Jack of too many trades..
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: St. Louis
System design... Time for a new DC if I want central collection?
I think my shop setup is too big for my 1hp delta dust collection (650 CFM or so). If I upgrade to a 2 hp HFT collector, can I expect better performance?
After investing in PVC pipe, Y-fittings and blast gates, I thought I had the dust collection covered, but after trying to add 2" hoses for my routers and tablesaw top collection, I realize that this isn't working very well.
I had to take a few years off from woodworking after a move to a new home that lacked a safe and functional space to set up my shop. After extensive floor leveling and waterproofing, I was finally able to move all of my woodworking machines into a 13x25" portion of the basement. Because this is a basement shop, I wanted to be more proactive about dust collection than I was in my last shop.
Here's the details...
For the type of woodworking I do (historical restoration, windows, built-ins, plus occasional furniture and cabinets projects, I have seven major woodworking machines where I want to have effective and centralized dust collection, even though these machines are never used simultaneously. I also only work on weekends, and occasionally some evenings. This is not my day job, but it is something of a part-time job.
My major machines are:
- 12" compound miter saw (Dewalt)
- 10" Cabinet saw (Delta Unisaw) with a 50" "right" extension and "left" router wing (featuring a Porter Cable 892)
- 13" Planner (Dewalt)
- 6" Jointer (Enco)
- 14" Laguna Bandsaw
- Mortising machine (Rikon)
- Router table (also with a Porter cable 892)
The unisaw is central to the shop, and due to the size of its wings, it basically splits the space into a "north" and "south" half. I'd also like to have a dust "sweep" for each half. That's essentially 9 major hook-ups, plus the 2" router fence ports, upper port for my miter saw, and 2" top collector for the tablesaw. Also, I have an oscillating spindle sander with a 2" port that I want to add to the set.
Because of the tool configuration, my dust collector is installed in one corner of the "south" shop with a ~20' run of thin-wall PVC with six 4" branches featuring blast gates. I only use flex hose where the dust separator connects to my 4" PVC trunk and I used it where the tools actually connect to the blast gates. I only open one gate at a time to get the best suction on a given branch/machine.
The heart of the system is a 1 hp Delta AP400. It was the only dust collector I was able to find locally for a decent price. This is a pretty weak-sauce collector, but hooking it up one machine at a time was relatively effective before I tried to install a permanent system with PVC pipes and Y fittings. Also, because a lot of dust was getting past the delta filter bag, I installed a Wynn filter - money *very* well spent. I also added a chip separator on a 50 gallon can similar to a Thein type filter. As I noted before, it seemed to work OK until I added the 2" branches and hoses for the three top-collectors (two router fences and tablesaw). Again, I only use one branch at a time.
I built a new window today and the pile of sawdust that did not make it into the system is pretty disappointing. I might as well have not used the collector at all.
What to do?
Because of the machine layout, I can't move the dust collector to a more central location. I have tried to avoid the common mistakes of too much flex pipe, 90 degree bends, and using pipe and hose that are too small. The whole system is 4" PVC with ABS Y fittings, and junctions taped with 3m duct-sealing tape. I think it's pretty well set up, but clearly something's not right.
I'm not sure what to try next to improve the situation. The low hanging fruit seems to be the collector itself. 1 HP/650 cfm seems too weak and I could probably afford to upgrade to a 2 HP HFT collector, but maybe my setup is part of the problem.
I also don't want to buy another dust collector if that's not going to improve things.
Last edited by RepairmanJack; 08-08-2020 at 11:48 PM.