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My shop is my garage so space was a primary consideration. I purchased the Dust Right components from Rockler, a 15 gallon fiber drum from Amazon and used a 1 HP dust collector from Harbor Freight to build a self contained unit that I store under the table saw wing when not in use. I have since built a roll around dolly for it using the wheels that came with the HF dust collector. It works pretty well.
I've been badly in need of finally adding proper dust collection to my router, and I was ready to spend perhaps $100-150 on a higher-powered shopvac, which would mostly, but not entirely, be used for router DC. I thought a real C would cost way more than that, and have now realized that is not so, at least as long as I shop at Harbor Freight. Given the relative small amount of woodwork that I do, their level of durability is probably quite acceptable for me.

(Recently, I came across a post in a DC discussion by Mike "from Detroit" where he says that a shop vac is always better for DC, but I can't find it now and I have to assume that I'm misunderstanding something there, or missed something else in that discussion that makes it true for the particular situation. Perhaps large-chip collection or something like that. I am never going to own any power tool that produces anything much bigger than router dust, other than perhaps tiny plywood chips when cleaning an edge. My problem is on the other end of the scale, with fine MDF dust.)

But which one?

The photo that went with the quote above showed HF's "mini" DC, "1 hp", $60:
1 HP Mini Dust Collector

This was the first HF DC setup I've seen on this forum that didn't use the $210 "2 hp" model.

I've not seen any use of the medium model, "portable", also described as 1 hp, but a bit bigger than the $60 1 hp model, perhaps more durable due to being less stressed? $120 right now.
Portable Dust Collector - 13 Gallon

The 2 hp model, which would be great if to just go all-out with, would likely be too much for my basement power circuit, which I intend to upgrade some day, but that won't be any time soon.

The little 1 hp, for half the money sounds great at first. But then, it has some bad reviews for short-lived motor brushes, and generally, for $60 vs $120, I'd probably still rather have the tougher model and understress it.

Does anybody have any experience with the middle model, or side-by-side experience with both 1 hp models?

I notice that while they are both "1 hp", the little one is about 900 CFM vs the bigger one's 600 CFM, so it's got even less vac. strength?

I'd be building a small Thien separator, either way. If the filters aren't good enough, I can vent outside until I add a better one.
-- actually, does that rule out the weaker, higher-CFM model - more volume that'll need pushing through a more restrictive filter?
 

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I've been badly in need of finally adding proper dust collection to my router
My advice (free and worth every cent) is to take a step back and go with a shop vac for router dust collection. DC's (like those you mentioned) produce a lot of air flow (cfm), but at a relatively low vacuum (static pressure). They're particularly good when you need to move a lot of air for picking up a lot of material and/or large dust particles, such as when using a planer or jointer. Tools such as that usually have dust collection ports 4" or more.

The problem with routers, ROS, and other handheld tools is that the dust port is much smaller- 1-1/2" or less, in my experience. While the big DC's can move a lot of air, they just can't suck enough through that small opening, because they don't have a hich vacuum.

OTOH, a shop vac has higher vacuum, so it can suck dust through that small port better (but isn't nearly as good for the big tools).

My personal rule of thumb is: If the tool dust port is < 2" (e.g. handheld tools), use a shop vac for DC. If the port is 4" (or more), go with a DC.

I have a couple of stationary tools (Ryobi BT3100 table saw and Ridgid band saw) which have 2-1/4" (shop vac hose size) ports. I go with whichever hose is more convenient at the moment. For those, I'm not sure I can tell any difference between my DC and shop vac for dust removal performance.

That said, in deciding on a shop vac, I'd look at how much vacuum it can produce, and how noisy it is. Personally, the high pitch whine of a shop vac is really irritating, to the point that I built an insulated box to hold my vac, and for long sessions use ear muffs.

Finally, the best dust collection equipment you can get is a good respirator mask, esp. when routing and sanding. Your lungs will thank you.

Just my .02 Good luck and keep cutting! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I +1 to John, I'm connecting a shop vac to the router's fence and it works very nicely, almost no dust exposed. The only problem I noticed is when you have to make a groove with a considerable distance from the fence, so the dust goes.. everywhere, since the hose is connected to the fence. In this case, I think a hose that is under the router bit would work.

