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vacuum/dust control opinions

3857 Views 14 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  mantelmaker
I had been using a small "Hang Up" model Shop Vac but this morning it just quit. Took it apart and cleaned everything but it simply is dead. Soooo....looks like I gotta do something else. Damn thing was only two years old!
I guess I could just go with a BIG Shop Vac and some hoses. I would really LIKE some sort of dust control system but that is not going to happen for a while.
Anybody know whether the "new and improved" quiet Shop Vacs are actually any quieter?
Any thoughts other than a Shop Vac? My little shop is 15' X 15' and I have a JET table saw, router table, drill press, miter saw and scroll saw in there along with a barrel stove etc. Roomy it ain't!!
Thanks gang.
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Suggest you get a bit serious and look at a DC. What you want to do most
is keep as much of the fine dust out of your lungs as possible. For your size
shop and indication of not spending too much, suggest you consider Harbor Freight's
DC,which is often on sale for $150-160. Add to that a Wynn's filter, a .5 or .2 micron,
and see the big change in your shop.
I use a shop vac (sears 20 gal) with high filtration drywall bags in it for router table work, Drill press, Pocket hole jig, and Miter saw. The bags in the vacuum capture all the dust, make it easier to clean out the vacuum, and keep the filter clean longer.

I use a Grizzly 1.5 HP dust collector with the trashcan lid separator for the table saw and the band saw. It only handles one machine at a time, goal is to eventually get a cyclone and mount it outside the workspace.

I also run a ceiling mounted filter, sized perfect for my last garage, a little small for the one I'm in now, but it does a good job of getting the fine stuff out of the air. I've got plans for a larger one made from an old house furnace air handler that I may build soon.

If you are saving up for a DC, save a couple of extra dollars more and spring for a bigger one than you think you need. It is always better to have extra capacity, especially when you start running your ducting. You may have more losses than you have calculated.
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Are the dust control systems noisy? I admit I have never been aroound one, and the nice ones seem to be too expensive for my amateur needs. Does the unit sit inside or outside the shop. My little shop is a walled off corner in a 30'X36 metal shed. Regular stud wall around a corner of the shed, with two windows and a door out back and another into the main part of the building.
I'll try to look up more information. Thanks again fellas.
Hi, Birchwood: Some years ago I had a similar problem. I looked around for a DC system, with the most bang for the buck. I bought one from Penn State Ind. I guess it is about 1.5 hp, at the time littler info was available on how to run the ducts etc. so I did the best I could. It worked out pretty well, I hade to make a few "tweaks" to the system over time. The problem is that the smaller Shop Vac type units work with a universal motor, that has speed but less power than an induction type motor in a larger dc. I use th main system on one machine at a time by opening and closing gates to each machine. I have a 6hp shop vac hat I use for the router table and the pocket hole jig, and the dove tail unit, because they are mostly porable and i can set them anywhere I have room at the time. I would advise you to try to get a unit that
has more than you need right now, that allows for growth, as things change to your shop. Hope this helps out...Woodnut65
Good advise Woodnut65 been looking for a while at different dust collection models. I'm going to do what you suggested go for a little bigger then I need. Birchwood I've been leaning towards the grizzly or penn state industrial I only run one tool a time but I am looking at a 1 1/2 hp or bigger but I have to watch out I can't run 220 where I live and the best prices I've found is at you find lots models there and shipping is not as much as shipping from the dealers warehouses.
I have found a Delta unit locally at $145 with a 1hp motor. I have also found the Delta 50-850 online at $274. The large Shop Vac is $100 and the little Hang Up model like the one I had is $75!!! I am tempted to go with the local Delta. I'm still trying to learn more about installation, noise, filter bags, operation etc. I GOTTA do something!! HA!
Hello Birchwood,

I guess I am behind the times, I use a Large Ridgid Wet Dry vac and a Cyclone lid seperator on a 35 gallon trash can for my TS, Router tables, and my Planer. The only dust collection I have for my Compound miter saw is the bag that came with it and it does not do a good job of that. I may build a back cover for it so it will quit scattering a majority of the saw dust around the room. I have a shop vac with a bag that I use to vacuum the floor with and to pick up what my planer throws out around it.

