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Dust Collector Design

9552 Views 42 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Sominus
I haven't been here lately for a number of reasons, most recently I've been going through the hassles of selling my home in TN and buying a new one in Alabama.. The things we do just to be near our grand kids. I am getting a big benefit from the move which has me pretty excited. I will have a large basement located on grade level with one end open to the outside through sliding glass doors. Easy access and a lot of outside light.

But to get to my point, I want to install a dust collector system. This is all very new to me and I'm not sure what I'm planning will work properly. I read the previous posts on this on Routerforums as well as watched a number of videos on YT. See my sketch below. I believe it's fairly typical for the most part. My plan is to use a Harbor-Freight DC along with a Dust Deputy. I also plan on upgrading the DC with a Wynn filter. One of my concerns is the use of 2-1/2" flex hose.

1) Will the 2-1/2" hose be adequate for its intended purpose? The ports on the equipment are 2-1/2" thus the use of 2-1/2" hose.

2) Does anyone else run 2-1/2" hose to their equipment?

3) Would I be better off using 4" flex hose and then reducing down to 2-1/2" at the equipment. Would it make much difference?

4) Any suggestions on what to use to ensure a good seal on the connection of the trash can lid to the trash can?

I'm only showing 4 equipment hook-ups, but will probably add more; one for my miter saw and another for the Rigid oscillating sander.

Any comments, either design or installation, will be greatly appreciated.


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I have a similar setup, but decided to get the 5 inch model of the Super Dust Deputy. The problem may be with making the adapters fit, so I suggest you order their metal connectors. The Wynn filter is what I have and it dramatically reduced the fines released into the shop. However, I suggest you check out the Grizzly filter, which has an internal beater arm to knock sawdust down into the collector bag. With the Wynn, you use compressed air to blast from the outside to dislodge the sawdust that eventually clogs the filter.

The Super Dust Deputy SDD, is about $170, more than the 2.5 inch model, but you won't have the problem of the drastically reduced air flow. A 4 inch circle is almost 29 square inches of area, a 2.5 inch circle's area is about 18 square inches. A sizeable difference.

I moved my HF unit out of the shop and into a covered space between my shop and another shed. I am slowly enclosing that space with doors on the end for access, after Stick suggested returning the AC and heated air to the shop after filtration. It is taking me some time to get this done because I tire easily these days. I will install additional filters over the return opening to make sure that air is clean.

I found fiber drums at ULine, online. I have two DC setups, one in the shop, the other in the garage, each has a 30 gallon fiber drum for chip collection. The price has gone up on these, but they are really nice.

The 4 inch Super Dust Deputy comes with a 15 gallon drum, which is just too smal. You can't buy the SDD 4 inch without the drum.

I have several friends living in Alabama. I just don't like the idea of the sweaty summers and hurricanes and twisters. I'll stick with the earthquakes out West.
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The HF unit is the one thing about which I disagree with Stick. If you buy it on sale the price is around $168 dollars. I've had two trouble free for several years. One for each shop area (shop and garage), one with the Wynn drum filter and the other with just the bag (sits outside the garage during use). I think Stick has a point for a heavy use shop, but which unit in our price range has the ability to run for a thousand or more hours per year? I'm certainly not using it that much, and if I had a heavy use shop, I'd be spending far more ($1200-1800) for an industrial unit. BTW, the HF unit comes in a great padded package and takes an hour or so to assemble.

The impeller is sufficient for a home shop as is. Stick is talking about modifying it by replacing the HF impeller with one sold by Rikon, which greatly increases air flow, and is metal, not plastic. By using the Super Dust Deputy, you catch pieces that might damage the HF impeller, but you do not need to change the impeller to get good DC function. That is one of the modifications Stick pointed to. {One of our members did a long series of posts on upgrading the impeller and the tremendous increase it produced in flow.)

After realizing that many name brand tools are made in the same factories as, say, WEN tools, I really don't see any noticable difference between the various brands that use the same design as the HF unit. An American made motor of the same rating is more than the HF unit itself, so I doubt that a $400 brand name unit has that much better motors, the economics really don't work for the marketing company.

I don't have a store handy to check where the Jet, Grizzly and other brands of DC units were manufactured. Yet, I'd bet all the lower priced units come from Chinese factories. In fact. for example, the WEN 12 inch drill press has exactly the same casting marks as the Jet, priced half again as much as the WEN. I've noticed the same for many other tools. On the Grizzly link Stick posted, you'll see a ceiling mounted filter with timer and 3 speeds. It is exactly the same as the WEN unit that I got on sale on WalMart online for $99 delivered to my local store.

As I said, this is the only area in which I disagree somewhat with Stick, and then not when it comes to a commercial or heavy use shop. If I were a rich man, I'd probably have an American made DC unit with 220, 3 hp motor and a steel cyclone separator. But I'm not rich and I'm a hobbyist and I think most of us here fall into that category. I think you'll be very happy with the HF/Super Dust Deputy setup and the 30 gallon drum will be great.