(I keep being ignored by Dewalt about their dust collection adapter... they didn't provide it with the kit and they won't tell me where/if I can buy it somewhere else...)
 

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Grooving is the one job where the fence pickup doesn't work Pablo. I was considering, like you, to have pickups above and below the table. One company, possibly Incra, has started making their plate insert rings like spoke wheels and this design is supposed to help with under the table dust collection.

John is correct about reducing a 4" line down to 2 1/2" or less. There won't be enough air flow for the DC to work properly. If I were using my DC for the table I would open up another port farther down to keep the air flowing at the right volume and speed.
 

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Those extra 4 holes around the bit opening should work the same way Pablo. I don't do much grooving on my router table so it has never been a high enough priority for me to have to deal with it yet.
 

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I +1 to John, I'm connecting a shop vac to the router's fence and it works very nicely, almost no dust exposed. The only problem I noticed is when you have to make a groove with a considerable distance from the fence, so the dust goes.. everywhere, since the hose is connected to the fence. In this case, I think a hose that is under the router bit would work.

(I keep being ignored by Dewalt about their dust collection adapter... they didn't provide it with the kit and they won't tell me where/if I can buy it somewhere else...)

Grooving on the router table
under table DC by connecting the hose directly to the router and shut off the fence pickup...
and go w/ a large bit hole in the insert...

welcome to the world of DeWalt CS....
wait till you need to do repairs.....

time to get get creative...
make your own pick up saddle to fit on one side of the router....

if you can find something like this adapt it to work...
no saddle available... make your own from a "T"...
PVC/ABS becomes very malleable at 120 to 130 degrees...
heat guns work really well too....
think thin plastic as in schedule 20....

slit the body of the "T"... heat it and spread it open...
make it fit and clamp it into place with a hose clamp(s)

...
 

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My advice (free and worth every cent) is to take a step back and go with a shop vac for router dust collection. DC's (like those you mentioned) produce a lot of air flow (cfm), but at a relatively low vacuum (static pressure). They're particularly good when you need to move a lot of air for picking up a lot of material and/or large dust particles, such as when using a planer or jointer. Tools such as that usually have dust collection ports 4" or more.

The problem with routers, ROS, and other handheld tools is that the dust port is much smaller- 1-1/2" or less, in my experience. While the big DC's can move a lot of air, they just can't suck enough through that small opening, because they don't have a high vacuum.

OTOH, a shop vac has higher vacuum, so it can suck dust through that small port better (but isn't nearly as good for the big tools).

My personal rule of thumb is: If the tool dust port is < 2" (e.g. handheld tools), use a shop vac for DC. If the port is 4" (or more), go with a DC.

I have a couple of stationary tools (Ryobi BT3100 table saw and Ridgid band saw) which have 2-1/4" (shop vac hose size) ports. I go with whichever hose is more convenient at the moment. For those, I'm not sure I can tell any difference between my DC and shop vac for dust removal performance.

That said, in deciding on a shop vac, I'd look at how much vacuum it can produce, and how noisy it is. Personally, the high pitch whine of a shop vac is really irritating, to the point that I built an insulated box to hold my vac, and for long sessions use ear muffs.

Finally, the best dust collection equipment you can get is a good respirator mask, esp. when routing and sanding. Your lungs will thank you.

Just my .02 Good luck and keep cutting! :)

I +1 to John, I'm connecting a shop vac to the router's fence and it works very nicely, almost no dust exposed. The only problem I noticed is when you have to make a groove with a considerable distance from the fence, so the dust goes.. everywhere, since the hose is connected to the fence. In this case, I think a hose that is under the router bit would work.

Even though I'm still unsure of how the dust ports will add up on the router table if I use both fence and router dust adapter (and/or router-box), I went ahead and got a shop vac.
From some reviews, the Ridgid WD1450 appeared to be the quietest/least-annoying of the high-powered shop vacuums.
I've only switched it on briefly, and it sounds more like old canister vacuums I remember from childhood. Indeed much less annoying, and even somewhat quieter, than my small old weak Ridgid vac.

