|Forum topic by BTimmons||posted 02-03-2015 08:13 PM||1090 views||2 times favorited||14 replies|
02-03-2015 08:13 PM
I’m needing to upgrade my dust collection in a serious way. I’ll try my best to include any info I can think of, and organize my thoughts in order to get the best advice from the experts. Here’s my situation.
Presently I work out of my garage. Been using the Harbor Freight “I can’t believe it’s not 2 HP” model of dust collector with a ghetto Thien separator, attaching a long tube of flex hose to whatever machine I’m running. It’s starting to throw off a lot of dust in weird places, and short of running beads of caulk over the entire machine and/or taking the whole thing apart and putting it back together again, I need to get rid of it. It’s done alright, better than no dust collection at all, but it’s time to move on.
Now, what follows is what I need help with.
Available square footage: I have a small (12×16) shop being built in my backyard. It has 8 foot walls and open joists. So a little more than 1500 cubic feet. My electrician buddy is wiring it with ample outlets, including 4 at 220. So power won’t really be a problem. I can expand the floor plan of the shop later if I need to, which I probably will.
Desired capabilities: I want blast gates and dedicated ducting running to each machine that I have. That includes a table saw, band saw, planer, belt/disc sander, and drill press. A floor sweep inlet would be nice, too. I have absolutely had it with dragging a hose everywhere I go. No more.
Ducting considerations: I’ve been reading up on CFM, airflow, and all that jazz. Math has never been my strong point, but I understand at least that bigger ducts mean better airflow. Ergo, better dust collection at the source. So I’m thinking 6 inch ducts, probably PVC to keep cost down. With such a small square footage to work with, I would hope that suction loss shouldn’t be too much of a problem, with the relatively short runs and all.
How much power in a DC do I need? All of this is pointless unless I have a machine that can handle it. Looking at CFM charts doesn’t help me. See the earlier point about my math skills. I don’t know if I could get by with a “true” 2 HP unit, which I know the HF isn’t. I also don’t know if something like a 3 HP cyclone would be overkill, or exactly what I need. Or maybe I’m severely underestimating things and I need to get something like a ClearVue unit.
Fine dust generators: What makes the most of the super fine dust is my table saw and my belt/disc sander. The combs that I make involves using these two machines the most. And the sander in particular sees a lot of use. I want to make sure that I’m grabbing as much of the fine stuff as I can at the source.
Health considerations: I’ve skimmed over Bill Pentz’s site. I say skimmed and not read, because I don’t have an engineering degree and two years of spare time to understand it all. There seem to be a few schools of thought regarding wood dust. The way Pentz presents things makes you think that just looking at sawdust will give you inoperable cancer. Then there are the folks who think he’s got good ideas regarding cyclone design, but he may be a bit of an alarmist where health is concerned. All I know is, my wife and five year old daughter are asthmatic as all hell, and I don’t want to be contributing to any health problems in my family, to say nothing about myself. Any DC unit I get will be augmented by an ambient air cleaner.
I’ve thought about contacting Grizzly, ClearVue, Laguna, etc., but I can’t help but think that they’re all just going to ultimately tell me that their product is the best and I won’t be able to make an objective decision here. AAAARRGH. What do I do?
Help me, Lumberjocks. You’re my only hope.
-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com