dust collection

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Forum topic by Kathy posted 07-29-2010 02:29 PM 1869 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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210 posts in 3094 days

07-29-2010 02:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

It is time for me to address the mess I make in my shop. I have an air filtration system installed on the garage ceiling but no dust collection for my tools. I took a look at the system that you all recommended at Harbor Freight but it is HUGE!!!

I would be interested in something more the size of my shop vac. I would be attaching it to a miter saw, a band saw,a router and various small skill saws, etc. I would not be using it more than maybe 2 or 3 times a week.

Can I get away with something smaller and what would you recommend. There were several of them at HF when I looked at the big one. What is the smallest horse power that I could get away with? And what in the world is cfm?? I have limited space and would not mind rolling it around when I need to use it.

Thank you!!

-- curious woodworker

17 replies so far

View Sailor's profile


543 posts in 3437 days

#1 posted 07-29-2010 02:39 PM

That’s easy! You need the Dust Deputy! You can buy or build one its simple. Check my blog out in my signature, I show how I made my own DIY Dust Deputy. It’s on my shop vac and works great and was very inexpensive.

-- Dothan, Alabama Check out my woodworking blog! Also my Youtube Channel's Facebook page

View FatScratch's profile


189 posts in 3475 days

#2 posted 07-29-2010 03:06 PM

CFM = cubic feet per minute – it is the volume of air moved

Look up the Thein baffle or seperator to use with your shop vac. You can build on of these very easily and it fits on top of a trashcan. It will seperate most of the dust and woodchips from finding their way into your shop vac filter. The dust deputy is also great for use with the shop vac.

I have one of the small red dust collectors from Harbor Freight. It was about $100. It works well enough for my small shop and is a more tollerable sound than the screaming Ridgid shop vac. If it is hooked to one tool at a time it would probably be sufficient, but in no way compares to the larger 2 bag units – even if the CFM listed is close. The bigger unit is just must more efficient at moving dust.

View VinnieP's profile


140 posts in 3494 days

#3 posted 07-29-2010 04:33 PM

Craftsman has this dust collector on sale for $110 if you are a club member.

View Jon Edmonds's profile

Jon Edmonds

43 posts in 3114 days

#4 posted 07-29-2010 04:44 PM

I bought the rockler wall mount unit about a year ago. It is not as powerful as the big Harbor Frieght unit but it works great for one tool at a time. It is much smaller and queit compared to the the big units. I also use the rockler Dust Right System with it.
Hope this helps.

-- Jon In Sunny California

View rance's profile


4264 posts in 3333 days

#5 posted 07-29-2010 05:40 PM

Personally, I’d forget about collecting from your miter saw. Just make a shield behind it to corral it, then sweep. Skill saws… take those outside for cutting if the dust bothers you.

For the rest, why not just use your shop vac? I doubt you’ll be gaining anything by going to a DC on that small of a scale. The big $139(on sale) HF unit seems to be the one to get when you move up though.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 3232 days

#6 posted 07-29-2010 08:25 PM

Get a harbor freight collector.
And put a canister on with Dust Deputy connected.

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3821 days

#7 posted 07-29-2010 08:38 PM

for smaller handheld machines – a shop vac actually works better than a 4”+ DC.

a DC really starts to shine when you are working with machines that produce a lot of larger chips – like a jointer, or planer. works great for table saw that produces a large amount of sawdust. but for those machines I really would recommend a more powerful DC like the HF, or the Jet/Delta/Other 1100CFM+ I just don’t think pricewise the smaller units are worth it – unless you really can’t fit a free standing DC in your place.

For what it’s worth, and from what you shared with us – I’d stay with the shopvac. I recently got a porter cable dust extractor that works really well with the smaller tools (jigsaw, circular saw, router, sanders, etc). the smaller and more flexible hose make it much easier to use than my previous 16Gallon ShopVac.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kathy's profile


210 posts in 3094 days

#8 posted 07-29-2010 09:06 PM

The problem with the shop vac is the hose size. So can I get attachments to the shop vac to make the hose the larger size like on the band saw? If so then I am happy to stay with what I have. The Dust Deputy looks like the kind of thing I am looking for. Even the router table has a bigger hose. I have been attaching the smaller hose with a nylon tie but it isn’t very efficient and it doesn’t get it all.

