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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have recently upgraded my shop equipment and thought while I'm at it I would upgrade my dust collection from nothing to something simple. I have seen dust cyclones and am skeptical that its worth $40. I have a nice Rikon air cleaner so small particulate stuff is being taken care of. I've done some searching and found a few plans for dust collection but its hard to tell what works best, or even how some of them work. Where could I find some plans to get me started on how to go about building a inexpensive dust collector using my shop vac.

Within reasonable means would it also be possible for this to activate automatically when I turn on my tools?

I should also mention that this will be mostly used on just my band saw.
 

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The easy part of your question is about the auto switch. There are several makes of these available, I just happened to pick this one. For the other part: a shop vac is not a dust collector, they are barely related in function. That said, you may find your vac will do just fine for your band saw as is, so try that before moving on to anything else.
 

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All kidding aside, keep your eyes on places like craigslist. I have seen several listed in there. Most have gone at a reasonable price. I built mine from the pentz design that's online with a harbor freight impeller and motor. As far as an auto switch, there are a lot out there you can build but I found it to be dollars ahead to put remote switches throughout the shop. In my work flow the dust collector will be on for several minutes but I will open and close gates as I go from machine to machine. I have been thinking of making auto gates as the machine turns on but I haven't design that seems to work well.
Bob
 

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dust collector vs shop vac

A shop vac is not a dust collector although it will suck up some dust.
Shop vacs run a low volume air stream at a high velocity, dust collectors run a higher volume of air at a lower velocity.

Chips vs dust.
Shop vacs are good for point source collection of fine dust from smaller tools... ROS sanders, drill press, router table, bandsaw or others where the amount of fine dust is not excessive. You can connect a shop vac to a planer but you may have a chip blockage issue and you will have a container full of chips in short order.

Tools that generate a great volume of dust or chips will operate better with a DC than a shop vac because of the larger filter and containers. The larger the filter surface area like a bag or cartridge, the longer it will take to get clogged. A small filter like a shop vac will clog up readily and need to be changed /cleaned often.

Dust collectors still need a relative high speed air stream to operate best, but that means a larger impeller and motor than most home DC systems come equipped with. For some really good information look this site over: http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

Flex hose and 90 degree bends are the enemy of good dust collection systems. Gentle turns and no surface irregularities are best for maximum air flow. The best blast gates get completely out of the air stream with no tiny ledges for chips to build up on. Shop made ones work better than some commercial ones. A cyclone type separator will reduce air flow somewhat, but it will keep your primary filter cleaner longer.

Compare Horse Power, cubic ft volumes CFM, static pressure, and filtration size when looking at cyclones, bag or cannister dust collectors...quite a difference. See the chart at the very bottom of the page:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/4-HP-Dust-Collector/G0671
 

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I don't run a jointer or planer and have been satisfied with my shop vac with HEPA filter, drywall bag, and in-line chip seperator for my router and miter, band, and table saws. My seperator is one of the lids from Woodcraft that goes on a 5 gallon bucket. It is a good excuse to learn to joint and plane by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
For the time being at least all my jointing and planing are done by hand. My only dust producers are my band saw, router, and drill press. My main concern with the dust collection is the band saw since dust is so fond of collecting inside the machine. Which is why I considered a cyclone on a trash can and a shop vac to be an option.

I would consider putting something together with a cyclone and a 1 hp blower from HF ($100), but have heard they are loud. Im wondering if loud is a good enough reason to go for the Rikon dust collector or if that is just redundant since I have a Rikon Air cleaner already.
 

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H-F blowers

They re loud because they use a brush type motor, not induction, like a skil saw. :thumbdown:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ah.... yea that sounds painful. I would like to put one together myself with a cyclone and a blower, so as to avoid antiquating my new air cleaner and save money. Problem is I cant seem to find a good centrifugal blower for less than a the few hundred bucks that a new single stage dust collector would cost me.
 

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Im wondering if loud is a good enough reason to go for the Rikon dust collector or if that is just redundant since I have a Rikon Air cleaner already.
The DC and the ambient air cleaner are 2 different tools. There is no redundancy in having both. I 'm guessing, but I doubt there is much noise difference between the HF DC and the Rikon. I'm pretty sure both are quieter than any of the shopvac, except maybe the Fein/Festool type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Would that also come with the noisy brush motor. And with a 5 micron bag would I still need an air cleaner?
 

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That has an induction motor, and with 5 micron bags you really need the air cleaner. They let the finest particles back into your shop. Best would be 1 micron or tighter.
 

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If you watch Craigslist, there are some deals to be had. I found a small 1hp mobile Grizzly DC for under $100 that stays with my miter saw and drill press, and another Grizz 2HP unit that takes care of my big machines for less than the HF collector.
 

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Nope

Would that also come with the noisy brush motor. And with a 5 micron bag would I still need an air cleaner?
It comes with a large and rather quiet induction motor but requires it's own 20 amp circuit or a minimum of other tools on the same circuit. Starting draws the most amps. Maybe can be wired to 220V I donno? Many many folks here use that one because of the reasonable cost and have made modification to suit including mounting the motor and blower on the wall.\

Check out this thread:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f32/harbor-freight-dust-collector-mod-55045/
 

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Would that also come with the noisy brush motor. And with a 5 micron bag would I still need an air cleaner?
That is the exact unit I used. I don't think it is noisy at all. Too bad that it can only be wired for 120 so you need a dedicated circuit of 20 amps. If you look at the picture in my album you will see the cyclone I built with a 2hp HF dust collector and Bill Pentz's design. Granted the longest run I have is maybe 20' this thing does great. My only drawback is that it's collects so well that when I am planing wood I can empty a couple of times in one day. I also made a dedicated line for all of the small tools like sanders, plate joiners, ect. I have very little in floating wood dust. For the piping I used 4" pvc sewer pipe. Very cheap. I took guy wire and ran it through the pipe. I wasn't worried about explosions but if you use pvc is does build up a static charge that can you a heck of shock when you least expect it:thumbdown:
 

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Would that also come with the noisy brush motor. And with a 5 micron bag would I still need an air cleaner?

Where are you located.....alot of times guys now where used dust collectors are available at a decent price.
 
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