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Air Flow for Rigid 5HP 4gal shop vac?

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  • Air Flow for Rigid 5HP 4gal shop vac?

    I love the portability and power in this compact unit but get tired of having to clean the filter for small-scale wood working in an apartment. (Model WD40500). I've been reading some interesting things about cyclone pre-separators and found the optimal dimensions of the device are dictated by the air flow. Somewhere I saw a little 6" diameter thing you pop into the top of a sealed 5gal bucket for 1 1/4" hose. If I used 2" I.D. hose or PVC pipe throughout, what kind of air flow would this unit produce on a clean filter? I don't want a simple chip remover... If it's designed properly the cyclone effect can remove tiny particles enough to keep standard air filters clean for months... or so I'm told.

  • #2
    Re: Air Flow for Rigid 5HP 4gal shop vac?

    I feel your pain. I have the pro-pac version of the 4 gal-5hp ridgid and love it. It fits in my truck which is a must, and is powerful---when the filter is clean. Because the filter sits in the dust at the bottom of the bin it clogs quickly, as you said.

    I looked at the cyclone solution too for a bit, but I didn't see anywhere that stated it would do anything but keep chips. I thought about putting a first stage filter at the exit on the 5 gallon bucket, but I also don't want to lose too much suction. I use mine for dust collection on sanders and my miter saw, you see.

    My final conclusion was that if I was willing to go to the hassle of setting up the two stage filter and carrying the extra hose and losing the mobility and space in my work area and hauling the five gallon bucket around and having two bins to empty--maybe I should just get a bigger vac to begin with? My buddy has a bigger vac, 8 gallon I think, and he uses it the same amount I do for the exact same tasks. He dumps his about 1 time for every 5 that I do. His filter still looks new because it gets far less debris and far less banging clean--it never gets as clogged as mine.

    I'm still in a situation where real estate inside my truck is worth the effort of cleaning the vac out once or twice a week. If you can hack it though I would suggest upgrading in size and keep your 4 gallon for when you need that space.

    A good carpenter makes few mistakes, a great carpenter can fix his own.