Down the DC Hole... or DC Project Part II - Router Forums
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post #1 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-05-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Default Down the DC Hole... or DC Project Part II

Funny how you start putting in a DC system and the costs add up quickly... Mostly in the DC connections and fittings. I probably spent more in fittings, connections, ABS pipe, hoses and misc than I needed to... Probably more than on the DC itself... With lots of fitting left over, because after starting, they didn't workout or fit into the plan.

Before, I used a 2" system with a vacuum that originally was a comercial truck-mount type vacuum mounted in a 35 gallon drum, with the hose set up like a cyclone. This did me well for a while. It had plenty of vacuum pressure and throughput. The flow was probably around 750-850cfm... until the motor's bearings in this old unit went... When it was still working, Before it broke down I would just move the barrel to where I was working and hook it up. My planer had both a 2-1/2" & 4" connector, but was fine on the 2-1/2" connector.

Then I got a new saw, it had a 4" DC port that said it required 1050 cfm... I decided I needed to get a bigger more traditional DC and to install static DC lines with drops. I decided to get a traditional Dust Collector rated at 1100 to do that. I decided to put in a separator to collect to shavings.

I got a great deal on a HF 2HP Dust Collector for about $174. It was on sale, then I got anther 20% off. If was a cylone type, but emptied into a plastic bag and flitered through a cloth bag.

Then I needed to connect it to what I needed to. I first bought an economy HF 4" DC starter kit. I got it by hook and crook using another 20% discount... I figured for the price, how could I go wrong, right? Wrong... I got what I paid for- 2 10' 4" hoses, 1 4" Y, various machine connectors for a contractor saw, and 2 that I'll probably use on one of my router fences. I probably should have spent it on a starter kit from Woodcraft or Rockler. It might have been with things I could have used all. The hoses... well, they are usuable, but they are a bit undersized. You really have to work to get it on a DC fitting. I think they were meant to use with tapered fitting as they won't work with standrd 4" DC fittings.

Then I went and bought black ABS sewer pipe and fittings. Why? because I could go from there to white drain pipe (with available adapters). I could also put in a 4-to-2" tee. A short piece of 2' black ABS pipe... which 2-1/2" hose will just slip over. I thought that maybe with drain pipe, I could put the hose on it, But it is just a little too big...

So I cut 2 thin wedges across from each other, about 2-1/2" long... Heated it up with a heat gun, then shaped it too close the cutouts and created tapered fittings... Help it until it cooled (gloves)... Then 1 layer of duct tape.

The I went to a woodworking supply. Was a 3 hour drive each way. I figured I could hit the store before it's DC sale was over. I figured I could pick up a 10' 4 inch hose, a 10' 2-1/2" hose, a 2-1/2" blast gate, a few ABS DWC to DC adapters, a few 4" ends, etc. Even on sale, it adds up fast. I ended up buying a cyclone lid for 4" connectors. It is sort of an odd diameter, but I can make it work.

Not as fast as the person that arrived there at the same time. He had 2 shopping carts. We were picking through the bins together. Seems he was getting them for his shop. 10HP DC with too much suction. All his machinery was hooked up, with everything open and he still had too much suction... so he figured he'd open up another 15 holes for shop cleanup (15 10' 4" hoses) with all the fittings and adapters to be able to vacuum or clean. "Too much vacuum"... "We" should be so lucky!

Another lesson learned- DC fiitings fit into black ABS pipe. I used short pieces of ABS as nipples to fit DC fittings together. ABS fittings were cheaper than CD fittings. I could have used PVC/ABS multi-media adhesive to put it all together... But since just starting out with it, and not sure I wanted to change it around yet to improve it... I instead used screws and duct tape.

By this time, the hoses from Woodcraft were a pleasure to work with. All the fittings That wouldn't work with the HF hoses, worked just just fine with the new clear helical hoses. For the 2-1/2 inch hoses, I had bought fittings with lugs. They twisted right on and sealed. I thought that I should have done more like that. It was a couple more dollars in cost for those fittings- but definitely much less in my labor and frustration.

