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I need a shopvac/dust collection system.

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Forum topic by Sanderguy777 posted 02-25-2015 10:03 AM 1248 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


02-25-2015 10:03 AM

Topic tags/keywords: humor question table saw sander miter saw carving tool dust collector shopvac vacuum sanding safety dust

I have a nice 20×40 shop in our basement. We moved and the people had this nice shop all setup, minus the dust collection. I have allergies to dust, of all the hobbies in the world I WOULD pick the dustiest one in the world. I like woodworking, my parents tell me that when I was a kid I would bypass the toy store and go to the tool store.

Anyway, there is a shopvac brand vacuum but it’s old and noisy, so I want one that is quiet and maybe small ( I have plenty of room if I toss some trash that needed to be in the trash LONG ago. )

In the middle of the room, where all of my workbenches are, I have a table saw and a chop saw, and that’s also where I use all my other tools like the Dremel, and carving tools. There are workbenches that the other owners put there that I don’t use because they are rotten and the work surface is (was) 1/2” plywood that is mostly termite droppings and epoxy now. On the sides I have a HF 1×30 belt sander that I LOVE and a scroll saw that broke. If it would work, I want to put the vac either on the ceiling, out of the way, or on the wall with the hose over the chop saw and table saw.

I really want the system with an extra room that the dust collector sits in and the pipe is attached to the wall with outlets every foot, but I can’t afford that.

What I’m looking for is a good quality, quiet shopvac, that I can use without ear protection, and that is not over $50. I also want it to be able to use some kind of dust collector attachments, if that’s even possible for the ones I’m looking at.

I know, that’s the holy grail of vacuums, but that’s what I want and I can only afford what I can afford. The reason I need it to be without ear plugs is 1( the ceiling is about 8’ above the floor (noisier in a confined space) and 2( there are going to be other people living right beside the wall of the shop. I can’t buy it for a while, but when I do I don’t want to have to upgrade or buy a replacement for at least 5 years. (Again, me and the holy grail, but I can dream, can’t I ? ) If I got one, I will use it for everything, including the cars, cleaning the shop, and even cleaning the house probably. I think that if it was about the same noise level as a normal house vacuum, I could live with it. (maybe that’s normal, I don’t know. I can honestly say, I’ve never heard a modern shopvac in all my 18 years of life. I’ve “inherited” two old ones, though.)

Anyway, thanks. I just want a good one that will last pretty well and, frankly, i can survive with anything as long as it’s quiet and it MUST have good suction and be able to be used for DC ( good filter or at least I could buy aftermarket filters for it. )

If you have a suggestion for a home made one, I’ll try it. One other thing is we live in the South Pacific so I have to be careful because of mold and other hot and humid side-effects.

Thanks and I’m sorry for causing you jealousy over “paradise”, but if you had been here last week, I would go into the shop and sit and carve about ten minutes, when I got back upstairs, I was soaked. I mean SOAKED. We had one day where the real feel, with the humidity, was 118 degrees Fahrenheit!!! Anyway, thanks for your patience with the most far reaching question on earth.


15 replies so far

View Sawdust2012's profile

Sawdust2012

93 posts in 1177 days


#1 posted 02-25-2015 11:19 AM

I have been pretty impressed with the higher capacity shop vacs from the big box home improvement stores. I have one attached to a dust deputy. In a confined shop, however, and with a dust allergy, the only real solution is a full blown dust collector. Even that may not really be enough. I have a basement shop with a Delta 1200 ft3 / min capacity and a .05 micron filter on top. It does a fantastic job with what it catches, but dust still gets away. In a confined area, the smallest air leak will make a noticable cloud. I would also be careful about ear protection. I have to wear mine when the DC is on, and it is less volume than the shop vac. If you are like me, you have a tendency to think, “those problems wont happen to me”, and maybe they wont, but the downside potential is pretty big on this one.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#2 posted 02-25-2015 12:08 PM

I doubt you will find a quite one for that price, they usually run a whole lot more . That said, most of them are pretty good units….but they are noisy.

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

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

842 posts in 2440 days


#3 posted 02-25-2015 12:15 PM

If $50 is your budget, I think you’ll be hard pressed to find anything really effective.

My other comment is regardless of how noisy the dust collection is, you should be wearing hearing protection when running most any of those power tools you mentioned.

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4032 posts in 1816 days


#4 posted 02-25-2015 01:36 PM

What I’m looking for is a good quality, quiet shopvac, that I can use without ear protection, and that is not over $50. I also want it to be able to use some kind of dust collector attachments, if that’s even possible for the ones I’m looking at.

Good luck with that.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View socrbent's profile

socrbent

419 posts in 1734 days


#5 posted 02-25-2015 01:50 PM

Suggest you try your local Craigs List or similar venues. With patience you may get lucky.

-- socrbent Ohio

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)

DIYaholic

19178 posts in 2139 days


#6 posted 02-25-2015 02:10 PM

You have made it quite difficult on yourself….
Powerful, quiet & cheap will not be all inclusive.
For powerful…. The Harbor Freight 2HP DC, may be your cheapest option (for an all inclusive solution).
For quiet…. an actual DC will be quieter.
Cheap…. leads to Craigslist or the like.

