How about a leaf blower based dust collection system? - Router Forums
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post #1 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Default How about a leaf blower based dust collection system?

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?

Last edited by Chris Curl; 12-04-2012 at 07:03 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #2 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:40 PM
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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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post #3 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:47 PM
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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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post #4 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 03:59 PM Thread Starter
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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.

Last edited by Chris Curl; 12-03-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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post #5 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 06:29 AM
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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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post #6 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 06:42 AM
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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.

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post #7 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by frankr4ever View Post
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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post #8 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:21 AM
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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!

I have found that hand tools are the best choice when I want to make mistakes at a slower rate of speed.

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post #9 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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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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post #10 of 88 (permalink) Old 12-04-2012, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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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?

Last edited by Chris Curl; 12-04-2012 at 12:48 PM.
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