LumberJocks

3hp dust collector upgrade vs. ClearVue cyclone splurge

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by Basementguy posted 05-14-2015 01:25 AM 1428 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Basementguy's profile

Basementguy

1 post in 573 days


05-14-2015 01:25 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust clearvue cyclone bill pentz

I am a woodworking hobbiest who has a shop in the basement. It’s not ideal, but I love my shop. I crank out a lot of work and am proud of my results. I currently have a 3hp dust collection unit that does a great job of collecting (via 6” ducts) the majority of chips produced by all of my machines (I currently run a 16” planer, a 8” jointer, a table saw, chop saw, etc.). The problem is that it doesn’t seem to get all of the little stuff and its irritating my lungs and I’m starting to expect my children’s as well. I have been thoroughly terrified after reading Bill Pentz’s information and am thinking that I need to aim for a higher standard of air quality.

A bit of background: my house does not circulate air from the basement to the rest of the house (the house is heated by water running through radiators). I realize that venting the dust outside is best, but I live in a very cold part of Canada and this is not an option. My current collector has bags that I suspect are no finer mesh than 3 micron.

My question is this: should I just upgrade the collector I have to better filters (i.e. canister, 0.5-1 micron filters) and add an air purifier box? Or should I just go all the way and upgrade to something like a ClearVue cyclone system? My goal is complete dust collection (of particles of all sizes) and I’m ready to invest what it takes to make sure that I can enjoy my hobby without putting my health or my family’s health in danger.

Any advice?


11 replies so far

View Holbs's profile

Holbs

1373 posts in 1492 days


#1 posted 05-14-2015 03:32 AM

I can not speak of a clearvue… but I do have a 3HP dual Grizzly DC that originally came with the 2 fabric bags and 2 plastic underneath bags. I have changed over to the Wynn 0.5 micron filters, added a Grizzly air cleaner (might get a 2nd one for opposite wall). I feel rather “safer” than before when using a shop vac for DC or when using the Grizzly default 20micron bag filters. To be 99.9% safe, I would use respirator.

Your 6” ducts… could they be improved? do you have sharp turns, or using T junctions, etc?

-- Yes, my profile picture is of a Carpenter Bee! The name is derived from the Ancient Greek "wood-cutter"

View BroncoBrian's profile

BroncoBrian

435 posts in 1422 days


#2 posted 05-14-2015 03:36 AM

Glad you brought this up. I have a cyclone with the 1 micron canister (Jet) and it does a great job. I also have Festool for sanding and dominos so they do a great job.

Can you open a window while you work when the weather is good to help ventilate? I am curious how much air is moved through the dust boxes mounted on a ceiling.

I am going to get a more comfortable respirator and ear protection to have when it is obvious that I need it. I hate stuff touching my head though.

-- Bigfoot tries to take pictures of me

View Cypressloser's profile

Cypressloser

2 posts in 588 days


#3 posted 05-14-2015 04:33 AM

I absolutely agree with Holbs, the Grizzly canister filters are the way to go. I have my DC set up against a white wall for almost 4 years now and can not see any discoloration, also a dedicated air cleaner on a timer will filter much of the very fine dust out of the air esp. from hand sanding and if thats not enough run the DC with the blast gates open for 1/2 hour or so. From what I have read a cyclone is not the best option for separating the very fine dust in a small shop, I’m also in Canada and I know, you don’t want to open any window for 6 months of the year.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1956 days


#4 posted 05-14-2015 11:14 AM

Given the goal you described: yes, I would upgrade to the CV. Here’s why: You want one thing to collect the finest dust particles, lots of air flow. No doubt you DC will do that with clean filters. But those filters will clog over time, and the clogging will slowly reduce air flow. That will reduce particle collection. That is the purpose of a cyclone, to keep the filters cleaner, longer, allowing the max air flow to capture the dust. I’ll point out a good cyclone design does exactly this, and a poor one (like mine) doesn’t. On mine I have a gauge to indicate when the filters get clogged, had I went with a CV I wouldn’t have to do that. Cyclones do have a tremendous drag on the system, but the CV has such a large impeller (go with the larger one) and motor, it easily overcomes that drag. The thing i think you should consider is noise, they are louder than most collectors, much of which comes from the tremendous air flow they have. But with one of them you will be collecting (and containing) as much of the fine dust as possible. The air cleaner is also a good idea, but generally by the time it catches the dust it’s already in your lungs. But it will still capture dust that might migrate to the rest of the house. All this, of course, is only my opinion.

