HF DC: How much can you get out of it?

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Forum topic by live4ever posted 08-24-2010 09:14 PM 1984 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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983 posts in 3035 days

08-24-2010 09:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dust collection

I’d like to hear from those of you with the HF 2hp DC.

I have it and am considering setting up a permanent DC system around it to eliminate moving it around (small shop) and reduce noise. What I’m wondering is whether the DC can support long runs of PVC. I have two “areas” in my shop…each one would be approximately 25 feet (of PVC) away from where the DC would be located. I don’t want to embark on setting this whole thing up if the DC won’t provide adequate suction.

Any similar setups?

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

10 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3674 days

#1 posted 08-24-2010 09:34 PM

you should be OK with those distances as long as you keep the runs as short as possible, and use as little flex hose as you can.

there is always a payoff when setting up longer runs, but from your description you should be within the acceptable tolerances.

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

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 08-24-2010 09:57 PM

Bill Pentz would probably say no, because he wants more CFM than you could get out of the 2HP.

Based on what I can figure out, if you replace the bag with a Wynn filter, you use 45 degree angles instead of 90s, and as PurpLev says, use as little flex as possible (and of course blast gates as appropriate), it will work okay. I have the HF DC and plan to do the same eventually. Right now I’m dragging it around on its cart.

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3186 days

#3 posted 08-24-2010 10:00 PM

I’ve heard it really sucks. I agree with Purplev, the longer your runs, the less woodworking you can get done.

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

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3074 days

#4 posted 08-24-2010 10:08 PM

When my shop is finished ( or more finished that it is now) my plan is to buy a cyclone separator and to mount the dc right on the top of it and to mount a Wynn filter.

-- Bert

View TheChucker's profile


38 posts in 3138 days

#5 posted 08-24-2010 10:14 PM

I have a similar setup myself. The HF DC is connected to a 20’ run of 4” PVC along the back wall with three hook ups to some larger machines. At the end of the run I have the Rockler expandable hose that goes out to 21’. I connect that to my planer and jointer when I wheel them out. It has handled all the chips those have thrown at it. My maximum total length when using the jointer is about 35’.

-- Wherever you go, there you are.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3257 days

#6 posted 08-24-2010 10:27 PM

To get the most out of your HF DC you will want to…

#1. Lose the factory bags, they are like dragging an anchor, they really restrict air flow, but let the dust you don’t want through easily. Go with a Wynn canister filter. It was like adding a supercharger to mine. #2. Keep that filter clean to keep your airflow up. You can do this one of several ways. I am using a Thien separator, a Thien baffle in the inlet ring works well too! #3. Place the DC as centrally as you can so the lines are as short as possible. #4. Use NO 90 degree bends. a 45, a short piece of pipe, and a 45 make for MUCH better air flow! #5. Use as little flex hose as you can get away with. If you CAN use none, but that isn’t really feasable for most of us… #6. Use 5” metal pipe if you can. I haven’t gone that way yet, but I am planning on converting as money becomes available… I will replace my 4” main with 5” metal, using 5×5x4 Wyes from Kenncraft Company to reduce to 4” drops per machine. For now, I am upgrading my Thien Separator to a 5” connection, and moving the 5×4x4 factory Wye off of the HF DC to in front of the separator, at least that way I can run my main line, and the line for my Shark Guard at the same time. #7. If they are in the budget get some nice aluminum self cleaning blast gates to control air flow. If the metal ones aren’t in your budget, make your own. The self cleaning feature insures that they will not be propped open by sawdust buildup… #8. Use an air filtration system to catch what the DC misses. Without a doubt even the best cyclones still miss dust. Dust hoods are only so good, even the best ones. Use an ambient air filter to clean your air. A box fan with an allergen furnace filter will help, a dedicated machine like the Grizzly G0572, JET AFS 1000B, JDS-750ER are all great machines, and will serve the purpose well for years to come.

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View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#7 posted 08-24-2010 11:19 PM

My HF 2hp collector can handle anything most of the other 2hp collectors can because they are the exact same machines except for the paint jobs. Having said that, you would get less loss if you could run a single 5” pipe, but I don’t know where you could find 5” PVC. It’s not standard and sure not going to be at HD or Lowes. A sheet metal guy could roll you up any dimension of duct you want, and pretty cheap, but the cost of the elbows and Y’s and T’s in metal gets real high real quick. The very best balance for one of these collectors would be a 4” and a 2 1/2” or 3” pipe that would connect to the two 4” inlet ports. Those could both be open and working together and would use all the fan’s capacity. That could handle something like a 4” connection to a table saw and a 2 1/2” connection to a disk or belt sander at the same time. I used that example because I keep those two things open on my system and they work great. You could run two runs of 4” PVC just fine as long as they are not both open at the same time.

