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What dust collector to buy

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Forum topic by Blu448 posted 02-19-2018 03:26 PM 743 views 1 time favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Blu448

2 posts in 214 days


02-19-2018 03:26 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector one man shop question

Hey guys

I’m new to the forum and to woodworking and looking for some help. I recently purchased my first house and along with that I started assembling a basement shop. Im a hobbiest, not doing this to make a living, I just like to build stuff. Right now for power tools I have a cabinet saw,miter saw, and planer.
I am in the market for a dust collector and my brain is spinning. I’ve read about all the safety and health issues associated with fine dust and with a girlfriend who has severe allergies and is asthmatic I want something that is going to be as efficient as possible.
I only plan on running one machine at a time, as my shop is small and it’s just me down there. My biggest concern is the table saw and jointer. Again I’m only a weekend warrior, but I don’t want to buy something inferior that won’t satisfy the requirements for effective dust collection. I looked at clear vue and that’s out of my budget. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


14 replies so far

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

819 posts in 1700 days


#1 posted 02-19-2018 03:29 PM

Let us know if you have searched this website for input on this topic.
There is a lot here to read on it.

I feel that a ceiling hung air filter has gone a long way for me to get the dust in the air cleaned up. Not perfect, but way improved over just dust collection alone. Even if you get a big powerful dust machine, it won’t be connected to a lot of smaller dust making machines – like say, a sander or a hand held jig saw. I also went for a dust collector with a fine particle filter, not one with a fabric bag.

Now, stand by and wait for a lot of technical talk on this.

And – welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View WhyMe's profile

WhyMe

1048 posts in 1677 days


#2 posted 02-19-2018 03:38 PM

Welcome to figuring out one of the most confusing purchase decisions you’ll ever make. How much $$ does your budget allow?

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2631 posts in 2999 days


#3 posted 02-19-2018 03:49 PM

If you want a clean shop, get whatever you want, hook up a trash can separator and you’re done. This is what most people do and reason “Well, I have a _DC and my shop looks clean so I’m happy with it/it must be working”. If you want clean air, you are going to want to target at least 600CFM at each machine. This isn’t magic, this is just the minimum airflow it takes to capture fine dust.
Most small, 1.5 HP canister DC have more than enough power if they are connected to each machine by a short piece of flex duct, without any sort of separator, ie. wheeled from machine to machine. Most people don’t want to do this though (how many people want to have to stop and wheel a DC around between each machine). The problem if you try and add ducting to a small DC is that they just don’t have enough power to overcome the resistance (friction) of the ducting and the CFM drops significantly. Therefore, if you want the convenience of not having to wheel a DC from machine to machine, you need to duct it. Generally, you’re looking at a 3hp machine to provide the CFM for the duct runs you’ll need (6” pipe with reducing right at the machine and minimal flex duct).
Getting a good overhead DC system for the TS; eg. an Excalibur type overarm or a Sharkguard will help significantly with the DC.

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

View clin's profile

clin

919 posts in 1112 days


#4 posted 02-19-2018 08:49 PM

To reduce cost and minimize dust, consider venting it outside. That way you do not need a fancy filter that is costly and restricts airflow.

You will need to supply return air, and I would suggest a dedicated return for this in the basement. You have to be careful not to lower the pressure too much in the house and specifically in the basement. A gas fired furnace or water heater may not vent properly if you lower the pressure too much. You run the risk of sucking CO and other combustion byproducts into the house. And that is VERY bad. Like kill you bad.

But, if you provide a way for the outside air to come in, no problem. Since this is a hobby, you probably won’t run the DC so much that you waste too much conditioned air. I’ve noticed here on LJ’s that guys have done this and have not noticed a significant change in heating and cooling bills.

You’ve already studied the issues, so you know what to do. You just have to decide whether you want to spend that much ore not.

I also second the idea of adding a room filter. Dust will still get in the air, and this is a great way to clean the air quickly, but not in lieu of using a DC. Also, remember to do your best to not drag dust upstairs into rest of the house. I work in an attached shop space, and make a point to vacuum myself off before going into the house.

-- Clin

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2804 posts in 3554 days


#5 posted 02-19-2018 09:18 PM

I’ve got a 1 hp Delta…. It works great but, you’ve got to be within about 6 ft of the tool. My table saw is nicely plummed about 15 ft away and I’ve got gates to just draw from that. But at that distance it misses a lot of the sawdust, and most of it stays in the saw. My planer, jointer, and router table are close so it gets 98% of it. I think I’d have to go 2hp to manage the saw.

And btw, unless you don’t use the planer much, keep in mind that a ton of collection is from that machine. Probably 50% the planer and 50% the rest of the tools in my shop. I purchase all my wood RAS (unplaned) as it’s cheaper that way so it gets a fair amount of use.

