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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Harbor Freight's fantastic deal on their 2HP, 70 gallon dust collector is back. On sale this month at $199, but this weekend with an additional 20 percent off with their coupon.That brings the price down to $160. And on Monday May 29th, there is a that-day-only coupon for 25 percent off! That makes it $150.

Even if you make your own DC system, it will cost you more than this. If you want it to work inside your shop so you don't pump the warm/cold air out, order the Wynn drum filter for it {pix is with the Wynn filter, it comes with a bag filter, much less efficient). And Rockler and other companies make chip collectors (or make your own with barrel or bucket with a cyclone or shop-made Thein unit. That's about as good as dust collection gets for a small shop.

And if you really want something that will suck a golf ball through a garden hose, search the site and find the thread on swapping out the impeller with one from another manufacturer (Rikon). I don't think you need to do that though, this thing really does the job.

If you can't get there for the 20 or 25 percent coupon deals, $199 is still pretty darn good.

I just bought a WEN ceiling mounted filter for less than $90, delivered to my local WalMart with no shipping charge. Found on WalMart.com, but not sure it is still available at that price. It was $130 on Amazon.

This completes the basic DC package for less than half of what the name brand units cost. Really good way to protect your lungs. If they run out, get a rain check!
 

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Tom if I had it to do over again the HF is the one I would get. I now have the Grizzly 1.5HP dust collector. These lessons cost so much money.
 

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Tom & Don, I hope you are right that this is the way to go, I just went online and got it (plus $22 shipping). It would cost me more in gas to drive into Austin to pick it up.

I say I hope you are right about this one being a good deal because right now I've got a shop-vac in the attic with a shop built dust separator box on the floor of the garage and 2" pvc connecting them. The problem with this setup is the shopvac is under-powered for the job and I've had to replace it twice in the last few years. Also the filtering I've got in place greatly reduce the suction and easily clog. As the box fills the suction has to draw through increasing amounts of sawdust.
I'm not sure where I'll put this new one but it should be a big improvement over what I have now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Tom & Don, I hope you are right that this is the way to go, I just went online and got it (plus $22 shipping). It would cost me more in gas to drive into Austin to pick it up.

I say I hope you are right about this one being a good deal because right now I've got a shop-vac in the attic with a shop built dust separator box on the floor of the garage and 2" pvc connecting them. The problem with this setup is the shopvac is under-powered for the job and I've had to replace it twice in the last few years. Also the filtering I've got in place greatly reduce the suction and easily clog. As the box fills the suction has to draw through increasing amounts of sawdust.
I'm not sure where I'll put this new one but it should be a big improvement over what I have now.
I just don't think you can go wrong. If you read comments in this and other strings on this specific DC unit, you'll find lots of good comments. However, it won't work at its peak unless you make a chip collector to go in front of it, connected through a 4 inch hose. You can make one of these using a few parts from Rockler (the company I bought from).

Here's the link to the system I use. Dust Right® 4" Dust Separator Components | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware You need a flat top trash container, 30-40 gallon will do. I ordered a 30 gallon fiber drum from ULine because it has a perfectly flat top that locks on tight.

You will also need some 4 inch hose, which I bought from Roickler since their 4 inch measurement makes everything fit. Mixing brands doesn't always work. I started with the 27 ft hose and cut off shorter pieces as needed. The unit sits on a base with casters so you can run it right up to each tool. At least that's how I use it. For the one in my small shop, I can't move it, but all my cutting tools are within 12 feet, so the hose reaches everywhere. In my roomier garage, the unit just rolls around.

As noted elsewhere, I put a Wynn drum filter in the shop because it all but eliminates free dust in the small area. I have 4 tools pushed against one wall, with the DC pushed up in the leftover space.

If you have any problem with the unit, take it back to HF. It is a remarkable deal for a very good unit.
 

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However, it won't work at its peak unless you make a chip collector to go in front of it, connected through a 4 inch hose.
Isn't that a cyclone in the middle of the HF unit? What's the advantage of having two cyclone units in series? Two containers to empty and twice the real estate.

thanks
Everend
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Isn't that a cyclone in the middle of the HF unit? What's the advantage of having two cyclone units in series? Two containers to empty and twice the real estate.

thanks
Everend
The extra drum is a chip collector. It drops out the chips so they don't hit the impeller, which is both noisy and possibly will damage it. Sometimes you pick up a screw or metalic scrap that falls out in the chip separator, which must come before the impeller.
 

