Need help with small shop DC upgrade - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-16-2019, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with small shop DC upgrade

So I have a very small shop in my basement. I haven't measured it recently, but I feel confident stating its dimensions at no more than 12x12. Probably more like 10x10 or 10x12, but you get the idea...very small.


Here is what I currently have in place:
I have the Harbor Freight 2 hp dust collector. It is mounted on the little rolling platform that it came with, and I'm using the filter bag and collection bag that came with it also. I have a DIY cyclone-style pre-separator that I made myself from a plastic trash can. The DC system is connected via a combination of 4" PVC Sewer & Drain-grade pipe and 4" flex hose (flex used only for the last few feet to each tool) to the following tools:


-1 drop to my table saw (Grizzly G0771Z 10", 2HP 120V)
- 1 drop to my Bandsaw (Grizzly G0555XH 14" 1 3/4 HP)
-1 drop that is alternated between my router table, miter saw, and belt/drum sander


The DC setup captures a fair bit of dust, but a lot of it seems to be getting belched right back into the shop. There is perpetually a thin layer of dust on everything. I'm guessing the HF filter bag is a big culprit there, along with less-than-perfect seals on the fittings between ducts and pre-separator.


Here are some of the things I'm considering:


-replacing the filter bag with a canister-style filter
-replacing the 10" impeller on the HF DC with the 12" impeller from Rikon
-replacing the PVC Sewer and drain ducts with 4" metal ducts with foil tape at the joints
-running the ducts at floor level along the walls so as not to make the DC have to fight gravity
-replacing the plastic trash can homemade separator with a better DIY unit made from a 55 gal. drum and a shop-made Thein-style baffle.
-adding a ceiling-mounted dust filter


I was initially looking at upgrading to 6" ducts, but from what I've read online, the HF 2hp doesn't have enough power to justify that.


Here are my questions:


-are any/all of the above worth doing? That is, am I likely to see improvement from said upgrades?
-assuming the answer is "yes" to the question above, from which upgrades would I see the biggest improvements?
-if the answer to the above is "no", what would you recommend doing instead?


Thank you for considering these questions and for any guidance anyone can provide. I really appreciate it!


Bryon
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-16-2019, 04:22 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Byron! Add your location to your profile so it shows in the side panel. You can add your first name to your signature line and it will show in each post.

Our shop is our two-car garage and I use the same HF unit you have. But a little over a year ago I switched from the 5 micron bag filter to the 0.5 micron Wynn cartridge filter for the very reason you stated - there was a fine layer of dust on everything. We have a one-ton mini-split unit for HVAC and I was cleaning the filters twice each week. Plus, if I left the door open into the house, which I often do, we would find dust migrating into the house. That also meant I was breathing it if I didn't wear a mask.

I built a room air cleaner out of a box fan and filter and it runs all day long but that wasn't sufficient to clean the room. Once I switched to the Wynn filter the layer of dust disappeared, I began cleaning the mini-split filters once every 3-4 weeks and cleaning the room air filter about the same, once a month or so. The filter was a very worthwhile investment!

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post #3 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 10:54 AM
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Bryon,

DC is one of topics you'll get a myriad a views.

You definitely you want the canister and an air filtration unit for a healthier environment. A well ventilated shop and personal protection is still important for things like sanding or cutting MDF, etc. I'd also be looking to put the DC outside if possible. Also, venting outside bypasses filter backpressure and helps performance. Not always possible depending on neighbors, etc.

I can definitely tell you that 4" pipe is choking down your blower regardless of what they say. In a shop this size it might not be significant, but I can assure you the performance will be better (personal experience, not opinion). 4" flex to your machines keep it as short as possible.

Last edited by DrRobert; 10-17-2019 at 10:57 AM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 12:08 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Best dust collection is .......

This site has valuable information on everything dust related:
https://billpentz.com/woodworking/cy...conversion.cfm



A direct connection to the machine or tool as close to the source is the best approach. Long runs and drops will work IF the system has enough CFM to power it. I have a Jet 1100 on it's mobile base which I roll right next to the machine. I reduce the suction inlet from 7" to 4" for a short flex hose directly to the machine. Flex hose robs efficiency.

