Dust collection observations

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Forum topic by lumberjoe posted 12-24-2013 06:02 PM 1497 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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2893 posts in 1671 days

12-24-2013 06:02 PM

I started getting away from passive dust collection (dustpan and broom) and collecting dust at the tool. I’ve made a few tweaks here and there and wondering if anyone noticed anything similar:

1. A shop vac can’t keep up with a table saw. I think is is obvious but I jumped the gun on dust collection. A put the shroud on my R4512 and used a shop vac. It was useless. Unless the dust fell in the chute, nothing was captured. Also it clogged all the time with a 2.5” hose. The HF industrial dust collector has no problem cleaning it out. There is still more dust in the cabinet than I would like, however the R4512 cabinet is like swiss cheese so I think that’s the best I can get.

2. A shop vac works better than a DC on my bandsaw. This kind of surprised me. I have the craftsman BAS350 (Rikon 10-320 clone). it has a 4” port on the back. With the dust collector hooked up, it leaves a bit of dust in the lower cabinet. With a shop vac (Ridgid WD1270) and a 4” to 2.5” adapter. dust collection in the cabinet is nearly 100%. Not much is left on the table either. I’ve also found the 2.5” port under the table is useless.

3. Sanders! The ridgid oscillating spindle sander works awesome with the Ridgid WD1270. It captures almost all the dust. However my Bosch ROS, Bosch 1/2 sheet sander, and DW ROS don’t do well. I think this vacuum has too much suction. With the 1/2 sheet, you can’t even push the sander across the wood. There is variable suction control the sander but even at full open, it just sucks itself to the piece. Same with both ROS sanders. It will actually stop the pad from spinning.

I’m thinking of getting a small Bucket Max sander for the hand helds. My crappy little harbor freight vac did a good job until I broke it.

4 – With my benchtop jointer and planer that have active chip ejection, the DC and the shop vac are a toss up. Not much difference except noise. Since I don’t have plumbing I tend to use the shop vac. The smaller hose is easier to maneuver.


4 replies so far

View bobasaurus's profile


2587 posts in 2607 days

#1 posted 12-24-2013 06:17 PM

I need to do something similar with my shop. I have an old off-brand dust collector with very poor suction… someday I’ll take it apart and seal/lube things to improve it. I have a dustrite flex hose attached to it with a 4” handled quick-connect fitting on the other end. I really only use it on the table saw and planer, and even then it doesn’t collect very much. My little shop vac works okay but I don’t have a lot of tools with fittings that match, and it’s quite loud.

-- Allen, Colorado

View oldretiredjim's profile


203 posts in 1808 days

#2 posted 12-24-2013 06:28 PM

Thanks for the thoughts and groups. I just made a mod on my Jet band saw so I can use my shop vac. A 2.5” port mounted to the front. I plugged the rear 4” port. The shop vac gets most of the dust. I am really happy with the shop vac after rigging it with a cyclone. It has a new filter and bag filter and shows no sign of lugging.

View pmayer's profile


848 posts in 2488 days

#3 posted 12-24-2013 06:36 PM

Interesting experiments, lumberjoe. A couple thoughts:

- On the table saw, the results make sense. Estimates vary, but in general it seems that you need at least 400 CFM, and preferably more, to corral dust on most table saws. Those with a good shroud system are a lot better, but still you need to move a lot of air to keep up with a table saw. I have a fairly decent shop vac, and with an 8’ hose it pulls about 100 CFM.

- The band saw results are surprising, but here’s my theory for what it’s worth. Ideally with dust collection you want 2 things: high air volume (cubic feet per minute, CFM) and high enough air speed (feet per minute, FPM). My guess is that even though your dust collector is pulling higher CFM than the shop vac it is doing so an air velocity that is too slow, while the shop vac is driving more FPM and lower CFM.

I think it’s cool that you are doing some experimenting to find what works best. Seems like the makings of a good Mythbusters episode.

-- PaulMayer,

View lumberjoe's profile


2893 posts in 1671 days

#4 posted 12-24-2013 06:49 PM

My shop vac (according to documentation) pulls a measly 110 CFM. By comparison my DC is rated at about 700 CFM. It’s a portable unit that is right next to the bandsaw with a very short hose and no bends at all.

I’ve noticed some tools really appreciate high static pressure and some need lower static pressure and tons of volume (CFM). The bandsaw was surprising because I was definitely expecting a large gain with the higher CFM and lower SP – but it was the opposite. I think my cabinet on the bandsaw is rather tightly sealed and fairly low volume. Also the dust collection port happens to be directly where the dust settles inside the cabinet

I’ve also noticed the router (hand held and table mounted) really appreciates the higher static pressure the shop vac creates. It seems to grab the dust and chips out of the air where the DC only gets what is directed toward the port (reducing at the DC inlet). I am using in-the-fence dust collection, but may make an enclosure for the router and use both. In that scenario I will use the dust collector with a 4” fitting to the cabinet and a 2.5” fitting to the fence.


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