Dust Collection Advice

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Forum topic by AL61 posted 10-09-2016 04:10 PM 1112 views 1 time favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14 posts in 624 days

10-09-2016 04:10 PM

I decided that I really need to take the plunge and install proper dust collection.

I started out thinking that I would just upgrade my shop vac and add a cyclone (something like a Dust Deputy), but the more I read, the more convinced I become that between a new high end vac and the Dust Deputy, I will be in for $250-$350 (or maybe more) for a setup that I will easily outgrow. Worse, while that might help take care of chips adequately, it really won’t help with airborne dust.

I have been doing a bit of research on DC systems and find myself confused and overwhelmed with conflicting advice and opinions, so I am hoping to get some clarity here.

Some basics:
1) I have plenty of space for a stationary unit.
2) I have a preference for 220V since I already have a 220 outlet located in the perfect spot.
3) I am willing to make a reasonable investment, but I need to keep it under $1,000 ALL IN (including ducting, blast gates, adapters, hoses, etc).
4) I don’t have a lot of equipment that generates high volume (like a planer) YET, but want to plan for it.
5) I would classify my use as light to medium (weekend hobbyist rather than everyday commercial use)

I am thinking about the Jet DC-1100VX-5M but wondering if the ShopFox W1666 which will save my $160 (after shipping) might be a better choice.

One big question I have, are the bag filters adequate or will I need to add a Wynn canister style filter in any case?

Any advice or recommendations? Other units I should consider?

Thanks for you advice!

p.s.; I see a lot of others here have used the HF unit and added Wynn filter and cyclone or Thien baffle, but it seems like by the time you make all those mods, your back into the $500+ range and have a motor with questionable reliability, so I have ruled out that option.

-- Al, Connecticut,

34 replies so far

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4980 posts in 2487 days

#1 posted 10-09-2016 04:29 PM

While int erms of HP and impeller size those units are the smallest I would recommendation…neither of them would be the one. The Jet has 5 micron filtration, and the SF is a lot worse, 30 micron. The SF is little more than a dust pump, the Jet not much better. You want a unit with at least 1 micron filtration (IMHO) to catch the dangerous particles…smaller would be better. So either of those units would require a filter upgrade. Bag filters filter just as well as canisters, but not generally they clog over time quicker than a canister. High quality bags will often be made so they build up a cake on the inside to a certain level (it’s part of the filtration) and then shed the excess past that point; AFF will tell you theirs are made like that. I think you have a good basic plan, but starting with the right stuff will help in the long run. The $1000 may be a challenge, but I think you can do it if you’re careful with your selections.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View AL61's profile


14 posts in 624 days

#2 posted 10-09-2016 04:39 PM

Thanks Fred, I was worried about the 30 micron on the SF unit, but thought that the $160 in savings could offset the cost of a Wynn filter. The 5 micron on the Jet would still need a filter upgrade and I am into it for more $$.

Do you have any recommendations as what other units I should consider?

-- Al, Connecticut,

View TechRedneck's profile


768 posts in 2851 days

#3 posted 10-09-2016 06:38 PM

The Wynn filters have a LOT more surface area and will improve flow and catch more of the fine stuff. In my opinion once you have the Wynn type cartrage filter you will never go back and are worth the investment.

I really don’t know why they still ship units with bags. I tossed mine in the garbage after installing a Wynn. You don’t see a bag on your vehicle intake for a reason. Do it right the first time and you won’ t regret it.

Your 220 will drive a nice impeller (volume of air) a cyclone will separate nearly all the dust and chips, a good filter will catch the fines if you don’t vent outside and last but not least is the ducting. With a larger impeller go with at least 6” mains.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4980 posts in 2487 days

#4 posted 10-09-2016 06:39 PM

Not really, I haven’t stayed current on what’s available. Have you looked at te Grizzly units? Don’t know if they are any better than the SF, but it might pay to look. I just looked and saw this Grizzly for about the price of the Jet, maybe it’s an option?

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View AL61's profile


14 posts in 624 days

#5 posted 10-09-2016 06:57 PM

I was looking at the Grizzly you pointed out too. Could be a good option, but it got bad reviews on Amazon (mostly due to units arriving damaged and to being noisier than expected).

-- Al, Connecticut,

View pintodeluxe's profile


5653 posts in 2807 days

#6 posted 10-09-2016 07:00 PM

I would get a cyclone (stationary or portable), and use it with a flex hose and single tool for now. Upgrade to metal duct work as you can. At least you will have the safety and convenience factors of a cyclone (fine pleated filter, easy to empty dust bin, better separation etc).

We judge dust collectors based on suction, filtration and separation. A small 1-1.5 hp bagged unit fails on two out of three. Suction will be decent until the filter clogs.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2965 days

#7 posted 10-09-2016 07:15 PM

OP said hopes to get more clarity here. Good luck with that.

After having used the HF 2HP collector for over 6 years with no problems what-so-ever I can’t see any reason to look elswhere. If I needed more capacity, to run a big sander, for instance, I’d just add another HF collector.

Replace the bag wih a cartridge, replace the bag with a larger bag with a lower micron rating, or just vent it outside (if you don’t have to worry about wasting heated or air conditioned air), are all good suggestions.

I just put a 5 micron bag on my collector and run a shop air filter to clean the air. Collector runs when a machine is making dust and chips. Filter runs all the time I’m in the shop.

The Thein separator or a cyclone pre filter are, in my opinion, a total waste of tiime except that a separation stage is good to catch bulky chips and chunks or screws that don’t need to go through the fan. BUT, the best place for this separation is near the source so that mostly fine dust and air is all that has to be conveyed through the ducts and fan. I use a metal trashcan with a simple baffle between the inlet and outlet and it sits beside my table saw and the jointer and planer. Another point is that the simple trash can expansion chamber/drop out bin does not require a lot of static pressure to be effective; Thein separators and cyclones do. Most small dust collectors don’t have a lot of static pressure to waste.

