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Modifying HF Dust Collector without going nuts?

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Forum topic by HickWillis posted 08-11-2016 12:26 PM 857 views 1 time favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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HickWillis

73 posts in 121 days


08-11-2016 12:26 PM

I just picked up a HF dust collector and have read a few threads here and elsewhere on the interwebs about modifying it to make it a little better. Frankly, I don’t have the time at the current moment to do a lot of these mods. Maybe down the road, I will but for right now I just need it to work fairly well.

With that said, what very simple things can I do to it to make it work well? I’ve read the easiest fix is a better bag to filter down to 1 micron. Anything else very easy that can be done in maybe 10 minutes or so with minimal cost?

Also, this will be hooked up to a miter saw, sanders, and a router. My table saw is mainly used outside so my dust mask provides the protection I need there.

-- -Will


21 replies so far

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bbasiaga

754 posts in 1457 days


#1 posted 08-11-2016 12:38 PM

I did two things that took me a total of about 30 min.

1. I bought the Wynn environmental health filter cartridge and installed it. You’ll also need a blast gate to conto air flow if you do this. This isn’t cheap..i think the filter was $120 or something. Not sure if that meets your definition of minimal cost.

2. I got the woodcraft garbage can separator and a garbage can. Total of $50 here. 30 for the lid, 20 for a can that fit it.

Cleaner air, better seperation. Very little effort to implement.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

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HickWillis

73 posts in 121 days


#2 posted 08-11-2016 12:59 PM

Thanks Brian, I’ll look into those things. For under 200 bucks that doesn’t seem too bad.

-- -Will

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2510 days


#3 posted 08-11-2016 01:43 PM

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WhyMe

612 posts in 1023 days


#4 posted 08-11-2016 01:46 PM

Better how? Easier to clean out or better at collecting dust? The Winn filter is the one best mod to increase catching the fine dust and keeping it out of the air. A cyclone separator makes it easier to collect and dump out the larger chips and dust. But the cyclone actually reduces the overall suction of the collector possibly reducing what’s collected at the tool. The HF doesn’t have a whole lot of power to start with. I put both the Winn filter and cyclone on my HF and it does ok for my use. The cyclone just makes it easier to empty without having to remove the plastic bag.

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Bill White

4450 posts in 3422 days


#5 posted 08-11-2016 02:00 PM

Put on the felted bags from Highland Woodworking. Done. That’s what I did. All the other stuff s like putting an English saddle on a jackass.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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WhyMe

612 posts in 1023 days


#6 posted 08-11-2016 02:06 PM



Put on the felted bags from Highland Woodworking. Done. That s what I did. All the other stuff s like putting an English saddle on a jackass.
Bill

- Bill White

That’s hurtful. But jackass’s are hard working beast.

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dbhost

5604 posts in 2694 days


#7 posted 08-11-2016 02:08 PM

If I had to do it over again, I would…

#1. Wynn Environmental pleated filter. I picked the spun bond poly for its washability. #2. Thien baffle in the inlet ring of the dust collector. I went full on with a side inlet 55 gallon drum separator version, sucks up too much shop floor space which has been a problem for years…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

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Gene Howe

8244 posts in 2890 days


#8 posted 08-11-2016 02:42 PM

The separator is a must to protect the vanes from larger chips. As to the filter, I just discarded it and the bag and vented the dust directly through an outside wall. Freed up a ton of space and no bags to empty and no worries about airborne dust….from the DC anyway.
The separator can catches a good deal and the rest can be vented to a container outside.
I didn’t bother with the outside container. We are VERY rural.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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Dustin

140 posts in 202 days


#9 posted 08-11-2016 03:04 PM



The separator is a must to protect the vanes from larger chips. As to the filter, I just discarded it and the bag and vented the dust directly through an outside wall. Freed up a ton of space and no bags to empty and no worries about airborne dust….from the DC anyway.
The separator can catches a good deal and the rest can be vented to a container outside.
I didn t bother with the outside container. We are VERY rural.

