how to improve shop dust collection

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Forum topic by woodloving posted 01-15-2013 09:43 AM 5110 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 1952 days

01-15-2013 09:43 AM

This’s my 1st. time on this site. I have a 4yrs old PSI 2HP DC with 1micron felt filter bag, the DC does a good job, but I have never cleaned or changed the filter bag,i did buy a new one have not replaced it yet. I have been reading about Thien and Bil’s DC improvement, I also like the idea of 14inc. wok. To make this short, I need the expert opinion RE: this; I want to make a 20 inc Thien hat on top of a cyclone cone ( cone only) and drop into a trash can then conect the baffle to my DC. I’m also changing my 4inc clear plastic ducting to 6inc metal ducting. Can any one tell me if this would work before I waste time money and energy on this project, and if does not work, what is the best improvement I can make to have a cleaner shop and better dust collection. I have a 3 door garage with 113inc ceiling. thank you guys.

7 replies so far

View b2rtch's profile


4861 posts in 3043 days

#1 posted 01-15-2013 12:11 PM

Make a search on this website for Harbor Freight dust collector., for cyclone dust collectors and you will find more information that you can possibility use.
Dust collection might be the most discussed subject on this website.
I have posted many posts and I have asked many questions and I have answered many questions about this subject.
I would say that you have tow ways you could go from here: spend money on your existing system or upgrade your system to a better one right away, as your existing system as good as it is is too small to collect fine dust.
If you choose t stick with your existing system for the time being ,the first thing to do is to replace the bag with a cartridge filter which will immediately improve the filtration quality and the air flow, for around $120.00 that will makes a big difference.
Check :

The second solution ( better in the long run) is to buy a bigger/better cyclone dust collector, between 2.5 and 5HP and to install permanent rigid ducting in your shop.
If you look at my total make over , you will see what I made with a modest HF 2HP dust collector in which I have both the Thien separator in the trash can and a Chinese wok under the filter.
This works OK but this is not the final answer to the fine dust issue in your shop.
After having debated for weeks about what to do to collect fine dust in my shop and having spent many hours asking questions on LJ,I have decided to build a fine air filter and then to buy a 3.5 HP cyclone and to install permanent rigid duct in my shop,.
This involves a lot of money, probably close to $3000.00
You will find out that not everyone agrees on this subject.

-- Bert

View kizerpea's profile


774 posts in 2362 days

#2 posted 01-15-2013 01:06 PM

As you will fine out..dust collection is a big topic here …we each build a system to fit our shop guess i have less than $600 in my total build this far…diy cyclone diy filter ..all metal..are you up to the challenge???? good luck ..we are here to help…look in my projects.


View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


19620 posts in 2669 days

#3 posted 01-15-2013 01:40 PM

Bert was on target regarding the Wynn Canister filter!!! He is also correct with everything else he said! The best solution is to get the “fines” at the source (tool/machine), but that is NEVER 100% effective.

So with that said, you should also consider an ambient air cleaner/filter. There are commercially available units or you can DIY one of your own. As with the DC, it is a matter of filtering out the fines and not recirculating them throughout the shop. The better the filter (merv rating), the better it is for your health. Here is a link to just one option.

There are a few KEY things to DC & air cleaners! CFMs (volume of air flow, air speed is important to DC also) and Microns of filtration (size of particles being filtered)!!!

Good luck on your research!!!

Oh yeah, Welcome to LJs!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4981 posts in 2488 days

#4 posted 01-15-2013 01:51 PM

I’m not sure the effort of the cone will add anything to your system. I do know that Phil Thein will answer e mails, you might try asking him, but my guess is that the separator has already done the work. The cone on a cyclone helps concentrate the air rotation to work the chips into the dust bin.

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

View jdman's profile


10 posts in 1985 days

#5 posted 01-15-2013 04:25 PM

I’m looking at some of the figures in this blog and if you have that kind of money to install a 6’’ collection system, look into Clear-Vue Cyclones and Bill information.

It’s the system I have and my only complaint is that a 5hp motor and a 14’’ impeller is loud!

Good luck,


p.s. Threres a Clear vue link at Bill Pentz’s site or try

View woodloving's profile


3 posts in 1952 days

#6 posted 01-16-2013 05:16 AM

Thank you guys, I agree with you all, there is no 100% collection system and my garage deos need some kind of air filter. I decided to build a Thien hat and will use 6’’ metal ducting. Thanks again


View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2183 days

#7 posted 01-17-2013 01:17 AM

Make sure your collector can move enough air for 6” ducting. Too slow and you’ll have a problem. Besides, 6” is only necessary for a big planer or similar. 4” is fine for most shop tools. And a 5 hp collector – how many amps does that baby draw ??

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

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