You may be able to find a used 1HP DC, that MAY serve your needs.
Power tools/machines will be louder than a true DC, so either way, hearing protection is required.
No DC system captures all of the fines (the most dangerous), sooooo a respirator will be required.
I also suggest an ambient air cleaner…. a shop made one can be made from a used squirrel cage blower.
A shop made “cyclone” separator, for either a shop-vac &/or DC should also be thrown into the mix.

I truly don’t think you will find all of what you are looking for in the $50.00 range….
Scour the used market…. & save more money…. that or lower your expectations!!!

Good luck, in your quest!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View mnguy's profile

mnguy

183 posts in 2863 days


#7 posted 02-25-2015 02:22 PM

If your budget is truly $50, I suggest thinking about a 20” box fan with a pleated furnace filter on the intake side set near your work area – much less than $50. It will capture a lot of the finest dust which is the most harmful; the coarser stuff that falls on the floor can be swept up wearing a N95 dust mask. Commercial air filters or home-made ones using a squirrel cage blower are definitely more effective, but a box fan + good furnace filter is a great start and is so cheap and easy you can’t find excuses not to do it.

IMO, a cheap dust collector with a porous 30 micron bag is worse than nothing; you blow the most dangerous dust into the air. Save your money for something with a 1 micron bag or pleated filter.

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)

DIYaholic

19178 posts in 2139 days


#8 posted 02-25-2015 02:30 PM

Opps, my bad….
Yes, mnguy is right.
A DC MUST be upgraded with a cartridge filter, to catch all the fines!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View rwe2156's profile

rwe2156

2198 posts in 945 days


#9 posted 02-25-2015 03:07 PM

Your health is worth more than 50 bucks, right?

If you have allergies your priority should not be a shop vac, but a good quality full face respirator with the appropriate filters. You can get a 3M with filters in the $30 range I think.

Then think of your shop vac as a way to minimize sweeping up shavings, not a “dust” collector.
Without belaboring it, true “dust” collection is not practical for most hobbyist woodworkers.
You will need a system upward of $3K to achieve a Bill Pentz-type system.

Also, remember, there is dust around alot – like when you’re sweeping, sanding or just cleaning up.

Put the dust collector on your face!!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View bbasiaga's profile

bbasiaga

757 posts in 1459 days


#10 posted 02-25-2015 03:14 PM

You can get HEPA filters for most shop vacs. Maybe that will be another option for you. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a quiet shop vac at any price, let alone $50. Shop vacs also have low SCFM at high static pressure, which is kind of the opposite of what you need for good dust collection.

Perhaps a combo of a hepa filter on your shop vac, plus a home made air cleaner like mnguy suggests is your best bet. That plus a box of good ear plugs. And as RWE2156 says, get a good respirator/dust mask

-Brian.

-- Part of engineering is to know when to put your calculator down and pick up your tools.

View Sanderguy777's profile

Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


#11 posted 02-25-2015 06:28 PM

Thanks for the advice. I might be able to find that excuse mnguy was talking about… I don’t know if they even sell box fans here, much less one that would work well. Or furnace filters for that matter, but I could always just have it sent in the mail…

If I got the DC, I think I would put it in the adjacent room, so I wouldn’t really have to worry about it throwing dust. But I would get the better bag anyway so that it would not be hurting anyone walking in there without the HazMat suit…haha.

If I was able to get a squirrel cage fan, how would I attach the filter to it? On the intake side?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3942 posts in 1958 days


#12 posted 02-25-2015 06:59 PM

I used a squirrel cage fan and built a plywood box to hold everything. The fan was in the center of the box, and on the intake side I put 3 furnace filters. The first one was just a cheapie, the second one what’s called a Filtrete (brand name) red, then a Filtrete Ultra Allergen. The middle and last filters were relatively expensive, and this made them last a little longer.

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

View Sanderguy777's profile

Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


#13 posted 02-25-2015 08:46 PM

I will try to find a fan, but like I said, they don’t sell stuff here that is worth the money you pay. It is all Chinese (not the Chinese you get in the US. It’s even worse. Wayworse. ) And it’s more money cause they have to import it. But if I can’t fin done here I’ll just ship a good one over…. or maybe a few…

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

394 posts in 684 days


#14 posted 02-25-2015 09:49 PM

Fred Hargis had a very good idea for ya there. Not sure where ya live, but squirrel cage blowes/ fans might be easily found in expensively. I have two from old furnaces. Got one of them from a friend puttin in a new furnace and the other from a contractor. Then ya could go on the www and search for ” squirrel cage air filter homemade” for some ideas how to construct one.
Yu could also go on the www and search for ” homemade dust collector” or use other search therms and see what others have done for inexpensive dust collection.

View Sanderguy777's profile

Sanderguy777

158 posts in 666 days


#15 posted 02-25-2015 11:05 PM

I live in the kingdom of Tonga, in the South Pacific.

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