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dust collector--build or buy?

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  • dust collector--build or buy?

    I have seen a few posts about dust collection, but never any opinions about whether it is better to build or buy. Any thoughts?

    I have seen plans to build cyclonic dust collectors, but I am also considering the Delta or Jet 1 1/2 HP dust collectors.

    What does everyone think?
    Brad Hatchett<br />

  • #2
    I have the 2 HP HF unit that was the rage on the wood net fourm a while back. Picked it up for $119.00. Don't know if the code still works(see HF dust collector on the Wood Net Fourm)
    Works great for everything I've hooked it up to so far, table saw, joiner, shaper, router table, drill press...Etc.
    The plumbing has cost more then the DC. I have found Girzz. to be a good source along with Rockler.
    Rob Johnson

    [ 06-02-2003, 12:04 PM: Message edited by: Backyard Woodworker ]
    Just tilt your head a little and it will look straight!


    • #3
      The cyclone DC's certainly are more efficient than "bagged" DC's. But to buy, are at least double or treble the cost, hence the tendency to build...funny no one builds their own "bagged" versions do they, and they would be as easy/difficult to build. So I assume it's mainly to save money, and to get a better collector for the same price as a bag version.

      If you have the capability to buy/build a cyclone and have the size of shop that would benefit from this, then this would provide the ultimate in dust collection with 6" ducting. But like so many others, for a relatively small, one machine running at a time shop, I compromised with a 2HP DC with 4" ducting. If you go the bag route, just make sure you get bag(s) that filter down to 1 micron or less. If not, you'll just blow all the nasty fine stuff back into the air!!



      • #4
        The Cyclone is , by all accounts, the best.
        Rob Johnson
        Just tilt your head a little and it will look straight!


        • #5
          Agree with Rob 100%. Cyclone is the way to go. Even if your shop is just a few machines, remember you will most likely be adding as years pass. And the need for a better dust collection will grow.

          I read an article today that wood dust has been declared a human carcinagin, so dust collection, especially the finer stuff, is more important than ever.

          The finer dust stays air born for a long period of time, and is inhaled deeper and easier. Air filtration unit, dust masks, and dust collection should be of major concern.

          If one can not afford (me included) around $1200 for a full blown Cyclone and duct work, then do as I plan on doing. Build using the Wood Magazine plan, but upgrading to a larger unit. Add duct as you can afford it, use a flex hose and move it from machine to machine for now.

          I've been looking into prices for every which angle for several months. Keeping in mind 99% of us run on a limited budget. This seams to be the best route to take for us. Penn State sells components for baggers and cyclones, so you can buy/build as you can afford it.

          If you enjoy WW as much as the rest of us, you'll want to enjoy it longer by staying healthier longer.
          John E. Adams<br /><a href=\"\" target=\"_blank\"></a>


          • #6
            There is an excellent tutorial on dust collection starting at
            and if that URL is too much, try
            then go to the Dust Collection forum then go to FAQ.

            I hate that tutorial . It makes the convincing point that I really want at least 2 "real" HP which leads to the requirement for 240 volt wiring. It "proves" that many of the "blowers" in the cheaper units are inadequate. It makes the case that I should buy or build a cyclone, that the cheap cyclones don't work. It shows why I need to install permanent ducting, except flex at only the last few feet, etc. etc. As a result, I don't have anything beyond my shop vacuum so far. But I know why the easy solutions are inadequate.

            So I try to not think about that tutorial and what I learned , and am thinking of buying a normal (2hp) bag-type dust collector with 1 micron or smaller bags. That seems in line with what most people actually do, and it will probably be more efficient than the grand dreams and plans that are too complex and expensive - that don't actually get done