Shop Vac Dust Collection - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Shop Vac Dust Collection

Hey folks,

The two power tools that I predominately want dust collection for (table saw and planer) both have 4" collection ports. I built a system for my current shop vac and dust cyclone after watching some Youtube videos on the subject that did likewise. I only have a 6 gallon, 2.5 HP shop vac, and it's clear that it's not going to cut it in terms of suction thanks to the 4" hoses running to the table saw and planer. I tried to keep the 4" section of hose as short as possible, but the planer's dust hood is clogging due to a lack of suction. Is there a shop vac out there that has strong enough suction to perform this task?
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 05:45 PM
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No I dont think any shopvac can keep up with a planer, unless it is the DW735. Even if you can get the biggest shopvac to hang in there while you're planing small boards, any wide board is going to clog up the shopvac...

But the $150 harbor freight DC will work fine for you with 4" hose, and you can install a blast gate and use it on both tools.
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post #3 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 06:18 PM
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A newer 5+ HP shop vac would be better. 2.5hp sounds out of date. The biggest downfall to shop vacs is there small inlet size. That being said my 5hp Rigid shop vac keeps up with all my tools, but I do not currently have a planer.

I agree a cheap alternative would be the HF dust collector. Either that, or buy a newer 5+ HP shop vac with at least 12 gallons ($100 or less) and modify the inlet to accept a larger hose. You could then use step downs to attach to smaller tools.
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post #4 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not at all familiar with vacuums or anything, so why is the inlet size a big deal? Right now, I've got the vac attached to a dust separator that's fixed to a bucket, so very little actually goes to my shop vac. Would a larger inlet create more suction overall?

I've given the HF a lot of consideration. Problem is it kind of eliminates the need for half of what I already bought. In all honestly, looking at the issues I've run into, I wish I'd purchased the HF unit instead of the materials to rig up my shop vac. I was just intimidated by the prospect of having to handmake a separator for it.

Last edited by Pandemonium; 05-30-2015 at 06:36 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 06:39 PM
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Smaller hoses tend to get clogged easier when sucking chips rather than dust.

You could try bigger hoses with what you have but I personally wouldnt bother. 2.5hp for a shop vac isnt much at all. Id look into upgrading either to a more powerful shop vac or a more proper dust collector.
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-30-2015, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamfer View Post
Smaller hoses tend to get clogged easier when sucking chips rather than dust.

You could try bigger hoses with what you have but I personally wouldnt bother. 2.5hp for a shop vac isnt much at all. Id look into upgrading either to a more powerful shop vac or a more proper dust collector.
Ah. Fortunately, thanks to the cyclone separator, very little dust (and practically no chips) will ever see the shop vac hose at all. Still though, I agree that the horsepower is definitely lackluster. I bought the shopvac well before I ever took up woodworking. It was just meant to be an "around the house" tool and served well in that capacity. I am definitely trying to stretch it too far with this latest application unfortunately.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-31-2015, 11:10 AM
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I know in the American Rifleman magazine there is an ad with a 20% off coupon on any one item. I am sure there is more ads on line. Use that coupon and buy the bigger "I think the green one" Harbor Freight dust collector and you will be good to go.

Don
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-02-2015, 09:45 AM
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Before I got a real planer, I had a PM lunchbox. My shop vac did a good job with chips.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-02-2015, 01:31 PM
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My Ridgid 6.0 hp shopvac has plenty of suction for my planer and jointer, the hose doesn't get clogged at all. (my problem is the separator is too small, the vac is too strong, and the vac's filter clogs easily when planing)

Ernest Hemingway once wrote, "The world is a fine place and worth fighting for." I agree with the second part.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-02-2015, 01:46 PM
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DC is all about airflow not suction. shop vacs develop lots of static pressure (suction) but have relatively low airflow (100-200 CFM). Even a crappy DC will have at least 700-800 CFM airflow but relatively low SP. Also, the amount of airflow possible through a hose is proportional to it's cross section area, all other factors being equal. That's why you want a 4" hose.

I would take a look at the bigger harbor freight DC. Fairly inexpensive and lots of woodworkers have had good luck with it.

By the way, those shop vacs and such use HP as their rating. The numbers are basically a fabrication. A 5HP shop vac should be pulling in the neighborhood of 4K watts or 32 Amps - not even close. Not all the vacs intended for shop use are rated on airflow. They do have to list current so you can get true HP from that - Amps*120/768. A spot check of shop vacs looks like they are all about 1 to 1.5HP, regardless of their claimed HP. Not that it really matters - CFM is key.

Last edited by PhilBa; 06-02-2015 at 01:52 PM.
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