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Unbiased cyclone dust collector reviews and comparisons?

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Forum topic by Marcus posted 10-06-2014 03:56 PM 5410 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Marcus

1149 posts in 1485 days


10-06-2014 03:56 PM

Looking at upgrading the dust collection set up in a new shop, so thinking of getting a cyclone collector. Is there any source that actually compares these with some real world tests?


34 replies so far

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

2575 posts in 1723 days


#1 posted 10-07-2014 12:44 AM

Read Bill Pentz' site to learn more than you ever wanted to know. The main take away is that only Clear Vue cyclones are made to his specifications, but there is a whole lot more to it than just the cyclone-tubing diameter, length of runs, number of bends, minimizing the use of flex tubing, enlarging the dust ports in machines, etc. HTH

-- Art

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Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#2 posted 10-07-2014 12:50 AM

There are a lot of opinions on what’s best.

If I had my druthers I’d have a baghouse cyclone
like a Murphy Rodgers and it would be outside
the shop. I live in a warm climate though.

Felder makes a nice unit. Beaucoup bucks.

Read this:
http://www.woodcentral.com/bparticles/saw_dust_collection.shtml

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 890 days


#3 posted 10-07-2014 01:53 AM



Read Bill Pentz site to learn more than you ever wanted to know. The main take away is that only Clear Vue cyclones are made to his specifications, but there is a whole lot more to it than just the cyclone-tubing diameter, length of runs, number of bends, minimizing the use of flex tubing, enlarging the dust ports in machines, etc. HTH

- AandCstyle

I agree. A very good starting point and caution about the dangers of the finer particles.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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Marcus

1149 posts in 1485 days


#4 posted 10-07-2014 12:50 PM

Very familiar with bill’s site, but I’m not sure it meets my requirements for unbiased…unless I know I want a ClearVue cyclone. I was hoping there was some organization who had actually compared similar units in real world tests.

I had two separate shops due to space constraints but we just moved so am consolidating everything. I currently have an el cheap unit hooked to the planer and jointer and an Oneida mini gorilla hooked to the rest of the tools not making the huge mess. I’m not happy with cheap collector for fine stuff, but it’s not meant to capture that, so not a good solution for the shop. I’m really not happy with the mini gorilla. I think its a pretty poor design as I get a ton of debris in the filter. I dont think the funnel,is big enough to get that cyclone action fully going to get everything to drop out. It does a good job of filtering it out of the air, but I feel like I’m cleaning out the filter more than I’m making sawdust.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#5 posted 10-07-2014 01:37 PM

I haven’t seen any specific cyclone reviews in quite some time. The May, 2013 issue of Wood (issue 218) had a review of “whole shop DC’s” that included 4 cyclones. They picked an Oneida model as the best tool….as an Oneida owner I would really challenge that so I don’t know how “unbiased” it was (Oneida provided the system installed in their new shop some years earlier). They were lambasted for not including the CV, the authors later reviewed the CV and, in turn, really bashed it. I think it’s very hard to get what you want. Everyone’s opinion of their unit (including mine) is biased by their own opinion of what makes the unit good, bad, or indifferent. I hate my Oneida, but a lot folks with the same one think it’s the best thing since night baseball. All I can do is wish you the best with your choices.

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

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WhyMe

615 posts in 1027 days


#6 posted 10-07-2014 01:51 PM

Here’s a couple of comparisons of shopvac types on Wood Whisperer…

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/cyclone-separator-shootout/

Here’s a video of a ClearVue install….

http://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/videos/installing-a-clear-vue-cv1800-cyclone/

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Marcus

1149 posts in 1485 days


#7 posted 10-07-2014 02:33 PM

Good info Fred. Just curious, why are you not a fan of your Oneida? I kinda feel like Im alone out there saying my mini gorilla just isnt up to snuff, but still interested in the other larger Oneida units because of all the favorable user reviews.

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WhyMe

615 posts in 1027 days


#8 posted 10-07-2014 02:48 PM

I have the Oneida Super Dust Deputy and I’m satisfied with it, but to be honest I have had no other cyclone to compare it to. The only complaint I have is that I really had to struggle to get the 4” and 5” hose adapters that I needed to use for my hoses to fit the cyclone. I used a heat gun to soften the flange on the cyclone but still couldn’t get the adapters to slide in. I ended up cutting slots in the flanges and used large hose clamps on the flanges. Other than that I’m happy with it.

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Grandpa

3256 posts in 2141 days


#9 posted 10-07-2014 03:26 PM

I remember the articles that Fred Hargis spoke of. Wood magazine had their ENGINEERS set up and test some collectors then the next month or so later after taking a bashing they tested the Clear Vue. They really bashed that system. I have a Clear Vue and happened to have the manual for it. Their ENGINEERS didn’t connect the filters as outlined by Clear Vue. That was their complaint. The Clear Vue put too much dust into the air. What should they expect with their inability to look at pictures and assemble parts. That was when I made the decision to allow my subscription to lapse. I was a charter subscriber but no more for me. I would take anything they print with a grain of salt. I worked in an engineering dept. for 30 years and we would have been run off for less.

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Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#10 posted 10-07-2014 03:38 PM


Good info Fred. Just curious, why are you not a fan of your Oneida? I kinda feel like Im alone out there saying my mini gorilla just isnt up to snuff, but still interested in the other larger Oneida units because of all the favorable user reviews.

