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Cody
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So my shop is in a pretty cramped basement with no ventilation really besides the stair case down to it. I always wear a respirator whenever I set foot in there, but I'm thinking of finally investing in a dust collector (my current system is a shop vac and a broom). I'm planning on using it for my DeWalt contractor's table saw, 8 inch chop saw, and Craftsman 13 inch benchtop planer. I've been doing some research and I've been leaning towards a JET-DC-1100VX-CK, but I was curious if anyone had any suggestions before I took the plunge.
 

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I have a RAS, table saw, band saw, router table and thickness planer - strictly hobby shop.

I use a shop vac - it has a filter - I have to clean the filter.
the planer generates so many chips it fills up the shop vac in short order, so I use a 30gal trash can with separator ahead of the shop vac.



for the few devices you, and I, have - a big ole' dust collector is overkill.
 

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I am using an old Craftsman 16 gallon shop vac attached to a Woodcraft Cyclone. I have them together on a rolling cart. Frankly, the cyclone does not do a good job of separation. The shop vac fills with an equal amount of chips and stuff, and the shop vac dust filter clogs quickly. The cyclone does not free me from extra work. When I empty one, I empty the other. Sometimes I wonder whether bumps from rolling the cart "pop" the dust and chips up in the cyclone and help them get into the shop vac. Even when I leave the cart motionless when turned on, a lot of dust and chips end up in the shop vac anyway.

Somehow the contraption keeps up with the forcefully ejected chips from the DeWalt DW735 planer. I can't explain why. I have to be sure the shop vac is on before I turn on the planer, or the planer's blower will pop the lid on the cyclone. As others point out, a planer can fill them quickly.

The shop vac is probably the loudest tool I own. I wear hearing protection whenever it is on, and I use it with nearly all of my power tools, as well as a floor and surface cleaner. Lower noise would be one advantage of a true dust collector. (It is probably not low enough to forego hearing protection.)

FYI: The Woodcraft Cyclone is on clearance sale, NOT recommended:
https://www.woodcraft.com/products/woodriver-small-dust-collection-cyclone-system
 

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gosh. I have a trash can thingie and it works like a champ for the planer. I don't use it anything else except major chip making jobs on the router table....
Machine Wood Floor Furniture Wheel


 

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gosh. I have a trash can thingie and it works like a champ for the planer. I don't use it anything else except major chip making jobs on the router table....
That looks great. May I see a photo of the underside of the trash can lid?

I am also curious to know your impressions of how much gets past the trash can and into the shop vac, and how much fine dust gets to the shop vac filter.
 

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underside is a simple L on the inlet. no fancy cyclone stuff.
here's the underside from 10 minutes ago...
Auto part Automotive wheel system Wheel Rim Keg
this is the vac from the prior pixs
Food Cuisine Dish Automotive tire Rim
Technology Electronic device Wire


on long planer runs, the vac does pick up much more "wood flour"
if the trash can fills to the bottom of the elbow, separation declines a bunch.
 

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I use 4" dryer duct hoses attached to the ceiling with Y's and blast gates and an inline blower and vent it outside, works for me
 

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the cyclone types and the barrel types use different principles.
the cyclone depends on a high velocity air stream to "throw" heavier material to the outside edges, impact/hit/contact/stop/slow down /and cause it to fall into the bucket.
the simple barrel type causes the entire air stream to stumble/tumble/mix up - significantly reducing any 'lineal' velocity, and heavier materials falls out.


imho, the barrel type works much better with small blowers like a shop vac. a cyclone is much fussier about "proper design"
 

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I looked at my Craftsman 16 gallon shop vac and Woodcraft Cyclone separator. The Woodcraft Cyclone has a center outlet with no internal pipe, connected to the shop vac. The Cyclone inlet has a bent internal pipe on the edge of the lid. It connects to the tool (e.g., table saw).

See the photos. The contents came from a SawStop cabinet table saw. The most recent work was some through cuts, but mostly using a 3/4 inch dado stack to cut grooves (dados along the grain) in soft maple. My estimate is that 80% of the chips and sawdust ended up in the shop vac, and I do not understand why.
-> Do I have it setup wrong?
-> Is there something I should be doing differently?
-> Is the problem inherent in the Cyclone design?
-> What simple changes would you make to get it to work better?

Photos:
* Shop Vac and Cyclone Separator in cart. The long hose attaches to the table saw or other tool.
* Cyclone Lid, showing bent inlet pipe. The hidden center outlet (to the shop vac) is just a hole in the top.
* Shop Vac Filter, showing chips and sawdust, mostly from the dado stack.
* Shop Vac and Cyclone Bases, showing that 80% of chips and sawdust do not settle in the Cyclone; they go to the shop vac.
 

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my 'guess' would be the bucket is simply too small to allow the airstream to go 'dead' - the air motion is still so turbulent that the chips get carried over into the vac....
basically the 5 gal bucket remains a "cloud of chips"

I would

(a) shorten the length of the elbow 'inside'
(b) install a baffle at the inflow to spatter the velocity
(b2) I have seen designs with a baffle across the diameter of the bucket, at the top, to ensure chips drop out of the airstream.
(c) increase the volume of the 'cyclone' bucket.


btw, not sure one can describe the setup as 'cyclone'
cyclone separators are a well established technology in all kinds of 'scrap handling' and 'an elbow in a bucket' doesn't qualify....
 

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TomCT2 is correct about that not being what's usually called a cyclone. Your device is most often called a trash can separator. I think TomCT2 may also be right about the size being the problem for that type of separator. The Gold standard for that size is the Dust Deputy. The Dustopper also seems to get good reviews.
 
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