-- curious woodworker

View PurpLev's profile


8541 posts in 3821 days

#9 posted 07-29-2010 09:15 PM

there are adapters/reducers from 4” to 2.5”.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Kathy's profile


210 posts in 3094 days

#10 posted 07-30-2010 10:15 AM

Thank you all. I will be looking into all of these suggestions. You guys always have the answers:)D

-- curious woodworker

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3340 days

#11 posted 07-30-2010 11:25 AM

As mentioned above a cyclone product like the Dust Deputy works great to improve the use of a shop vac for woodworking.
If it were me I’d build one out of cheap parts and see how it works for 20 bucks in parts.
You could build one yourself like this very popular post by very inventive LJ member.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3247 days

#12 posted 07-30-2010 03:27 PM

First let me comment that the noise of a shopvac really bothers me and I much prefer a quieter dust collector. In general dust collectors are much quieter than shopvacs.

When I first got my dust collector I though I would wheel it around from machine to machine as I needed it. That didn’t last long. It was very awkward and difficult to move around. I parked it and bought Rockler’s dust right system.

I’m very happy with my setup, but to each his own.

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

View Tim_456's profile


171 posts in 3768 days

#13 posted 07-30-2010 03:59 PM

I’ve replied to alot of these questions where people want to add dust collection and want to go the shop vac + dust deputy route. To be fair I have an average shop vac and the dust deputy (the metal version) and I have a Delta dust collector (forgot the model number). If you’re going to go the shop vac + DD route keep in mind that the DD will not turn your shop vac into a dust collector. All it will do is keep most of the particles from getting into your shop vacs canister and probably not pushed through and back out through the filter. It doesn’t increase the air flow and it’s the air flow (volume moved in cubic feet per minute) that counts for dust collection. A shop vac doesn’t have enough power to pull large amounts of air; that’s why the DCs are big, they have BIG motors and Big impellers to move large amounts of air. To test its effectivness try putting the end of your shop vac hose onto the dust port of whatever tool you’re using, if it doesn’t work well without the Dust Deputy (or any other cycleone separator) it’s not going to be any better at sucking with the seperator. The seperator is just that, a separator not an air flow improver.

Now you can read all sorts of articles by people smarter than me on size of particles, shop vacs = dust pumps, etc etc and in my experience they’re all true. So what I can add to this is that I went down the shop vac + DD path because of all the reasons you cite, cost, size, versatility, etc and I was VERY disappointed with the results. When I connected the combo up to my table saw, miter saw, RAS, etc it was virtually useless. When I put my dust collector up to those same tools my dust went down to virtually nothing and it was a snap to keep the shop clean. I still get some dust, it’s not 100%, but it’s darn near close. I get nothing settling on my horizontal surfaces. Also, to disagree with someone above I have a hood from Rockler that I have on my miter saw and RAS and connected to my Dust Collector, I can capture ALOT of the stuff coming off those tools.

Please realize that I’m not bashing the shop vac + DD combo, it’s great, it’s just not a dust collector. What the shop vac + DD combi is GREAT for is connecting it to a single small power tool like a sander or skill saw where the dust collection is as close to the dust source as possible. And it’s great for something to move around the house. Heck I’ve even used it with my sander on drywall and it worked GREAT!

one other point to mention is that my dust collector is not loud at all and the noise it makes is in the lower frequencies and is not annoying at all. My experience with shop vacs is that they’re loud and darn annoying to boot!

Obviously I don’t know your constraints such as space, budget, etc, but if you’re thinking long term and you’re serious about dust collection, you may want to think twice about this solution.

And that’s my two cents;) Hope it helps.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 3247 days

#14 posted 07-30-2010 06:27 PM

I’m going to second everything that Tim_456 said and not one exception regarding Shopvacs.

The Festool shopvac (They call it a “dust extractor”) is entirely different than any shopvac I have ever seen. It’s quiet and it really works great on festool tools. It’s especially good with sanders. I can sand and not see any dust escaping from the machine.

As an FYI, when my sander or plunge saw is on I cannot hear the dust extractor.

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

View RonPeters's profile


713 posts in 3053 days

#15 posted 07-30-2010 07:02 PM

Before you buy a cyclone (dust deputy), be sure to check out this site:

Here’s research on dust collection:

-- “Once more unto the breach, dear friends...” Henry V - Act III, Scene I

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