dust collection

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Forum topic by sawedoff posted 10-16-2011 01:58 AM 1091 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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155 posts in 2416 days

10-16-2011 01:58 AM

I am pretty sure I’m going to need to step up on my dust collection efforts. I currently use a shop vac with a 1” hose and it does ok but I know there are way better options. Has anyone built a DIY one that works good? I have looked at the rockler compact model and the grizzly compact wall model and like them.

Any suggestions?

-- still wet behind the ears.....

5 replies so far

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3064 days

#1 posted 10-16-2011 02:41 AM

Your DC setup needs to reflect the amount of work you do, how often you do it, and what tools you use. FWIW, almost any setup you start with will eventually become undersized. – lol

I wouldn’t recommend trying to make a DIY collector – there are too many out there for reasonable prices. You might want to go with one of the wall mounted 1hp collectors for now, but don’t be surprised if you quickly decide that you need to upgrade. I see many people say that they will move a hose from tool to tool, but that gets old in a hurry. – lol

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

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Jeremy Greiner

568 posts in 2768 days

#2 posted 10-16-2011 02:52 AM

Get a harbor freight 20% off coupon and get yourself a

Add a thien seperator in the mix you can find several examples of fellow jocks building their own thien separators:

Add on top of that a wynn filter

Then you’ll have one of the best dust collection setups you can get short of forking over a professional level cyclone dust collector.

If you’re looking for something smaller, you can just get a shop vac or whatever HD’s brand is called, build a smaller thien seperator (or get an onieda dust seperator). and a HEPA filter for the shop vac.

It really depends on a size and scope you are looking for will determine the powerhouse behind your dust collection but the model is all the same:

Seperator + Vaccuum + HEPA filter = good

PS. Don’t be fooled like I was into thinking that some of the name brand “baloon” bag dust collectors are better, I paid over twice I what I should have because I had “name brand vision”.


-- Easy to use end grain cutting board designer:

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155 posts in 2416 days

#3 posted 10-16-2011 03:21 AM

thanks guys…. I’ll look at the links posted above

-- still wet behind the ears.....

View RaymondAbel's profile


30 posts in 2530 days

#4 posted 10-23-2011 09:54 PM

in dust, you english people hve a saying: “The bigger, the better”

I move from an ordinary dust collector to a Laguna cyclone
give it a look

I strongle suggest you take the biggest dust collector you can. Cyclone is vworth every extra dollors
I know that you can use a little cyclone whit a big dust collector.

-- "Ceci est un hobby, c'est pas supposé "faire de sens".

View brtech's profile


1029 posts in 2918 days

#5 posted 10-24-2011 12:42 AM

Spend some time on Bill Penz's website

There are three aspects to dust collection – getting all the dust and chips out of the machine and into the system, filtering out the bad stuff, and keeping the filter going for a while so it does a good job. These are interrelated.

The cyclone helps the last item the most – it’s a separator, separating bigger particles from smaller particles. The bigger ones go in the bag/drum/trash can, the smaller ones go to the filter. The only reason to care much about the cyclone is to keep the system efficiency up so you get enough CFM to get all the dust out of the machine (item 1), and to save some work cleaning the filter.

The most important part is the filter, because it’s what saves your lungs. You want a .5 micron filter, no more than that, and it’s the most important spec you care about.

To get the CFM, you need horsepower, and you need a good impeller, and you need good ducting. The harbor freight collector is a real bargain, and it has enough CFM for a small shop IF (and only IF) you have good ducting and you have an efficient filter. Bags aren’t efficient, you want the canister type filter (the Wynn Engineering one pointed to above).

The ducts are next. For the HF DC, a 10’ piece of decent quality flex hose tied directly to your machine works pretty well. Running a 4” main line with 4” drops, with no 90 degree bends, and less than maybe 30’ or so is probably okay, and many ‘jocks have somewhat longer runs. It would be great to use 5” main, but that’s hard/expensive to find. Lots of info here on duct design. S&D PVC is probably your best bet. Y’s and 45s.

Then you need a separator. The Thein baffle is good, a cyclone, if it’s big enough, is better. The only problem with the Thein is that it’s not as efficient, so you lose some CFM through it. It’s a decent tradeoff for the HF, compared to a good cyclone, and the motor and impeller you need. The smaller cyclones don’t work all that well. Read Bill’s site for the explanation. Now, Bill probably would say the Thein baffle isn’t good enough either.

Bottom line is that I think the HF+Wynn+Thein is a very good starter DC for most small shops if you can keep your duct runs short. To do it right, you need the ClearVue system, or one of the larger Oneida/PSI DCs.

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