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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read many threads on this forum about dust collection, but not all of them (there are so many!). They seem to assume one has a lot of room to put ducts and the dust collection machine itself, etc. I don't have that. I have a larger shop vacuum I use when planing wood. I take the machines outside on the driveway and use them there. I wear a surgical dust mask. I vacuum the dust up as I go. I don't cough after a project, but that doesn't mean I haven't been inhaling wood, I think.

What does the person without lots of space do for decent dust collection? I'm sure I'm not the only one with this issue. Any posts on this forum that deal specifically with this issue?

I do have room for the type of dust collector that mounts on the ceiling that filters the whole garage, but I usually work with the garage open, so I'm not sure this would work well. Besides, the garage isn't sealed so any dust collector would suck in outside air.

Could I mount a small dust collector on the ceiling? For example, mount the Harbor Freight one up high? Not sure where I'd run the hoses. Maybe have a longer one I could hook up as needed. The bag will be an issue, too. Thoughts?
 

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Today is the last day at Harbor Freight for the 25% off coupon for the DC unit. Several people have dismantled them and moved the parts around and up high. You can also roll it outside during use. You don't want the bag inside the shop when it's running, it will leak all kinds of fine and dangerous fine dust into your shop. You might construct a small shed, or a lean to next to your shop with a tube through the wall to attach your hose. Use the Rockler attachments. Don't forget the chip collector, it makes a serious difference.
 

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You don't want the bag inside the shop when it's running, it will leak all kinds of fine and dangerous fine dust into your shop.
That's what I found so I got the Wynn 0.5 micron cartridge filter - makes all the difference in the world! I no longer have that fine layer of dust on everything around the DC and the rest of the shop.

I agree about rolling it outside if you have that option (I don't) but otherwise get the Wynn or equivalent filter.

David
 

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The shop vac will take care of the debris (larger particles). If you are outside with the machine then if you are really concerned that you might still be breathing fine dust, and you might be getting some, then I would take a pedestal fan and position it at your side blowing across the dust source at an angle. That's the cheap solution.

You don't want the HF unit inside your shop without adding the filter David mentions which is about an extra $100. Putting it outside is not always an option and you may not want the side of your house caked with fine dust or your neighbor calling and complaining about it either. The ceiling unit takes time to clear the air. It won't prevent you from inhaling a bunch of dust while you are working. You can wall mount some DCs but they still take up some room and it's common to see piping running across the ceiling, especially in commercial situations where you need to do that to eliminate tripping hazards.
 

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install your unit outside the shop in a ''closet''..
vent the closet back into the shop to preserve your HVAC...

before you jump on HF unit... read what has been said about it here..
 
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You don't want the bag inside the shop when it's running, it will leak all kinds of fine and dangerous fine dust into your shop.
My experience is the opposite. I run mine in my garage, and don't see any fine dust escaping.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I do have a dust collector similar to the Grizzly GZ1028Z2. Sorry, I forgot tot mention that. I took it to work to store it (I don't have any space) and I forgot I had it. It runs on 220, which I don't currently have a plug for, which I could add fairly easily. I suppose I could keep it out of the garage and wheel it in to use. With the addition of the Wynn filter it would collect all the dust and not spread it around the yard, the driveway and my lungs.

I use a fan sometimes to blow the dust away, but with the garage open, any breeze blows the dust everywhere. The mask helps, but it fogs up my glasses.

I can't build anything fancy outside my house; the HOA (and one neighbor in particular) will not like that. But, I might be able to put the dust collector in some sort of small shed as long as it is hidden from view. I'd have to run a power cord to it along with any dust collection hoses. It would be a 30' run, I think. Probably too much for the dust collector.

I just don't have room in my garage for more stuff: I have a metal lathe, table saw, metal mill, 2 cars (one is the wife's and one is a classic car, so they cannot live outside at all), a workbench and a toolbox. These take up all the available floor space and still leave room to walk around. I have everything else in cupboards and cabinets mounted on the walls and ceiling. I get out any other machines I need to use and mount them on a portable work table.
 