Last addition was the seperator. I had bought a Cyclone lid from Woodcraft. It was inexpensive and I figured it would be a good start. It's made to fit on something around 20-1/2" outside diameter. (just the size of a 31 gallon steel trash can) I was going to make a conversion for it to fit on a 55 gallon drum... But darn-it, you know- I went looking at my steel and plastic barrels, I found a 31 gallon can that I had been using for my horses grain, that I wasn't using any more, so... Well, I was surprized. I thought I was going to have to add a Thiel-type of baffle to it, but I don't really see anything coming from it to the DC's collection bag. So, it is staying as is for now. I'll use that as is and see what fines are getting by it... Time will tell. I already looked into an A-35 filter kit for my DC, if needed.

After action- If done again, the only DC fittings I would have bought (At a woodworking supply) would have been the hoses, hose ends, and gates. For the hard pipe itself, I might have gone to an irrigation supply and researched schedule 20 4" pipe and fittings. Box store have scedule 40 PVC, but no fittings in stock for them. Schedule 20 PVC might have been cheaper than ABS... But getting ABS from an irrigation would have been cheaper than a box store also. The other fittings I have here now... well, they may just sit here to collect dust (for the what if's) or I'll find a way to return them.

I think my next task is to look for and seal leaks. It's collecting... But is has a lot less suction than I'd expect from a 2HP system. Not really sure whats going on. Maybe my gates are letting too much by them? Thought I would cap off the line past the gates that are not being used and keep them... or seal off all the joints... something. The lid on the separator is foam... maybe replacing with a dense rubber foam seal(?)

If I block the hose, I can see the separator lid compress down on the can... but still, it doesn't seem like it's much. Maybe I was just spoiled by that commercial truck-mount wet-dry vacuum that would collapse a steel barrel if you weren't careful.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."
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post #2 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 07:59 AM
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Yep, the dollar bills seem to grow wings when setting up a DC system. All my fittings are from Rockler and fit well, purchased the Dustright fittings and hose. Also have the HF DC, rated at 1560 cfm, sure keeps my shop clean. I use the removable fittings and move my collection hose from tool to tool since it's only me in the shop.
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post #3 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 08:00 AM
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That would be a great story if you were writing novels but you are not. Hope someone else can learn from your experience.
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post #4 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 08:40 AM
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Had to laugh, having gone thru the same problems a year ago. Seems like Rockler, Woodcraft, and Peachtree all have different measurements for 2.5 and 4 inch! Pick one, it being the idea of "proprietary", to either keep you, or run you off.And yes, for simple Chinese plastic, the dollars seem to just float away!
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post #5 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by MAFoElffen View Post
Another lesson learned- DC fiitings fit into black ABS pipe. I used short pieces of ABS as nipples to fit DC fittings together. ABS fittings were cheaper than CD fittings. I could have used PVC/ABS multi-media adhesive to put it all together... But since just starting out with it, and not sure I wanted to change it around yet to improve it... I instead used screws and duct tape.

I think my next task is to look for and seal leaks. It's collecting... But is has a lot less suction than I'd expect from a 2HP system. Not really sure whats going on. Maybe my gates are letting too much by them? Thought I would cap off the line past the gates that are not being used and keep them... or seal off all the joints... something. The lid on the separator is foam... maybe replacing with a dense rubber foam seal(?)

If I block the hose, I can see the separator lid compress down on the can... but still, it doesn't seem like it's much. Maybe I was just spoiled by that commercial truck-mount wet-dry vacuum that would collapse a steel barrel if you weren't careful.

My advice is don't glue all of your pipe together. If you get a plug in the line you won't be able to clear it easily. (Think about those long slivers that fall into the TS cabinet when you are taking thin slices off a board). My advice is to tape the connections together, at least where long runs meet a connector.

That sounds similar to what my 2HP does. Just because they move a lot of air doesn't mean they can produce a strong vacuum. I think that the impeller is in the airstream so it is probably designed with ample clearance with the sides of the housing which would prevent it from drawing a strong vacuum, which might be just as well since that could cause a lot of parts failures.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.

Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 06-06-2013 at 09:22 AM.
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post #6 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 01:51 PM
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First of all, I don't mind the lenghy writing or thread that is similar to a novel. I can skim or read, my option.

