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Talk me into getting a dust collector...

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Forum topic by RedWoodworker posted 04-18-2018 05:31 PM 1008 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RedWoodworker

34 posts in 329 days


04-18-2018 05:31 PM

I have a cabinet table saw, 14” bandsaw, and various sanders, etc. that create sawdust. Up until now, I have been using a shopvac as my sole form of dust collecting.

I’ve wanted to upgrade, but the price has always stopped me. Well, I received a woodcraft gift card for my birthday, and am trying to talk myself into getting a dust collector rather than something more fun.

How necessary is a DC? My primary concern is health; I get worried about breathing in all the sawdust. I try to wear a mask when cutting, but I’m not that strict about it

Also, if I should get one, are these any good?

If I get one at woodcraft, I’ll probably go with the Jet DC-650 at $350: https://www.woodcraft.com/products/jet-650-cfm-dust-collector-with-bag-filters-1-hp-model-dc-650

I’ve also heard that the harbor freight 2-hp is good, and it is much cheaper at $200. Of course, I don’t have a gift card there, and my preference is to buy quality products rather than just the cheapest. https://www.harborfreight.com/70-gal-2-hp-industrial-dust-collector-61790.html

Any suggestions, advice, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


21 replies so far

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1612 posts in 2491 days


#1 posted 04-18-2018 06:11 PM

Read the various dust collection posts and forums here. I’m starting a blog with a bunch of links to the various manufacturer’s. I’d strongly suggest running through at least one of the “how-to” sizing helpers so you have a starting place. Bill Pentz has a really thorough site if you are willing to read through A LOT of commentary to find the important bits.

Undersizing the piping seems to be a common problem. I know my system needs 6” pipe rather than the 4” hose I have. Using hose instead of pipe is another problem. Overall, take some time to do the math and get things that are properly sized for your situation.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View caboxmaker's profile

caboxmaker

281 posts in 531 days


#2 posted 04-18-2018 06:21 PM

Buy a jointer or planer if you don’t have one. Dust in the lungs is overrated. Smoking and woodworking go together. You do smoke…don’t you?

View RobHannon's profile

RobHannon

155 posts in 673 days


#3 posted 04-18-2018 06:28 PM

Check out http://www.jpthien.com/ if you are looking for ways to get the most out of a cheaper product like the harbor freight dust collector.

View Rayne's profile

Rayne

1056 posts in 1682 days


#4 posted 04-18-2018 06:29 PM

It is posted a lot here, but it’s whatever you feel comfortable with. With the tools you have, if you want a starter DC, Harbor Freight would be a good one to get and then later on, if you want to MOD it like so man of us do to add a separator, then you can. Or if you get the money, just buy an all-in-one unit that suits your budget. For me, I bought a used Shop Fox from CL. It’s on its 3rd DC MOD right now. Each iteration has reduced the footprint by a lot. This will be my last as it won’t get any smaller than what I’m about to do. Hopefully that helps in any way.

View edapp's profile

edapp

123 posts in 1572 days


#5 posted 04-18-2018 06:34 PM

I recently (several months ago) upgraded from a shop vac to a real dust collector (oneida v3000, snap lock ductwork and blast gates at every tool). I, like you, never got real excited about spending money on a dust collector vs some other tool. Didnt seem as fun like you said.

However. Since I got everything installed, i have to say this is my favorite tool purchase by far. The most expensive, but the most effective. One thing I did not expect was how much more efficiently I could work when all the tools are hooked up, I am not cleaning up, moving things around, messing with shop vac adapters or emptying it/cleaning filters constantly. I’m finishing projects twice as fast as I used to. All of that being a side benefit, main one being my health.

I think once you get one, you will realize that it is more like any other major tool purchase than you think, and will provide more utility than you expect.

View RedWoodworker's profile

RedWoodworker

34 posts in 329 days


#6 posted 04-18-2018 06:59 PM



Buy a jointer or planer if you don t have one. Dust in the lungs is overrated. Smoking and woodworking go together. You do smoke…don t you?

- caboxmaker

This is basically the alternative argument going through my head right now.

View Charlie H.'s profile

Charlie H.

276 posts in 793 days


#7 posted 04-18-2018 07:33 PM



Buy a jointer or planer if you don t have one. Dust in the lungs is overrated. Smoking and woodworking go together. You do smoke…don t you?
- caboxmaker

This made me laugh.
Now that you brought it up it does make me wonder how many of the 5hp cyclone hepa filter or bust police smoke.

-- Regards, Charlie in Rowlett, TX --------I talk to myself, because sometimes I need expert advice.---------

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1127 posts in 1051 days


#8 posted 04-18-2018 07:35 PM

“Talk me into getting a dust collector…”

GET A DUST COLLECTOR!!!!

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View brtech's profile

brtech

1042 posts in 3065 days


#9 posted 04-18-2018 08:17 PM

If health is your concern, please take the time to go through Pentz’ site and understand what he is saying. Yes, he is more than a little strident, more than a little opinionated, but I haven’t seen anyone dispute facts with him.

