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More misinformation. Or to state it more accurately, incomplete information.
300cfm under what static?? Leaf blowers are not designed to operate with any length of entering duct work or hoses, shop vacs are.
If we add 6-8 ft of 2-1/2 shop vac hose to the leaf blower how does that fan curve handle the extra static? how far do the cfms drop? 200? 100? or less? How does the added static effect the amperage draw? Does the higher amperage result in dangerous motor temps?
Also, the addition of a Thein baffle or Dust deputy further increases friction losses, lowering cfm air volume.
All of these question are impossible to answer without laboratory testing because the leaf blower is NOT intended to operate under those conditions.
I am with you, Joe. 300 CFM is probably not adequate for 4" dust hose and 2 1/2" will probably severely restrict the air flow.

Amperage draw usually drops on a blocked vac, but depending on how the motor is cooled, the lower airflow can be problem also.

Woodgears.ca has some info on measuring sp and such. Doesn't necessarily need a lab per se.

I wonder how effective a Thein baffle type separator would be with the higher air speed. Would it just blow the fine dust straight thru? Don't know the answer to that one. If you loose the air speed, you loose the cfm advantange quickly.

My main issues are
1. Large wood chips becoming high speed projectiles
2. Shop vacs are quite effective on small tools (works very well on my router table!) and not really more expensive than the leaf blower option.

I think Chris is right about the fire hazard issue. Any motor can overheat.

I just can't see the cost benefit, nor really any reduction in dust compared to a shop vac
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
Why is it that when someone recommends not using landscaping tools indoors for woodworking tasks he is met with a snide Festool comment? Are all contrary viewpoints met with this same condescending tone?
Pretty lame...reeks of insecurity.
the festool question was in response to your claims that using power tools for woodworking is an expensive proposition, that "proper" dust collection is expensive, and that if i am not willing or able to shell out the big bucks for proper tools, then i should use hand tools.

and it was exacerbated by your statement that it is a "ridiculous scheme" supported by "penny pinching" woodworkers who have "no expertise". when you come across as condescending, you should expect responses that are not flattering

it had nothing to do with the discussion of the pros and cons of re-purposing a leaf blower/vacuum for dust collection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #63 · (Edited)
I am with you, Joe. 300 CFM is probably not adequate for 4" dust hose and 2 1/2" will probably severely restrict the air flow.

Amperage draw usually drops on a blocked vac, but depending on how the motor is cooled, the lower airflow can be problem also.

Woodgears.ca has some info on measuring sp and such. Doesn't necessarily need a lab per se.

I wonder how effective a Thein baffle type separator would be with the higher air speed. Would it just blow the fine dust straight thru? Don't know the answer to that one. If you loose the air speed, you loose the cfm advantange quickly.

My main issues are
1. Large wood chips becoming high speed projectiles
2. Shop vacs are quite effective on small tools (works very well on my router table!) and not really more expensive than the leaf blower option.

I think Chris is right about the fire hazard issue. Any motor can overheat.

I just can't see the cost benefit, nor really any reduction in dust compared to a shop vac
duane, if one were to hook up a thein or cyclone baffle, it would be on the vacuum side, not the discharge side. forcing air though a baffle like that would only ensure that is was cleaned out, because the property that allows it to work is the drop in air pressure from going into a larger enclosure. that drop is what lets the particles fall out of the air stream.

i already have 2 shop vacs. but i also have a leaf blower that sits there 95% of the time doing nothing, waiting until the fall. this is an effort to see if it could be put to use the rest of the year.

it may very well be that a restriction like an air filter could kill the suction of a leaf vac such that it would not be useful. the openings around the impellor in a shop vac could be smaller, which would result in it being able to keep the suction up in spite of a restriction on the inlet side.
 

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duane, if one were to hook up a thein or cyclone baffle, it would be on the vacuum side, not the discharge side. forcing air though a baffle like that would only ensure that is was cleaned out, because the property that allows it to work is the drop in air pressure from going into a larger enclosure. that drop is what lets the particles fall out of the air stream.

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Chris, the inbound air flow volume is the same as the out bound air volume. So if the same size hose is used on both sides, the air speed should be the same. 4" pipe will give a lower air speed, but the advantage, if any, of the leaf blower goes away with lower air speed. I think the higher air speed may pull the fine dust thru. Probably not the larger chips. There is a "scrubbing effect" on cyclones when the canister get near to full and I think higher air speed will increase it. And I may be totally wrong on this, just something to think about/experiment with? The large chips aren't really the health issue, it is the fine dust that settles on everything and is what we are likely to breath in.

Here is a quote from Bill Pentz...
" Most have to use simple material movement impellers that are built like tanks to handle material hits from pieces of wood. Whenever our cyclone dust bins get full, all goes right through the impeller, so don’t get sucked into buying an aluminum impeller that can explode when hit with a wood knot;"

The same is true of plastic.

Another...
"Dust collector makers have to protect their motors from burning up when allowed to run wide open with no airflow restrictions. PSI, Grizzly, and Delta are known to build in restriction into some of their dust collector inlets to prevent this problem, but others put a caution in very fine print that says the warranty is void if the unit is used with no ducting or oversized ducting."

better yet, here is the link...