When I get my shop set up the way I have it planned there will be a 20 foot run of 4” PVC with three drops of 4”, one for TS and one for the jointer and one for the band saw. Then a 25 ft run of 3” PVC with 2” connection for my sander and a 2 1/2” for the planer. I will be able to run one machine on the 4” and one on the 3” at the same time. I know this will work because I am an engineer and have been doing this kind of design for 40 years.

View live4ever's profile


983 posts in 3035 days

#8 posted 08-25-2010 10:37 PM

Thanks very much for the info, y’all.

On the Wynn cartridges, is there really a difference between the different options for the small shop hobbyist? I’m tempted to go with the 80/20 paper blend as it’s the cheapest but still provides a huge surface area increase for increased air flow.

Also, what would you recommend as far as reading material for setting up ducting etc. I know it’s not rocket science, but I’d like to make the most appropriate use of blast gates, splits and bends, etc. Just basic DC system reading…the Pentz site is probably overboard for what I want to accomplish.

-- Optimists are usually disappointed. Pessimists are either right or pleasantly surprised. I tend to be a disappointed pessimist.

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3257 days

#9 posted 08-26-2010 05:34 PM

I picked the spun bond poly Wynn after talking to Dick Wynn about my needs. I cut a LOT of MDF, and live in a HIGH humidity environment. The paper element filters a little better lower down the scale than the spun bond, but it doesn’t like moisture… (so surprise there!). Lots of guys run the paper, and are VERY happy with them. I would go with paper if I had it to do over again…

My mention of the 5” is for 5” METAL pipe, not PVC, just reduce down to 4” after the Wyes and THEN switch to S&D PVC. (It can be done)...

As far as setting up ducting is concerned, there are some general rules to keep in mind.

#1. Run as big of a main line as your system will handle. The HF 2HP DC will handle 5” out of the box, with a modified flange on the impeller you CAN upsize it to work with 6”, some do that, I am not willing to try… #2. Keep your runs as SHORT and STRAIGHT as possible. #3. When you have to make a bend, do NOT use short radius 90 degree elbows. a long radius 90 is okay, but not great, 2 45 degree elbows with a piece of straight pipe between them is better. #4. Blast gates tend to get sawdust built up in the slot when they are opened. Self cleaning blast gates address this problem. I got mine from Lee Valley, they are not cheap, but they are not super expensive either. Some guys cut relief notches on the closed end of a cheap plastic blast gate which seems to allow enough intake air to prevent slot clogging. I would be concerned that would reduce airflow in the system by introducing outside air into the system. #5. Flex hose is NOT your friend. Use it sparingly. Each ridge in flex hose slows down air flow, you want to minimize that.

A good example of system upgrades that will improve air flow is with mine. When I built my Thien separator, I used 4” in / out, through the top of the barrel. That means I have a 90 degree bend coming in to the barrel, a 90 degree bend IN the barrel, and a 90 degree bend coming out of the barrel, of course all ducted with 4”. I am in the process now of making a side inlet into the barrel using 5” metal duct, and upsizing my outlet port to 5”. I still have the 90 degree bend coming out of the barrel going to my impeller housing, but I eliminated 2 90 degree bends, and up sized my ports. From there I am heading on down to 5” duct and the 5×5x4 wyes, the 4” gets mated to a Lee Valley self cleaning blast gate, then the machine side goes to 4” S&D plastic, to short flex line, to machine.

My entire main run is a total of 20’. I pull from furthest to closest, my lathe, drill press, band saw, table saw (2.5” belly pan, 2.5” blade shroud), table saw overhead guard (Shark Guard with 4” port), and bench tool port providing pickup for planer, jointer, oscillating sander, and even a funky attempt at CMS dust collection. For the most part, I have given up on dc on the miter saw, and tend to simply drag it, on its stand out into the driveway and just let the dust fly. I am sure the neighbors love it…

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View Drew's profile


350 posts in 3125 days

#10 posted 08-26-2010 05:48 PM

The fence on my router table is 33’ from my HF, with the last 4’ (at the RT) being a 180 degree bend of 4” flex.
Still sucks like a beast.
btw, most of my run is 4” pvc.


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