When I realized that I needed a DC system I checked with Rockler and found a price but didn't understand all that was needed to make the system work so I ended up spending about three times what I the intial cost of the system was listed for.

The vacuum from the system is not nearly what I thought it should be, but it does a pretty darn good job at what I whated a DC to do for me. By the way, the only short comings was that the system didn't have enough power to handle the sawdust from the TS, that was until a member of this forum suggested that I drill some half inch holes in the insert to let the air flow to work and now even the DC works just fine on the TS too.


I can't imagine not having the system now.

Jerry
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post #7 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 03:42 PM
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By the way, the only short comings was that the system didn't have enough power to handle the sawdust from the TS, that was until a member of this forum suggested that I drill some half inch holes in the insert to let the air flow to work and now even the DC works just fine on the TS too.


I can't imagine not having the system now.

Jerry
I'm going to have to give that idea a try. Easy enough to do in a homemade insert. How many holes did you drill Jerry?

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #8 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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As I remember, Jerry attached a picture after he did that... Here it is:

Yes... It's enough to catch everything from my saw, but pieces stay in the uprights. If I'm vacuuming/cleaning up the shop, I'll let it run a few minutes before shutting it down... But find pieces sitting on top the gates.

Surprisingly, I was looking up specs on that truck-mount (got bearings for it today) Which has a lot more vacuum pressure, but I was surprised to find that it only has a 165 cfm It has a lot tighter clearances and a 2-stage impeller. I choked at the replacement cost for that motor ($260). But that thing is commercial rated to clean 4000sq/ft. That's the one that will collapse a steel barrel.

I guess I was used to that and now comparing to the new one, which is sort of like comparing apples to oranges. The old system the vacuum was at the end of separators and filters. No risk of anything getting caught in the impellers, so tighter clearances. Since the DC was made for stuff to get by the impellers... like mentioned, not as tight of clearances, so not as much vacuum pressure.

You would think them would coincide with each other, but you all are saying not?

One thing I do notice on the new saw... I hate the overhead crown guard. With the DC on the saw, I have that line coming down the wall, on the floor behind the saw. With the overhead crown, the 2-1/2" hose is "y'ed" right after the gate from the same 4" line, run from the ceiling, down to the overhead crown. The overhead crown connection has "bracing" inside it, (sort of a webbing,) so you can't do a standard DC adapter. The OD size is the same OD size as a 2-1/2 end connector so you have to use a union to hook it up... Then with the weight of the hoses and connectors, it has a tendency to flex the overhead crown and the riving knife, one way or another. I'm worried that besides the flexing of the riving knife dragging on the stock, that the blade is going to contact the blade... though it hasn't yet. I'm thinking safety and accuracy wise, I don't like nor feel comfortable with what is going on with that.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 06-06-2013 at 05:35 PM.
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post #9 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Update on the old vacuum motor. It has 3 impellers in a 2-stage. Bearings were $24 for both. Just got it back together and it is louder than ever from the exhaust with the motor now turning at full rpm. I was thinking of videoing it so you could get an idea just how loud that thing is... but no way to directly post videos here.

Figure I could use that for shop cleanup... and maybe plug it into a 2-1/2" port of my dc system and use that to check for leaks. That thing has so much suction I think it could suck up a bowling ball. Leaks might be more apparent with that. Of course if I pluged it in after the separator... Who knows.

"Don't worry, I saw this work in a cartoon once."
"Usually learning skills and tooling involves a progression of logical steps."

Last edited by MAFoElffen; 06-06-2013 at 09:19 PM.
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post #10 of 46 (permalink) Old 06-06-2013, 09:13 PM
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Then with the weight of the hoses and connectors, it has a tendency to flex the overhead crown and the riving knife, one way or another. I'm worried that besides the flexing of the riving knife dragging on the stock, that the blade is going to contact the blade... though it hasn't yet. I'm thinking safety and accuracy wise, I don't like nor feel comfortable with what is going on with that.
Does it vary which side it pulls to or it is always to the same side? I am wondering if you tie a few straps to it from the ceiling so that you can neutralize the torque. I'm like you. I would be concerned about the long term effects of that.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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