For machines with both a 4" dust port and a 2 1/2" shop vac port I use both. A shop vac on a dust port under the bandsaw will catch almost all the dust generated at it's source. Same with a RAS dust cover right off the blade. Hand held sanders need a light weight 1 1/14" flexible hose from Amazon. Large machines that generate chips rather than dust like a thickness planer or a jointer need the 4" flex hose as close to the cutter head as possible. Wide belt or drum sanders a the worst dust generators. The same short 4" flex hose, about 5 ft long, is used on those as well.

Overhead in my shop, a Jet 3 speed air filtration unit is used to get the airborne dust that always escapes into the room. Keep in mind that that a dust collection unit is an air pump. The dusty air is pumped into the filter and then into the room. The filter catches what doesn't drop down into the collection bag. A bag filter will eventually from a caked layer inside and then the efficiency is reduced. A cannister filter has more surface area than a bag and allows more air to get push through. Sealing all the connection points and joints is vital to keeping that pressured air from entering the room.

Wen and Grizzly as well as Jet make overhead air filtration units:
https://www.google.com/search?client...air+filtration


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; 10-17-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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So I just came from Bill Pentz's website, which, while impressive in the breadth and depth of information it contains, has just about convinced me that I should just forget about woodworking unless I win the Powerball, if I don't wish to die a horrible and premature death.


My shop is located in my basement, which shares air with my home -- strike one!
My basement contains my furnace and water heater (both gas-powered), so no possibility of venting dust outside -- strike two!
I live in town, with neighbors on two sides within 100' of my back door, so very slim possibility locating the whole DC outside --foul ball!
Even if I could put it outside, I do not have $2-3 grand for a 5hp blower with a 16" impeller plus all new 6" ducts and the finest canister filter Wynn Environmental makes. Strike three!


Am I reading this correctly? Are bankruptcy, early death by respiratory disease, or taking up whittling really my only choices here?
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 05:54 PM
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Get the Wynn cartridge and use 4" hose to collect dust from one machine at a time; it'll work just fine.

David

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post #7 of 10 Old 10-17-2019, 06:01 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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Nope!

You do have some "inbetween" choices.

Take things in small steps.
Get a good, quiet shop vac. Mine are Rigid and they are both good and quiet.

Get a 1 1/4" flex hose from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Hyde-Tools-09...1345797&sr=8-5
Put your mobile DC as close to your machines as possible.

Put an small exhaust fan in a basement window, BUT open another window across the room from it to avoid sucking CO fumes from the furnace and hot water chimneys.
Put the best filter you can afford on the HF DC unit.
Post back here .......

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)
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-18-2019, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to all who have responded. I have recovered somewhat from what I'm calling "Pentz-TSD" (&#x1f605 and am currently formulating a plan to do the following:
1. Reconfigure the shop to allow the DC to "travel" and serve one machine at a time.
2. Retrofit DC w/6" air inlet, and my table saw, bandsaw and router table with 6" dust ports
3. Get the best Wynn filter I can afford for the DC

I can't do the cross ventilation thing with the fan as the only window in my shop is made of non-movable glass bricks. I am hoping for significant. Improvement with the mods described above, though. And I will be wearing my good dust mask at all times in the shop from now on.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-18-2019, 08:01 PM
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Might have missed it but you need to ground the PVC pipe. I have an Oneida DD and grounded the bucket with telephone wire and a washer on the end.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-18-2019, 09:17 PM
where's my table saw?
 
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I grounded the DC ...

I was getting "knock you over" static shocks until I connected the 7" flex hose that runs from the blower to the collector together with a bare copper wire. No more static shocks. The flex hose is non-conductive for electrical purposes.



The idea of static charges creating an explosion in home shops is a myth:
http://www.waterfront-woods.com/
See section on Static in Dust Collectors and Q and A in Reality Checks.

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; 10-18-2019 at 09:21 PM.
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