Basically, you need something north of 700 CFM at the tool to get the fines. If you can’t maintain that, wear a respirator. Usually, that means more than 2HP. Usually, that means a well designed duct system with more than 4” diameter on most of the length. No 90 degree turns, etc.

You usually need a filter upgrade on any of the lower cost DCs. You usually want a cartridge filter with .5 micron filtering capability. They improve airflow over the stock bag and catch the fines.

Understand the distinction between the functions of picking up dust/keeping it out of your shop air and how easy it is to clean it out and dump the dust and chips. Separators of any form (ramps, cyclones, baffles, ...) DECREASE airflow. They make it easier to clean up, mostly by diverting dust and chips to a bag or barrel instead of the filter. Separators are an ease of use item that has a negative effect on health. With a big enough airflow, the insertion loss of a good quality separator like a well designed cyclone isn’t significant enough to degrade the air quality by much, so most big systems have cyclones. But adding external separators to smaller systems is usually a bad idea if health is your concern.

Of course if you can exhaust the airstream outside and don’t have a make-up air problem (conditioned air) then filtering isn’t a concern. Few of us have that option.

View Bill_Steele's profile

Bill_Steele

414 posts in 1874 days


#10 posted 04-18-2018 08:31 PM

I think a dust collector (DC) is worthwhile upgrade from a shop-vac. You’ll find that you have to spend less time cleaning up around your tools.

I used only a shop-vac for many years and felt that it did what I needed. One problem with a shop-vac is the filter tends to get really clogged with dust—reducing it’s efficiency. The shop vac tends to blow alot of fine dust out into the shop and it settles on everything. It’s a time-consuming and messy job cleaning out the filter. A mini-cyclone (Oneida) added to a shop-vac is a nice upgrade and really helps to keep the filter cleaner.

My DC is not as loud as my shop vac. It’s still fairly loud so I wear hearing protection. If noise is an issue you may want to consider that as you shop or where you decide to place your DC.

I bought an Oneida Mini-Gorilla several years ago and I’ve been happy with it. I don’t have any ducting so I just move the DC hose from tool to tool. I think what you’re looking at has roughly the same CFM rating as the Mini-Gorilla. In my opinion this DC is superior to my shop-vac. It gets everything from my planer, jointer, drum sander, and bandsaw. It does a good job of keeping the bottom area of my tablesaw clean—but I still get alot of dust on the top of the saw. I would need some sort of dust collection in the blade guard to minimize that.

In my (one man) shop I basically have 2 separate electrical circuits—one for the dust collector and the other for all the tools that will be used with the dust collector. You may want to consider your electrical requirements if you decide to get a collector, knowing that 2 electric motors will be running concurrently.

View jerkylips's profile

jerkylips

456 posts in 2713 days


#11 posted 04-18-2018 08:58 PM

Talk me into getting a dust collector…

If you don’t spend the money on a dust collector, your wife will end up spending it on something stupid, like groceries.

View BigYin's profile

BigYin

421 posts in 2559 days


#12 posted 04-18-2018 09:18 PM

Talk me into getting a dust collector…

well your wife could spend the money on life insurance – so when the wood dust in your lungs kills you she will be able to afford a toyboy to replace you. he can sell your tools to pay for his hobbys

now why was it you needed talking into a dust collector ?

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2636 posts in 1083 days


#13 posted 04-18-2018 09:31 PM

lol Ripper.

Really who would need any reason to buy a DC other than the fact that not only is the dust a health issue, it makes life in the shop so much easier. Cleaning up isn’t half as fun as making the mess.

Love your sig by the way. The Inlaws is a classic! “Serpentine Shell!” lol Maybe I’ll watch that tonight :)

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1127 posts in 1051 days


#14 posted 04-18-2018 09:35 PM

Up until now, I have been using a shopvac as my sole form of dust collecting.

Nothing wrong with that, however, not the most efficient approach and fairly noisy.

I’ve wanted to upgrade, but the price has always stopped me. Well, I received a woodcraft gift card for my birthday, and am trying to talk myself into getting a dust collector rather than something more fun.

Harbor Freight’s 2 h.p. DC is one of the better tools they sell. With a 20% off coupon (which you can get just about anywhere) it’ll cost you less than $200 bucks. Use the gift card for something else, if possible.

How necessary is a DC? My primary concern is health; I get worried about breathing in all the sawdust. I try to wear a mask when cutting, but I m not that strict about it

Being strict about wearing a dust mask will do wonders for your health. Also, an air cleaner might be a worthwhile consideration if you’d rather continue using your shopvac for DC. An air cleaner will get the smaller particulates that tend to float in the air that probably are more of a health concern than the larger chips from jointers, planners and other equipment which are heavier and fall to the floor.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Redoak49's profile

Redoak49

3522 posts in 2131 days


#15 posted 04-18-2018 11:46 PM

Before anyone buys a dust collector, they should do a bunch of reading and understand what you are doing. There is a lot to learn about the different types and features. Also, understand that many of the mfg completely over rate the capability of their machine.

It is up to you if you want to breath the dust or not.

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