Financially, it's also more pleasant than a DC: The green HF 1 hp DC would have been the same price after 20% coupon, but to use it without outside venting (not realistic for the foreseeable future, and I have Christmas presents to work on - we're down to 19'F tonight) would cost close to $200 in filtering.
Even if whatever dust separator I'm going to build means I never have to change the filter, that's a lot to spend right now compared to the Ridgid HEPA filter and drywall bag for less than $50.

...and some of that money may be best spent on a Bosch VAC05 hose, perhaps.

Hoses is where I'm a little unclear, and it's holding me back a little on the separator construction:
Freehand routing, most of the time - the dust adapter on the router gets the entire air flow, any hose between 1.25" (router) and separator pipe dia. will do.

Table routing: If I use the router dust adapter on the router, that's a 1.25" dia hose size. I assume that whenever that's hooked up, I don't really need any vacuum on the router box. But how much flow do I divert to the fence? (And at what point would this combo do better with a big DC?) Is a 2 x 2 x 1.25 Tee or Y sufficient, or do I need to restrict the fence flow more to maximize router adapter flow?

Similarly, I've been using a grid-shelf as a makeshift worktable with a cardboard box underneath to catch dust, and it's struck me that a more solid version of this, with suction on a sealed box underneath a porous (so to speak) table might be a good idea for freehand routing even with the dust collection on the router itself going.
Again, how would one split off the flow for this sort of thing?

Or am I overthinking this? Will the fence or table router dust adapter each work so well that only one is needed at a time (i.e. use blast gates)? Or do you just hook them together however the hoses fit?
Or do you give the router adapter more flow, such that the fence gets more just whenever the bit hole is mostly covered by the workpiece?

Or do you just change blast gate openings whenever it doesn't quite seem to catch enough?


On the separator side, do I spend extra money and wait time to get flanges like this
Air Tools Accessories - Woodstock 2-1/2 Universal Dust Port W1042
online and then fight with actually getting my hoses (not to mention a PVC elbow) to fit these,
or do I go the cheap all-PVC route which moves the fight to getting the PVC pipes to seal against the lid?
 

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Freehand routing, most of the time - the dust adapter on the router gets the entire air flow, any hose between 1.25" (router) and separator pipe dia. will do.
FWIW, my solutions, such as they are, to router dust collection involve substantial scrounging. For freehand routing, I want the hose which attached directly to the router to be as flexible as possible. I went to Goodwill and for $12 bought an upright vacuum cleaner with a sturdy but flexible hose; tore out the hose, threw the rest away.

But how much flow do I divert to the fence? (And at what point would this combo do better with a big DC?) Is a 2 x 2 x 1.25 Tee or Y sufficient, or do I need to restrict the fence flow more to maximize router adapter flow?
My approach, based on nothing other than gut thinking, is to move up to a DC when the (total) cross sectional area of hoses is the same as a 4" duct or more. I don't know of any formula about what fractions to split flow between the router port and the fence. It depends on a lot of variables, such as bit geometry, how much of the bit is exposed, how big the bit is relative to the base plate opening, bit size relative to fence opening, etc., etc., etc. I'd say try using a Y with the same size hose to the fence and fence, and see how it works with your setup.
Or am I overthinking this?
Perhaps! OTOH, I could very well be under thinking it. :D

it's struck me that a more solid version of this, with suction on a sealed box underneath a porous (so to speak) table might be a good idea for freehand routing even with the dust collection on the router itself going.
Good idea, in fact such a good idea that it's already been pretty well worked out :)
Google "downdraft table", and you'll find a lot of designs. Homemade ones often use perforated hardboard (peg board) as a table top. Since you want a lot of airflow, they work better with DC's than with shop vacs.
 

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Dust collection

So, it's time to take care of all that dust making my *I wont say where I put the saw" uninhabitable.

My saw (DW745) has a little tube that I supposed is used to put there a hose from a vacuum.. but, since I'm totally new to this, I'd like to know if is only that or there is something else I should consider before doing that.

