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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys and gals,

I've been checking out the Pentz site and was wondering if anyone is using his recommended sizes for cyclone dimensions and blower sizes. It seems like he recommends an 18" cylinder for the cyclone body size, using a 5 HP blower with a 14"-16" recommended impeller size.

Has anyone made one of these monsters? I'm really thinking about it after reading through some of his findings on very fine dust collection. I'm going to have a little money to play with in the next little while and I think it would be smart to do it right the first time. I've been doing alot of my woodworking in the driveway, but now that it's starting to get cold I'd like to take the party in to my garage. I've got a 15X25 space with a 10' ceiling to work with and I've already got a corner picked out for some sort of DC. Now I'm just trying to decide if I should make the Pentz design and duct whatever's left outside or just get a Grizzly 2-3 HP with a Wynn and be done with it.

I'm also wondering how much I could save by doing it myself versus just buying a unit from Clear Vue.
 

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let all of us know

Well, when you figure it out let the rest of us know!

Pentz's site and research is most likely what we should be doing to protect our health. Costly??..you bet but how to you place a value on one's lungs.
 

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Hi guys and gals,

I've been checking out the Pentz site and was wondering if anyone is using his recommended sizes for cyclone dimensions and blower sizes. It seems like he recommends an 18" cylinder for the cyclone body size, using a 5 HP blower with a 14"-16" recommended impeller size.

Has anyone made one of these monsters? I'm really thinking about it after reading through some of his findings on very fine dust collection. I'm going to have a little money to play with in the next little while and I think it would be smart to do it right the first time. I've been doing alot of my woodworking in the driveway, but now that it's starting to get cold I'd like to take the party in to my garage. I've got a 15X25 space with a 10' ceiling to work with and I've already got a corner picked out for some sort of DC. Now I'm just trying to decide if I should make the Pentz design and duct whatever's left outside or just get a Grizzly 2-3 HP with a Wynn and be done with it.

I'm also wondering how much I could save by doing it myself versus just buying a unit from Clear Vue.
I know several people that have fabricated his design and love it. Using the spreadsheet calculator you can scale up the design as well.

His design was copied, excactly, by clearvue cyclones, so their DCs are to his specs. Not their small "dust deputy" clone, only the larger ones. The key to his design, according to him and some other people with more knowledge than I have on the subject, is the neutral vane part of the DC. That is one part that I don't believe any other cyclone has incorporated into their design. You used to be able to buy a kit, from Bill, and manufactured by his son for around $250.00 but that is no longer available. You can purchase just the cyclone part from Clearvue for around $450.00 and add your own components to it. How much you'd save over their complete system, I have no idea. I don't think you'd save much. Their systems are based on 5hp, which, by the way, is the minimum that Bill Pentz recommends for a standard shop to be able to get the flow sufficient for the invisible dust that is most harmful.

Now, stumpy Nubs built a Bill Pentz cyclone completely out of wood and goes through the build process on his web site. Right after he completed that build, Clearvue gave him one of theirs. Think they may have been worried that he'd start a revolution? You can watch all four episodes of that build here:

http://www.stumpynubs.com/season-2.html

Bill recommends that, no matter whose DC you use, put it outside and forgo the expensive filters. That way you are assured that any and all of the fine dust will not re-enter the workspace through the cyclone/filter portion of your DC. Ducts and ports, well, that is a function of everyone's own configuration. Of course, people that live in colder climates complain about robbing the warmed air in the shop by the suction on the DC and, in warmer climes, the AC. I have read pros and cons on that argument and still have no definitive insight on it. Now, I think I have the reclaiming the warm or cool air situation figured out as far as the Pentz/Clearvue Cyclones go. You have the cyclone vent to the outside in nice weather and vent to the dual stack Wynn Environmental filters (located inside the shop) in colder or hotter weather. The filters would reintroduce the warmed or cooled air back into the shop. Still, the Clearvue has MERV rating of 15 and an efficiency rating of 99.999% @ 0.5 micron. You would, if you built your own Pentz cyclone enjoy numbers very close to that in your own design. Given that you would adhere to the strictest tolerances of Bill's drawings.

And, as far as an overhead filtration system goes, I would recommend another Bill Pentz design. It's the one he actually uses and I'll bet it does a great job.

http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/air_cleaner.cfm

I have tracked down all the parts for this one and it's less money are more efficient than many of the major manufacturers' units. You can find my parts list here

http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f32/air-filtration-unit-would-you-recommend-56903/

Hope this helps,

Paul

And You're right deftworks, if you have this one in place, you will never need to replace it to get better air quality. Unless you want better than 0.5 micron filtering, then you could buy an industrial filter that would take you down in the 0.2-0.3 range (at a healthy upcharge) but the DC would be a first and last purchase.

