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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My shop is my garage, and I don't need to bag my sawdust, meaning that I can send sawdust out the window or front of the garage. I have been trying to work out the best way to make that happen.

Yesterday, I bought a new leaf blower for $39 at HD. It is one of those electric blowers with the vacuum adapter. It has 2 speeds, a "quiet" 150 mph speed, and a 220 mph speed. Both speeds are not any louder than my shop vac.

So last night it dawned on me that I might be able to hook the vacuum side of the blower up to a 4" hose and hook the other side to another 4" hose that goes out the window.

I'm thinking it might work pretty well.

Has anyone else done this, and if so, how did it work for you?
 

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Chris, that will be one of my options as an experiment. I have nothing to lose as I do not use the leaf blower at the moment.....
 

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Hi Chris - I toyed with that idea awhile back. Just never got around to trying it. Not sure how mph translates to CFM but with a 4" hose it would seem it would be high enough. The only thing that occurred to me is everything would wind up going through the impeller. Not sure if that would be an issue or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I doubt it would be much of an issue because the vacuum feature is designed to be able to suck up leaves (and sticks and whatever other various things happen to be in the leaf pile) and chop them up on their way to the bag. It is the impeller that chops them up, so it should be able to handle it.

Re CFM, this one didn't specifically say, but other similar blowers had CFM in the range of 120-140 on their specs. Given how much air the thing puts out, it must suck alot of air in. And it can suck up wet leaves, so the vacuum must be pretty strong.
 

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I have been using this setup for a while .The vacuum,connected to a 4" hose has plenty of power and the sawdust is captured in a bag for easy disposal.
 

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Just be careful with fine wood dust, for 2 main reasons:

Dust buildup in the motor and possible explosion/fire hazard. Most leave blower motors aren't sealed and are brush motors which can spark as they age.

Joe D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have been using this setup for a while .The vacuum,connected to a 4" hose has plenty of power and the sawdust is captured in a bag for easy disposal.
Frank, can you post pics or more info about how you hooked the vac port to the 4" hose?
 

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Over the years, having been in the repair business, I have seen many vacuum cleaners which have picked up an object that punctured or shattered the plastic fan housing. Most have some form of cover outside the fan housing. The leaf blower does not. Vacs do not have exhaust velocities in excess of 150 MPH either.

No matter if the CFM seems adequate for use as a dust collector, do you really want to take the chance of getting hit by a particle of anything travelling at 200MPH + when(not if) the bag tears?

After all the safety discussions about kickback and such on the forum lately, it is beyond my comprehension that anyone would consider this as an option!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
duane, it seems to me that it can be set up fairly easily to provide the vacuum for a thein or cyclone style of chip collector. in that scenario, any larger item would go where the rest of the sawdust collects.

would that make you worry less?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Guys, I am not trying to make light of your concerns, but to me, they seem a tad unrealistic.

I have used a leaf blower/vac to suck up my leaves for as long as I can remember. And this is in a yard with 10+ big trees around it, resulting in huge piles of leaves and 50+ bags of copmpressed leaves per year. It usually takes a total of 10 hours or more to suck up all those leaves and empty them into the bags. I have never had a fire. And the bag has never even come close to breaking due to something coming out of the exhaust side at high velocity.

Joe, have you ever used a leaf blower/vacuum? If so, then you must know that there is an awful lot of fine dust in a leaf pile. I doubt that dry leaves and leaf dust is LESS combustible than sawdust; if anything, I would think it is probably MORE combustible.

Duane, do you realize that a good amount of things other than leaves get sucked up and spit into the bag (eg - sticks and even small stones)?

To me it seems like a leaf blower/vac is perfect for sawdust, especially when combined with a separator and then exhausting ot the window. Am I really that nuts?
 

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Guys, I am not trying to make light of your concerns, but to me, they seem a tad unrealistic.

Duane, do you realize that a good amount of things other than leaves get sucked up and spit into the bag (eg - sticks and even small stones)?

