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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2 HP Harbor Freight Dust Collector that i’d like to upgrade. I’ve come across a modification plan that I’d like to follow. Please see link for details.


The only problem is with the cost of components. The plan uses a Wynn environmental filter which costs about $250 and a super dust deputy that also costs about $240. I can’t justify a $500 upgrade.

I want to upgrade using the same idea and principles, just without all the cost. Any advice or tips?


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Yes, the Wynn filter is high (more than the DC itself!) but well worth it for how clean the air is vs. the bag filter. The area around my DC used to look like I spilled dust everywhere and now it's very clean, not spotless, but very clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate the replies. The other options include.

Option 1. Just upgrading the filter. Not adding a cyclone. I’ve read that separators shouldn’t really be added to under powered dust collectors. At 2 HP mine isn’t really that powerful.

Option 2. I can build something as an alternative to a separator which I’m honestly trying to avoid for time management purposes.

Option 3. I can get one of those trash can separator lids. However I’m not sure how efficient these are. Also see comments about separators and underpowered dust collectors.


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Sounds like Option 1 is the best for you. Separators (cyclone, trash can, whatever) will reduce the dust "load" that eventually reaches the filter, but won't make the filtered air any cleaner; and as you say, overall performance suffers. So the only real downside of not having a separator is that you'll need to clean the filter more frequently. I just use a blow gun hooked up to my air compressor, and carefully blow on the cartridge pleats from the outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds like Option 1 is the best for you. Separators (cyclone, trash can, whatever) will reduce the dust "load" that eventually reaches the filter, but won't make the filtered air any cleaner; and as you say, overall performance suffers. So the only real downside of not having a separator is that you'll need to clean the filter more frequently. I just use a blow gun hooked up to my air compressor, and carefully blow on the cartridge pleats from the outside.
Agreed. I’m most likely going to just upgrade the filter. Any recommendations for a good affordable filters for a 2 HP Harbor Freight Dust Collector?

Also since my shop is smaller, I plan on wheeling most of my tools over to the unit and hooking up the hose. I plan on using a 4” diameter flexible hose. Any potential issues with this setup? Any ways to improve it?


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The value of much of what is suggested is dependent on what you are doing with the system. That is, if you are vacuuming the floor, collecting a lot of chips an so on, protecting the rather expensive filter is a big concern. Obviously, dust is much easier on filters than chips and things are. If you are going to be dealing with a lot of stuff off a jointer, a planer a lathe or things off the floor, taking a performance hit may be well worth while, to protect the filter.

Keep in mind, a SDD can be used on any future collector. Mine started out in front of a Jet 1-1/2 horse collector with a filter cartridge. It's the little Jet with a blue barrel under the SDD at https://www.oneida-air.com/blog/category/customer-testimonial?p=2. Today, the SDD is in front of a 3 hp collector with two cartridges.

Anytime you can step up in collector size, it's to your benefit. Until then, every edge you can get is worth while.

That cartridge can be made to fit another collector with a 20" (?) rim, so keep that original bag.

By the way, I have that HF unit still, even though I have two "four bag" systems. The first thing I did with it was, I swapped the dust pump bag for a better one. It goes out into the yard with me to collect pine cones and such. With the SDD, the cones don't beat the impeller to death.
 

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I have the HF dust collector and installed a Wynn filter as well as a DIY Thien baffle. I am happy with that setup. However, one of my best purchases has been a Jet ceiling-mounted air filtration unit (AFS-1000B). I also invested in a Dylos particle size monitor after reading Bill Pentz's website (Dust Collection Research - Home). If you are really serious about protecting your lungs from fine particles (e.g. sanding dust), then you will never know if your system is doing the job unless you actually measure the particle counts.
 

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I went with the super dust deputy, but found this afterwards. I used a K&N style filter and a 3D printed adapter which has held up really well.
 

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Agreed. I’m most likely going to just upgrade the filter. Any recommendations for a good affordable filters for a 2 HP Harbor Freight Dust Collector?

Also since my shop is smaller, I plan on wheeling most of my tools over to the unit and hooking up the hose. I plan on using a 4” diameter flexible hose. Any potential issues with this setup? Any ways to improve it?


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Agreed. I’m most likely going to just upgrade the filter. Any recommendations for a good affordable filters for a 2 HP Harbor Freight Dust Collector?

Also since my shop is smaller, I plan on wheeling most of my tools over to the unit and hooking up the hose. I plan on using a 4” diameter flexible hose. Any potential issues with this setup? Any ways to improve it?


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I have a 2 car garage with every machine on wheels. I have used the Harbor Freight 2 hp dust collector for years with a long 4ft hose taking it to each machine when I needed dust collection. I use the Dust Deputy for using with my sanders.
 