I googled a bit and there are some complex thingies called cyclone, and some woodworkers have also big-flashy-expensive setups to collect dust... wont work for me.

Any help is appreciated!.
I can't see from here but most likely it is for the dust collection. A shop vac will work. You can buy sensors that will automatically turn on the vac when you start the saw if you want. I think Rockler has them. You can also put a fiber drum between the shop vac and the saw to catch the bulk of the saw dust and not have to empty the shop vac as often.
 

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Fine dust control -- critical consideration.

Google: Bill Pentz You will find extensive help on dust collection. This site is his personal production and done to help you and me because he nearly died from wood dust poisoning.

I have a small shop myself, space a real issue, and I am trying to figure out what to do. I have had pneumonia four times and although my health is good i know my lungs are a weak spot. Bill Pentz's site was created exactly because he nearly died from wood dust poisoning in his lungs - as you will read on his site, even after he bought what is considered by many the premier cyclone system on the market (at least the most advertised system).

It appears the manufacturers are playing games with the woodworkers and that is bad news for the woodworkers. Do look at the Clear Vue site, they have a small cyclone for use with shop vac's, etc., that may be a good solution. Key point - the best solution involves exhausting outside your garage, not into a filter solution. Collect from the tool, through they cyclone (big stuff will collect in barrel), and remainder of air flow exhausted outside the shop into the air where it will be carried away by the breeze.

Hope this helps - you are dealing with a real issue and need to learn all you can. Another consideration, woods vary considerably in how dangerous they are in your lungs (chart on Bill Pentz's site), some must be much more carefully handled.

Best wishes,
Bob
 

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Wynn Environmental is a great choice! Also, its cool to see how most people build dust collection units. I wouldn't even know where to start. #genius #woodworking
This is a five year old string and kind of confusing. I'm a throat cancer survivor and some sawdust is carcinogenic, inhaling it over time can also lead to COPD because the ultra fine particles go in, but don't easily come out of your lungs.

I am a fan of the Harbor Freight 2hp duct collection unit. I have two shop areas and each has one. It comes with a bag that allows really fine particles through. So I roll one outside for use, the other I added a drum filter that catches fine stuff. However, that one recently got moved outside the shop and the sawdust comes through a tube through a wall. It sits in an enclosed space, along with a large Super Dust Deputy (see pix) The space is a covered area about 4 feet wide between two sheds.

The whole system in sequence starting from the tool:
1. 4 inch connector to fit the tool (All connectors are from Rockler)
2. 27 foot long expanding hose that I hook up to the tool in use
3. Y connector with a 2.5 inch branch that goes to the top of the table saw with a blast gate to close it when not in use.
4. A 4 inch through the wall connector that goes from shop to DC enclosure
5. Short flex tube from connector to the cyclone's intake side.
6. Super Dust Deputy mounted on top of a 30 gallon fiber drum (ULine) which collects most of the sawdust, chips, the odd screw or debris.
7. Two 90 degree connectors from top of Super Dust Deputy to direct flow down. These have a gentle curve and make a U shape.
8. Flex hose from U to the intake of the Harbor Freight DC unit (paid about $160 each on sale with a coupon-often on sale before holidays).
9. Harbor Freight 2hp DC unit.
10. Wynn 1 micron drum filter (today I'd buy the Grizzly drum with a built in beater bar to remove dust buildup on the inside of the filter)

The filtered air is recirculated back into the shop through an large opening, covered with an ordinary 20x20 AC filter. This is to return heated or AC air back into the shop.

I also buy the HF medical type mask which I use when I'm only making a small number of cuts. For longer projects, I take time to put on a Rockler battery powered respirator mask. I keep a couple of sets of 4 AA rechargeable batteries, which last several hours. I like the way this mask fits, and blows pressurized air out of the top, which keeps my glasses clear.

The HF unit in my garage still has only the cloth filter bag, so I always roll it out of the shop when using it. It services my bandsaw, planer, the jointer, and with an adapter, catches dust from my track saw.

All my tools with 2.5 inch dust ports, I've mounted 2.5 inch hoses with 2.5 to 4 inch connectors. I just push the adapter into the 4 inch main hose.