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You don't mention what tools you are using, and this matters for your dust collection. If you are using tools with a 4" or larger dust port, then you will need a DC like the Grizzly you already have. If they are smaller portable tools then you have other options. Either way, you can get creative to save space. I have a narrow shop and did not want a shop vac taking up floor space, or a dust collector that was constantly in the way. To solve these issues I installed a central vacuum that handles all of my smaller tools like my miter saw, router table, oscillating sander, and shop cleanup etc... This vacuum has a heppa filter, small dust deputy, uses 2" ducting and blast gates at different tools. With the dust deputy I haven't had to change the filter in over 2yrs. I also use this for a my hand power tools. For the larger tools I modified my Harbor Freight dust collector so that it hangs in a corner with a dust deputy cyclone, 5" ducts run high on the walls and ceiling and I exhaust it outside to eliminate the filer. With the cyclone there is no visible dust exhausted outside, the one downside is that most of the noise is also exhausted outside which might cause problems with your HOA. My neighbors are mostly deer and other critters so they don't complain. The point is with some creative thought you can over come your space constrictions and have decent dust collection.

The central vac takes up less than 18", (there are smaller units available) with the dust deputy a little more space is needed. The DC takes up about 30" and all of that is for the trash can. Again a smaller collection bin could be used.

Central Vac and DC
 

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Bob Adams DC setup is really nice and compact. The 4 inch Super Dust Deputy is a really nice way to separate most of the particles so the filter doesn't get clogged. Minimal floor space and a filter could be attached inside or outside.
 

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install your unit outside the shop in a ''closet''..
vent the closet back into the shop to preserve your HVAC...

before you jump on HF unit... read what has been said about it here..
No link Stick. Here are some other reviews, in the order they came up in a web search:
https://www.lumberjocks.com/reviews/product/1636

https://www.wwgoa.com/article/harbor-freight-dust-collector/#

https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f24/harbor-freight-2-hp-dust-collector-31876/

There are many brands that are better, but they are 2.5 to 3 times the price. If you can afford one with higher CFPM air flow, you might prefer it. However, for a basic DC unit for about $170, I think the HF is a good deal. You can also find informaiton on replacing its impeller with the one made for Jet (about $120), which will dramatically increase flow rates. There are a number of posts on doing this. That is one of Stick's points, that the larger Jet, for example, already has higher CFPM flow, and with a canister filter, does a good job of collection, particularly if you use a chip collector as well.

I have two shop areas, garage and shed, so I needed two units which was doable with the HF on sale with a discount coupon. The Jet or Grizzly was more than I could manage and the HF units work great for me. I have a home shop and do light weight projects. Don't need a pro unit.
 

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The HF unit, with modifications (dust deputy, impeller and filter upgrade) will set you back about 600-650. That’s iff you plan on the upgrades.

By itself, the hf unit is a decent, budget starter machine for one or two tools, but (imho) not for a whole-shop solution.

As long as you enter the fray with an understanding that is realistic, your expectations won’t be unsatisfied...
 

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He already has a DC equivalent to the HF.
I do have a dust collector similar to the Grizzly GZ1028Z2. Sorry, I forgot tot mention that. I took it to work to store it (I don't have any space) and I forgot I had it. It runs on 220, which I don't currently have a plug for, which I could add fairly easily. I suppose I could keep it out of the garage and wheel it in to use.
Yes, add the plug, and wheel it to the machines you'll be using. Get some quick release connectors like the Magports. https://www.routerforums.com/woodshop-dust-control/139493-magport-something-new.html
 

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Are you referring to this model? If so then one thing to be aware of is that the cloth filter bags are rated for particle size such a 7.5 micron and so on. The one I got with my Shopsmith came with a standard filter bag which I later changed out for a finer filter bag. "Our standard 12" hood is designed to capture particles as small as 7 microns in size... the 24" model will capture particles as small as 5 microns... and the super 42" model will capture particles down to an amazing 1 micron in size ! The two optional (24" & 42") hoods offer up to four times the surface area of our original equipment hood, and that helps them maintain optimum airflow, even though the internal cake is thickening and the particle size is getting smaller".

And just because you can't see it easily doesn't mean anything other than it's just plain smaller but still not good to breath. I also run a ceiling hung room filtering system with a double filter system and depending on what material I'm working with and the process it's going under (sanding, routing, etc..) I may also be wearing my EZMask or a throwaway rated for extremely small particulates. When you work outside you do have the advantage of the air currents but they may be around you or away from you. Your clothing will likely tell the tale. The DC unit is something you really need to make room for. The one I saw I think you have is on wheels so that should make it far easier than a stationary piped system but you still want to be sure of it's capabilities and that it's doing a good job. I did get the 1 micron bag filter for myself.
 