I guess one day I will break down and buy a DC but so far the vacuums works for me.
Can somebody help me understand what the deal is with the trash can lid separator? I see it advertised but I don't understand how you rig it up. I have looked around but can't seem to find a site that discusses dc to any detail that is useful.
This morning I took our BIG 6.5 HP ShopVac down and cleaned up my little shop but Good Grief I don't want that damn thing running when I'm trying to work I can tell ya that!!
I want something that has enough power to suck the shoes off a horse but is as quiet and efficient as a toilet paper. Ha!
I find a ShopVac may be as expensive as a DC such as a Delta AP400, and most certainly a ShopVac is noisier than a DC. Delta AP400, capable of doing 650 cfm, costs around $150, provides suprisingly strong vacuum suction for any one machine whether it is a table saw, planer, or jointer. The DC is on a wheeled platform, so it is easy to move it around the shop, or to put it away in a corner when you done using it. A more decent dust collector is a Delta 50-760 provides 1200 cfm with 1-micron bag. The machine is powerful enough to do dust collection for 2 machine at the same time and is a long term fit for a home shop. Right now it is on sale with $30 rebate makes it a much better deal over model 50-580. Both DCs use induction motor convertable to 240V, and has 2 year warranty. Both DCs should outlast any ShopVac models, and just in case that you want to resale them, they have decent resale values. I don't have experience on other DC makes, but if they are using induction motor, they should outlast any ShopVac.
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The trash can lid separator is rigged between your dust collector (or shopvac if you're using the small ones) and the tool. What it does is allows the heavier chips to fall out of the stream into an easily emptiable container, instead of going thru your impeller into your dust collector bags.
Shop Vac problem

3 years ago I paid $160 for a new fangled super quiet 10 gallon ShopVac that you plug your power tool into so it only goes on when you use your power tool.The thing quit on me before the year was up. I took it to a repair shop and had it fixed under the warranty. The guy said the switch and the plug that you plug your tool into got fried. Maybe I put too many amps on it.By the way, it's no quieter than any other brand.

Like everyone I'm constantly seeking a cure for the dust - well I think I've may have mine somewhat under control. I've been going through some back issues of Handyman, Workbench etc, and saw an idea of mounting a box fan from the ceiling with a filter taped to the back, well I've done dummer things in my life so I tried it. I let it run for about 10 hours a day for two days and I was amazed at how much that filter took out of the air.

Well if the box was that good what would a Jet Air Filtration System do, so I went out and bought one for $259.00- Jet also has a $25.00 rebate coupon on the net so it cost me $234.00

One of the Workbench had a fairly simple plan for a downdraft sanding table that I built in one afternoon, that cost me $225.00. Most furnace repair shops have old squirrel cages laying around that they'll give you, I had to put a new motor in mine.

Then I had a friend of mine that owns a cabinet shopp come over so I could "show off my new toys" He spent a hour in my shop and gave me a good education.

What I did was great, but there are other things that most people overlook
#1 - Housekeeping don't wait until you quit for the day or for tomorow - sweep the floor - you have a bunch of chips or dust on the floor, sweep it up - everytime you walk through it it goes airborne.

#2 - those piles of small pieces of wood that you can't throw away because you maybe able to use it later, but the next time you need a small piece you cut one rather than look through your pile - get rid of it - it collects dust and every time you disturb it the dust flies.

#3 - Check your DC unit - make sure that the last time you empty the bag you got all of it under the steel spring clamp that hold it on - and that the clamp is as tight as possible.

There is more but most of it is common sense and good housekeeping - I'm very pleased with the change in my shop with the addition of the two units I added - and I'm sure my lungs will be too.

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I use a General 1 1/2 hp DC. and also a general 800CFM air cleaner.If you want proper dc you need to invest in one.If you plan on running Duct pipe, you will need to have Gates at each machine..THis is Important..if you dont you will not be getting the most out of the DC I would go Min 1.5 hp...2 hp would be better..
Shop vacs work but in the long run i dont think there made to run for long periods of time..They heat up and burn out.
Dust is a health risk, and you need to spend the money to look after your health. Breathing in fine dust , will only complicate your life in the future.

The trash can lid separator is also very easy to empty, it means less frequent DC bag removals. However, when its full you will notice a reduce suction. We put our DC in a small attached shed next to the shop to maximize space. One hidden benefit was how clean it help keepthe shop air. Manufacturers constantly tote the number of microns the filters remove, but by segregating the DC the shop is both queiter and cleaner. Bob
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