- Gene Howe

Same here. It allowed me to mount the blower in the corner of my garage out of the way. The trash can is easy to empty. I have a neighbor about 60ft to the side of my house where it vents, so I wanted to be sure I wasn’t caoting anything. I dumped maybe a gallon of dust on the floor to suck it up, and had my wife operate the collector while I observed outdoors. The dust is visible at a max of maybe 6 inches from the vent, then it’s just gone. I think my actual dryer puts out more junk through its vent!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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weathersfuori

31 posts in 592 days


#10 posted 08-11-2016 03:25 PM

I bought the Wynn filter and made a separator as well. Both have made a big difference for me, but I think the most important is the upgraded filter. Not cheap, but you won’t get it and feel bad about spending the money. And it couldn’t be much easier to install it.

You can make the separator as easy or as hard as you want it to be. I overthought it, stewed over designs and inlet sizes and all this stuff… finally just went in the garage and stopped thinking and started doing, and it ended up much easier than I thought.

A chip separator would probably be helpful with your router, otherwise I would think for a sander and miter saw you’d be fine with just the upgraded filter. FWIW I gave up on dust collection for my miter saw and just bought a portable stand and do my cutting outside the garage.

-- Weathersfuori, Texas, www.facebook.com/f5creations

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b2rtch

4822 posts in 2510 days


#11 posted 08-11-2016 03:47 PM

“As to the filter, I just discarded it and the bag and vented the dust directly through an outside wall. Freed up a ton of space and no bags to empty and no worries about airborne dust”
You have to be careful about venting outside if you have an heated or air conditioned shop as the DC will pull so much air out.
I tried that with my clear view but ti was pulling so much air out that it created a vacuum in my shop.
I had to reinstall the filters in my shop, it works very well now.

-- Bert

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Rentvent

148 posts in 311 days


#12 posted 08-11-2016 03:51 PM

A remote controlled power switch isn’t very expensive and can usually be installed in under 10 minutes.

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bbasiaga

754 posts in 1457 days


#13 posted 08-11-2016 03:52 PM



Better how? Easier to clean out or better at collecting dust? The Winn filter is the one best mod to increase catching the fine dust and keeping it out of the air. A cyclone separator makes it easier to collect and dump out the larger chips and dust. But the cyclone actually reduces the overall suction of the collector possibly reducing what s collected at the tool. The HF doesn t have a whole lot of power to start with. I put both the Winn filter and cyclone on my HF and it does ok for my use. The cyclone just makes it easier to empty without having to remove the plastic bag.

- WhyMe

Just ad a note…since the Wynn filter has significantly more surface area, it reduces the back pressure on the fan and air flow increases. This can actually be a problem by over amping the motor. Best to install a blast gate and keep it pinched back some. Adding a thine type separator also increases back pressure, so it more than likely offsets the filter change, plus some.

My can lid helps too, but I still have to pinch back a blast gate to avoid tripping the motor at startup.

Brian

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View DirtyMike's profile

DirtyMike

451 posts in 364 days


#14 posted 08-11-2016 04:22 PM

the best bang for buck i did was seal mine with a good vinyl tape. Everyone uses foil tape but im not sure its the way to go to for a dust collector.

View Gene Howe's profile (online now)

Gene Howe

8244 posts in 2890 days


#15 posted 08-11-2016 04:45 PM

Bert, my 24X36 shop is tightly insulated and heated with a propane heater with its own tank.There has been no difference in my propane usage since venting the DC outside. The metal vent pipe doesn’t even get warm. Possibly, the metal can used for the separator, might get warm but that heat would dissipate into the shop, anyway.


“As to the filter, I just discarded it and the bag and vented the dust dictly through an outside wall. Freed up a ton of space and no bags to empty and no worries about airborne dust”
You have to be careful about venting outside if you have an heated or air conditioned shop as the DC will pull so much air out.
I tried that with my clear view but ti was pulling so much air out that it created a vacuum in my shop.
I had to reinstall the filters in my shop, it works very well now.

- b2rtch


-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

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