Small Shop Dust Collection (advice, please)

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Forum topic by bringitonhome posted 04-21-2010 08:17 PM 4657 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bringitonhome's profile


28 posts in 3104 days

04-21-2010 08:17 PM

Hi folks – I’m looking into setting up a dust collection system for my shop which is in a 1-car detached garage. I’m having a lot of trouble figuring out the right solution for me. I’m eying up the 2HP HF model that everyone seems to rave about. However, I’m concerned about power draw. The service in my shop is 15A, so that runs the lights in the shop and a few random things inside my house (old house, ya know… :-/ ). I have a 20A receptacle on the outside of the house, so I generally run an ext cord from there into the garage while I’m working to run my tools off of. My plan is (was?) to run DC on the shop circuit. But the HF model draws “20 amp peak”. I’ve seen a few posts on here where some LJ’s have ran it on 15A without it tripping – would appreciate any insight on that if anyone can speak to it. I do have a 20A circuit that I could run an addt’l receptacle to the outside of the house, and run a second ext cord to the DC, but it’s going to be a real PITA, so i’d like to avoid that if possible.

What’s really confusing me is the requirements for my system. I found an article from FWW that lists required CFM as such:
Machine Average
cfm needed
Tablesaw 350-500
(8-12 in.)
Bandsaw 400
(up to 15 in.)
Radial-arm saw 400
(10-12 in.)
Scroll saw 350
Jointer 400
(up to 8 in.)
Planer 500
(up to 12 in.)
Shaper 350-450
(1⁄2-in. to 3⁄4-in. arbor)
Lathe 450
Disc (12 in.) or 400

Since I’d only be using 1 tool at a time, and not running any ductwork – just connecting to hose to each tool as I use it, would the 1550CFM from to 2HP model be overkill?

I’ve seen posts on here that completely trash 1HP models like this:, but is claims 660CFM – exceeding all of the recommended CFM rates above. So I’m confused…
Is it something I should consider – given my power requirements?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


34 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

453 posts in 3034 days

#1 posted 04-21-2010 08:27 PM

Seeing the amount of power you have available, you would probably be better off with a smaller unit if you are switching it to the different machines. A better quality one like Delta at 650 cfm would be good and draw less power.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3299 days

#2 posted 04-21-2010 08:43 PM

The big draw on most of these units is upon start up….I have been able to run mine on a smaller circuit if I start it up first…then start the other tool…depending on the amp draw of the other tool.

You can check the guage of the wire that is running that circuit to see if you might be able to replace the breaker with a higher amp one (the breakers are based on wire guage…but sometimes they run a lower amp circuit on heavy wire just to be overly safe). Old houses sometimes have weird wire (mine has some old pin and post circuits using a cloth covered wire that I have been replacing over the years with romex. Luckily my shop is new and I wired it all within code (had a sparky check my runs and load box).

Michael’s suggestion is another option – there is the new smaller draw DC’s (Rockler has one and so does Delta)....I love my festool CT22 small dust collector – but it is not good for larger tools so I also have a Jet Cannister DC that is 2hp and gets used on my TS, Jointer and Planer.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View davidpettinger's profile


661 posts in 3229 days

#3 posted 04-21-2010 08:47 PM

bringitonhome, I have a 1 1/2 hp dust collector. I have run 20’ of 4” hose, a wye 2 blast gates, 2 -4” to 2 1/2” reducers and 2 – 10’ sections of 2 1/2” hose. I have found the 2 1/2” hose more practical to work with than 4”. My shop is mostly mobile, so it is easier for me to leave the dust collector in one spot and have the machines roll to the hoses.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View bringitonhome's profile


28 posts in 3104 days

#4 posted 04-21-2010 09:36 PM

Thanks for the replies everyone.

reggiek – are you saying you’re able to run DC and a tool together on the smaller circuit? Because I have 20A dedicated to the tool, but I wanted to run DC on the 15A shop circuit, so maybe DC + some fluorescent lights may not draw enough to trip a 15A breaker…

No can do on the upgrade. I know the shop is wired entirely w/ 14/3, and I have no idea what is under the ground coming out of the house.

UnionLabel – which kind of DC do you have?

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 3342 days

#5 posted 04-22-2010 01:05 AM

watching this thread closely because I am in the same boat.
One 20Amp circuit runs the whole ‘shop’ (half of a 80 year 2-car old garage)
So far I have gotten away with running lights, a shop vac, a table saw and a fan at the same time without tripping.
I’ve wondered if there was a DC I could use.