To me it seems like a leaf blower/vac is perfect for sawdust, especially when combined with a separator and then exhausting ot the window. Am I really that nuts?
Well, I am assuming(probably not smart) that you bought a Homelite, as you really did not say. Read the reviews on HD. Holes in the bag is the no.1 complaint. A reviewer on the first page already had the issue of blowing a hole thru the fan housing.

I am not worried about it, tho. Even at 200MPH, the fallout shouldn't reach Ohio:haha:. Hope your neighbours window isn't too close if you are firing that thing out the window!

Seriously, a Thein separator or cyclone should help, also remove that venturi tube(will slow down the exhaust a bit). It(the cyclone/separator) will also cost a bit of the already fairly low CFM.

There are lots of things I'll go cheap on, but I try to avoid it where safety is concerned.
 

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Hi Chris

I also use the blower for many jobs in the shop and out side of the shop,I guess if you are nuts so am I...I think using the blower to suck up the chips and the router dust is great,the blower I have is air tight so to speak..I don't how it can start a fire....

===

Guys, I am not trying to make light of your concerns, but to me, they seem a tad unrealistic.

I have used a leaf blower/vac to suck up my leaves for as long as I can remember. And this is in a yard with 10+ big trees around it, resulting in huge piles of leaves and 50+ bags of copmpressed leaves per year. It usually takes a total of 10 hours or more to suck up all those leaves and empty them into the bags. I have never had a fire. And the bag has never even come close to breaking due to something coming out of the exhaust side at high velocity.

Joe, have you ever used a leaf blower/vacuum? If so, then you must know that there is an awful lot of fine dust in a leaf pile. I doubt that dry leaves and leaf dust is LESS combustible than sawdust; if anything, I would think it is probably MORE combustible.

Duane, do you realize that a good amount of things other than leaves get sucked up and spit into the bag (eg - sticks and even small stones)?

To me it seems like a leaf blower/vac is perfect for sawdust, especially when combined with a separator and then exhausting ot the window. Am I really that nuts?
 

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Think I would try something like this first...

Portable Dust Collector - 13 Gallon

Has more than double the CFM(Yes, I know, that's about as reliable as HP ratings on routers) and with a 20% off coupon it's not that expensive.
 

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Chris, A mate of mine was going to throw out a perfectly operational Ryobi Leaf Blower and I looked at it, I saw that it both sucks and blows, very fast and that the air flow seems faster than the air flow through many professional dust systems that I have seen, I have not done it yet as I am so busy in other ways but professionally I can see no reason why it could not be used as a simple dust collector, as it does also suck, then it is is designed to have sticks and small rock ect. "go through it" at good speed then I was thinking of using it as a front end booster for my wood lathe as it is on the end of the line and the air speed is a bit slow there, considering that you intend to vent it out the window then I think that these blowers could work as an alternative dust collector as long as they don't have to push the air too far and the only advice I can think about passing to you is that you must not not point the vent at the clothes line as I think that there may be somethings that your wife will want to talk to you about if you do vent it towards the washing, also you may want to have some dust masks handy so you can pass them to your neighbours as their back yards may get a bit foggy when you use it. Nice lateral thinking. NGM
 

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If this idea works (and I don't see why it would not), considering the price of these machines, I will be able to attach one to each of my workstations, rather than running hoses or ducts all over the place.
 

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If there is any trepidation about the bigger chunks being a problem just use the leaf vacuum to charge a vortex type separator. Should eliminate the problem all together.

I'm liking this idea.

GCG

[oops, Duane already made the point ... Gotta read ALL the posts.]
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
i have to take some measurements and get some pvc pipe and fittings and stuff. i'll post pics and more info when i have made some progress.
 

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Well, I read about a guy in southern Texas that cleaned his shop with a leaf blower. However, he did have all four sides open up, seems it gets HOT there in the summer. Anyway, that's all he used, a leaf blower, set to blow. About 20-30 seconds and he was done. Would probably take a bit longer just blowing it out the door, but I'd be willing to try it - while wearing a dust mask. Never know until you try.

I never ask about stuff like this. I just think it all thru a few times and then if it seems workable (safe), give it a shot. And I'm seldom wrong.
 

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