Bill's Cyclone & Dust Collection Research - Cyclone Plans

I wish you the best if you decide to persue this project!
 

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Meanwhile , back at the ranch...

Wow. You guys. Really? I applaud your true concern for Chris.

Theorically? It would work. Would it work well? Chris? Have you tried it yet? You could do "controlled" tests to see. You've heard the precautions and concerns. And they are concerned for you and your well being because they care about you. Still lot's of unknowns.

Nothing worse than having "no facts" about something. Then all the possibilities that "may be" come to mind all at once. Like when your wife or loved one is late coming back from a trip in bad weather...

What do I think? In a pinch, I think any kind of dust collection is safer for you than doing things without it. I have real world medical precautions prescribed to me on dust and chemicals. Safer and more effective way to do it would be with a dust separator... as is would be with any vacuum source.

I think what you have in mind what be safer and more effective than using an under-powered and ineffective shop vac and thinking the later had you covered. Later, sneezing and coughing up sawdust and wondering why. Knowing too late that it wasn't good enough.

Funny thing about this matter... Isn't there a shop vac that it's marketing point is that it has a detachable leaf blower? (Example: Rigid 2-In-1 Shop Vac / Blower, see attached)

My concern with that is not of how effective. If it is not, you will soon know in your own tests and give up on it. My concerns are not with chunks being sucked through the impeller. That is a real world concern for "all" dust collection systems. No... Just like my "system"... a truck mount style commercial wet/dry vacuum, rated to clean a space of 4000 sq. ft. The exhaust on mine goes through the motor. Albiet, there is a guard, screen and filter before it... and a separator before all that. I do mass finish work where fine sawdust is abundant. Never a hint to me nor anything to bring up a concern to me of a fire or explosion.

But no. My concern with mine is not of those things. Being an old truck mount system, it will drown out a Boeing 767 on takeoff. So-- Aren't leaf blowers fairly loud and don't they all recommend hearing protection on their use?

Just my thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #66 ·
Duane, the difference is that when it is on the outbound side, the air pressure in the canister is increased, where as when it is on the inbound side, the pressure in the canister is decreased.

Mike, no I haven't tried it yet. I am still looking for a suitable connector for the vacuum tube of the leaf blower.
 

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Chris,
Sorry, I've been busy and didn't see your repost on my fire post.

That fire was with vacuuming dry leaves and the electric blower/vac was 2 years old. Dust had accumulated with the motor and the brushes sparked igniting the fine dust. It caught the rest of the leaf pile and I had a heck of a time stomping it out. Used a rake I had to make a fire break and it finally burned itself out.

I'm all for saving a dollar here and there, but my workshop is in my basement. Safety is my number one rule, and when I start tinkering my mind always wanders back to the dumb things I've done that have gotten me in trouble. That's why I cautioned you about the leaf blower as a dust collector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
thanks mike.

the vacuum tube comes in 2 parts. they both slope towards where they connect in the center. that center part is the smallest at about 5 1/2" OD. the ends of the tube are both about 7" diameter. the IDs are roughly the same because it is thin plastic.

i was toying with the idea of making a circular adapter out of a couple layers of 3/4" ply that fits snugly in the tube with a hole in the middle that fits a 4" PVC pipe

or perhaps a fernco for a 4" ID pipe might stuff nicely into it somehow, but have not had a chance to go to HD to get one to play with. i don't know if they stock larger fernco connectors.

i am also thinking that some of that HVAC tubing might fit

the discharge opening is rectangular, about 2 1/2" by 3 1/2". i can probably shove that into a piece of HVAC tubing with a clamp if I want to route it somewhere
 

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thanks mike.

the vacuum tube comes in 2 parts. they both slope towards where they connect in the center. that center part is the smallest at about 5 1/2" OD. the ends of the tube are both about 7" diameter. the IDs are roughly the same because it is thin plastic.

i was toying with the idea of making a circular adapter out of a couple layers of 3/4" ply that fits snugly in the tube with a hole in the middle that fits a 4" PVC pipe

or perhaps a fernco for a 4" ID pipe might stuff nicely into it somehow, but have not had a chance to go to HD to get one to play with. i don't know if they stock larger fernco connectors.

i am also thinking that some of that HVAC tubing might fit

the discharge opening is rectangular, about 2 1/2" by 3 1/2". i can probably shove that into a piece of HVAC tubing with a clamp if I want to route it somewhere
I know you spend your lunch there:
Fernco 6 in. x 4 in. Flexible PVC Coupling P1056-64 at The Home Depot

That might crank down that tight or at least get you close to bush it down. Take a tape and see what the ID of 6" OD Black ABS. I'm thinking that it's 5-1/2".
 

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All I know is, I used the leaf blower to clean up the mess left by my thickness planer on my back lawn, and it works.

I see no difference to sucking up leaves, twigs and debris or sucking up wood shavings.

I do not intend to use it as a stationary dust collection unit attached to a saw or any other machinery.
 

