Reconfiguring Dust Collection System

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Forum topic by GatorTim posted 10-12-2017 04:42 PM 316 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 10 days

10-12-2017 04:42 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection question

Hi fellow LJs!

I need help with my dust collection system re-design. I have a Delta 50-760 1.5 hp 1200 CFM dust collector that I have had for several years. I have not made any upgrades to it, so it is still the standard configuration with the large balloon bag filter on top and using plastic bags for collecting the dust. I am currently using 4 inch metal ducts for the main trunk and either 4” or 2 1/2” flex hose to connect to many of the dust collection ports on my tools depending on the manufacturers built-in port. My tools include most of the stationary tools, table saw, router table, miter saw, radial arm saw, drill press, and band saw.

I am moving my workshop into a new area and have the opportunity to redesign it and fix the problems that I am currently having with it. Right now it is doing a horrible job at picking up dust from just about everything except for the floor sweep. My workshop is always covered in a layer of dust. I know that part of that is because I have not gotten the right hoods and upgraded the collection ports on the tools and I plan on making that investment to upgrade the tools. I know that part of that is because I am using too much flex hose.

However, I have been reading every blog article and forum post on the subject and I believe that part of that issue might be because I am using 4” and smaller ducts. After reading Bill Pentz’s articles, I am feeling like I need to run 6” duct everywhere I can. But is that truly needed for good dust collection? I am installing a Jet AFS-1000B Air Filtration System. Does that take care of the fine dust collection needs that Bill warns about well enough that I can focus more on just chip and larger dust collection?

Sorry for being so wordy, I am honestly so confused on the topic that I feel like I could write a book on the options that I should be considering.

Thanks in advance for the great suggestions I am sure I will get!


-- Tim, New York

7 replies so far

View Dustin's profile


359 posts in 523 days

#1 posted 10-12-2017 04:51 PM

In regards to the ambient air filter, keep in mind that this is primarily designed to help clear the air after operations have been completed. In other words: more fine dust in the filters on the air scrubber means less on your floors and tools, but it certainly doesn’t eliminate it. If you choose to go this route alongside using your DC for chip collection and you are concerned about your lung health, the best solution is to use a respirator.

From what I understand, a system like yours is not adequately powerful to duct around the shop for the purposes of eliminating ambient fines (though it may do an adequate job of collecting the big stuff and promoting general tidyness). I’m in a similar dilemma right now, owning a HF “2 HP” (yeah right) DC, and it’s really only useful for my planer and jointer (even there, it’s lacking). I’ve looked and looked for ways to make this thing better, but it will never quite do what I want/need it to do, as I really want a 2-stage system, but this simply doesn’t have the power for it. I’d love to upgrade to a 3HP cyclone system, but the Grizzly is a pretty hefty footprint, and the Oneida’s are fairly cost-prohibitive.

-- "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."

View Manitario's profile


2506 posts in 2666 days

#2 posted 10-12-2017 06:27 PM

The problem with a 1.5hp DC is that it just doesn’t have the power or impeller size to deal with being ducted into a system. If you use 4” pipe, it increases the “friction” (static pressure) to a point that the DC can’t provide any meaningful CFM at each machine. Going up to 6” duct is great, but a small DC can’t keep the airspeed high enough to move the dust. I started with a 1.5hp DC and tried various configurations and sizing of ducting b/f I knew anything about dust collection, none really worked that well. A Thein baffle will further decrease airflow as it adds more static pressure to the system. A 1.5hp DC can work well as a portable DC that you connect to each machine with a short length of duct b/f you use it.

An ambient air filter will keep your shop looking cleaner, but doesn’t really do much for your lungs. The ambient af slowly picks up all the airborne dust that is missed by your DC. This gradually reduces the amount of airborne dust, but over time. During the time it reduces the airborne dust (typically hours) you’re breathing all that fine dust in…

With a good sized DC you don’t need an ambient af. The airborne particle count in my shop stays <600>m using. Save your money and put it towards a 3hp system that you can duct in.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View GatorTim's profile


3 posts in 10 days

#3 posted 10-14-2017 02:10 AM

Thank you both for the responses. I guess I am going to do the best I can with what I have for now, knowing that what I really need is to upgrade to a 3 hp or higher dust collector. Do you have a good recommendation? What are you using and do you have any regrets about the decisions you made putting your system together?

Thanks again!

-- Tim, New York

View newwoodbutcher's profile


678 posts in 2633 days

#4 posted 10-14-2017 04:20 AM

I have the same dc, and had the same challenges. I added a SDD and canister filter and reconfigured the blower SDD conection to eliminate a sharp turn, I thought that if That didn’t improve performance enough I would increase my pipe size from the 4” black sewer pipe to 6” or even 7” pipe. . But I honestly believe the current set up is al the system I need. Here’s the pics

-- Ken

View rwe2156's profile


2662 posts in 1263 days

#5 posted 10-14-2017 12:51 PM

6” mains and 4” drops will be a HUGE improvement, trust me. ;-)

Don’t upgrade your blower until you give it a try.

I am running a Jet 1 1/2HP with a cyclone and it does a very good job.

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

View GatorTim's profile


3 posts in 10 days

#6 posted 10-14-2017 01:09 PM

@newwoodbutcher – thanks for sharing pictures of your setup and workshop. What is your longest run? Looks like the one trunk that goes to the band saw is probably around 10-12 feet, but couldn’t see where the other one was going.

@rwe2156- thanks for the comment. Are you having any issues with buildup in the 6” main because 1-1/2 hp isn’t enough to maintain a high enough air speed? How long is your longest run? Did you run PVC DWV or metal duct?



-- Tim, New York

View newwoodbutcher's profile


678 posts in 2633 days

#7 posted 10-14-2017 04:32 PM

There are two main branches, the lower one (in the photo) splits into two runs, one goes to an 8” jointer 9 feet long, the other goes 15 feet through two band saws, a drum sander and ends at the 15” planner. The upper branch goes up into the crawl space then down through the ceiling to the cabinet saw, that run is about 15 feet long as well and has the most turns. All machines dc works perfectly with this set up with the exception of the table saw which always has a pile of sawdust remaining inside the bottom of the cabinet. I have read that that is a comon problem with the Grizzly GO691 cabinet saw that might be improved with more cfm. I haven’t had any blockages or problems of any kind since this upgrade. However until I installed the SDD, canister filter and removed a big turn in the pipe I didn’t get very good results anywhere in my shop. I also thought I would eventually upgrade to a 3 HP unit with bigger pipe but now I’d be hard pressed to justify the cost and effort to upgrade, that doesn’t mean I won’t though. As a side, I also installed IVac automated blast gates and am delighted with that system as well

-- Ken

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