View AL61's profile


14 posts in 624 days

#8 posted 10-09-2016 07:20 PM

The cyclone systems I have looked at have been outrageously expensive. Most are at least 2x-3x the price of a “standard” DC system with a similar flow spec (even canister systems). I can’t quite understand how the prices get so incredibly out of hand given that the actual cost of the components in the cyclone systems (motor, impeller, housing, etc) can’t be that much different. The cyclone itself cannot add that much real cost to the manufacturing of the product, can it?

-- Al, Connecticut,

View MadMark's profile


979 posts in 1447 days

#9 posted 10-09-2016 11:19 PM

Penn state industries makes 4” inlet 0.5 micron filter bags.


-- Madmark -

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4980 posts in 2487 days

#10 posted 10-10-2016 11:15 AM

Cyclones are the current rage in DC, but if you are moving enough air (and filtering it properly) it doesn’t matter what does the work. But cyclones have some advantages, and there are reasons for them to cost more (but probably not 2-3X). A well made/designed unit will separate virtually all the debris from the air stream from the air stream before it hits the filter. Doing this lets you have the max air flow all the time. SS stage units generally blow the finest particles into the filter, and over time they clog and reduce air flow. So you loose dist capture at the working end. For a cyclone to do it’s job it should have a specific design for the separation, if you believe the Pentz info (I do) that requires some internal stuff in the body of the cyclone that’s not that easy to install (the air ramp) and some other design criteria that increases the cost. Add to that all the material in the cyclone body and you get a stiff increase in cost. As for the blower, because a cyclone hugely reduces air flow (drag on the system) it generally takes more ass to move the same amount of air versus a SS. So for given air movement (don’t trust the listed specs, they are about as accurate as the 6.5 HP your chop vac has) it takes a larger impeller and a bigger motor. But, because none of the air stream debris hits the impeller it can be designed to be much more efficient (again, in a well built machine). But the rub comes with the design, many of the ones available are simply a SS blower mounted on top of a cheap-to-make body and they don’t separate as well as they should. My Oneida can clog a filter in just a few hours of running with heavy use of a drum sander…probably 1/2 or more of the finest dust goes straight to the filter. It’s so bad I installed a gauge to determine when I have to stop and clean it. My opinion is they built it (very well, I might add. The impeller is almost a work of art) to make the manufacturing more manageable, skipping the hard stuff. Look at one like the CV with the tight body dimensions, neutral vane, squared sloping inlet, air ramp, etc. and you can see why it cost so much.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View rwe2156's profile


2916 posts in 1474 days

#11 posted 10-12-2016 03:25 PM

I have a Jet 1100 on a SDD cyclone but vented outside collecting through 6” pvc ducts.

A planer, jointer and drum sander are all located within 6-12 feet of the blower.

The TS is about 25’ away.

I had it so figured give it a try expecting to go to a 3HP blower but it works fine, Fred!!

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

View gmakra's profile


5 posts in 585 days

#12 posted 10-12-2016 06:45 PM

Gents this is my first post here however I would like to point out a few things.
But before that I would like let you know a bit about myself. I have been in the commercial HVAC industry for over 40 years so I might have a bit of insight into how air filtration works.

Years ago air filter were rated a 10-100% this was done with a test of capturing dust particles, it simply put a pound of dust into the air in a test chamber and over a period of time IRRC (10 min) and then the filter was weighed.
If it was 2/10 of a pound heavier it was a 20% filter a 40 would be 40% and so on.

Now filters are rated in MERV but its kind of the same idea. Now you all know this but didn’t quite think of it this way. The more a filter is used the more dust it captures and that improves efficiency till you reach 100% and the filter is plugged.

I worked in Pharmaceutical clean rooms and we filtered down to 5 microns which is 5 millionths of an inch to capture virus’s and bacteria BTW Pharma Clean Rooms are on the dirty end of the scale in clean rom ratings.

So may I ask why do you want to put a High Efficiency Particulate Air filter on a dust collection system? You can if that what floats your boat, but a bag filter is more than adequate its washable and reusable. If you want to pay money for cartridge filters that are throwaway be my guest.

The simple fact is this none of this systems are all that much more than the next.

Get your self any cyclone separator and install it before your blower inlet then use the filters to clean the air.
Don’t go over board on duct sizing for a simple system keep it 4 inch duct with blast gates and only open the blast gate on the machine your using. About the best you will be able to get is around 100 CFM at the open terminal.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4980 posts in 2487 days

#13 posted 10-13-2016 10:48 AM

Gmakra, I suggest you peruse the Pentz site just a little!

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Redoak49's profile


3239 posts in 1982 days

#14 posted 10-13-2016 11:10 AM

Gmakra….I do not know if your post was serious, posted to cause a bunch of responses or you just do not understand. You should read the Pentz site and learn. What you have written is incorrect and uninformed.

Please do some reading especially the Bill Pentz website.

Welcome to LJ…...a place to share and Learn.

View gmakra's profile


5 posts in 585 days

#15 posted 10-13-2016 12:21 PM

Gents I did just read his web site and other than disagreeing on the HEPA filters nothing in my post is in disagreement with his web site.And since I have no financial motivations for my post I was pointing out the obvious.

Mr Pentz also makes his own dust collection products to sell for profit.I am not saying his stuff doesn’t work it does. My point is maybe your spending a lot for little return.

A good reference is the book HVAC equations, data and rules of thumb written by Arthur A. Bell

But you can test your own system, google smoke for air balancing buy a smoke candle and test your own system. .

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