Someone mentioned venting to the outside with an inlet for air intake. Your profile hasn’t any info in it so I don’t know where you are from, but if you’re in an area where you’d have to heat a lot or AC a lot it’s not practical as you’d suck all your heat outside or pull hot air into an air conditioned shop. I’m in Maine and would love to put my dust collector in the garage beneath my shop. But, I’m not sure I could afford the heating bill if I did. If you can though it pretty much eliminates all the thien baffle, cone vortex sorting and filtration systems as what dust does get through will not be where you are. Of course if your use of the dust collector is not great then you might be able to put up with heat loss as someone mentioned above.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3147 posts in 2373 days


#6 posted 02-19-2018 10:26 PM

Blu, when you are determining your budget be certain to include the cost for the ducting because it can be substantial. Also, as Jim mentioned, search this site for more info. A Harbor Freight 2 hp might be sufficient for your needs, I seem to recall that it has gotten good reviews. Finally, visit Bill Pentz’s site for info overload. HTH

-- Art

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

447 posts in 1610 days


#7 posted 02-19-2018 10:55 PM

Welcome to dust central! :)

Basement shop with asthmatic person in house? Been there, done that.
Designing an indoor wood shop that shares same air as house where someone with asthma must live is not simple. If their allergies include trees or nuts, then making it safe will REQUIRE a complete separation of air handling between house and shop! In extreme cases, might even need a clean up transition room between shop and home to prevent carrying dust on your clothes into house. Also hope you have a large hobby budget?

Assuming the medical limitations for dust are not life threatening; can suggest this in your workshop:

#1 = Need to collect as much dust as possible at source, and use a HEPA rated dust collector (not just a hepa filter) if exhaust is vented inside.

For larger equipment: Best to get use a off shelf cyclone system with heap rated exhaust filter. Getting one with a 2 stage hepa rated exhaust filter would be best. You can cobble a trash can separator or a cyclone together yourself, but most DIY “how to” do not include instructions to guarantee a hepa rated exhaust needed for asthma household. Plus you need to plan how you will empty the dust collector, not spread dust everywhere in shop, or drag it through the house.

For smaller or hand power tools: Need to use a hepa rated shop vacuum. There several online review sites that compare the various brands. Do not think you are able to use the larger cyclone for hand power tools. Larger dust collectors rely on high volume air movement to filter, while smaller shop vacuums have greater suction power required for smaller dust collector ports. Suggest you look at Festool and Fein as examples of kind of configuration you will need to collect sanding dust at source.

#2 = Use a air filter to remove the dust not collected at source.

You can buy/build many different types that will work . IMHO – unless you have easy access to free squirrel cage fans designed to work with static pressure created by dirty filters, it is much simpler to just buy a off shelf filter. The easiest to maintain will be one with 2 stage filtration that allows changing the coarse filters (and less costly filter) as needed more often.

Challenges required to make wood working inside a home safe for someone with allergies/asthma is daunting. Hardest part about living with a dust/tree allergy is remembering you must keep living space absolutely clean, and shop dirt absolutely must stay in shop! Even if are able to separate areas with clean room/dirty room concept; you still must practice clean habits (such as changing clothes) to avoid dragging dirt into clean space. Can not forget that some wood creates higher level of sensitivity.

FWIW:
The Japanese “low dust” solution is 100% hand tools in a wood floor 3mx4m room with airborne hepa filter, and a minimum 2-4 hour separating time between wood work, room cleaning and occupancy to allow hand tool dust to be filtered out. It is really simple and amazing how well is works. Helps that beds roll up and store in closet. :)

Folks in colder European/Scandinavian countries with dust concerns in shared living spaces are big reason that Festool has a tool/dust collection system for woodworking. The system is designed top to bottom to minimize dust exposure. I have seen several folks with Festool populated shop in their home, and am always amazed at lack of dust compared to a conventional wood shop found in many a garage in USA.

Sorry but I must:
Wood working makes dust. If you can not afford large $$$ required to reduce free dust to near zero in a fully equipped power tool shop, or do not want to use mainly hand tools; you might need to consider a different girlfriend or a dust less hobby. :)

Best Luck on your adventure!

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View Blu448's profile

Blu448

2 posts in 214 days


#8 posted 02-20-2018 11:16 AM

Thank you all for the advice. My budget is right around a $1000.00. The more I research the more I put into my budget. Def will prob go with a hepa filter. Venting outside is not possible unfortunately. As far as ducting to the table saw, which is my main concern, I only have about 6ft.

View Sparks500's profile

Sparks500

197 posts in 446 days


#9 posted 02-20-2018 12:17 PM

Ditto on Bill Pentz. Yes, its a long read and will put you to sleep, but, he has lung problems caused by wood dust and has done extensive research.
I built his cyclone system with stacked 1 micron filters and have reduced the fine dust in my shop to near zero.
After you get a good system installed, the challenge then becomes modifying your equipment to maximize collection.

-- A good day is any day that you're alive....

