Dust collector

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Forum topic by Maximillian posted 01-14-2012 10:34 AM 1465 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Maximillian's profile


84 posts in 3454 days

01-14-2012 10:34 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector question

The cloth bag on my dust collector is filthy with dust.
Should I throw it in the laundry machine, or will that ruin it?

-- Max, New Zealand

13 replies so far

View Tyrone D's profile

Tyrone D

314 posts in 2506 days

#1 posted 01-14-2012 10:52 AM

Use an air compressor to blow the dust out. It’s what I do anyways. You should also bang on it to loosen the dust after every session.

-- --Tyrone - BC, Canada "Nothing is ever perfect, we just run out of time."

View Les 's profile


201 posts in 2864 days

#2 posted 01-14-2012 01:56 PM

Turn it wrong side out and shake the h—- out of it, then put it in the washer with COLD WATER and let it air dry and it will be like new.

-- Stay busy....Stay young

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3368 days

#3 posted 01-14-2012 02:05 PM

I would not wash it as filtration will be degraded. Just take it outside, shake it well and re-install.

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View KPW's profile


226 posts in 2542 days

#4 posted 01-14-2012 02:56 PM

Actually the collection of dust on the inside of the bag makes it filter even finer particles so thats a good thing. Leave it alone until you notice the suction power to be less. Then clean it like Viking says.

-- Ken --------- never try and put 5 lbs. of tenon in a 3 lb. mortise.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

5142 posts in 2666 days

#5 posted 01-14-2012 03:15 PM

It may depend on the bag, but AFF told me to never wash their felt bags. As mentioned, the cake is part of the filtering system. A good bag will only hold a proper amount of cake, the rest falls off. Even so, I would clean mine once a year or so. Take it outside, hang it up and beat the snot out of it with a 4’ long 3/4” dowel. On odd occasions, I would turn it inside out and use the shop vac to suck the dust off…once you do that you have to wait for the cake to rebuild.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3087 days

#6 posted 01-14-2012 03:32 PM

I agree on never washing the DC felt bags, just beat on them once in a while. I actually use my old paddle from school. At least the DC works “better” after a good paddling. Can’t say the same for some of my previous students who met Mr. Paddle. ;-)

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View Rick  Dennington's profile (online now)

Rick Dennington

6239 posts in 3367 days

#7 posted 01-14-2012 05:05 PM

Actually,, the best solution is to remove the bags, clean them really good, hide them somewhere, and get a Wynn canister filter for the top, and a clear plastic bag for the bottom…the Wynn filter is the best thing going for d.c. They run about $100 +s&h, and the 35A canister can be retro-fitted to any d.c. Also, when you buy the filter, they send you 3 clear plastic bags to replace the bottom bag, so you can see the dust and chips, and know how full the bag is getting… thing I ever did for mine, and they improve the cfms for more suction….once you have one, you’ll never go back to cloth bags again….

-- " It's a rat race out there, and the rats are winning....!!"

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3023 days

#8 posted 01-14-2012 05:23 PM

These are all good thoughts. One variable not mentioned is the actual bag. I have seen them of very different feeling fabrics.

My DC is an old Murphy-Rodgers, a single tall bag. I guess I’d call it felt, though I’m not sure. Occasionally, and especially after using the wide belt sander, I get a handful of the fabric while it’s winding down and shake it vigorously. Some fines come off the outside (I have an air filter right next to it) and a lot of fines drop into the barrel. But I know the bag is still pretty well populated with cake and it brings in the chips and doesn’t emit any visible fines when it’s doing its thing.

The three of us—Murphy, Rodgers and Lee—seem to have reached a very comfortable place in our relationship.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Lance's profile


428 posts in 2699 days

#9 posted 01-14-2012 05:32 PM

Turn it inside out, take it outside with the air compressor and blow 60-70% of it off, then take a shop vac and get the rest of it off the bag, this is a long process but works very well.

-- Lance, Hook'em HORNS! ""V""

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3368 days

#10 posted 01-14-2012 09:35 PM


You did not mention which DC you have but, as Rick Dennington said, a canister filter will SIGNIFICANTLY improve performance of your system. Most bag filters have a surface area of about 25-35 sq. ft. The Wynn filter has 274 sq. ft. of surface area which results in much higher velocity.

If you install a pre-separator in front of it you may never have to empty your lower catch bag.

Good luck!

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Maximillian's profile


84 posts in 3454 days

#11 posted 01-14-2012 11:24 PM

Thanks guys. I am always impressed by the willingness to help.
The reason I want to do something is that every time I start it it gives off a puff of fine dust. Given that this is likely to be the most harmful sort and that I have developed a persistent cough I need to do something. The good thing is that the doctors have said that there is nothing wrong with me

-- Max, New Zealand

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3729 days

#12 posted 01-14-2012 11:37 PM

I have a cannister too and it’s well worth the investment. They typically have a self cleaning mechanism but I vacuum mine off once a year or so anyway. If you’re coughing you might at least want to consider a new bag.

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View bbjjj's profile


29 posts in 2504 days

#13 posted 01-15-2012 06:52 AM

I have a 37” Performax dual drum sander and I am using the 1100cfm JET dust collector. It worked well with the original bags but the upper bag would eventually get that thin fine film of dust on the inside. The bags on the JET DC are made from a polyester material, that with a good shake come pretty clean.
I had to reconfigure the DC system and for height restrictions I removed the upper bag and put a solid cover over the opening. I also added a pre-filter cyclone over a container that I made and that takes the place of the lower bag on the DC that collects the dust. Then the lower bag now becomes the final filter. The cyclone is the only way to go, no more cleaning filters and my dust collection performance is at it’s peak all of the time.
I also found some pre-filters that I use in my 10 gal. QSP shop-vac that are made from a slick polyester fabric, when it gets a little clogged you shut off the vacuum and give the whole thing a good shake and the dust falls off the filter and you’re back in business. I have not had to clean the pleated filter since I installed the pre-filter 10 years ago, yes I said 10 years and my performance is the same as having a brand new filter all the time.

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