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There are 2 different needs in the shop: Low volume collection and high volume. The low is what comes out of ones sander, drill press, jig saw, circular saw, router, etc, and this is best handled by a shop vac/dust extractor. The high volume comes from the table saw, jointer, planer, drum sander, etc, and is what you need the 4” hose connection and a full blown DC for.

I have a Harbor Freight DC that I converted to use with a Thien separator and I exhaust the discharge outdoors. It works fantastically and cost me less than $100 for everything. Realistically, folks need to look at how many tools need collection at any moment (1 in a single person hobby shop) and how long their pipe runs are. The dirty secrets of DC systems are A) More horsepower = more electricity which can trigger an upgrade ($$ cha-ching), B) the piping can quickly add up to more than the DC itself!

The 2 hp HF dust collector stays under the electrical upgrade bar, is enough for for my 12” planer or 8” jointer, and I have no piping because I laid out my small shop so that the 10’ 4” hose can reach all the big tools — yes, I move the hose from tool to tool and it is no big deal. If need be, the HF DC comes on a wheeled base, so it can be rolled around. To help with the convenience, I bought a set of HF’s 3-pack of remote power triggers for high draw machines and (they work fantastically) put one on the DC cord so I can turn it on & off from anywhere in the shop.

My system works so well (there is only a tiny amount of residual dust that makes it thru the system) that I feel sorry for people who spend so much for the whiz-bang systems, and my setup‘s footprint is about 18” x 28”.
 

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I have the Harbor freight DC modified with the Thein baffle. The blower is raised to sit on the Thein baffle which sits on the garbage can. tThe first stage with the baffle uses centrifugal force to separate larger stuff like planer and jointer shvings that drop into the garbbage can. The remainder passes through the blower and into a second stage uisng centiifugal force to drop large sawdust into the collection bag. The third stage uses the bag filter to collect smaller sawdust.
This system has served me well for 15 years and continues to perform very well. I have 4 inch PVC piping which distributes the collection points to planer, jointer, table saw , sliding miter saw and band saw.

Wood Gas Plumbing Machine Engineering
 

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Save your money and buy the dust deputy. The 99.9% of dust it keeps out of your filter that goes into a bucket is for me one of the best inventions in woodworking. I have 4" dust deputy and a 2" dust deputy the 2" is fed by a 35' pool hose on a fastcap reel. Both keep me from having to clean filters. I hate getting covered with saw dust when I had to clean those filters every few days. Now I don't clean filters. Dust Deputy does it's job and keeps the filters clean when you can go a year with out cleaning a shop vac filter or a 4" system filter that is saying something. My shops stays dust free and my lungs are worth it.
 

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I have a 2 HP Harbor Freight Dust Collector that i’d like to upgrade. I’ve come across a modification plan that I’d like to follow. Please see link for details.


The only problem is with the cost of components. The plan uses a Wynn environmental filter which costs about $250 and a super dust deputy that also costs about $240. I can’t justify a $500 upgrade.

I want to upgrade using the same idea and principles, just without all the cost. Any advice or tips?


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I purchased filtration bags for my shop (3,000 square ft shop) from Filter Bags - American Fabric Filter | Fabric Filters about fourteen years ago and have been very satisfied. They will make custom bags for you according to your cfm's and system. I have a cyclone on my shop with a bag that is 42" diameter and seven feet tall. It lets my system breath well and my shop is very clean around it. I climate comntroll my shop ( ac and heat) so I do not want to vent outside.
 

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I purchased filtration bags for my shop (3,000 square ft shop) from Filter Bags - American Fabric Filter | Fabric Filters about fourteen years ago and have been very satisfied. They will make custom bags for you according to your cfm's and system. I have a cyclone on my shop with a bag that is 42" diameter and seven feet tall. It lets my system breath well and my shop is very clean around it. I climate comntroll my shop ( ac and heat) so I do not want to vent outside.
Someday, if I have to filter my exhaust, these micron shaker bags are the way I will go. This is because they are considerably cheaper than pleated filters, easier to clean, and longer lasting, however they occupy a bigger space.

BTW, for the above reasons, shaker bags are what are most common in industrial applications.
 

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I have two "four bag" collectors and an HF unit dedicated to the miter, and pine cone clean up duty (with the Super Dust Deputy). One of the four bag units has canister filters and the other has one micron, after market bags. The two units are the same. The canisters, with their extra surface area, does a notably better job.

Because canisters have more surface area in the same space a bag does, they make a good choice for small shops that want or need to improve the efficiency of their collectors. That said, it remains I don't have canisters on collector number two because it would cost four hundred dollars versus one hundred I paid for two one micron bags.

I should add that a cyclone is almost a must for a canister, to spin the debris out that could damage the cartridge filter.


Someday, if I have to filter my exhaust, these micron shaker bags are the way I will go. This is because they are considerably cheaper than pleated filters, easier to clean, and longer lasting, however they occupy a bigger space.

BTW, for the above reasons, shaker bags are what are most common in industrial applications.
 
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