Fairly quick dust collection question

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Forum topic by Tom posted 07-22-2017 04:01 AM 1306 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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178 posts in 1206 days

07-22-2017 04:01 AM

I have a HF dust collector in my garage/shop. I run the debris through a thein baffle and this pulls out 99% of the material; the collection bag on the collector is almost empty after a lot of use. The other day i poked at the dust bag on top…and a cloud of fine dust came out. I’m thinking I need to clean/upgrade it. Is a better bag good or is it worth investing in one of the canister filters?

5 replies so far

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2682 posts in 3068 days

#1 posted 07-22-2017 11:21 AM

This is the reason that my dust collector is outside my shop in a shed.

-- No PHD just a DD214 Website>

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5095 posts in 2640 days

#2 posted 07-22-2017 11:21 AM

That bag is probably the 5 micron bag they use, way too coarse (IMHO) for shop use. It lets the very fine and most dangerous particles back into the shop air. So your thinking is right, it should be upgraded (again, IMHO) to one that is 1 micron or less. There are some very good bags available, but some of them will cost as much as a filter. But it doesn’t matter which you get as long as it has the tighter filtration (in terms of shop air quality).

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

View rwe2156's profile


3092 posts in 1627 days

#3 posted 07-22-2017 03:27 PM

Upgrade to a cannister or vent outside if you can.

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

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1066 days

#4 posted 07-22-2017 04:21 PM


The resulting dust plume from poking the filter bag would not be a reason for me to clean the existing filter bag. However, if a decrease in air flow is occurring at the machine dust ports, then cleaning would probably be beneficial. The bag with a dust cake built up on the inside of the bag helps capture smaller dust particles that could pass through a clean bag.

I cannot advise on whether a dust filter upgrade is right for you and if you elect to upgrade, whether the bag or canister is best. I do offer my thoughts that hopefully are useful.

There are two reasons that come to mind for reducing the size of dust particles that can pass through the dust collection bag/filter:

The first is health. My understanding is that there can be dust particles that are small enough to by-pass the body’s natural defenses against dust and thus make their way into the lungs. This fine dust in the lungs or perhaps in the sinus cavities could possibly cause health problems later on. While this concern applies to all woodworkers, the amount of time spent in the shop may play a part in the upgrade decision. It seems to me that with limited exposure, any health problems that might emerge would be delayed when compared to those of someone who spends 40 hours per week in the shop. On the other hand, if certain woods are typically milled, the chemicals inherent in the wood could cause problems much sooner than if working with other “safer” woods.

The second reason is nuisance dust that seems to collect on every surface of the shop. Reducing the size of the particles that are captured by the dust collector could reduce the accumulation of dust on everything. In a rough sense, the rate at which fine dust collects on everything is an indication of quantity and size of the dust making its way into the body.

Upgrading the filter bag should increase the quantity of fine dust captured by the dust collection system. However, the upgrade, while offering a potential improvement may not be sufficient. The other source of fine dust is at the tools where the dust escapes the tool’s dust port. Therefore, if an upgrade is undertaken, taking a fresh look at shrouds and dust ports at the tools could further improve shop air quality.

There are advantages and disadvantages associated with bag or canister. The bag would probably be a straightforward upgrade with little modification required to make it fit with the existing system. My method of cleaning the bag is fairly simple and quick. Remove the bag, turn it inside out, and, with a dust mask on, shake the bag outdoors until the dust stops flying around.

The canister generally offers more filtering surface area than the bag and perhaps better filtration can be achieved with the canister. The larger surface area could improve air flow and would extend the time between filter cleanings. But I find cleaning the canister is a time-consuming process of backwashing the canister by blowing compressed air through the filter.

View tmasondarnell's profile


99 posts in 1936 days

#5 posted 07-22-2017 07:37 PM


Same DC and same problem as you. I was going to upgrade to a canister, but it is not in the bidget. Instead, I purchased this bag:

Significant improvement.

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