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View Sarit's profile


549 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 04-22-2010 01:25 AM

If you have an electric dryer outlet in your garage, you can get DC’s that can be rewired for 220v. Unfortunately, I hear the HF one cannot be rewired.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3103 days

#7 posted 04-22-2010 02:17 PM

For What It is Worth – - I run my 2 hp Jet DC on a 15 amp circuit. It has never tripped the circuit breaker in over 2 years.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View TheChucker's profile


38 posts in 3142 days

#8 posted 04-22-2010 04:13 PM

I have the same issue as you one circuit guys. Just the other night I fired up my Harbor Freight 2HP DC and then turned on my table saw…the 15A breaker did not trip. Should I run into a problem with other tools, I have the 100’ extension cord for a backup plan.

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

View 8iowa's profile


1580 posts in 3790 days

#9 posted 04-22-2010 04:57 PM

Perhaps the best very small shop dust collector is Shopsmith’s DC 3300. It only draws 8 amps so you do not have to undergo expensive electrical upgrades. Another plus is that it is quiet enough to carry on conversation.

If you read the magazine “reviews” you will be left with the impression that only a 2 HP unit with 4” ductwork all over your walls or ceiling will suck up the dust from your machines. This is fine for a 1000 sq ft or larger shop with machines fixed in place, and a soundproof place in which to place the dust collector. However, for the very small shop, this kind of system is impractical – and certainly a lot of “overkill”.

I’ve used the DC3300 for twenty years, successfully on all my tools. Perhaps the acid test is my planer. The DC3300 sucks up 99%

-- "Heaven is North of the Bridge"

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 3342 days

#10 posted 04-22-2010 05:24 PM

8iowa -
You had me—right up til I looked at the price.
The only thing more constrained than my shop—is my bank account.
But it does sound like an excellent addition to my wish list.

Meanwhile—talking of low amp collectors—
Does anyone have any experience with the HF “1HP Mini Dust Collector”
It CLAIMS to give over 900CFM—while pulling less than 7 amps.
Any good?

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View MyFathersSon's profile


180 posts in 3342 days

#11 posted 04-22-2010 05:27 PM

You are lucky—my shop is on the same circuit with the outlet on my deck—-
The only convenient place to run a long extension cord—-

My DREAM is to put a subpanel in the shop—but that will mean upgrading my service at the house $$$$$

-- Those who insist it can't be done - should politely refrain from interrupting those who are doing it.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3224 days

#12 posted 04-22-2010 05:45 PM

Look at the 2HP / 5 micron dust collector at Harbor Freight. There are coupons in Wood Magazine to buy it for $139.99 now. Put a pre-seperator in front of it and a Wynn 35A (sub 1 micron) cartridge on it and you will have an excellent DC system. We use the Rockler Dust Right fitting and extendable hose.

Good Luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View bringitonhome's profile


28 posts in 3104 days

#13 posted 04-22-2010 05:54 PM

I’m running the HF model on a 15 amp circuit, no issues.

Just the other night I fired up my Harbor Freight 2HP DC and then turned on my table saw…the 15A breaker did not trip.

These statements are encouraging. I’m going to give it a shot. for $140 and a 15 min ride to HF, I have to at least try, right? I’ll just take it out of the box and fire it up. If the circuit trips – back to square 1.

Square 1 being – spend more money on a less powerful unit, and send back the trash can separator lid I already bought :(

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3203 days

#14 posted 04-22-2010 06:55 PM

The last test I saw …...

Which included the HF model # 45378-1VGA

Showed the HF to be RATED at a 14A draw, but MEASURED at a MAX of 12.1A.

Presuming (I forget) that’s the old version, there’s every reason to believe that the NEW HF 2HP (cough) DC (which I have!) is rated conservatively and—as others have said—will work fine on your 15A, provided you give it a little privacy on start up.

For your future:

1) Wynn 35A filter. Yes, I’m spending YOUR money ;-)

2) Two words: sub-panel from the house. See above comment :-)

3) Did you mention “overkill” ... on THIS forum ??? I’m entirely unfamiliar with the concept LOL.

It’s hard for me to imagine a scene where a properly set up DC, with properly sized ducting, could genuinely be considered “overkill,” until you tried to run a 440V 3PH 30HP machine, through 4” pipe, to JUST your scroll saw ;-)

Of course, I could just as easily be wrong about that :-)

Cheers … and … enjoy!

-- -- Neil

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3203 days

#15 posted 04-22-2010 06:58 PM

Another OhByTheWay:

I absolutely don’t recall the numbers (was a EE major in college), but … in all things breaker and fuse … there’s virtually ALWAYS allowance for a given amount of transient load, in excess of rated capacity, and for a given length of time (often milliseconds).

It’s SORT of like a miniaturized version of a slo-blow fuse, but to nowhere near that extent.

I once Googled, and found the data, but … I don’t even remember whether this is my FIRST or SECOND cup of coffee, so … color ME useless :-)

Long story short, though: a rated 20A MAX will just not always blow a 15A circuit breaker. I’d surely try!

-- -- Neil

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