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Forum topic by fstellab posted 02-13-2013 05:22 PM 3799 views 6 times favorited 68 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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fstellab

86 posts in 839 days


02-13-2013 05:22 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question table saw miter saw dust collector harbor freight 2 hp dust collector

Hi Folks,

I am drowning in dust, especially the router and table saw. The dust sent 2 shop vacs to the repair shop.

So I purchased a Harbor Freight 2 HP collector. I then ran some searches for setting the collection duct-work, and connecting to the dust creators. I came up with a lot of clever but complicated plans … Some called for 6” ducts. I am not sure how a 6” duct would work when the collector only has 4” ducts.

I am looking for the fastest, easiest way to connect the HF HP2 to a Table Saw, Router and Miter Saw.

I am sure I will enhance the dust collection system in the future .. but for now I just need to get something together quickly.

Thanks ..

-Fred

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)


68 replies so far

View gtbuzz's profile

gtbuzz

386 posts in 1196 days


#1 posted 02-13-2013 06:27 PM

Dust collection begins at the machine. Unless you can get things under control there, it doesn’t really matter how much dust collector you have on the other side, it’s still gonna go everywhere.

One of the first things I’d do is replace that bag that came with it. There are a lot of instructions out the for retrofitting this DC with cartridge filters from Wynn Environmental (wynnenv.com). Can be done pretty easily for less than $150. If price is an issue, search around and you’ll be able to find some 1 micron bags for a lot less. With the 5 micron bags and no sort of pre-separator you’re going to end up just spewing a lot of the really fine nasty dust back into the air.

Secondly, were you planning on this being a permanent installation with fixed ducting or were you going to roll the machine around from tool to tool? I’d recommend the latter unless you’re only going to have short runs with minimal bends and smooth pipe. You’re really not going to be running more than one machine at a time with the HF anyway. If you’re going to use it in a portable fashion, I’d just get a couple feet of flex hose to hook it up to your machine and be done with it.

Now regarding the tools, a lot of what you can do depends on which tool you have.

Miter saw – most miter saws suck at dust collection. Festool Kapex is the only one that I can think of that does a decent job out of the box. Generally the dust collection ports on a miter saw are there for marketing bullets only and aren’t designed to be very effective. I’ve got a Bosch 5412 and it’s absolutely awful. Very little of the dust / chips actually makes it into the chute. I’d say 90% waste goes around the chute and out the back. Most of the time, I just use my miter saw outside, but when I need to use in inside, what I’ve done is built a collection box that I set up behind the saw and hook up my dust collector to that. It actually does a fairly decent job. Some people say that it also helps to hook up a shop vac to the actual collection port on the saw, but I don’t find that it makes that big of a difference. Could be because the chute in mine is terrible.

Router – again this depends on the setup you have. If you’re using it as a handheld router, a lot of routers have dust attachments that you can hook up to it and some of them work pretty well, however a shop vac is much more suited to this application. Never mind how unwieldy it would be trying to reduce 4” or 6” hose to 1.25” or so. I’ve got a table mounted router and a Bench Dog router fence with dust collection built into the fence. Honestly, this only worked okay. I added 4” dust collection port to the router table itself (which is pretty much enclosed) and when I hook up my DC to that and my shop vac to the dust port on the fence, it works quite well. I’m no longer covered in a thin film of dust.

Table saw – really depends on what kind of table saw you have. If it’s a portable contractor saw, chances are it’s a 2.5” dust port or smaller. Those can sometimes work okay, but you’ll still get a lot of dust falling out the bottom. There are aftermarket dust chutes you can attach to the bottom of the saw as well as bags that will help somewhat. Usually said aftermarket dust chute will have a 4” connection that you can hook up to your DC. Here’s one Rockler sells: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=16972&site=ROCKLER . Chanes are, you’re gonna have to do some modification to it to make it fit your saw though.

