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Dust Collector or Shop Vac network (Long Post)

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  • Dust Collector or Shop Vac network (Long Post)

    I am a newbie and I have had my TS3650 for about 2 weeks now and finally got to spend some time using it this past weekend. My "shop" is in the garage and after working for a few hours the dust was really getting to me. I had been planning on getting a shop vac and setting up a network, but after talking with folks at Woodcraft I don't know if a shop vac would really help. They suggested going with a dust collector instead. I did some reading of old posts and found that some like the HF 2 HP Dust collector setup, but others recommend Jet.

    Am I better off with a dust collector network or going with a shop vac and an air filtration system instead? $$ is a factor in my decision.

    Thanks for all your help.

  • #2
    I'm new to woodworking as well and recently bought the 3650. So far I have been having good luck using my shop vac as a means of dust collection. I have a Ridgid vac (can't remember the HP but it is their big model) and I haven't had any problems whatsoever with dust control.

    In the future, I may decide to actually go ahead and get a dust collection system, but for now I'm using the money I saved to buy some clamps and a dado set.


    • #3

      Although a shopvac can be used to remove sawdust from machines, it isn't very good at getting rid of the "bad" dust. Since you are in GA you can open your garage doors during the winter though. If, on the other hand, you want to remove the bad dust from your work area, I would suggest the JET DC-1100CK. The filter on this unit traps a ton of dust.

      Look through this site:

      Bill has done loads of research on removing dust from the woodshop. It will take many hours to read everything he has, but you can skim through and get a good idea.

      Here is a reveiw I wrote on my set up awhile back.

      September, 2003
      Jet Canister Filtration unit.
      It has been about one year now since I brought the new (at that time) JET DC-1100C dust collection unit home.
      Not having the headroom in my shop for a cyclone unit, I had to go with something that would not only collect the dust, but give me good filtration too. My shop is located in the basement. Didn’t want that dust being spread over the house any more!
      My choices were a DC unit with 1 micron bags, or a canister filtration unit. At a minimum I needed an 1100 cfm unit. I was at Rocklers when the received their first shipment of the JET canister units. I started asking questions about the unit. The manager of the store called the JET representative (the one for dealers, not consumers). He had me get on the phone and let me talk to JET about this new system. I spent quite a long time as I recall talking to JET and having my questions answered.
      Like I said, that was a year ago.
      The filtration on this unit has surpassed my expectations. The amount of fine flour that the canister traps, and holds, is amazing. Although it only filters down to 2 microns, it has over 60 times the filtration area of a felt bag. It does have one small flaw, and that is the way that the plastic lower bag is installed. I think that the outside clamp would have been a better idea.
      The unit did have a small leak in it. I was right where the dust dumps into the collection area. It was easy to seal with some clear caulk. But, it is a quality issue that JET should have picked up on. The unit should also be used with a separator. It takes little to no time to fill the lower bag. Since I went to the separator, I am able to get by with only emptying the lower bag every month or so. I will only have a few inches of flour in it, but you do need to dispose of that.
      The canister filtration unit is not the perfect unit for all shops. It does have its place though. If you do not have the room for a cyclone, but still want good filtration, then I would highly recommend this unit.

      [ 12-03-2003, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: K.M. Delano ]
      Support Our Troops!


      • #4
        Hey guys.
        I am currently using my RIDGID vac for dust collection on all of my tools. It works OK but, still alot of left over mess and alot of switching from machine to machine.

        I will order the HF 2HP dust collector before Christmas. The 1600cfm, if accurate, is quite impressive for this machine, as is the $149.00 price on their web sight!

        I will also be purchasing an air cleaner. HF has one for about $200 at the retail store. Not sure what the internet price is.
        keep makn\' sawdust!...just don\'t breath any.


        • #5

          does this machine also work as an air filter for your shop?
          keep makn\' sawdust!...just don\'t breath any.


