ShopVac recommendation needed - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-15-2015, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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ShopVac recommendation needed

I currently manage dust collection with a shop vac and a chip separator. Works great for my purposes, but my shop vac is on it's last legs. I've just started looking around at what is available. I am curious about whether there are particular specifications I need to check (sealed pressure, CFM, etc.) and what values those specs need to be.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-15-2015, 06:34 PM
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There seems to be more dealers, more accessible parts and repair and more accessories for the genuine Shop Vac brand.
Shop Vac makes many models and many sizes.
I suggest a large volume, large motored Shop Vac in a plastic tub on wheels.
There are many competitors, but I see no advantage.
I have owned both stainless models and plastic models, so I'm qualified to recommend plastic over metal canisters.
Catch them when they have a big sale.
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-15-2015, 06:50 PM
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Bigger is better and usually quieter. Personally I hate using them all so I made my own enclosure and bought a good speed control for it. Now it's quieter than the sander.

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post #4 of 22 Old 09-15-2015, 07:29 PM
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A while back WOOD magazine did a test and review on shop vacs including performance, sucking power and such. There were 8 or 10 vacs that they tested and I do remember that the Craftsman XSP model came out on top of them all. If you search for this article on the WOOD Magazine web site it may help you out as far as determining the vac that suits your needs.
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-15-2015, 07:44 PM
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I'm sorry, the article I was talking about was from 2000. Here is another review that has customer reviews for different shop vacs. Hope this one helps out!!!!!
http://reviewatool.com/power-tools/s...e-shop-vacuums
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-15-2015, 07:54 PM
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Up untill you hit something like a festool or a fein, id be willing to wager that most shop-vacs are pretty much the same, performance wise, at the same size. Personally, ive got on of the metal bucket bostich vacs they sell at walmart, works pretty well for me

I need cheaper hobby
etsy.com/shop/projectepicfail
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-15-2015, 08:05 PM
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I use a 16 gallon Ridgid from the big orange store and I like it, all I do with mine is vaccum the shop floor and hook it to my 12" planner and it does fine for both of these tasks. I do not have a seperator on my shop vac yet but it is on the "to do" list
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-16-2015, 12:02 PM
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I started out using a Shop Vac for DC, but did not have a chip separator. It filled up faster than I could empty it especially connected to my planer. So, I bought a Harbor Freight DC. It works fine for chips and most saw dust, but the bag lets a lot of fine dust out into the shop. Also, it REQUIRES a 20 amp circuit as it will not start on a 15 amp circuit, even if nothing else is on the circuit. I'm looking for a better bag for the HF, one that I can afford.
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-16-2015, 03:34 PM
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I have a Ridgid vac that I've beaten the crap out of and it continues to impress me. The "SNR" noise reduction is literally shockingly quite - like people comment on it when they expect that awful shop-vac noise and then hear the low hum instead. I use it for RO sanders, but not machines.

They're about $100 and pull 170ish CFM. For $220, you can get Rockler's wall hang unit that pulls 650CFM. If this is going to be dedicated to DC, I'd buck up for the Rockler. I don't think you'll be able to pull specs on pressures, so I think CFM will be the only logical metric.
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-16-2015, 08:32 PM
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Ridgid for me also.
http://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-16...1851/100638360

I have a dust deputy locked onto the rear wheels.....works great. Pretty quiet.
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post #11 of 22 Old 09-17-2015, 01:59 AM
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Has anyone thought about building their own? I've worked on car wash vacuums, and they usually have four bags and two motors with a cleanout below. I've been thinking about making one with six bags for extra flow and a large cleanout, probably wouldn't need a cyclone separator because the bags are just tubes open at the bottom and debris just falls out when the unit shuts off.
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post #12 of 22 Old 09-17-2015, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEP1 View Post
Has anyone thought about building their own? I've worked on car wash vacuums, and they usually have four bags and two motors with a cleanout below. I've been thinking about making one with six bags for extra flow and a large cleanout, probably wouldn't need a cyclone separator because the bags are just tubes open at the bottom and debris just falls out when the unit shuts off.

Yes. I built my own. Quiet with speed control.

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post #13 of 22 Old 09-17-2015, 03:08 PM
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You built a shop vac or a dust collector? What I'm talking about would have the power of a shop vac but the capacity of a dust collector.
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post #14 of 22 Old 09-17-2015, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by MEP1 View Post
You built a shop vac or a dust collector? What I'm talking about would have the power of a shop vac but the capacity of a dust collector.

Well actually both. The best DC has a cyclone separator before the dust and chips enter the impeller. It should also have a container for the chips and bags that just filters. Name:  ImageUploadedByWood Working Talk1442532650.164357.jpg
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Size:  82.9 KB

Don't have any pictures of the shop vac anymore.

DCs and shop vacs have two different powers and uses. One is volume and the other is velocity. What do you mean?

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post #15 of 22 Old 09-17-2015, 09:44 PM
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I meant using two vacuum motors, I don't know if it would have the same volume as a dust collector (probably not), but certainly a lot more than a shop vac. I would think that with the filter bags I mentioned and not needing a separator there would still be lots of flow, and with a big dust bin and no separator it might have the close to the flow of a DC and still have the suction of a shop vac.
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post #16 of 22 Old 09-17-2015, 10:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Al B Thayer View Post
Well actually both. The best DC has a cyclone separator before the dust and chips enter the impeller. It should also have a container for the chips and bags that just filters. Attachment 184705

Don't have any pictures of the shop vac anymore.

DCs and shop vacs have two different powers and uses. One is volume and the other is velocity. What do you mean?

Al
It would be nice to have a shop with high ceilings like the one pictured.
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post #17 of 22 Old 09-18-2015, 12:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
It would be nice to have a shop with high ceilings like the one pictured.

My shop has 18' high ceilings. The shop is 1000 sq ft.

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post #18 of 22 Old 09-18-2015, 01:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEP1 View Post
I meant using two vacuum motors, I don't know if it would have the same volume as a dust collector (probably not), but certainly a lot more than a shop vac. I would think that with the filter bags I mentioned and not needing a separator there would still be lots of flow, and with a big dust bin and no separator it might have the close to the flow of a DC and still have the suction of a shop vac.

Well with a separator the bags never need emptying and the flow doesn't drop. It's also much better on your motor and impeller. You can make a very effective separator with just a few baffles to break the flow direction.

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post #19 of 22 Old 09-18-2015, 01:28 AM
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That's what I'm getting at, the vacuums I mentioned before have bags that never need emptying, and the motors would be after the bags - no debris goes through them.

Doesn't the separator cause a significant drop in vacuum and airflow?
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post #20 of 22 Old 09-18-2015, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by MEP1 View Post
That's what I'm getting at, the vacuums I mentioned before have bags that never need emptying, and the motors would be after the bags - no debris goes through them.

Doesn't the separator cause a significant drop in vacuum and airflow?

No. They change the dynamics of the suction. The chips flying down the hose are in a captive space. The cyclone causes the chips to fly out to the outer cylinder where they separate from the suction. The air spins with it until gravity causes the chips to fall out. It's sealed so it doesn't lose suction.

In my cyclone the center tube (the suction) runs down to within about 8 to 10 inches from the bottom. The chips come in at the top of the side wall like a ball on a roulette wheel. Then just spin down into the barrel.Name:  ImageUploadedByWood Working Talk1442624534.611308.jpg
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