I had a Ridgid TS2400 a while back and the built in port wasn’t terrible after I made a mod to it. For some reason, Ridgid included these plastic ribs in the port. I don’t know if it was something to keep you from sticking your fingers in there (sorry, but if you do that while the blade is running, it’s your own damn fault if you lose your fingers) or what, but it caused it to clog constantly. Removing the ribs with a multi-tool improved things immensely.

Using the blade guard that came with the saw can also help with dust – it helps reduce the amount that gets sprayed around.

Hope this helps and good luck with taming the dust.

View John's profile

John

45 posts in 827 days


#2 posted 02-13-2013 07:45 PM

Definitely upgrade the bag to some kind of cartridge filter asap. Then get some cheap plywood or hardboard and make some baffles and whatever to direct the dust to a 4” port, which should ideally be as close to the cutting action as possible. A couple of panels behind your miter saw will do wonders. Roll your DC right up to the tool and connect it with a short length of flex hose. That’s the simplest, and with a short run, you’re not losing anything with the 4” hose.

There are a few semi-useful photos of my miter saw setup on my blog:

http://madebyjohn.blogspot.com/2011/11/dust-hood-for-my-miter-chop-saw.html

Routers are nearly impossible to get good dust control on unless they’re in a table. Most of them have a pretty significant blower built in that directs a powerful stream of air down against the work to keep chips out of the way so you can see what you’re doing. The problem is that blows everything all over the place, even if you have a shop vac or DC hooked up to shrouds that surround the work.

I usually just have the end of my DC’s hose attached near where I’m routing, so it picks up some of the fine dust right away. Then I vacuum myself and the work area when I’m done.

View fstellab's profile

fstellab

86 posts in 839 days


#3 posted 02-14-2013 05:54 PM

Hi Folks,

gtbuzz, thanks so much for putting that information together. I have a Ridgid R4512 Table Saw, that has a 4” connection at the bottom of the saw. Right now I put a cat litter box underneath the connection. The Saw top gets very dusty depending on the wood. Also, a fair amount of dust does not go down the to the 4” hole, it accumulates around the edges, this is probably why Ridgid puts a warning in the manual that if you install the boot dust hood .. you must connect to a dust collector. I am hoping that the dust collector will get rid of that issue.

John, I am building the Miter dust box that you have this weekend. My Miter is the single most dust maker in the shop. I made the mistake of putting the miter station between to workbenches up agaist the wall. The dust from the miter saw gets all of my work and tools. I really want to use your hood and the 2 1/4 connection on the saw.

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)

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fstellab

86 posts in 839 days


#4 posted 02-14-2013 06:16 PM

Does the Filter enhance or impede the CFM ?

-- Fred Stellabotte (kamado@comcast.net)

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14687 posts in 1429 days


#5 posted 02-14-2013 06:44 PM

A canister filter will INCREASE the CFMs (air flow) of the DC, making it more efficient. It also saves your lungs, for me it’s a “no brainer” upgrade. I went with the NANO filter, as I rather enjoy breathing & plan on doing so for as long as I can. You can not order online, a phone call is required. I know that speaking to a real live person is scarry, but the folks at Wynn are a pleasure to deal with.

I have the HF 2HP DC & strongly recommend:

Wynn Enviromental canister filter (NANO): as already discussed.

Thein Top Hat pre-seperator, as it:
1) Reduces the need to clean the filter as often.
2) Protects the impellor from large debris.
3) Protects the large debris (tape measures, as an example) from the impeller.
4) Easier to empty chips from can, than trying to reinstall the plastic bag!!!

Ambient air cleaner (with a highly efficient filter [10-15 Merv rating]) to remove the “fines” that are not corralled at the source:
1) Again, saves your lung function!!!
2) Reduces the chore of “dusting”.
3) Reduces contamination, when applying finishes.

Smaller DCs (1-2 HP units) are not really dust collectors as much as they are chip collectors. It is the “fines” that are harmful to the lungs! The canister filter & ambient air filter combined with a GOOD respirator will do the most towards preserving your lung function!!!

Have fun making saw dust and don’t forget to take the neccessary steps to protect your lungs!!!