I can supply you with multiple websites where people have build logs of Bill's Cyclone. Just ask...
 

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where's my table saw?
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You want surgery room air?

Most of us use 3 methods of dust collection:

The basic DC like a jet 1 1/2HP either bags or pleated filter cannister type:
JET DC-1100RCK Dust Collector with Remote and Canister Kit - Amazon.com


A shop vac hooked to the router table, over the table saw blade, or to individual hand held sanders.

An overhead air filtration unit like the Jet AFS1000 B:
JET 708620B AFS-1000B 550/702/1044 CFM 3-Speed Air Filtration System with Remote and Electrostatic Pre-Filter - Amazon.com

And if you choose, and dust mask on your face as the last line of defense.

You can go all out and use a 5HP cylone, separators to prevent the fine dust from clogging the bags and filters and overhead 6" ductwork, OR like the majority here, use a more simple but effective approach.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Woodnthings, I appreciate your input here and in most of the threads on this site and I'm aware of what most people do. I do agree with spereira that health should be a big factor in what I want to do in my shop. Just because a DC system clears away the chips you can see doesn't necessarily mean that it also clears away the super fine dust that Pentz talks about. What if we're all taking years off of our lives and the lives of our families by not giving this the attention it deserves?

I just want to gauge how many people have actually built\bought a true Pentz designed system and how well it works along with the relative costs that it took to get it up and running.
 

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I will be interested in the response

I have not read of anyone here having done so, but I may have missed it. Lot's of referrals to his site and the theory, but not much on the actual construction of the cyclone or the blower housing.
I'll be paying close attention. FYI: http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/showthread.php?43272-Bill-Pentz-Cyclone-build

Thinking about my previous answer a bit more, there are a few "professional woodworkers" on the site, maybe quite a few, BUT the majority are not and budget issues are important in the dust collection purchases, hence the popularity of the Harbor Freight and it's modifications. Cyclones are out of the reach of many here as a first time purchase. In my experience it was far easier to buy several 1 1/2 HP collectors, one at a time. I also have an overhead filtration unit, which I think is vital, If you are not to wear a mask. It's a matter of degrees of efficiency and getting the last of the finest dust can get expensive, just like squeezing just a few more horsepower out of your car's engine. All it takes is $$$. For some a box fan and a taped on furnace filter is all the budget will allow. All it takes is $$$.

I did find a great article on a shop built Pentz cyclone that would be an economical approach: http://www.ablett.jp/workshop_archive/cyclone.htm
 

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Woodnthings, I appreciate your input here and in most of the threads on this site and I'm aware of what most people do. I do agree with spereira that health should be a big factor in what I want to do in my shop. Just because a DC system clears away the chips you can see doesn't necessarily mean that it also clears away the super fine dust that Pentz talks about. What if we're all taking years off of our lives and the lives of our families by not giving this the attention it deserves?

I just want to gauge how many people have actually built\bought a true Pentz designed system and how well it works along with the relative costs that it took to get it up and running.
I think the main issue is that in our first attempts at creating a safer environment we try not to waste our hard earned dollars. Build a system that we can expand on, upgrade as money becomes available. Pentz tells us how we should design our system.

For example..I recently purchased two ten foot pieces of 4 " flex hose. In my ignorance I figured that if my DC came equipped with 4" ports, 4" hose is what I needed. Ok..now I find this website and read more on the subject. I find out that 4" ducting is not nearly enough..6" is the minimum. So now I need to purchase 6" flex hose..so I wasted the $50.00 or so dollars on 4" hose that I could have used to buy 6" hose.
 

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I know a couple of folks that built the true design, and a couple of other who came close. When I say "close", a few leave out the internal air ramp; must be a booger to build. I built the Wood magazine design and found it quite easy, but it's technically not the challenge of the Pentz design. But as for cost, when I built the Wood design I was astounded at how cheap it was. Using galvanized flashing for the sheet metal and plywood for the wood parts, I'll bet I built it for less than $40 (in 1993 or so). I'd also bet the cost of the Pentz design isn't much higher and wouldn't be much more (need to build in inflation). You can (I think) get a kit. Early on a fellow named Terry Hatfield was selling them, now I think it's actually Bill Pentz's son. Couple of hundred dollars as I recall. One other thing, I once read a fellow's post where he took the Pentz drawings to a sheet metal shop and had them build it. Don't remember the cost, but I think he mentioned it was cheaper than a CV.
 