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Of course, that makes sense, that filter and bag need to be on the output end of the impeller or they would be deflated.
 

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It just takes some of the load off the HF unit and decreases having to empty the larger bag so often. Also, if you change to the larger impellor, it removes larger chips that might get stuck in the housing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It just takes some of the load off the HF unit and decreases having to empty the larger bag so often. Also, if you change to the larger impellor, it removes larger chips that might get stuck in the housing.
The Wynn drum filter has far more area than the bag, so there is an increase in air flow through it over the bag.

The folded filter surface area is more than 250 sqft. You blow compressed air through the outside of the metal drum to unblock it from time to time. But with the chip collector peeling off most of the sawdust as well as chips, not a whole lot of sawdust makes it into the filter. I'm thinking of adding a drum filter to the second HF unit out in the garage. I like not sucking up sawdust particles.
 

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I have basically the same set up as Tom. I mounted my fan/motor on the wall. A 30 gallon drum is plumbed upstream of the fan suction. It has a Phil Thien design baffle inside and the Rockler parts Tom mentioned. And a Wynn Environmental filter. This thing works well, except for when I forget to check the barrel. I know, I can see through it, just don't always think about looking at it to check the chip level.
 

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After four and a half months, I've finally built the shed (well it still needs paint) on the side of my garage to house this new HF dust collector (and also an air compressor). Get the noisy and big things out of the garage/shop. I still haven't even used the new DC yet, just no room to set it up until now.

Question: My current dust system (shop vac) uses 2" PVC, so I already have lots of this available. I'd really like to use this 2" stuff so I don't need to trash what I have just to buy new. Additionally ALL of my tools have dust ports from 1" to 2" so I'll need to port down to this size at the tool anyway. So is there a compelling reason for me to switch to 4" or 5"

I do have a big cardboard drum I plan to put the Dust Right (or something similar) Separator. I say something similar because I've got a bunch of 2" PVC elbows already. Again, any compelling reason I shouldn't use what I already have?

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I use 4 inch hoses into the chip collector/DC unit. I bought a long hose, 27 ft I think, cut off a few feet to hook up the chip collector. I have a 4 inch fitting on the end of that hose that connects to 4 inch fittings. However, I have a lot of tools with a 2.5 inch hose and one that's about 1.5 inches. I bought adapters for those hoses the fit the small hose, but have a 4 inch male connector on the end. These only cost a small amount, but what I do is plug the 4 inch adapter to the end of the hose. The air flow of the 4 inch hose is tremendous, so all the smaller hoses hooked to it really suck, in a good way. The adapter at the end of the 4 inch also holds a tube I use to clean up the shop.

Hose in 3 different lengths. Get one 7-8 ft longer than needed so you can hook up the Chip collector to the DC. Dust Right® 4'' Dia. Expandable Hoses | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware. You'll need this one item!

Hose reducers and connectors. To fit your hoses, take one to Rockler if you have one nearby. 2 inches, 2.5 inches is pretty much unreliable. You neet to fit hoses to connectors, or you'll get the same collection I have (snork).

The floor sweeping setup. Pull the long tubes off and you have a 4 inch connector into which your smaller hoses and reducers will fit. Rockler Dust Right® 4'' Quick Change Floor Sweep | Rockler Woodworking and Hardware You can get a metal spring clip from Rockler so you can hang the hose with adapter, then just plug the adapter fittings into the 4 inch hose adapter. Dust collection isn't exactly cheap, particularly the fittings.

But if you don't take your hoses in to try the fittings out, you will spend a LOT of money trying to find stuff that actually fits. I don't know how hose and adapter measurements got so screwed up, but they did.

Somewhere along the line, I fed the exhaust through a wall. I recall getting a special tube for that purpose. I think it may still be in the wall.

Let us know how it all worked out.

Just thinking about it a little. If you were to cut some openings into the DC chamber, you might be able to add a few extra filters so you can return the air back into the shop. Noise suppression may not be as high, but you will otherwise be pumping AC or heated air out of the shop. Just a thought. I put the 1 micron Wynn filter on so I could keep the air in the shop. We have temps ranging from 114 degrees down to 4 degrees, so pumping air out is not such a good idea. I wear a mask for additional filtering, just in case. No more coughing fits for me.
 
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