I don't do a whole lot of woodworking all the time, so the Harbor Freight unit is more than adequate for my purposes. Stick, however, insists you're better off buying something like the Jet units, but he and I disagree because for ordinary use, the HF unit costs far less. He always compares the airflow increase in the Jet and the $100 impeller upgrade for the HF unit. I think he is right for a busy shop, but my two HF units are less than half the cost of one Jet brand unit. My HF unit with a Wynn Drum filter added on top is about the same cost as the smaller Jet unit, which only comes with a bag filter. It's your money and your choice.

The Thein filter shown in this string is a really good alternative to the Super Dust Deputy. It will require that you have at least a 30 gallon or more capacity drum or trash can container. Rockler woodworking has a pair of connectors that go throuh the lid then direct the air into a circular pattern. I added a picture of that. I stick with Rockler dust collection parts because the fit together nicely. I have had zero luck trying to mix brands because they never fit anything else. I have a large box of these misfits that shold probably be recycled with water bottles. Sorry I wasted all that money, so I suggest you do stick with Rockler.

Attached pictures include:
1. My DC setup in the enclosed space between my shop shed and office shed. It is pretty well sealed to recirculate heated/AC air back into the shop through the filter vent in the upper right.
2. The Harbor Freight DC unit with a Wynn Filter on top instead of the filter bag it comes with. If you keep it inside the shop, DO GET THE DRUM FILTER!!!
3. The connectors I mentioned in the list above.
4. My dog, Henry, who snoozed faithfully by my side as I wrote this dusty novella.
5. An overview of the cyclone, chip collector drum and DC unit so you can see the flow clearly.
6. The Rockler chip collector setup without using a cyclone. This works pretty well, but it isn't easy to find a flat topped trash can, so you should order at least a 30 gallone fiber drum from Uline.com. You can cut the opening for either a cyclone or the two openings for the Rockler setup with a jig saw with a metal cutting blade.
7. The handle connector at the end of the 27 foot flex hose, with the long floor cleanup tube attached. Remove the tube and this plugs into the dust port. Note that the hose exits at a 45 degree angle which improves air flow.
8. The Rockler respirator mask I like so much. But any decent quality mask will help.
9. WEN hanging filter unit. Hang from ceiling, has timer and speed control (remote). Leave on for 2-4 hours after you leave the shop to filter out the ultra fine sawdust that floats in the air. Mount near a wall to establish a circular air flow. I found this on sale for $99, a steal. You'll be amazed at how the air feels better after you run this for awhile.
5. My dog, Henry, who snoozed faithfully by my side as I wrote this dusty novella.

Hope this clarifies things for you. I spent a lot of time and money trying to build something shop built that worked. Wish I'd just done this to begin with. Don't wait too long to set up dust collection, particularly if you're using MDF, which is the nastiest of all sawdust types. Start with the mask.
 

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Even though this thread is years old, it probably bears some updating since there is a subforum here for the dust collection discussion that is a cornucopia of helpful information: https://www.routerforums.com/woodshop-dust-control/

Having read through the information and links posted there (specifically, https://www.routerforums.com/woodshop-dust-control/139093-dust-control-why-how-what.html and Dust Collection Research - Home) [WARNING: There is a LOT of reading involved in those links...], I changed my mind completely about what a dust collection system is and needs to do.

At first, for one tool in a hobbyist's shop, the Harbor Freight DC that I had was more-or-less adequate for the occasional bit of wood destruction. What I noticed, however, was that it could not keep up over the longer haul with my tablesaw/jointer/planer or other higher-volume dust creators if I wanted to run a line for any distance between multiple tools, even with blast gates. Thus I began my pursuit on how to "build a dust collection system" out of the HF unit. The multiple suggested mods turn out to create a Frankenstein's Monster of a system that really, in the long run, doesn't do the job particularly well. This is my opinion, based on a number of factors:

1) Inefficient system design (the dust collection setup -- ducting, joints, etc.., not the HF unit)
2) Inaccurate specifications of the DC (the HF unit, not the DC setup) -- it will simply NOT do what the supplied specifications state it will do.
3) Poor understanding of the expected results of a dust collection system (including the setup and the unit itself)

