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  • Dust Collector Advice

    I'm trying to turn my garage into a woodworking shop and I need dust control on a budget.

    I'm thinking about a wall mount unit on the outside of the building. (with weather protection)

    I've thought about not having any collecting, I live out in the stix and could just run a pipe out into the bushes...

    Just a thought...

    I have a tablesaw, router table, and a miter saw. Could I run a 2 1/2" hose to all of those?

    They would only run one at a time.

    Know a good place to find pipe and fittings?

    Any help appreciated

  • #2
    Re: Dust Collector Advice

    DC is very important, and should not be overlooked when designing a shop. You have many options, and some are better than others.

    First, make sure you get a good collector. I would not consider anything less than a 1.5 HP collector (like the delta 50-760), with one 5" hose. Ideally, you want a cyclone machine with 6" hose (oneida or clear vue). This means you have to retrofit your machine collection ports. You can buy these at woodcraft or busybee.

    If you are planning on placing your collector outside, then you have won half the battle. All the fine dust (0.5 micron and smaller) will be blown to the wind and will not end up recirculating in your shop (assuming the DC is powerful enough to collect it all). If the machine is to stay inside, make sure it has a good cartridge filter of 0.3-0.5 micron (wynn filters are good).

    Stay away from 2.5 inch collecting with a DC unit - it will not move enough air to properly collect the material. Shop vac and DCs work differently. A shop vac with a 2.5" port connected to an orbital sander is great - not so much connected to a 13" planer.

    Lots of good reading at Woodworking Forum - Wood Talk Online and bill pentz's site.

    I keep it simple. I use a 1.5 hp collector with a fine filter, and wheel it from machine to machine with a 5 foot length of 5" hose. This keeps the the true CFM high enough to collect the fine dust (about 800 CFM). The DC machine is listed as 1200 CFM, but this is just not true in a real world application. My next collector will be an oneida, and I will use 6" pipe.

    Happy collecting!
    Last edited by franklin pug; 09-01-2012, 01:27 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Dust Collector Advice

      Very much depends on how much dust you are making of course... and after that, exactly how much (or little) is your budget?

      My shop is in the basement and is relatively small at approx 11 x 23 ft. In that space, I have my RAS, my BT3 table saw, router table, Ridgid 1550 drill press, benchtop bandsaw, and frequently use a variety of sanders... ROS, Qtr Sheet, detail, and even a benchtop Ryobi 4600. So far, my 12-gallon Ridgid shop vac does the trick and I simply hook it up to the particular tool that is in use at the time.

      Of all these tools, it is the sheet sanders and the table saw that generates the most dust and it is the table saw that is least containable.

      Should you really need a true "dust collection system", then probably a 4" duct system will be the best option from a money/budget point of view. My recommendation would be to look at and/or compare Penn State Industries offerings ( Dust Collectors at Penn State Industries ). I say that only because I have received countless catalogs from them over the years and the provide a lot of information, a wide variety of systems and components, and the prices seem pretty decent. But as yet, I haven't gone to that expense.

      For just using a shop vac, with a smaller diamete tube and gate connection system you could check out Lee-Valley, Rockler, etc. I prefer to do business with Lee-Valley (here's their "dust-collection" index page: Dust Collection - Lee Valley Tools - Woodworking Tools, Gardening Tools, Hardware Supplies ), but to each his own. Up until recently, L-V had a 3" dust network system for about $85... but I see now that they no longer sell it that way. But I believe the components are still available.

      (Ridgid used to see a network system too, but discontinued it in 2004, IIRC. The product number was DC5050.)

      For a shop vac-based system, I believe these "network systems" were fairly decent. But for me and my limited activity, I'm still just rolling the shop vac into position and hooking it up as necessary. Actually, just about all of my equipment is operationally positioned so the vac can be hooked up without moving it more than a few feet. (With my small shop area, it's necessary to move the table saw or the router table to a center-of-shop position for feed purposes... at that is where I keep the shop vac, so it's a real easy hook-up and the only time I have to move the vac a few feet is for hooking up the fixed-position drill press.

      Biggest deal for my shop, is to not just hook-up, but to also clean up after a major use of the particular tool, especially the table saw which puts a lot more dust on the floor than anything else I have. Just letting the saw dust accumulate, even for a few hours, only results in it being spread around.

      I hope this helps,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: Dust Collector Advice

        echoing some comments, air volume is key for effective dust collection. i've gone form a 20 gal shop vac to a 1 hp delta DC to a 1.5hp 220v delta 50-850 and made sure i've maximized the directed air flow though the tool generating the dust. the difference between the shop vac and the 50-850 with 4" hoses is DRAMATIC. don't skimp o dust collection. it's one of the places in the shop where size matters.
        there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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        • #5
          Re: Dust Collector Advice

          Yes it ain't too bad in the summer with the doors open but in the winter in a closed shop I'll be needing some breathing room.

          Thanks for all the advice guys!

          I'm probably going to pick up something off CL. I'm seeing machines with parts missing and the like, which might be what I need to set it up outside the shop.

          I guess I need to put in a ground wire in my runs.

          Something I was reading, I know dust is explosive.

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