          • #6
            The HF CD is not anywhere near as powerful as the "rated" cfm - few are. I have 2, refitted them with AFF bags, although there are other bags as good, works like a charm as long as I run one machine w/ gates closed. Used 4" pvc-yep, 6" is better as I do use 6" on second one in another location. So - $149 and $40 for bags. Under $200 a unit. You have to spend almost 2x that to do better (Grizz) and then it's not much better anyway. Advantage to Grizz if you plan to swap to cyclone someday-more power. I run 3-5 hours day, 5-6 days a week and it's all I need.
            AC - never seen a HF one but at $200 I would look to the Jet unit usually on sale at $189-199. That unit many have and use and like.
            But like I said - the HF DC w/ bags is great and a true steal....don't tell them plzzzz. Think that's reason the $119 sale price went away.....many many sold
            Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


            • #7
              What is AFF?


              • #8
                American Fabric Filters ---- sorry for not hoisting this up and including earlier.

                various links and info:
                Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                • #9
                  What is this "HF 2 HP DC" ? Who is "HF" ?

                  Also, anyone have any knowledge or experience with a Woodstock Int ShopFox W1685?


                  Thanks, RJ


                  • #10
                    ohhhhhhh boy ..... here we go!
                    Harbor Freight --- see above link. And then these below also:




                    Just follow and ya will know all ya want, need and care to know.
                    Then buy one and refit bags, save the hundreds of dollars and buy me a coke when you get done grinning w/ what ya saved.
                    Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                    • #11
                      OK, now I see that HF is Harbor Freight!

                      Still want to know anyone's thoughts on the ShopFox 1-1/2 HP unit, since it's price ($199) is closer to the HF 2HP.

                      Thanks, RJ


                      • #12
                        I had a similar conversation with guy at woodstore in sycamore when I was purchasing my table saw. I didn't realize how bad sawdust was for you. But alwaysnoticed it floating in my basement. Jet Filter is my next purchase. Hopefully for christmas =). I gathered from our conversation that both are necessary but if had to choose 1. Choose the air filtration over dust collection cannister. Was interesting to see article about health problems from a poster on this board about 2 weeks ago.



                        • #13
                          RJS - never seen the SF in use or heard anyone who has one even. They were reviewed in a magazine that included the SF (seldom included for some reason) and as best I can recall it was very near bottom. Also not included was the HF.
                          So based my decision on several factors....the HF unit is always available via the number game at $149 (forget that 199-never heard a soul pay that, nor will anyone as no need to). Add great bags and still under $200, more like 180 and change-not much more than a shop vac like Fein (small one at that). And many many folks have HF unit and pleased - comments like surpassed expectations commonly heard. I am now within that group too.
                          I did not consider the SF unit due to nobody ever having or commenting on so took that mag review as somewhat accurate and said nope. Plus-by time shipping added and bags it was closer to $300. At that breakpoint it was the Grizz anyway so point moot.
                          I've had 2 Delta's in past - roasted the large one by enclosing and it overheated (my fault) and the small 1 hp just didn't have any power to do diddly.
                          So back to SF - if you are considering shelling out that kinda money look at the Grizz instead IMO. More real cfm, larger impeller, etc.
                          But I'd still say HF w/high performance bags at under 200 and save for whatever else you might want/need.
                          Another thought-make your own cyclone at around $400 and never look back. Wood and other mags have had howdy-doody articles on doing this and folks very happy. Maybe not quite an Oneida but at 40 cents on dollar not far off. Bill Pentz says specs better even. But a bit of work building (some say 15 hours, some say less )- so out for me as time is precious here.
                          This is getting long but maybe plants some ideas.....let us know what you decide and good luck
                          Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                          • #14
                            AF - make one, not hard at all and can be done for less than $80 including bags and hangers. Remote another $29 if desired.
                            Now - this and HF and total cost under $300.....another seed. Am I planting to many? Hope not - just things that many have done and worked out well.
                            Wish I had the answers ..... even half of \'em


                            • #15
                              Cranky - many thanks for the input, especially regarding that magazine article on the SF and your decision-making logic. And also thanks for planting the many seeds, I'd rather be swamped with them than not have enough!

                              It does seem like the HF 2 HP unit is the value leader. But, I called HF last night, and it is still $149, backordered and due in Dec 19, has 106 presales, and they don't know/would not say how many of them are coming in. So now I need to measure my patience quota!

                              As far as the Grizzly's, I assume you're referring to the G1029 with the 2 HP and 12" impeller?

                              Thanks, RJ