One small modification I suggest is on the drum, add a half inch ply circle to mount the deputy on to make it rigid, and to cut a small opening somewhere on the lid, covered and sealed with glass or Lexan so you can see the dust level inside. Otherwise, your cue to empty the drum will be large amounts of sawdust in the HF unit's bag.

I found some 50 gallon plastic bags that fit the HF unit on Amazon. You won't be using many of them over your lifetime if you empty the drum regularly. 2/3rds is full in my drums.

Attached is a picture of the ceiling mounted dust filter by WEN. It is something to add since you're exhausting filtered air into the shop. Of course you can make do with a 20 inch box fan with a filter taped to the front. It just won't have the timer. You hang your filter from the ceiling on one side of the shop so you get a circular air flow. If you use a box fan, hang it upside down so you can reach the on/off/speed switch. Use aluminum duct tape to secure the filter tightly to the fan. Do not put the fan on the floor, it will just stir up and launch the sawdust.


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This is a single stage similar to the HF. I know you said that there's nothing to add on to it, but would the Jet DC-650 benefit from the addition of a Dust Deputy. I ask this because I have read many comments regarding the huge benefit to the DC system by adding it as a second stage. I will be exhausting into the shop so I would like to minimize the amount of dust.
Correct. It will minimize the free sawdust. The dangerous stuff is the extremely fine particles, some of which will get through the filter. I usually wear a surgical style mask when I'm in the shop, a positive pressure mask when I've been cutting. The biggest offender and hardest to contain producer is the sliding miter saw. I use a shower curtain taped into a box with a 4 inch port to help contain it, but lots still escape. A future project is putting a platform outside so I can roll that saw outside when in use. Sounds like the ground level basement door will enable you to do the same to this big time sawdust producer.
Note that the Jet unit at $400 has a cloth bag, so add the cost of a drum filter and you're up to $600, no shipping assuming you can get to a store, $80 shipping if you can't. The steel impeller is a nice feature and probably accounts for the increased CFPM. The fiber drum is about $70, the Super Dust Deputy is about $200 with connectors. Add shipping for the drum and SDD, maybe $50.

$ 400 Jet DC-650 No shipping, assuming pickup at store.
$ 200 Griz Drum filter
$ 70 Shipping
$ 70 Fiber drum 30gallon
$ 20 est. shipping
$ 200 5 inch Super Dust Deputy and connectors
$ 30 est. shipping
$ 980 Total cost, plus tax if applicable

This does not include any costs for hoses and other parts of the system.

All costs are roughly the same except for the HF's lower original price, assuming it is purchased on sale with a coupon. Each buyer will have to choose their options, for example, when I set my units up, I didn't have the super dust deputy, but used the Rockler DC connectors in the fiber drums--not as effective as the Super Dust Deputy, but more than adequate. If you can set the unit outside somehow, the Jet filter bag filters 2.5 microns vs. the HF 5 micron. What has changed for me is that I want to recirculate very clean air back into the shop.

It's been many years since I checked prices on the Jet unit, and I remember it being substantially higher. Since I already have the HF units, this is all moot for me, and the HF unit is still, as is, a pretty good buy for a small shop or someone on a very tight budget.
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Thanks Gerry, I believe I will run a 5"main with 4" lines to the equipment. I'll have to see what I need to do to convert the 2-1/2" ports to 4" ports. I think the most challenging one will be the table saw.
Rockler has adapters from 2.5 to 4 inches. Or are you talking about cutting out a bigger opening and adding a 4 inch port? Might be possible with some machines, but not all. Not sure how I'd go about cutting a new opening in sheet steel or cast iron. There are lots of 4 inch plastic ports you could attach to the opening.

Another option would be an above the blade 2.5 inch DC hood like the picture, that even above the blade will still pick up a lot of stray sawdust. In fact, I have a similar one I've never set up if you're interested (PM me), still in the box, cheap. You can run the 2.5 inch hose to the saw from a splitter, and a second 2.5 inch line to the above blade DC setup.


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I have the Shark Guard, which is great for absorbing above the table sawdust, but I am disappointed at how it gets in the way for narrow rip cuts. I often have to remove it and its riving knife to make a cut. I think I may go back and re-look at the the problem. Maybe install the overarm DC unit I bought but never installed. Wasn't sure how to mount it, but just realized it can be attached to my shop wall next to the table saw. It will lift out of the way and I can keep my riving knife in place. Ah, sawdust, the inspiration for lots of projects.
Small point. At 110 v AC, I think the max hp you can generate is about 1.5 to 1.75, so the HF unit is pushing it a little to claim 2hp. Just don't seem to get around to installing the overarm DC accessory.

This is a really good string.
Went to Rockler today and looked at the 650 Jet. Small, $350, cloth filter bag.
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