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I recently purchased two ten foot pieces of 4 " flex hose. In my ignorance I figured that if my DC came equipped with 4" ports, 4" hose is what I needed. Ok..now I find this website and read more on the subject. I find out that 4" ducting is not nearly enough..6" is the minimum. So now I need to purchase 6" flex hose..so I wasted the $50.00 or so dollars on 4" hose that I could have used to buy 6" hose.
This is one of the reasons I want to find out what peoples experiences are with this setup. It seems like if I do it right the first time I won't keep buying one thing after another that still doesn't do what I want it to do. I just want to research/build/buy the ultimate setup so I can focus on the woodworking and not be worrying about safety and always chasing down the setup I should've just made in the first place.

Rob
 

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Hi Rob

I have built my cyclone from the Pentz design I took my cut sheet directly from his website. Being budget minded, I used the impeller and motor from my HF dust collector. While it will not meet the high end results as if I used the larger motor it does get the job done. I would not suggest to come up with an end all design on your DC system. If you are like most of us, things change. Your machinery gets better and you have more of it. Somethings things that are important now may not be as important later. You shop will most likely change and your dust collection will need to be modified as it does. Now for the debate of 4" vs 6". Yes I know all the facts of which is better but you need to temper that with your budget. I would much rather control 90% of my dust and have money to buy some more oak vs getting that next 7%. You will never control all of it. I ran a 4" PVC line that has 2 major branches but the total run of either is maybe 25'. The PVC proved to be very economical as I was able to reuse a lot of the pipe and fittings as my shop evolved
I chose to have my cyclone in the next room. .This was done mainly for space purposes. If you are interested you can look in my album and there is a picture of it. But just to prove that things change, the picture I have is not current. I shortened the bin below and lowered the whole cyclone so I now can mount the impeller and motor on top instead of piping it behind the cyclone as shown.
All in all I think Bill Pentz has a lot of good information. If you use what he has as a starting point you can't go wrong. The plan he proposed was fun to build. I did take some liberties in the construction and used techniques that I was more comfortable with but for the most part this is a Bill Pentz cyclone.
People are funny about their dust collection. There are a lot of people that will tell you need to build it in only one design. You need to look and your shop and your pocket book and come up with what makes sense to you. I just told you how I did it but that may not make it right for your shop but if I gave you an idea of what will work for you then I have accomplished what I set out trying to do. Good luck with your build:thumbsup:

Bob
 

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Sawdust Wrangler
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Hi guys and gals,

I've been checking out the Pentz site and was wondering if anyone is using his recommended sizes for cyclone dimensions and blower sizes. It seems like he recommends an 18" cylinder for the cyclone body size, using a 5 HP blower with a 14"-16" recommended impeller size.

Has anyone made one of these monsters? I'm really thinking about it after reading through some of his findings on very fine dust collection. I'm going to have a little money to play with in the next little while and I think it would be smart to do it right the first time. I've been doing alot of my woodworking in the driveway, but now that it's starting to get cold I'd like to take the party in to my garage. I've got a 15X25 space with a 10' ceiling to work with and I've already got a corner picked out for some sort of DC. Now I'm just trying to decide if I should make the Pentz design and duct whatever's left outside or just get a Grizzly 2-3 HP with a Wynn and be done with it.

I'm also wondering how much I could save by doing it myself versus just buying a unit from Clear Vue.
Well, I am about a day away from pulling the trigger on a clearvue system. I will let you know my thoughts on it when it's up and running. I will have blast gates on a wye that will allow me to go through the filters when I want to recapture the air and open to the outside when it doesn't matter.

If you read up to my last post, you will notice that I went back much later and added more info and it did not show up as a new post. You may find something in there a little helpful.

Paul
 

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I finally ordered the Clearvue Cyclone moments ago. They have a special on for the next few days that saves you about 500 bucks. So, soon, I will able to tell you first hand about Bill Pentz's cyclone.
 

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Thanks for the heads up. I might take advantage of the deal also. Gotta check the finances. Only thing is, ideally I would like the right hand model instead of the left hand. I wonder if it's LH only.....
 

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Thanks for the heads up. I might take advantage of the deal also. Gotta check the finances. Only thing is, ideally I would like the right hand model instead of the left hand. I wonder if it's LH only.....
When I ordered mine, yesterday, DeAnn said it was left only. I thought for a moment and decided it didn't matter that much, you have some control over how the main intake sits. If you watch the videos on their site, it shows them rotating the intake around. For what you are getting on the combo, I will deal with it. The upgrade to a 16" impeller and 16" housing, supposedly increases flow by another 20%. I figure it's a lot of money, BUT, I will only have to spend it once. I cannot tell you how many woodworkers I know that have gone through multiple DCs and are still hunting the right one.

Here is the clincher, the bundle is going away after Thursday. I just called them to make sure I had heard it correctly yesterday and it's true. The bundle is part of their 12 days of Christmas and that ends on Thursday.

I figured I had talked about real dust collection long enough, time I had some of my own. Now, I have to sell my other collectors!

Hope this helps,

Paul
 
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