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With both doors open, it takes me about 30 seconds at most to blow it out. But I'd rather have it taken away immediately so it doesn't settle on everything.

Heh, while the idea might be right more often than not, I also often miss something in the execution that it takes a few tries to get it right. I do intend to try this. The main reason I opened the thread was because I'm sure someone else has already had this idea and done it, and might have some insight that would help me (and others) who are thinking about it for the first time.
Well, one seldom gets things perfect first try, that I'll agree on. Even me. :sarcastic:
Great thread by the way.
 

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With the doors closed, the router dust settles EVERYWHERE, and I'm sure it's not good for the lungs.
Chris, that infers you are not using a dust mask. Hope not. They don't cost a lot, be sure to get one with replaceable filters. I've got a beard now, so was having problems with getting a proper fit. Then ran across a reference to Resp-R-Rator I believe it it. I got the one filter model, and have been happy since. I wish I was connected with the company, but I'm not, just a happy customer. Wait, didn't someone already say that on TV. :sarcastic:

Ah spelled it wrong, Resp-O-Rator. Here is the link I got mine thru. http://www.duckworksbbs.com/tools/resp/index.htm
 

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when i can afford a mansion, i will also be able to afford a proper dust collection system!
Me too. And mine will be a cute little brunette, in a French maid costume, with a dust broom. :sarcastic: :yes4:
 

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Chris,

Just got back on the forum and read all 8 pagees of this...

I had a leaf blower/vacuum dust collector built and running. I built it shortly before selling the house I was in at the time, then it went into storage for 7 years (apartment living). Now in my current shop, I hooked it up to my tablesaw and did some cutting. My rough estimate would be that it captured only about 30% max of the sawdust from the dust port, and dust would sit on the top right at the edge of the blade insert (non-zero clearance), and I figure any fines it picked up were sent out the back door. The blower/vacuum sat on a plywood lid on a 50gal drum, with two 90deg 4" elbows for the inlet, sort of like the trash can dust collector lids. After cutting, when I opened my tablesaw to see, it looked just as dusty and piled up with sawdust as when I wasn't using any vacuum.

And as said above, the felt suction at the opening of the blower intake feels strong, but add in the drum to catch "chunks", some elbows and flex hose, then the suction got pretty weak.

Also, consider the impeller size of the leaf blower to that of even the cheap HF 2hp dust collector. You may get more airspeed from the blower's higher RPM, but the CFM of the dust collector will move the dust better through the hose/pipes/elbows/drum than the blower.

If you continue, you could probably get the best use of it if it is located at the machine, and you add hose to the output to direct it outside.

And I am not even going to get near the fire hazard discussion. :nono:

Overall, IMHO, I would say just save a few more pennies, while looking for a HF $149 coupon for the 2hp dust collector. I just got mine, and now need to decide where it will sit before plumbing the shop. For now it will be just a long flex hose next time I can get out and do some actual woodwork...

EDIT: Just got to your other thread saying don't recommend a proper dust collector... Still the best bet IMHO.

Mike
 

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Chris, that infers you are not using a dust mask. Hope not. They don't cost a lot, be sure to get one with replaceable filters. I've got a beard now, so was having problems with getting a proper fit. Then ran across a reference to Resp-R-Rator I believe it it. I got the one filter model, and have been happy since. I wish I was connected with the company, but I'm not, just a happy customer. Wait, didn't someone already say that on TV. :sarcastic:

Ah spelled it wrong, Resp-O-Rator. Here is the link I got mine thru. Resp-O-Rator™
Thanks for that link Theo, thats the first time I've seen one of those . The only thing I'd have too get used to is the nose clip. From little on, I've hated for my nose to be pinched or touched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #79 · (Edited)
Dodis, thanks. Finally someone who has been there, actually tried it, and is sharing his results.

I noticed that when using it as a blower, if a leaf or 2 got sucked to the screen covering the inlet, the blower's RPMs go up and it loses its wind. If the suction was strong, it would just break the leaves up and suck them through anyway, so it loses suction quite easily.

Then I started thinking about the design of the blower vac's impeller, and how there is alot of space between the edges of the impeller and the walls of the case, probably to allow space for the leaves that get sucked up to get through the impeller and be thrown out the nozzle.

One resulting property of that design is that when there is something that impedes the air flow, it loses suction more easily than it would if the tolerances were closer. A long pipe attached to the inlet could easily be such an impediment, so I can see how it could not have much suction at the end of a long hose.

So for a system like this to be successful, it would probably have to be directly connected to the source and vent out the window. I might try that just for kicks, but to be able to drive a long system with a chip collector and stuff is not realistic.

Thanks again Dodis.

Theo, I have masks and use them as necessary, but they don't keep the dust from settling everywhere. I'd much rather manage the dust as well as possible and keep it from getting everywhere in the first place.
 

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thanks for the great idea! I have one of those and have been thinking I needed to get rid of it since now I have a gas powered shredder. All that i have for dust control is one of those hang from the ceiling types and a rigid 16 gal shop vac.
 
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