-- 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 MrRon's profile

MrRon

2993 posts in 1998 days


#6 posted 02-14-2013 07:01 PM

I live in a rural area where my closest neighbor is 1/4 mile away. I duct my D/C to the outdoors without any filter, but I do have a collection barrel for the chips. Only the fine dust goes outdoors. Filters slow down the air flow as they clog with dust. If you live in a similar area, that is the way to go.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14687 posts in 1429 days


#7 posted 02-14-2013 07:31 PM

MrRon, has a great point. This works though, only if you live in a moderate climate. Any “conitioned” air, ie heated, cooled, dehumidified, would be removed and replaced with outside, “unconditioned” air. But if you are able to do it, GO FOR IT!!!

-- 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 b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1803 days


#8 posted 02-14-2013 08:16 PM

This a good first step with is in addition;

-- Bert

View History's profile

History

399 posts in 736 days


#9 posted 02-14-2013 10:56 PM

DIY writes : Smaller DCs (1-2 HP units) are not really dust collectors as much as they are chip collectors. Please explain that comment.

View b2rtch's profile

b2rtch

4351 posts in 1803 days


#10 posted 02-14-2013 11:09 PM

To collect fine wood dust, the stuff that is really dangerous for your lungs, you need a high flow rate of air, high SCFM.
Smaller dust collector just cannot deliver a high enough flow rate of air.
You need at last( depending on you configuration) at least 2.5 to 3.0HP dust collector the achieve a high enough flow rate to collect fine dust.
This is why I replace my small dust collector by an expensive one.
Many posts have been posted about his subject on LJ, jUst make search for dust collector or dust collection and you find volumes to read

-- Bert

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14687 posts in 1429 days


#11 posted 02-14-2013 11:31 PM

SawSucker,
I started my response, then realized that b2rtch stated the facts rather well!!!

b2rtch,
Thanks for explaining it for me!!!

-- 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 History's profile

History

399 posts in 736 days


#12 posted 02-15-2013 12:35 AM

I’m sorry but I’d have to strongly disagree. I think that you’ve been reading too much Bill Pentz, or listening to someone who has. It’s just another example of misinformation being spread around in woodworking forums in order to sell larger machines then most people really need.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14687 posts in 1429 days


#13 posted 02-15-2013 12:50 AM

SawSucker, Please elaborate & provide the proof!!!
I could save a ton of money, if you are correct!!! I’d like that.

-- 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 TechRedneck's profile

TechRedneck

746 posts in 1611 days


#14 posted 02-15-2013 12:50 AM

since pictures are worth a thousand words, here is what I did with a Delta 50-760 DC and a shop Vac with two cyclones

This is the primary DC for the shop. Blog on the build is here : http://lumberjocks.com/TechRedneck/blog/29742

For Ambient air filtration, I built a out feed table/sanding station/ air cleaner with 60 min timer

For stationary sanders and the router table, I built a mini-cyclone unit. High flow for the smaller ports

Hood for the SCMS. Captures most all the dust (ambient filter catches the remainder)

Keen Dust Router attachment under the router table (Blue thingy) and a port on the fence catch nearly everything off the router table. Best little gizmo invented for DC on the router, bar none IMHO.

Dust collection at the drill press

DC using blast gates for the Drum Sander, 6” Jointer, Planer, and floor sweep with one 4” PVC drop.

Everything in the shop is connected to the smaller 2” high velocity DC or the larger 4” cyclone DC using Sewer and Drain pipe held with aluminum duct tape and good metal blast gates.

You can get the parts and build a good system for the average weekend woodworker. If I had the money and room I would get a larger ClearVue cyclone with 5hp motor and 6” mains, but this works very well for me and has cut the dust down significantly. The Wynn filter is a MUST and cyclones are the best pre-separators.

-- Mike.... West Virginia. "Man is a tool using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.". T Carlyle

View Dallas's profile

Dallas

3218 posts in 1241 days


#15 posted 02-15-2013 12:56 AM

I agree and disagree. I am building my own dust collection system using Donaldson Torit design. While it has some resemblance to hobby machines it is much more efficient with lower power needs for what it can do.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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