choice. Either way, don’t use any 90 degree elbows. You use either a wide sweep elbow, or a pair of 45 degree elbows with a short piece of straight duct in between. Similarly, no T joints, wyes only. If you need a piece of flex from the end of the hard pipe and the tool, make it as short as you can. Of course you need blast gates if you have wyes.

Don’t pay any attention to anyone who tells you you need static control. It’s not needed.

And my broken record advice: don’t bother with a separator (Thein baffle, cyclone or wok). The only thing they do is make it easier to clean the system, and they rob you of precious velocity/suction meaning they get less dust and such out of your shop, especially the fines. Not worth the tradeoff in my opinion, YMMV

View GT350's profile

GT350

352 posts in 1448 days


#3 posted 04-09-2016 03:06 PM

I built the cyclone that was in Wood magazine several years ago and it works great. I have 4” PVC running through my shop and really like that. It runs along the ceiling and drops down for the equipment. I do have 90 degree bends and they work fine. I don’t like the idea of dragging a hose around to trip on and having to move it from machine to machine. I just turn the dust collector on and open the blast gate and I am ready to go. As an example, I will joint an edge of a board then cut the other side on the tablesaw then go back to the jointer and joint the just cut edge. I don’t want to have to switch the hose every time I do that.

You are really going to enjoy woodworking more with the dust collector however you set it up.
Mike

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MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#4 posted 04-09-2016 03:49 PM

Slip on fittings only hold until things start vibrating. X cut the end of the fitting & use hose clamps every where.

Solid tubing has less resistence than corrigated.

Use metal blast gates, the plastic ones don’t last.

Yes on the 0.5 micron filter bag.

The cyclone is where all the big stuff gets separated, the filter bag works better with the ultra fine, it should not fill with chunks.

Put the blast gates at the manifold end and not the tool end to reduce the static vac draw.

Remember that piping is spec’d with ID not OD. So a 4” black plastic fitting will not match with a white 4” PVC line due to different wall thicknesses. This will bite you unless you single source your fittings & tubing.

M

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

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 387 days


#5 posted 04-09-2016 04:37 PM

Cathie Zimmerman

1) Anyone know of a good resource that would help me figure this thing out?

Effective dust mitigation can be fairly complex and quite expensive. Your idea of learning as much as you can before investing a lot of time and money is a great idea. By doing this I am confident you will end up with a good system that meets your needs. The dust collector is but one part of an overall dust mitigation system. The dust collector catches dust and debris at the tool. Some dust escapes, even with a high dollar dust collection system. Removing dust from the air with an ambient air filtration system seeks to address the problem of dust escaping the dust collector. But dust remains in the air when in the shop and generating dust. Therefore personal protection with a NIOSH 95 compliant dust mask helps keep dust out of your lungs.

The following sources can help one understand the problems and solutions for effective dust mitigation. I have used them all and found them very helpful:

On the web, Bill Pentz offers extensive information concerning most aspects of dust mitigation, including a lot about dust collectors.

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

ClearVue, a maker of cyclone dust collectors, has a user’s forum on their web page which can also be informative even though yours is not a ClearVue.

http://www.clearvuecyclones.com/Bullentin/index.php

There are three books I can recommend. “Woodshop Dust Control” by Sandor Nagyszalanczy, “Controlling Dust in the Workshop” by Rick Peters, and “Dust Collection Basics” by Woodstock International. These books are very informative, easy reads, available from Amazon, and inexpensive.

2) PVC, metal duct or flex hose? I’m really thinking metal duct then a short run of flex to the tool.

Since this is your first system and you are fairly new to woodworking, opting for an inexpensive fixed piping system is probably a good idea. If you continue with woodworking, there may come a time when you upgrade to a larger system. Minimizing costs at this point would represent long run savings while giving you effective dust collection now. Using any other materials than HVAC materials will probably be more expensive and finding sources can be difficult. Should you eventually decide to upgrade to a larger system, going with larger piping recommended for the larger systems means the old 4” system will be scrapped.

HVAC piping and fittings may be the way to go. However, the home center piping is generally 30 gauge metal. Before buying a bunch of 30 gauge piping, it might be a good idea to buy one piece of pipe, connect it to the dust collector, and ensure it will not collapse when closed off. If it collapses, a heavier gauge pipe will be required.

Grizzly Tools offers 4” metal blast gates which work well.

3) Are there any “what ever you do don’t do .” That I should know about?

I agree with the brtech’s and MadMark’s recommendation to upgrade to fine filtration, the finer the better. Large dust particles make the shop more difficult to keep clean but the body’s defenses are able to handle the large dust. The small stuff by-passes the body’s defenses and can enter the lungs where it can eventually become a serious health problem. Trapping as much of the small stuff as possibly is good for your health.

However, I depart from the recommendation to avoid a separator, like a cyclone or Thein baffle. The separator removes the majority of larger debris from the air stream before the air stream enters the filter. When cleaner air is scrubbed by the filter, suction is maintained for a much longer time and filter cleaning is prolonged. A system robbed of suction by a dirty filter will allow more dust to escape collection at the tool. He is correct, however, that adding a separator will reduce the suction of the system compared to one without a separator. A system with no separator will work great when the filter is clean. However, the filter will clog fairly quickly and system performance will degrade.

As has been said, connecting two 45 degree elbows will form one long 90 degree turn and help with air flow. Wye rather than T-fittings similarly help maintain air flow. The idea here is to keep the air moving as smoothly as possible as it travels from the tool to the dust collector.

System performance can be significantly degraded with the piping leaks. Therefore sealing the pipe, the fitting, and connections to prevent air leakage is a good idea. I prefer HVAC foil tape for this job. It sticks and seals well and can be cut easily or removed with a little more work should the piping ever have to be dissembled.

