Table saws, Dust collection, and me

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Forum topic by chickenhelmet posted 05-12-2009 08:22 PM 1522 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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99 posts in 3342 days

05-12-2009 08:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dust collection

A little backround: I only have a shop vac for dust collection and move it from place to place. This is fine as I rent and will not be setting up anything permanent. When I run both the table saw and the shop vac I sometimes blow a fuse down there. Some of this is operator error, I’m sure, and will get better as I learn to feed properly. Now to the meat of the question. My shop vac is a Ridgid 12 gal 5hp. The saw 1 1/2hp. Might I do better with one of these “real” dust collectors at 1 or 1 1/2hp instead? (Gizzly,Delta,Jet, homemade, doesn’t matter yet) Thanks once again everybody!

-- Larry , Colorado

6 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3678 days

#1 posted 05-12-2009 08:54 PM

in terms of collecting wood chips ? yes
in terms of not blowing a fuse ? no – dust collector use a higher amperage then shop vacs (usually).

check the electric specs on your machine – most likely your table saw is 15amp – which means it should be running on a 20amp breaker circuit… on it’s own!

the shop vac is prob in the 10-13amp as well, and should run on a separate 15amp-20amp circuit (not same as the table saw)

if you CAN run them on separate circuits – thats your solution. if not – you WILL trip breakers every once in a while. no way around it as your machines are overforcing the circuit.

if you only have a table saw- the shop vac might work ok for now, but you’ll have to empty it more often since it’s smaller than a dust collector

if you get a dust collector – do research , it’s not as simple as picking one up and pluging it in – make sure it has good filteration (at least 1 micron) – that can mean an upgrade to what ever you’re buying, otherwise you’ll just be pumping the dust back into the room.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View lew's profile


12103 posts in 3784 days

#2 posted 05-12-2009 09:01 PM

I think you may experience the same problem with a “real” dust collector.

The Ridgid shop vac is 5hp PEAK. Probably closer to 1 1/2 normal running (or less). If you check the rating on a dedicated dust collector you will probably find the Peak hp rating may be even higher than 5. You may be better off, in the long run, to wire a dedicated, higher amperage circuit, for the saw. This would leave the existing circuit under less of a load.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18293 posts in 3705 days

#3 posted 05-12-2009 09:27 PM

You need to run a cord to a different circuit to run both at the same time.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3851 days

#4 posted 05-12-2009 09:34 PM

You definately need to be on two separate circuits. One point I would make is that the shop vac will only pick up the big stuff. Shop vacs are simply not designed to control the really fine dust, less than 30 microns, which pose long term health risks. Look for dust collectors that control particles down to 1 and 2 microns in size.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3678 days

#5 posted 05-12-2009 09:46 PM

I’ll have to disagree with Scott on this one. this is the first I hear of a shopvac limitation when it comes to particle size? shop vacs come with HEPA filters which are designed for less then 1 micron particles… hence they do pick up the fine dust. Festool line of dust extraction are nothing more than a shopvac on steroids – they share the same capabilities – only the festool excell and push the capabilities beyond the normal shopvac- but both will suck the hell out of fine particles.

the limitation of shopvacs is actually the opposite- it’s large chips. when you work with a planer, and jointer, and machinery that produces ALOT of LARGE CHIPS, and FAST, thats when a shopvac will choke. but as long as you work with smaller tools, a shopvac will be sufficient (to a point)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3461 days

#6 posted 05-12-2009 10:00 PM

I use a 12 gal Shop Vac with an intermediate chip/large particle collector. Some people use trash cans, I use the 5 gal bucket with the small top available at Woodcraft or Rockler. It works well. I still have to empty the Shop Vac but the intermediary cuts down on that. I do have to run it on another circuit but I have 2 in my workshop (one dedicated to the table saw and one with other stuff on it) and can run only one tool and the shop vac at a time. Of course, I can only run one tool at a time anyway – haven’t learned to “multi-task” safely yet!!!
I haven’t had any problems…especially since I can open the door too.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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