Dust collection with wet/dry vac

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Forum topic by Praki posted 04-05-2008 05:09 PM 9598 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Praki's profile


199 posts in 3997 days

04-05-2008 05:09 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

Hi LJs,

I don’t have any kind of dust collection system in my garage. The higher powers have issued a directive to “do something about the dust in the garage or else…”. I am thinking of cobbling something together with a wet/dry shop vacuum and looking at a Ridgid or Craftsman 16 gallon shop vac.

Right now I only have a table saw, router and I plan to get a planer soon. I mainly work with solid wood and MDF. I don’t mind the inconvenience of switching the vac from machine to machine that much.

My question is, would this work okay or will I be dissatisfied with it and forced to acquire a real dust collection system? If somebody would share their experience, that would be much appreciated!


-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

16 replies so far

View unknownwoodworker's profile


221 posts in 3704 days

#1 posted 04-05-2008 05:26 PM

It’s been my experence the shop vac will not handle the planner. And if dust is your issue use a dust collector with a 1 micron filter. Dust collectors are portable.

-- ??? My mistakes heat the house. It's very warm in here. ???

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 3743 days

#2 posted 04-05-2008 05:49 PM

Also if you do go the shop vac route consider small cyclone type system between your shop vac and your tools. It is amazing how often you NOT have to clean out the vac filter with one of these installed.

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3822 days

#3 posted 04-05-2008 05:57 PM

Hi Praki,

I use a shop vac for my router table without any problem. The difficulty with the planer is that it will have a 4” dust port on it. Stepping it down may produce a problem with moving the chips through the hose. I use a portable 3/4 hp collector for my planer (Delta 22-580). But the biggest issue with using a shop vac or, as in my case, a small portable system is the lack of control of the fine dust- <30 microns. A good dust control system should be controlling particles in the 1 micron range for health concerns. Breathing in these small particles can cause long term health issues.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3989 days

#4 posted 04-05-2008 06:07 PM

I like Toolz’s idea.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Praki's profile


199 posts in 3997 days

#5 posted 04-05-2008 06:43 PM

Toolz and Gary, are you referring to the Mini CV06 at ?

Scott, Lately, I have become aware of how much the dust bothers me and I do want to take this issue seriously. From what I have read so far, it was not very clear to me if the wet/dry vac system works or not.

Thank you all for your sharing your experience.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View TroutGuy's profile


224 posts in 3712 days

#6 posted 04-05-2008 06:48 PM

I’m using a Rigid 12 gal. shop vac (model WD12450) in my shop “for now”. It does fairly well on my small table saw, and when used with my Delta 22-580 and a 4×2 1/2 adapter, it works quite well, provided it’s clean when I start. I take the filter out and blow it clean with compressed air (DO THIS OUTDOORS!). Be sure to blow from the inside, out (opposite of normal flow); as well as cleaning the pleats.

If I start with a good clean filter/vac, I could clean the floor with a foxtail and dustpan. To be fair though, I’m generally running small quantities at a time (< 10 bd-ft). YAMMV

I also bought the 3-layer, 1 micron filter cartridge. That cartridge really DOES decrease the amount of fine dust in the air and on surfaces. The downside is that it clogs VERY quickly. I ended up going back to the ‘standard’ filter (5 micron, I think?), buying a decent respirator (every woodworker should own and USE one IMHO), and using the fine filter only when I’m generating a LOT of fine dust (sanding).

I’m also looking into buying or building a separate air filtration unit for the shop.

-- There is nothing in the world more dangerous, than a woodworker who knows how to read a micrometer...

View flink's profile


94 posts in 3721 days

#7 posted 04-05-2008 07:02 PM

I use my 16 gallon Shop Vac more often than my 1029Z. I run the extra-fine dust bags (the ones for drywall dust) and a clear stream hepa filter. There’s no dust in the air except what never made it to the vacuum.

The clear stream filters rock. I use my shop vac with my power planer (hand model) and for all sanding operations.

If you’re going to be generating serious chips, that clearvue mini cyclone looks to be the best answer. I’m planning on getting one soon (I hope. I spend way too much buying wood ;-) ).

-- Made lots of sawdust and pounded some nails. Haven't finished anything, though.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3774 days

#8 posted 04-05-2008 07:28 PM

I would buy a : Delta 50-760, 1 1/2 HP, 1-Micron filter bag, portable. Cost between $300-$350 with shipping. Fine Woodworking rated this machine #1 in its class.

Seeing that the Higher Powers wants the dust to go away, maybe you can talk them into paying half.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3769 days

#9 posted 04-05-2008 07:42 PM

i agree with ND2ELK, I’m looking into a dust collector as i start to get some stationary power tools and due to the great reviews and that it has a 1 micron bag i would go with the Delta 50-760

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3769 days

#10 posted 04-05-2008 07:44 PM

look into this one too. it got great reviews, has a 1 micron bag, and is supposed to be quieter than the others

hope this helps

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3989 days

#11 posted 04-05-2008 08:40 PM

praki, no not that one. This kind sits on a metal trashcan. It’s cheap and it works.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Praki's profile


199 posts in 3997 days

#12 posted 04-06-2008 05:54 AM

GaryK, Thanks for the clarification.

teenagewoodworker – thanks for the pointer. It is on my list of candidates now.

ND2ELK – thanks, I should have no trouble getting the budget approved for this cause :)

flink – can you point me to a “clear stream filter”. I am not entirely sure what you mean.

TroutGuy – thanks for sharing your experience. I do use a respirator and it helps.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 3816 days

#13 posted 04-06-2008 03:26 PM

i Use a rigid 16 gallon in my shop. i use it on everything from the tablesaw, bandsaw, rigid oscilating sander, jointer, and planer. It will work with the jointer and planer but because it’s shavings and not dust, the vac will fill up alot faster.
You’ll need to buy some 4” hose and adapters to go from 4” to 2 1/2”.
Also take some old stockings or pantyhose and put over the filter, this will help keep the really fine dust from MDF or sanding from clogging the filter too fast.
Keep the filter clean and empty the container as often as possible, and you should be ok.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3799 days

#14 posted 04-06-2008 03:42 PM

i have used my shop vac for years and still plan to get my dust collector up and running htis year to do a better job.

-- making sawdust....

View ChicoWoodnut's profile


904 posts in 3816 days

#15 posted 04-06-2008 04:45 PM

Hey Praki, Click on this link and choose the “Shop Vac Cyclone” video. Onieda sells a similar one which you can find here. These basically keep the chips out of your shop vac like the one Gary linked to. I don’t know if one is better than the other.

-- Scott - Chico California

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