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post #1 of 7 Old 09-28-2009, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Dust collection

I am in the planning stages of my new shop. It is gonna be 12x20, I will mostly be doing wood turning and small projects. Should I just get a big shop-vac or a stationary sytem? What should I look for? Thanks
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-28-2009, 08:03 PM
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Damn another dust collection thread

Perfect for a special topic section! There is "dust" from sanding and sawing and "chips" from planing and jointing. They are different and can be collected differently. The more dust you collect at the source, as in right at the saw blade, either with an overarm or a blade shroud the better. A good high velocity shop vac will work. The bigger chips from a jointer and planer will fill a shop vac in no time so you need a "dust collector" for those tools. The answer is plan for both. You also will want a way to filter the air in the shop with an overhead air filtration system. The 2 main hazards of woodworking are the dust, protecting your lungs and the dangers, keeping all your fingers! A well planned dust collection system will make the shop a great place to work. Dust collectors are either stationary or mobile and moved to the machine as required. The stationary type requires a pipe system and is more expensive. The mobile collectors work for non-production shops. There are threads posted here, sites, books and supplier links. bill

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 09-28-2009 at 09:48 PM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-28-2009, 08:32 PM
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Depends on $$$

I'm going to try making one of these Thien Cyclone separators for my shop vac. I found a place where I can get a 55gal drum for $17. Supposedly they work great with a shopvac.

http://www.cgallery.com/jpthien/cy.htm

Last edited by NKYDarrell; 09-28-2009 at 08:34 PM.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-30-2009, 12:12 PM
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Depends on your budget, but you should really consider dust collection as important to a shop as a table saw or miter saw. If you are willing to spend up to 2k, get a stationary cyclone model and run hard ducting from it with blast gates. Cyclones have the most suction power, and handle both dust and chips equally well.

If you're willing to spend just under 1k, get an impeller driven portable model, add a two-stage add-on such as a garbage can and a special two-stage top for it, and also run hard ducting from the machine to the tools (you'll effectively be keeping the unit stationary, although it is on wheels and made to be portable.

If you're willing to spend up to about $600, get an impeller driven portable model, with the two-stage collector add-on mentioned above, and move the collector around to each tool as needed. You won't be able to add hard ducting and blast gates if you're only going to spend $500-$600 and want a decent impeller model dust collector.

If you're budget is only a few hundred dollars, you're basically limited to a shop vac, which will limit your dust collection abilities.

FYI: my shop is a dedicated one car garage (10' x 24'), and I have a Jet impeller model dust collector (model CK1100). It has the 2 micron filter canister (upgraded from the cloth bag, which was only 30 micron or something...not very good). It cost me $550 all-in at The Woodworking Show last year. I have it stationary in a corner, and I ran two branches of 4' hard galvanized pipe from it, with a total of three end points, each with an automated blast gate (one end is dedicated for the miter saw, one is dedicated for the table saw and the third has a 20' hose on the end that I can connect to each of the other tools as needed). In addition to the dust collector itself, I spent another $100 on automated JDS blast gates, about $100 in pipe and elbows, about $100 in flexible hoses, about $50 for a two-stage can cover and garbage can and about $75 is Rockler Dust Right handles and fittings. All in all, I am very happy with the performance and efficiency of my set-up. I only run one tool at a time, so I get adequate suction (two tools...not so much), I can use the two-stage set-up when planing, and the Rockler Dust Right stuff makes all of the connections very versatile and convenient.
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-30-2009, 12:13 PM
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I forgot one thing. I don't have one yet, but at some point I'm going to add an overhead air cleaner to circulate and filter out the fine particles that the dust collector doesn't get. A decent one costs about $400.
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-30-2009, 12:31 PM
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Another vote for both... I know it adds up dollars wise, but it is WELL worth the investment.

And yes I know of which I speak... I currently have a Ridgid 12 gallon wet / dry vac with a Thien cyclone, and a Harbor Freight 2HP DC fitted with a Wynn filter and a Thien cyclone. I am still searching for decent enough dust hoods for the lathe and CMS, but otherwise the system is pretty much done.

The 55 gallon drum is a bit much to pick up and empty sure... But you don't have to do it very often, so it is well worth it... And honestly it's not the shavings / dust that make the drum weigh so much... It's just really thick plastic is all..

There are some very important things to consider.

#1. What you can afford. That big 5HP cyclone is a pipe dream for many of us, but a slightly modded HF DC is easily within reach.
#2. Filtration. From everything I have read from OSHA docs, to Bill Pentz' huge brain melter of a web site, filters with a rating of anything higher than 1 micron might as well not be there, they are simply pumping the most dangerous dust straight back into the air. Which is why I have the Wynn on my HF DC, and a HEPA filter in my Ridgid Vac.
#3. CFM. As a rule, 750 CFM is a MINIMUM to be considered for a dust collector. And while the HF DC (and other similar models) are blatantly overstating their CFM by measuring without any piping, or filter media, most 1.5 to 2HP dust collectors readily provide 1000 CFM.
#4. Touching on CFM and Filtration at the same time. Cartridge filters are FAR more efficient and filtration, while keeping air flow going versus bags due to sheer surface area. The more surface area to the filter media, the more air it can flow. So micron for micron, you are far better off for having a cartridge type filter.
#5. Cartridge filter OR bag, fine dust can quickly stop up a filter. A good pre separator keeps your system breathing at full capacity MUCH longer. Phil Thien's DIY cyclone separator is a great add on for not a lot of money. There are other add on cyclones that just go on to 30 gallon trash cans and such. Great devices, for the most part... Some of them are pretty useless though... Bang for the buck wise, I would say Google Thien Cyclone and look into Phil's design...

Interested in my woodworking, workshop and whatnot? See http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com, want to see my other interests such as hunting, fishing, off roading, and camping? See http://wildersport-outdoors.blogspot.com

Last edited by dbhost; 09-30-2009 at 12:47 PM.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-30-2009, 02:13 PM
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I would go with a stationary system as said above and use a cyclone seperator. Here's a homemade cyclone lid that works good.
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