Soon after I started this phase of woodworking in my life, I started using a 6 hp (right!) shopvac hooked to a Dust Deputy for dust collection. It was a great improvement on no dust collection, and I was generally happy with it. What pushed me to upgrade was my planer—the 2 1/2 inch connector and the cfms of the shopvac were just not working. It would clog at some point, and even when working, 20% of the chips would be strewn to the front and back of the tool.
So . . . I found a ubiquitous HF 2.0HP dust collector on CL for $125 and took the plunge.
-replaced filter bag with 1 micron bag
-bought clear connection bags
-installed pvc duct system with 4” ducts to TS, planer, floor sweep, and bandsaw and 2” to drill press, router table, and miter saw
What I’m impressed with:
1) no strewn chips with planer. Can’t believe it.
2) no spray with miter saw—almost everything picked up. I’m equally stunned.
3) Generally, by the time I get to assembly of a normal project, I have swept up about a 5 gallon bucket-full of chips/dust that have escaped the shopvac/dust deputy. I’m thinking that will be cut by 95%
What I learned:
1) the cost of the dust collector is by no means the only expense in setting up a good system. Just the 7 aluminum blast gates cost over $90 with shipping. I severely underestimated the cost of the whole system.
2) in my garage/shop, I can use the rafters to hold the ducting system. That made it quite easy to use the wye fittings in order to have limited right angles in the ducting.
3) I probably could have looked harder for the PVC sewer fittings, but they were limited enough at the HD that I ended up with schedule 40, for better or worse. Because of using the rafters to hold it, the weight is not a big issue. I used a single machine screw to hold each joint together, and that seems to work quite well. I am in the process of wrapping the joints to limit leaks.
4) I love having the floor sweep.
5) Trying to decide if it is worth replacing the hose from the motor to the filter with pvc.
6) After I empty the bag the first time, I’ll consider doing a Thien baffle.
Here are a few pics of my ducting (with other things stuff in the rafters as well!
-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson