Dust Collection/Exhaust Question

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Forum topic by Robin1 posted 10-22-2014 09:50 PM 1532 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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137 posts in 1518 days

10-22-2014 09:50 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collector collection harbor freight wynn filter dust removal expel exhaust

Not too long ago, I asked for a recommendation on a dust collector. The answer was almost unanimously the Harbor Freight unit. Since that model comes with a 5 micron bag and since I don’t have the budget to upgrade to a Wynn Filter at this time, I had a question. I don’t have a lot of extra space in the shop but I do have a window in there. I was wondering if It makes sense to build a removable insert for the window that I could attach the exhaust hose to when I’m working. I could then expel the dust thru that insert into a garbage can outside. I would remove the insert and close the window when I’m not working. This would allow me to use just the impeller unit and skip the bag assembly and castered platform. I also wouldn’t have to worry about small particles escaping in the workspace. Does this seem reasonable?

10 replies so far

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3098 days

#1 posted 10-22-2014 10:22 PM

A P100 respirator that fits you well will filter just as well as the Wynn filter, but you have to remember to keep it on until you’re done for the day. And if your shop shares the rest of your home’s air handling, you probably still want to limit the amount of dust that gets pulled through the HVAC system and delivered to the rest of the home.

Your plan to send the dust collector exhaust outside sounds good as long as it’s not too cold out. Keep in mind that the air you exhaust needs to be replaced with air that comes in from somewhere else.

What I do is roll my HF dust collector just outside my garage door so the hose just reaches to my table saw or planer, then close the garage door most of the way and cover the openings around the garage door with foam. Then I open the door on the back of the garage so I can get some air to replace what’s being pulled out through the dust collector. So far it has worked fine, but I think this winter I’ll have to shell out some money to upgrade the dust collection system or count on just my respirator to keep the airborne dust out of my lungs.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View Robin1's profile


137 posts in 1518 days

#2 posted 10-22-2014 11:17 PM

I actually use a P100 now and my shop is in the far bay of the garage- separated by a wall from the near bay and house proper. I was mainly looking at the dust collector to save cleanup time and so that when the cutting was finished I could remove the respirator. That said, I use my miter saw and radial arm saw quite a bit and both are notorious for being difficult with regard to dust collection. Maybe the collector isn’t worth it…

View CharlesA's profile


3329 posts in 1825 days

#3 posted 10-22-2014 11:32 PM

Another option is a better filter bag that is less expensive than the Wynn.

-- "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

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Mainiac Matt

8090 posts in 2356 days

#4 posted 10-22-2014 11:51 PM

As filter bags get embedded with dust, their filtering efficiency actually improves and they filter even smaller particles…. this is referred to as “seasoning”

I’d say run with the stock bag and keep using your respirator, and see how that goes. Then, if you have some issues, you can look to upgrading.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3098 days

#5 posted 10-23-2014 12:18 AM

More recently it seems the expert recommendation is to keep your respirator on even if your dust collector does have good filtration, because it’s practically impossible to capture all the dust on many tools (especially the ones you mentioned).

If you haven’t bought the HF DC already, watch craigslist for a month or two. Pretty much anything there is going to be as good as the HF one. I’ve seen a lot of the lower-end dust collectors on craigslist; that’s practically the only type of woodworking equipment that’s consistently listed in my area.

If you have a bigger Shop-Vac, you can get a HEPA filter and a filter bag. The DC probably prevents a little more material from being thrown into the air at the tool, but it seems like that advantage is partially offset by the fact that the Shop-Vac has finer filtration and puts less of the captured dust back into the air.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View timbertailor's profile


1594 posts in 1452 days

#6 posted 10-23-2014 01:31 AM

Good filtration is important, otherwise, you are just throwing the finer particles that are the most dangerous, back into the air.

-- Brad, Texas,

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2379 days

#7 posted 10-23-2014 01:56 AM

It is reasonable unless you heat your shop. Here is the math: a typical 2 car garage shop 24’ x 28’ x 10’ = 6720 cu ft. HF dust collector is rated 1550 cfm, at that rate it will take 4 1/2 minutes to suck all of the heated air in the shop and blow it outside. Given the fact that the HF might be inflating the performance a bit and there is always some friction loss in any type of duct work let us say that actual performance is half that, then it will take 9 minutes. That will cost you big bucks if you are buying petroleum products to heat your shop.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Robin1's profile


137 posts in 1518 days

#8 posted 10-24-2014 10:29 AM

So, rather than vent it out, it sounds like I should use the factory set up of a dust collector (possibly with a better bag on it) and wear the respirator…

I’m assuming that any small particles that escape would settle overnight. I do have an ambient air cleaner that would help.

View josephf's profile


200 posts in 2124 days

#9 posted 10-24-2014 01:29 PM

I did this after the bags at 1st . It blows a bit of dust outside ,kinda makes a mess .I ran 6” vent hose to the ground so dust would blow and lay down some . flexible vent hose is cheap ,has lasted several years now no problem .Substantially improved suction . Next I got a cyclone in front of collector ,this dropped dust to outside to unnoticable . Also having the cyclone in front if I miss that the can is full bulk of shaving then go into bags instead of out side of my shop . I do not have close neighbors , I use a 6” vent hose directly outside and get a substantial jump in dust collection.Hope that helps

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2703 days

#10 posted 10-25-2014 02:43 AM

There are a couple of threads on here that suggest using truck air filters. KF I believe is the brand that is supposed to be so good. One of the guys had done some testing and was able to get some used filters that were as good as the Wynn and I think he got them free or at a very good price. Might look for that.

Heat loss might be an issue in your part of the country. The purpose of the dust collector is to get rid of the dust in the air and not have to wear a respirator. A good collector system and a couple of air cleaners should take care of that for you.

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