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If you're using the planer, etc. outside, then the only issue would be what you breathe. A powered dust mask like the Trend Airshield would protect you well. It's not HEPA but filters out enough that your biggest concern would be keeping the filters clean and replacing them in the mask.

If you want to use your machines inside then a roll-around dust HEPA dust collector like Laguna makes (there are others also) could be a good investment. I believe they have a model which is 110V made for connection to one machine at a time. Oneida makes the dust gorilla which is similar. These are pricey. For my money, though, a HEPA filter is best. The lesser filters will get a lot of the dust, but not the finest, which is the dust you really need to keep out of your lungs.

Again, though, if you're just using the machines outside, I'm not sure investment in a dust collector is necessary. Look on other forums, like Sawmill Creek, WoodTalk Online, and the FOG. There are lots of posts about dust collection, but you will get many conflicting responses. I would do some research online, searching for dust collection articles, maybe dust collection and HEPA filters.

Dust collection has a lot of parts, but the most important thing is that you filter out the finest particles possible before they get into your sinuses and lungs.
 

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Using machines outside without a filter or even a DC is not necessarily workable when a homeowner's association is involved.
 

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Regarding the Harbor Freight dust collector, I've had one for a dozen years and it's worked great over that period. As soon as I bought it, I installed a Wynn filter and got rid of the canvas bag. The only issue, if you can call it an issue, is about a month or two ago the on-off switch quit working. Dismantled it, blew out the dust, reassembled it, and now it works again. I don't have dedicated piping. The impeller intake accepts a 5" diameter hose, which I use and then use a reducer at the various tools. It's more efficient that way rather than using 4" hose from the dust collector to the tool. Use one of Harbor Freight's 20 or 25 percent off coupons, and it's an unbeatable deal. If you're worried about longevity, buy an extended warranty.

For peak efficiency with the Wynn filter, use compressed air to blow air through the walls of the filter, thereby knocking off the dust that builds up inside the filter. Make sure the see through plastic bag is attached when using compressed air or else you'll fill the shop with very fine dust and negate all the benefits of the Wynn filter.
 

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Festool Dust Deputy Setup for a really small shop

I have a really small shop and do mobile work as well. Since I have a Festool track saw for doing panel work, I decided to add a Dust Deputy Cyclone DIY setup to my existing Midi. The vac is seldom connected to my 12" portable planer runs because the chips are so large there's almost no fine dust. Initially there was no static control, but I got tired of being zapped. The Festool dust port has a metal finger that contacts the anti-static hose connector. Internally a wire connects the clip to the ground terminal. After tapering the PVC pipe to fit the dust port, I added some heavy duty aluminum foil tape for the electrical connection. Problem solved. The cyclone breaks down for easy storage or transport. Below are some pics.
 

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Woodworkers really need a dust collector that catches the finest dust and many dust collectors, especially the bag type collectors, don't catch much of this dust. It goes right through the bag of most bag type dust collectors. The larger saw dust and wood chips make a huge mess if you don't collect them, but it's the micron sized dust that will harm you, and you can't usually see this size dust.

In my small shop I really don't have the space for large ducts and a big dust collector. I do my planing outside the shop and collect the chips in a large barrel. My major saw dust producer in my shop is my Unisaw, and I have to depend on it's base cabinet to collect and hold the saw dust from it until I shovel it out. This is pretty much the same for my band saw. The rest of my tools, sanders, grinders, drill presses, scroll saws, routers, and portable sanders all get connected to my re-purposed central vacuum unit that has a Dust Deputy connected in the line ahead of it. The Dust Deputy collected dust falls into a 20 gallon metal barrel under it. This combination removes 99%+ of all of even the tiniest dust particles from the air stream, but can't handle the large wood chips from planers, etc.. The exhaust from this vacuum is also ported out through my shop wall at the 2nd floor level, so none of even the sub micron dust ever gets fed back into my shop. I also use this system to vacuum my shop floor (after sweeping) and to clean up my tools. I also have an inlet port mounted in the outside wall of my shop next to the passage door so that I can take the 25' hose outside and vacuum my cars and trucks with it.

I now have a 2nd Dust Deputy mounted on a 5 gallon bucket and connected to my shop vac for use whenever I need a more portable vacuum system. I use this system mostly when working away from my shop, like doing home renovation, etc. For this, I have to depend on the shop vac's filter to collect the super fine dust that the Dust Deputy misses, but I only rarely need to use this system.

Charley
 
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