Let me summarize my newly-found understanding of the issues above (after reading extensively the links noted above):

1) Inefficient system design:

A DC system needs to breathe. This means that any reduction of the diameter of the main line of the DC will dramatically decrease the performance of the entire system. You can reduce at the end machine (e.g. tablesaw, router), but if you reduce the main line by using either an inline reducer or poor choice in routing the main line (using multiple 90s, Ts, flex pipe or simply too long of a run, etc), you are shooting your dust collector in the foot. If your DC unit comes with a 5" or 6" inlet, then do NOT reduce to 4" for convenience of available materials. There is NO advantage (and, in fact, there is GREAT disadvantage) to "immediately reducing" to allow you to use materials that can be found at the local box store. The internet is your friend -- you can find cost-effective purpose-built ducting in the right size. In my case, my craigslist-found Grizzly G0440 has a 7" inlet. By doing some math (found in the tables within the links above) I realized that the capacity of the machine could be easily enhanced by actually increasing the size of the main trunk from 7" to 8", giving a sizable gain in machine efficiency. The long and the short of it is that you can only pull so much air through a given diameter of line at any amount of "power". There is a point of diminishing (and negative) returns, but there are charts and calculations that will allow you to arrive at the right amount of CFM for a given machine/setup.

If a machine inhales, it must also exhale. The exhalation can be vented outside or inside. However, if you limit the machine's ability to exhale (exhaust) with a poor filter, then you are, once again, shooting your DC in the foot. The pleated filter that came with my G0440 was replaced by a Wynn Environmental 13F230NANO. This means that I am using a true HEPA filter on the output, eliminating a large portion of the ultra-fine dust that the system will produce. This change went from 90 feet of pleated filter to 230 feet and from MERV 11 to MERV 15 in terms of filtering efficiency. [I had originally bought this filter for the now-discarded HF unit.] Why not exhaust outside? Well, my neighbors don't like dust and the fact that I like to keep my cooled air inside my garage. Here in Texas, that's a thing. :) Why not use the cloth bag that comes with the HF unit? For one, it is a horrible filter for outgoing air, allowing significant dust to escape into the air. For another, it is very restrictive and doesn't allow the machine to exhaust effectively. As more fine dust coats the inside of the bag, your machine's efficiency goes down, down down into that burning ring of fire... Sorry, my inner Johnny Cash is showing.

Take a LONG look at the WHOLE system, and don't design the dust collection system into an existing shop layout -- design the layout of your tools around an efficient DC setup. You might say this isn't possible -- trust me that it is. This means reducing and eliminating "hard 90" turns (utilize a minimum number of 90 degree "sweeps" instead -- the fewer the better!) and instead choose 45 degree turns wherever possible. Design your shop with the shortest run of pipe possible: I went from an initial design that used 60', multiple 90s and lots of gates to a design that uses 40' of main line, one 90 degree sweep and two 45 degree angles. Use 45 degree angle Y's (or wyes) instead of Ts. You can make saddles to do this yourself (which I will outline later). By carefully selecting materials and constantly evaluating the incremental changes in my system design, I also saved around $600 in materials.

Use properly specified materials for your main line: heavier-gauge snap lock pipe, spiral pipe, etc. The less flexible duct you use, the better: You want smooth runs of line which will decrease turbulence in the air stream. Try not to use the adjustable fittings found in the HVAC section of Home Depot or the like. Use of PVC pipe with no grounding is asking for it. You won't find many people who have actually SEEN a problem with it, but some of us (including me) have and the results can be unpleasant. It is NOT an internet rumor or old wive's tale. I couldn't care less if you (or someone you know) says they've been doing XYZ for 20 years with no problems -- to them I say "you only die once".

For "big reductions" (e.g. 2.5" from a main trunk from something like a router table) you might have to actually do multiple ports on the tool. You've got to MOVE AIR to make the dust collection happen. On my system, for each drop I am using 6" (from the 8" trunk), and reducing to 4" only where necessary. In one case I have to use multiple ports -- my router table.