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3450 posts in 2105 days


#10 posted 02-20-2018 12:21 PM

With your girlfriends issues, there are a couple of things to consider. I would drywall and seal the room that you are using and no return air vents. I would also consider changing clothes after working in the shop. Fine dust gets spread easily and clings to your clothes..

As others said, vent outside if you can or a very good canister filter and an air cleaner.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1041 posts in 932 days


#11 posted 02-20-2018 06:42 PM

You are not correct. He says so himself. Bill Pentz sustained severe lung damage from some other source. It was not wood dust. He is fanatical about dust control because of that condition. What he is doing is projecting his health condition onto every other woodworker he offers advice to. Dust control ought to be a part of every shop but Pentz’s advice is way over the top. Hardly anyone can achieve what he calls necessary. Pentz is not an engineer and he does not have a professional medical background. He is just a guy with severe lung problems. He has researched the subject of dust control and you can learn a lot from his website. Just take what you read with a grain of salt.


Ditto on Bill Pentz. Yes, its a long read and will put you to sleep, but, he has lung problems caused by wood dust and has done extensive research.
- Sparks500

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2631 posts in 2999 days


#12 posted 02-20-2018 07:53 PM



You are not correct. He says so himself. Bill Pentz sustained severe lung damage from some other source. It was not wood dust. He is fanatical about dust control because of that condition. What he is doing is projecting his health condition onto every other woodworker he offers advice to. Dust control ought to be a part of every shop but Pentz s advice is way over the top. Hardly anyone can achieve what he calls necessary. Pentz is not an engineer and he does not have a professional medical background. He is just a guy with severe lung problems. He has researched the subject of dust control and you can learn a lot from his website. Just take what you read with a grain of salt.

Ditto on Bill Pentz. Yes, its a long read and will put you to sleep, but, he has lung problems caused by wood dust and has done extensive research.
- Sparks500

- ArtMann


Dude, he’s a mechanical engineer. There are well researched and documented health risks associated with chronic wood dust exposure. Start with pubmed.com and search “wood dust AND pulmonary function”

Due to misinformation/lack of information and the “looks clean so must be good enough” attitude, most home dust collectors fall far below the recommended OSHA standard for CFM. A casual reading of Pentz’s site or any other number of articles on ww dust collection reveals that it’s actually relatively easy to get good dust collection in a home shop. Either a standard 1.5hp DC wheeled from machine to machine with a very short length of flex duct or a larger stand-alone unit can create enough CFM to capture fine dust. What doesn’t work is using a smaller DC with ducting or long lengths of flex duct.

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

View RobS888's profile

RobS888

2483 posts in 1961 days


#13 posted 02-20-2018 08:12 PM


You are not correct. He says so himself. Bill Pentz sustained severe lung damage from some other source. It was not wood dust. He is fanatical about dust control because of that condition. What he is doing is projecting his health condition onto every other woodworker he offers advice to. Dust control ought to be a part of every shop but Pentz s advice is way over the top. Hardly anyone can achieve what he calls necessary. Pentz is not an engineer and he does not have a professional medical background. He is just a guy with severe lung problems. He has researched the subject of dust control and you can learn a lot from his website. Just take what you read with a grain of salt.

Ditto on Bill Pentz. Yes, its a long read and will put you to sleep, but, he has lung problems caused by wood dust and has done extensive research.
- Sparks500

- ArtMann

Dude, he s a mechanical engineer. There are well researched and documented health risks associated with chronic wood dust exposure. Start with pubmed.com and search “wood dust AND pulmonary function”

Due to misinformation/lack of information and the “looks clean so must be good enough” attitude, most home dust collectors fall far below the recommended OSHA standard for CFM. A casual reading of Pentz s site or any other number of articles on ww dust collection reveals that it s actually relatively easy to get good dust collection in a home shop. Either a standard 1.5hp DC wheeled from machine to machine with a very short length of flex duct or a larger stand-alone unit can create enough CFM to capture fine dust. What doesn t work is using a smaller DC with ducting or long lengths of flex duct.

- Manitario


I think you both are correct, I stopped reading somewhere around him saying 800 CFM for a fume hood, that is for a lab setting and far beyond what I need. I have a delta 50-760 going through a 55 gallon second stage and a lot of 4 inch pipe and I take it for granted until I forget to turn it on and I see how much it does collect. My jointer/planer is about 45’ from the DC and it picks up almost everything it produces. My wife has a lathe and it is very easy to see with a light if you are getting it all. It looks like smoke coming off and flying into the collector when she is sanding. There are still tons (no kidding it is an incredible amount) of chips on the lathe and floor and sometimes the dog. But the fine stuff is sucked up. Of course you need to be careful about positioning the inlet.

-- I always suspected many gun nuts were afraid of something, just never thought popcorn was on the list.

View bigtuna's profile

bigtuna

5 posts in 211 days


#14 posted 02-21-2018 03:39 PM

large ridged shop vac, would maks a nice one, and double as a shop vac.

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