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"Minimalist" small-shop setup for HF dust collector with separator?

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Forum topic by ADHDan posted 03-09-2015 03:18 PM 1497 views 3 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ADHDan

800 posts in 1568 days


03-09-2015 03:18 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question dust collector dust collection small shop

In my 11×17 shop, I use a Harbor Freight 2hp dust collector with a good-enough Rockler separator attached to a 55 gallon drum. The entire thing is on a rolling cart nestled in the corner of my shop by my workbench. It only takes up about 2’x4’ of floor space, but with the size of my shop literally every square foot is important and I’d like to further reduce my DC footprint (and make it easier to remove the drum for emptying).

My current setup more or less looks like this, except that the cart is flipped horizontally (drum on the outside, bag against the wall) and the intake hose connects to a PVC line that runs up the back wall and across the ceiling to a few drops:

I searched through the projects section looking for designs for an even smaller two-stage HF dust collection setup and found a few possibilities, but I was wondering – does anyone have pictures/links to a DC setups that really minimize the floor footprint, in a shop with an 8’ ceiling?

I’m comfortable downsizing to a smaller drum with a new setup; the 55 gallon container is unwieldy to begin with and I’d be willing to drop to a 40 gallon plastic drum (which I have) or a 30-40 gallon garbage can (which I don’t have). I’d also be willing to mount the DC motor itself on a wall, as long as it would still be relatively easy to access the separator, filter and bag.

Thanks!

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.


17 replies so far

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19172 posts in 2135 days


#1 posted 03-09-2015 03:55 PM

Given the size of the impeller housing & the collection ring….
The footprint can only be so small.
The smallest footprint would be to connect the collection ring to the impeller housing directly.

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

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CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#2 posted 03-09-2015 04:25 PM

I was able to cut down my footprint by venting outside (with a separator) and get rid of the filter bags.

-- "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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DIYaholic

19172 posts in 2135 days


#3 posted 03-09-2015 04:28 PM

I stand corrected….
CharlesA’s suggestion, if possible, would provide the smallest footprint.

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

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#4 posted 03-09-2015 05:33 PM

Outdoor separator. The top can just vent fines to the atmosphere.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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DIYaholic

19172 posts in 2135 days


#5 posted 03-09-2015 06:11 PM

There is another option….
Place the whole DC unit outside the shop….
In a covered & protected lean to/shack/shed.
Then just run the ducting through the wall.

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

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BTimmons

2298 posts in 1945 days


#6 posted 03-09-2015 07:10 PM

Possibly dumb question. Is venting outside safe in the suburbs, or is it the sort of thing you can only get away with out in the country?

-- Brian Timmons - http://www.BigTWoodworks.com

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1568 days


#7 posted 03-09-2015 07:26 PM

I’ve considered locating or venting the DC outside, but there are a few issues. I’m in Minnesota, which means harsh winter/spring weather conditions on the DC itself if located outside, and even if I just vent outside I’d probably need to keep a window open to prevent air loss or gas backflow issues. My shop is located next to the laundry room separated by a dividing wall, and I did my best to seal it off to prevent sawdust escape but it’s nowhere near airtight – the top of the wall is basically just “sealed” with some clear plastic tarp stapled at the wall/joist line. That said, I’d love to locate my DC outside if it wasn’t dangerous or too much of a hassle; does anyone have thoughts on this?

Otherwise, I’m contemplating designs that pull in the DC components tighter, stack them differently, or mount them differently to save space. It doesn’t sound like much, but narrowing the cart width from 24” to 18” or 20” would actually make a huge difference in terms of workbench/tool layout because of how tight all my rolling carts are packed against the back wall. And shortening the 48” length would let me replace “wasted” space at the end of the cart with something useful like add-on shelves, cubbies, or a clamp rack .

But yeah, I fully understand that there is an inherent ceiling for space-saving flatly due to the size of the components (which is one reason I’m thinking of switching to a smaller drum).

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1568 days


#8 posted 03-09-2015 07:27 PM



Possibly dumb question. Is venting outside safe in the suburbs, or is it the sort of thing you can only get away with out in the country?

- BTimmons

I don’t see why it wouldn’t be less safe in the ‘burbs than the country; it would just be more… annoying I guess because of close neighbors and smaller yards.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

19172 posts in 2135 days


#9 posted 03-09-2015 07:37 PM

The issues with venting outside….
1) replacing conditioned air: a/c, heat &/or de/humidified.
2) Creating negative pressure, in the shop/house, drawing CO2 from a furnace &/or water heater.
3) Dust & noise bothering the neighbors (or significant other!!!).

If I could…. I would….

-- 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 Rick M's profile

Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#10 posted 03-10-2015 03:35 AM

The idea of blowing your conditioned air outside and cooling the shop makes sense but people who actually vent outside say it isn’t an issue. And I have spent a cold winter day in a shop that vented outdoors and there was never a drop in temperature and that guy has 3 dust collectors. Also you don’t need to spray your chips and dust all over the yard and neighbors if you build an outdoor separator. Some of the fines would go up the chimney then fall back down, only the finest would make it out and into the atmosphere. Like the picture here:
http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/2014/11/19th-century-dust-collection-systems.html

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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joey502

487 posts in 978 days


#11 posted 03-10-2015 06:33 AM

Sorry the pic is rotated. I am traveling and don’t have another on my phone.

Although I started with a Delta collector and not the HF the objective to save floor space was the same. I have to disclose that this idea was taken from someone else on the forum. I am not this clever on my own. My ceiling is 8’4”, close enough to yours to make it work.

I added a super dust deputy and 30gallon plastic drum. A 55 gallon drum would have been better. The rolling cart the DC was mounted to got pitched and I cut 90% of the plastic collector bag off. The super DD works so well there is no need for much of a bag. Cutting the bag saved me about 24” of height. I also added a cheap outdoor lighting remote control from a home center, maybe $15.

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rwe2156

2187 posts in 940 days


#12 posted 03-10-2015 11:51 AM

I just don’t see much coming out unless my collector bin overfills…....
But if I had a neighbor 8 feet away I doubt they would like it.

Which brings me to a question for all you guys in suburbia. What do your neighbors think of you running a planer at 8 PM?

Anyway, venting outside is not an option if you need to heat or cool your shop.

The most important thing I want to say is you definitely need to upgrade to a canister if you want to keep a safe environment inside.

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

View InstantSiv's profile

InstantSiv

259 posts in 1055 days


#13 posted 03-10-2015 12:38 PM

I have a very similar setup like yours. I don’t think you can have a smaller footprint unless you go with a vertical setup. I did find a clever spot to put the dust collector in my shop layout.

If I need to rip something on the table saw that’s wider than about 1’ I pull the saw away from the wall so the D.C. is not in the way. It’s worked out great so far.

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

841 posts in 2435 days


#14 posted 03-10-2015 01:36 PM

I have a similar setup to InstantSiv in my 12X23 shop except my DC is rotated 90* and in the corner next to where the word Wall is in blue pen. I like the setup because I can squeeze around all sides of the outfeed table which is also my workbench/router table. My ultimate goal is to build a closet on exterior of shop for it and some non-woodworking stuff I have in shop now (auto tools, ladders, etc). I hope to incorporate it into a potting bench/garden tool storage for wife along one of the 23’ walls.

I like the vertical ideas but my ceiling is not high enough for that :(

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WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 636 days


#15 posted 03-10-2015 01:47 PM

I have been thinking about an external shed with a vent back into the workshop. This would return the air to the shop.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

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