2) Inaccurate Specifications

The HF DC unit advertises 1500 (If I recall correctly) CFM at 2hp. This is a laughable lie. My G0440, advertised at 1350 CFM will inspire awe when compared to the blazing "1500 CFM" from the HF unit. [In truth, HF is not the only company doing this... I'm an equal opportunity basher when it comes to this!] Come to my house and see -- I have the old HF system still. My Griz unit is powered by 220v and will, in fact, produce the HP and CFM as advertised. When you compare the two machines, you will shake your head at the difference. There is no flipping way that the HF unit can do a higher CFM than mine. My Griz's 2hp class F motor is substantially larger than the HF motor, which makes one wonder how, indeed, the HF unit can make the claims that it makes.

I do not fault someone for buying something based on a recommendation of someone they trust or from reading (and expecting truth from) the specs. But the reality is that you're lucky to get half of the advertised performance out of the HF unit. As long as you're fine with that, then all is well. But don't buy into the line that spending the $500-$600 (or more) on "upgrading" the unit is going to get you a great performing unit -- it won't. You're money may increase the performance somewhat, but can't overcome the problems inherent in a poorly designed setup. Also, don't buy into the fallacy of "sunk cost" -- spending good money after bad to improve on something which cannot be improved upon to the extent that one desires will not solve the problem. You may have to cut your losses and actually find a better solution. Or, as I call it, "Craigslist to the rescue"! Wait for the right deal on a purpose-designed piece of equipment to replace something that is no longer meeting the need.

3) Poor understanding.

A DC system is, at its heart, a glorified vacuum. But, much like a Ferrari is just a glorified car, when you do everything that is supposed to be done to allow the Ferrari to do what it is supposed to do, what a car it is! You want the 'big dust' to get sucked up. That's easy. You also want the finer dust sucked up. Ok, done. But there is ALWAYS super fine dust (swarth) that the DC cannot get from the machines for a number of reasons [see above, and in links]. Using a face mask (like the RZ Mask) may help, or even a positive-pressure ventilator when working with hazardous materials. Also, using an overhead "shop air filter" will help. You will likely never get ALL of the superfine dust, but you can certainly come close with multiple steps in your overall solution.

I'll ramble on a little more when I've got my shop put back together...

-M
 

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@DesertRatTom...

in this picture you advocate a floor pick up..



have you ever stopped to consider the ramifications of accidentally injecting metal FOD (nails, screws, bolts, washers, etc) into your DC???
the possibility of creating sparks when the FOD hits the impeller is very good or very bad..
those sparks are all you need to start a fire, which may take hours and hours before it flares, in the collected sawdust...
the possibility exists, so why risk or take it..
put out a sawdust fire sometime and let us know how that works out for ya...
 

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@DesertRatTom...

in this picture you advocate a floor pick up..



have you ever stopped to consider the ramifications of accidentally injecting metal FOD (nails, screws, bolts, washers, etc) into your DC???
the possibility of creating sparks when the FOD hits the impeller is very good or very bad..
those sparks are all you need to start a fire, which may take hours and hours before it flares, in the collected sawdust...
the possibility exists, so why risk or take it..
put out a sawdust fire sometime and let us know how that works out for ya...
Yup. The dust deputy and chip collector handled all that years ago. BTW, I have shortened and straightened out all hoses in my system and will likely replace one, five-foot length of flex hose from DD output to DC input with metal pipe, which will allow me to use a 5 inch pipe instead of 4 inch. I've had a chip collector of some sort from the first shop made attempt at dust collection. The HF unit does not have a metal impeller. Been more than a decade of developing my system, learning as I go, thanks to this forum. I'm going to check out sweeps for that purpose, didn't know that's what they were called.

I am thinking over how to connect the 4-inch, 27ft. hose to the router fence so I don't have a reducer there. The sliding miter is the worst dust offender, and behind that I have a shower curtain that catches the majority of sawdust and drops it down into a box with a 4 inch port at the bottom. Works OK, just have to tap the curtain sides to drop the dust down. Been too busy with the theater conversion project to do anything with it just now.
 

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not everyone has a dust deputy...
might be a good idea to add a warning.disclaimer for those that haven't one...
 
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