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 387 days


#6 posted 04-09-2016 04:45 PM

Cathie Zimmerman

I neglected to mention in my post above; I noticed from your workshop photos that there is what appears to be a gas fired hot water heater setting in an alcove in the shop. Keeping the combustion chamber clean and as free of dust as possible seems to me to be a good idea. One idea is to install a door that seals the hot water heater from the workshop and then cutting in a vent to the outside to let in air for combustion is something worth considering.

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#7 posted 04-09-2016 10:21 PM

Dust will not explode if you can breathe.

DC explosions are urban legends. Static zaps the operator, but does not cause dust explosions.

M

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

View Cathie Zimmerman's profile

Cathie Zimmerman

62 posts in 280 days


#8 posted 04-12-2016 09:01 AM

Thanks so much for all this valuable advice!! And yes JBrow it sure is. That’s a fantastic idea and I’ll check into that. I think one of the walls is actually faces the outside.

Would anyone be willing to throw up some pics of their systems? Mad mark can I see more of yours?

A good friend is an HVAC tech and can get HVAC duct (round) pretty much at cost from his company.

Tomorrow I’m cutting down a full sheet of ply on the TS. I bought a flex hose from Rockler to use while I’m designing the system. I can’t wait to use it. I always wear an N95 mask anyway from the time I enter the shop till I leave (I know… Some say over kill but…)

Someone mentioned a Wynn filter! Thanks for that. I’m looking at getting the 1 micron. i read the installation notes and it looks pretty simple to get done. I was going to wait to run the DC until I got that filter… But I figured some filtration is better than none. Maybe I’ll put the thing outside and let the neighbors enjoy the gentle roar while I work. Lol

Over the weekend I was experimenting with Sketchup and drew the entire garage to scale and then separated my workshop part away from the boat’s half. The plan is to draw all over that until I figure out where everything should go. If y’all are interested in taking a look I can post a pic of the drawing?

View BobBlarney's profile

BobBlarney

3 posts in 602 days


#9 posted 04-12-2016 02:35 PM

My shopbuilt dustcollector: 6” cyclone, $20 buckethead vac w/HEPA filter, 2 5gal buckets, scrap plywood, 12ft superflex hose, takes up ~1sqft of floor, is wallmounted. A funnel fitted inside the top bucket allows dust to drop through the cyclone into the collection bucket when the vac is shut down—this prolongs the filter life significantly.

Aside from the ‘dust drop-through’ feature and compact size, the principal advantage of my design is that the path between the cyclone air exhaust port and the vac has been reduced to ~3 inches, and without bends. This minimizes the airflow loss.

You could substitute an Oneida Dust Deputy for my shopbuilt metal cyclone.

It’ll suck your socks off, but it’s noisy. I should have mounted inside the closet.

View Cathie Zimmerman's profile

Cathie Zimmerman

62 posts in 280 days


#10 posted 04-14-2016 05:19 AM

I LOVE THAT! I have a Ridgid Wet/Dry that I’ve had for years that I want to rig to something like that. It would be perfect for the router table/band saw/belt sander. Then i could use the big HF one for the table saw, future jointer, planer… Etc. Can you go into a bit more detail about the cyclone part? Did you guess the angle or just go with what fit? How did you secure it together?

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

186 posts in 375 days


#11 posted 04-14-2016 05:53 AM


1) Anyone know of a good resource that would help me figure this thing out?


Do a YouTube search for “Harbor Freight Dust Collector Mods” and you’ll find dozens of examples of the myriad setups that you can do with the very DC machine that you’ve got. There are some very clever vids demonstrating how to replace the bag with a filter, adding a second stage chip collector, venting outside, reorienting the motor, etc. Plus it helps to see how others have utilized the HF DC in their own spaces as you may find one that would apply perfectly to yours.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Cathie Zimmerman's profile

Cathie Zimmerman

62 posts in 280 days


#12 posted 04-14-2016 05:58 AM

Thanks for the tip ripper! Doing that now. :)

View RogR's profile

RogR

53 posts in 332 days


#13 posted 04-15-2016 12:04 AM



A good friend is an HVAC tech and can get HVAC duct (round) pretty much at cost from his company.

- Cathie Zimmerman

Yes – the sheet metal type that snaps together for form a tight cylinder (not flex duct) – this is what I use. It is much lighter and easier to attach to walls and ceilings than PVC and I think it is less expensive too. Tape your connections. Connect clear plastic flex duct for the last few feet to the tool connection.

A point I haven’t seem mentioned is that the vertical drop from the ceiling is usually sufficient to stop large unintended objects (sticks and chunks etc …) from making it all the way back to the cyclone, or worse, becoming wedged in a 90º. Once the vacuum is cut, these heavy items fall back to the floor.

View MadMark's profile

MadMark

978 posts in 920 days


#14 posted 04-15-2016 12:16 AM

You’ve seen all of my piping. The 2-1/2” line goes to my cleaning wand, the first 4” line runs to the saw, the 2nd 4” line goes to the planer. My shop is only 8’ x 10’ and I have to roll the planer out to use it. The line is expandable and direct. I have a 0.5 micron bag from Pennstateind.com on the output. There is little to no fine dust exhausted to the shop.

M

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

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

464 posts in 369 days


#15 posted 04-15-2016 01:28 AM

Don t pay any attention to anyone who tells you you need static control. It s not needed.

And my broken record advice: don t bother with a separator (Thein baffle, cyclone or wok). The only thing they do is make it easier to clean the system, and they rob you of precious velocity/suction meaning they get less dust and such out of your shop, especially the fines. Not worth the tradeoff in my opinion, YMMV

I approve this message

- brtech

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