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

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 887 days


#5 posted 05-14-2015 02:02 PM

No matter what you do, buy the best filters you can (Wynn Environmental 0.5micron) and combine it with some type of Thein Cyclone\Inertial Separator design to keep them cleaner longer for better long run performance.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 640 days


#6 posted 05-14-2015 02:57 PM



The air cleaner is also a good idea, but generally by the time it catches the dust it s already in your lungs. But it will still capture dust that might migrate to the rest of the house. All this, of course, is only my opinion.

- Fred Hargis


True, but without a cleaner won’t the dust remain suspended in the air longer and therefore be breathed longer?

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

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1956 days


#7 posted 05-14-2015 04:15 PM

That would be my guess. But it’s still several hours to clean the air in most cases, I suspect any gain (health wise) is very small.

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

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

1592 posts in 887 days


#8 posted 05-14-2015 09:49 PM

Just stop and do a little math. How many cfm are being cycled through your DC solution with a high flowing filter? 400 cfm as a conservative number to pull out of my hat. Your shop is 20’ x 20’ x 10’. 4000 cubic feet divided by 400cfm and you get an entire room cycle EVERY 10 minutes of operation.

I do not know about you but I can live with that.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3938 posts in 1956 days


#9 posted 05-15-2015 11:15 AM

Actually, you can put up with it, but I doubt you can live with it, at least your lungs won’t. But….they are yours, do as you like. As for me, I’ll let the cleaner run while I’m not in the shop. You are correct though, a turn every 10 minutes is pretty good.

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

View NoSpace's profile

NoSpace

73 posts in 704 days


#10 posted 07-06-2015 05:25 AM

I just did a longer post on my experience here actually…

“I have been thoroughly terrified after reading Bill Pentz’s information…”

Ha. I got scared by a few of these websites too. So, one of the problems here is you’re fighting an enemy you can’t see, and so there are dozens of theories on what you need to do and what works best and what doesn’t. But what if you could see the enemy?

http://www.dylosproducts.com/

For 260$ you can measure the particles in your air down to .5 microns and see how well different solutions work in action. You can see what the air quality is in your shop vs. the rest of the house. If you get your readings lower than the rest of the house just circulating with your DC for a half hour, then problem solved. If the problem is the time it takes for the air to get clean, then wear a quality mask while you work. I wear a 3M 7093 particulate filter anytime the air in my shop is higher than a certain level on my Dylos and then remove it a few minutes later, after the air filtration system has done its job (I don’t have a real DC).

If the DC just isn’t getting the numbers down, then the problem could be solved by a better bag. If not, and if you go to an air filtration system, the Jet 1000 that I use will officially bury the problem and then some. I can get my shop air cleaner than the air at the office.

If you don’t want to have to wear a mask while you work, well, that might take some effort and certainly will want to be measuring the air quality during cutting to see how bad the problem is. One problem is the dust hood/build of the tool may make it impossible to collect all the dust at the source that it produces no matter what kind of DC you use. Might have to figure out a way to capture it at all sources and suck it up as it’s produced for each tool. For a really serious shop that might be worth the effort. For me: Run the Dylos, wear the mask, turn on the filter and take the mask off when the Dylos says it’s safe.

It might be that an exhaust fan is superior to a DC or that a HEPA filter is 100x better than something else but at the end of the day, if you’ve got a device that measures fine dust particles in the air and the air is clean, then it’s clean, no matter how you got from A to B. My experience is that getting the air clean is actually pretty easy and probably a lot of methods work, but you need to know when the air is clean. So get the air quality monitor.

View AZWoody's profile

AZWoody

693 posts in 687 days


#11 posted 07-06-2015 08:08 AM



Just stop and do a little math. How many cfm are being cycled through your DC solution with a high flowing filter? 400 cfm as a conservative number to pull out of my hat. Your shop is 20 x 20 x 10 . 4000 cubic feet divided by 400cfm and you get an entire room cycle EVERY 10 minutes of operation.

I do not know about you but I can live with that.

- timbertailor

Just because the total cfm would say that the air is turned every 10 minutes doesn’t mean that every part of the shop’s air is being filtered.
Corners, places behind and around tools and under benches will bot be circulated that well and will still retain the dust in the air. You would still need something to help truly circulate the air in the shop to the filters for them to have any kind of complete shop filtration.

To be effective, you’d need some fans in key areas to move air to the filter and or multiple filters placed in various points around the shop.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com