Should I use Metal or Plastic in dust collector refit?

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Forum topic by JesseTutt posted 10-14-2013 05:02 PM 959 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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854 posts in 2288 days

10-14-2013 05:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector duct container question

In replacing the plastic bag on the bottom of my Harbor Freight dust collector I am wondering if I should use a metal trash container or a more economical plastic model?

I was planning on metal until I got to wondering if the seams in the metal container would leak over time.

What do you think?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

6 replies so far

View TheDane's profile


5535 posts in 3841 days

#1 posted 10-14-2013 05:09 PM

I used a steel garbage can from the big box …

If you’re worried about the seams leaking, run a bead of silicone along them.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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854 posts in 2288 days

#2 posted 10-16-2013 03:09 PM

Well I got a galvanized steel container from Lowes. As an experiment I filled it with water figuring that I could detect any leaks. I found three. The first and smallest was where the vertical seam met the bottom, this was a small leak. The other two were where the handles were riveted to the sides, these leaks were quite large.

I am debating trying to seal the leaks from the inside (perhaps the air pressure would help push the dried silicon further into the leak), seeing if I could use one of the plastic bags that came with the Wynn filter as a liner, or returning the trash can and getting a plastic one.

There was a comment on Thien’s web site saying that Thien recommends using metal containers. I could not find the original comment by Thien.

What option would you do?

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

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5535 posts in 3841 days

#3 posted 10-16-2013 03:39 PM

I ran a bead of silicon on the inside of the seam (didn’t test for leaks … I just assumed it would), and used foil tape (the kind you use on HVAC pipe) on the inside of the handles.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3826 days

#4 posted 10-16-2013 03:41 PM

You may find the flexibility of the rim and position of
the handles on a plastic can complicates fitting and
fastening a sleeve around the rim. Just a speculation
though… I haven’t tried to do one of these modifications.

View a1Jim's profile


117283 posts in 3755 days

#5 posted 10-16-2013 03:46 PM

I have used plastic for years but my collection is outdoors making any small leaks not a problem.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HorizontalMike's profile


7770 posts in 3092 days

#6 posted 10-16-2013 03:47 PM

I use a 31gal steel can under my Thien Lid Separator, but use the normal 10mil bag under the HF-DC unit. With the separator catching +99.xx% of the sawdust in the steel can, very little gets deposited in the plastic bag and that rarely needs emptied. Plus the plastic bags seal much better when used with a strip of foam insulation tape ran around the rim of the HF collector.

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

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