- Marcus

Marcus, it’s a really long story. Right now my complaint is that the basic design just doesn’t do the seperation of the finest particles very well. My runs at 98.4% efficiency (yep, I measured it for Oneida), but that isn’t enough. When I was using my DS heavily, I’d have to stop and clean the filter quite often. I wound up putting a gauge on it to tell me when to clean it. But that’s the last of a long line of things I didn’t like, and the first was I had to change to motor. The original 2 HP Baldor wasn’t big enough for the air flow my duct work provided, it was in constant overload (amp reading). I wound up putting a 5HP Leeson (from CV, no less) on it….eventually Oneida picked up on my grumblings on one of these forums and reimbursed me the $400 I spent on the upgrade. There were maybe 3-4 other smaller things I went through. I’m thoroughly disgusted with the whole thing and wished i had just went with the CV from the beginning. That said, when I detail these things a few folks always want to try and help me troubleshoot the whole thing. I always ask that not be the case. I spent hours (literally) on the phone with Oneida, and sent them a considerable amount of information on my system including a sketch of my ductwork, pics, even a sample of the filter dust at their request (to the pres, Bill Witter, no less). Never heard another word from them. My biggest complaint remains the basic design, it just isn’t built to any of the criteria that Pentz found to help separation. I will say this: it’s built well, like a tank, if it just had some sound engineering behind it…...like the impeller, it’s a work of art!

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

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Manitario

2402 posts in 2349 days


#11 posted 10-07-2014 03:56 PM

Bill Pentz came up with his cyclone design based on his own research (and his own money). Both the design and his website were developed long before Clearvue came along and used his design, so his info is about as unbiased as you can get.
Interestingly, Clearvue started off as a father/son team copying Bill’s design and making the cyclone out of plastic in their garage. For a number of years, Clearvue cyclones were sold “made to order” in their garage and advertised by word of mouth. I made my decision on what cyclone to buy by reading through Bill’s site and then taking the DC principles he outlines and researching for myself the specs of the major cyclone brands on the market. Dust collectors are actually pretty simple machines with consistent principles that govern their performance.

-impeller size and motor HP govern the performance of the unit; larger impeller and motor are needed to maintain CFM at higher static pressures (ie. the “friction”) of the dust collection piping etc. Fairly easy to find an online static pressure calculator, but for most weekend warrior sized workshops the static pressure (with 6” ducting) is going to average around 7-8”WC. This number can be used to look at a specific company’s DC’s fan curve to see what sort of CFM you’re going to end up with.

-cyclone unit: no magic or mystery here, just a fancy tube to separate out dust from the air column, which is the whole reason to get a cyclone in the first place. More dust hitting the filters = decrease in airflow/drop in CFM and more frequent filter cleaning. Most are very similar in design; less efficient designs result in most dust hitting the filters. I have less than a tablespoon of fine dust in my filter clean out every time I empty my dust collection bin.

-filter size: larger filter size = higher airflow. The most efficient DC’s simply blow the air outside. For some reason, Oneida cyclone units have some of the smallest filters on the market, which is one of the principle reasons why I didn’t go with Oneida when I bought my DC (110 sqft vs 600 with Clearvue/Penn State Ind. vs. 225sqft with Grizzly, Laguna/General International don’t post filter sqft).

I went with Clearvue b/c it offered a 5hp machine that was cheaper and had a much larger filter size than Oneida. Would have gone with Penn State Industries if they’d offered larger cyclone units (only offered up to 3hp when I bought my DC) as their specs are similar or better than the other major DC’s on the market but less expensive.

My shop is ~600sqft with 6” ducting, the longest run is about 25’. Testing with a pitot tube and a digital manometer revealed my setup to be 10.5” WC of static pressure; average CFM on my machines with a 6” duct is over 700. For my machines with 4” DC flanges (jointer/tablesaw) the CFM is around 400 (which is a pretty good reason to upgrade the DC flanges to 6”). Small (<2.5micron) particle count measurement during a typical full day in the shop averages around 400, which is better than my household air.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Rob's profile

Rob

704 posts in 2537 days


#12 posted 10-07-2014 04:05 PM

I read the WOOD article and found it very helpful, but I would have liked a follow-up article where they sealed all the joints on all the machines, added the ClearVue, and retested.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert - http://woodworking.stackexchange.com

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English

517 posts in 943 days


#13 posted 10-07-2014 09:11 PM

I recently ran into an article on the internet about neutral vanes and air ramps and how they rob separation efficiency in order to increase air flow. Per the article allowing the circulating air to collide with the incoming air improves the collection efficiency and the neutral vane and air ramps have been installed in the home shop market DC’s to reduce pressure drop and keep HP and blower size smaller.

So the solution to clean filters is still frequent cleaning or maybe a commercial DC.

I clean my filters by reversing the flow threw my filters after each use. I keep my filter pressure below .5”H2O. I recently sanded 35 bf of maple down from 15/16 to 3/4 ” with a 24” drum sander. The filter pressure never changed.

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

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Fred Hargis

3945 posts in 1959 days


#14 posted 10-07-2014 09:31 PM

You can’t prove that with mine…it’s the lack of a proper neutral vane, no air ramp at all, and improper body dimensions that cause it to separate so poorly (my opinion). Needs a squared sloping inlet as well. On the other hand, it does move a lot of air.

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

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Manitario

2402 posts in 2349 days


#15 posted 10-08-2014 05:50 AM

Interesting; my Clearvue uses a neutral vane inlet with an air ramp. My back pressure on my filters has pretty much consistently stayed at 0.5”WC despite my often negligence in cleaning the filters.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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