Improving an old 1HP dust collector?

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Forum topic by Woodknack posted 01-10-2014 07:13 PM 4657 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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12431 posts in 2584 days

01-10-2014 07:13 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection

Someone gave me a 1HP Delta AP400 dust collector. Previously my only dust collection was a shop vac and not a very good one. I understand the limitations of the Delta, low air flow (650cfm), 30 micron bag, but I’ll only be using it on a tablesaw and lathe plus cleaning up the floor/bench and it will be better than no dust collection. My plan is using a flexible hose and just moving it to each machine as needed. It won’t be stretching far.

1) Will it have enough airflow for a chip separator? Like a Thien baffle?
2) Are there cheap improvements I can make? (besides a separator)

-- Rick M,

22 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5128 posts in 4164 days

#1 posted 01-10-2014 07:24 PM

In a short, anything is better than nothing.
A good (low micron) bag, short runs for hose, probably not strong enough for the separator.


View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1876 posts in 2173 days

#2 posted 01-10-2014 07:33 PM

I have a cheap 1 HP harbor frieght dust collector and I use a separator and it works just fine. It will work, with one tool at a time fine. The only thing it may be dicy on is the lathe where you will need to use a hood to catch the chips (if I’m not mistaken, I don’t turn so I don’t know that) and it isn’t great with that but it works.

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View mnguy's profile


201 posts in 3602 days

#3 posted 01-10-2014 07:35 PM

A Thien baffle, in my limited experience, impacts airflow very little. I feel like it helped keep the cartridge filter on my Penn State 1 hp DC cleaner without impacting airflow.

I feel the lower micron bag is critical; otherwise, you are largely blowing the most harmful particles back into the air. IMO, 30 micron bags are worse than letting the dust fall on the floor.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2691 days

#4 posted 01-10-2014 07:40 PM

I have my 1HP HF unit modified to use a filter not a bag.
I have a home made separator that seems to catch 98%+ into a 42 gallon rubbermaid garbage can.
Under the filter I have a 40 gallon contractors trash bag that has zero dust or chips in it and hasn’t for about a year since I put it on.
I have thought about removing it and putting a small force-Flex bag on so it will take up less room.

the DC is connected to my table Saw 14’ away, planer 4’ away, (both with 4” thin wall PVC), and it is also hooked to my band saw with 2” Sched 40 PVC.

It seems to work well, especially since the filter is one I got off eBay for $30 and is rated at MERV 14.

If you want pictures I will try to get some later.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View brtech's profile


1052 posts in 3126 days

#5 posted 01-10-2014 08:19 PM

Remember that a good filter IMPROVES airflow over a bag. Improved performance, less dust in your lungs, a twofer!

I think the one thing you should work hard on is not losing airflow. That means you can use one 10’ piece of good flex hose, or a simple hard pipe system, and not much else.

I’d try the Thien baffle in the ring. It’s gonna lose less suck that way. You can try it on a trash can, but I think it’s likely to affect performance more.

Not much else is gonna help that puppy I think.

View TheDane's profile


5552 posts in 3867 days

#6 posted 01-10-2014 08:27 PM

I have a Jet DC650A … same CFM as the Delta you have. I put a canister filter (from PSI) on it, and use an Oneida Super Dust Deputy.

Here’s a review I did of the SDD that shows pix of my rig:

I just drag the flex hose from machine to machine … it works great.

At some point in the future, I plan to buy a more powerful DC , locate it in an adjacent storage room, and plumb the shop with metal pipe, but that is some distance down the road. For now, what I have is working for me.

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

View DIYaholic's profile


19709 posts in 2879 days

#7 posted 01-10-2014 08:38 PM

A pleated canister filter will allow the best air flow.
Wynn Environmental has great filters & even better customer service.
I’m sure there are other options out there, but these guys are great.

-- 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 rg33's profile


83 posts in 2205 days

#8 posted 01-10-2014 08:42 PM

I bought that same model off craigs list and used it for a while. First thing I did was replace the piece of crap 30 micron bag with a 5 micron from rockler (got it on sale with a coupon). While it does a very good job at collecting chips say from a table saw I soon started noticing very very fine dust on top of everything even with the 5 micron bag. After reading all the doom and gloom online about the hazards of the very fine dust I started using it only while wearing a respirator (but this half defeats the purpose of dust collection).
My recommendation is IF YOU CAN, place the unit outside your shop, keep the 30 micron bag for better air flow and keep the hosing as short and straight as possible. It will work well for your table saw and keeping the floor clean

Update: just looked at the AP400 its not the one I have mine is the wall mounted one also AP something or other Im pretty sure its the same motor though 1HP with 600+CFM rating

View distrbd's profile


2252 posts in 2650 days

#9 posted 01-10-2014 08:58 PM

RickM,Thanks for starting this thread,I am thinking of upgrading from a Ridgid vacuum to a 1 HP dc. I’m also interested in finding out,for my use (single garage shop) if a single HP Dust collector with all the space it takes would be much of an “upgrade” to a good shop Vacuum.I can buy one right now for $65,it even comes with a one micron bags.

I Googled the reviews on 1HP( most popular) dust collectors and some users claim their CFM rating are somewhat exaggerated and in reality they are more like 300-350 CFM max.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

View dbhost's profile


5767 posts in 3436 days

#10 posted 01-10-2014 09:11 PM

You are on the right track sort of. Swap the bag for a pleasted filter. The Wynn canister filter is well thought of. I have a 35A on my Harbor Freight 2HP DC. Use a separator like a Thien, yes you have enough air flow for that to work. It works with a shop vac so a DC will have no problems… You will need to fab up an adapter to hold the canister to the DC ring, but it can be done pretty easily, and if you decide to upgrade to a bigger DC in the future, like the HF 2HP or a Delta 50-760 even, you already have the canister filter for it!

Do NOT use a separate separator though, integrate the baffle in the DC itself. Look at Phil Thien’s forum for examples on how to do this…

Keep your hose runs as short and straight as physically possible. If you can, use smoothwall 4” S&D pipe to make up the majority of your runs.

One machine at a time, not ducted, and only one port and that little DC should be okay. Better than a shop vac for sure.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

View DIYaholic's profile


19709 posts in 2879 days

#11 posted 01-10-2014 09:18 PM

You will find that ALL manufacturers “inflate” the CFM rating!!!
They also “inflate” the HP rating, amps is a better gauge of power. That (and maybe) consider the size of the impellor.

Venting outdoors takes the “conditioned” air (heated or AC) out of the shop & that air must be replaced & reconditioned. If that works, for you, it is a great solution. Here in Vermont (with me having shallow pockets), that is not a viable option. ;^(

-- 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 Woodknack's profile


12431 posts in 2584 days

#12 posted 01-10-2014 10:06 PM

Hmm, lots to think about. I was just reading Shipwright’s blog (and other’s) about using MERV 15 truck filters which are much less expensive than Wynn.

So an integrated Thien will just spin the fine dust in the catch bag keeping the upper filter cleaner basically?

-- Rick M,

View TheDane's profile


5552 posts in 3867 days

#13 posted 01-10-2014 10:41 PM

Rick … the principle advantage of a rig like mine (cyclone or separator on a bin/garbage can) is the dust and chips wind up in a container instead of the lower bag on the DC.

I don’t know about Delta machines, but the bag on my Jet DC was a PITA to deal with.

With the rig I have, I never have to empty the bag. I just pull the cyclone off the garbage can, put a plastic bag over the can and empty it into the bag. Easy-peasy.

I have had this rig set up in the shop for nearly a year and have never had to touch the bag … it has a little fine dust in the bottom of the bag.

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

View DIYaholic's profile


19709 posts in 2879 days

#14 posted 01-10-2014 10:46 PM

The advantage of a pre-separator (Thien Top Hat) is that large debris (wood chunks, nuts & bolts) is separated out of the air stream, prior to going through the impellor. Not only do you protect the impellor, but the garbage can is easier to empty, compared to the PIA plastic bag!!! Downside is a larger footprint.

-- 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 Loren's profile


10477 posts in 3851 days

#15 posted 01-10-2014 10:55 PM

It will run a separator. You’ll get a slower cake-up of dust in
the bag and the suction will be better for longer as a result.

Hoses vary a bit in how smooth they are inside. The real stiff
plastic dust hoses (not drainage duct) that don’t scrunch up
will give you better performance than the more flexible hose.

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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