Advice on Shop vacs......and sawdust collector question. I need a shop vac badly and want to get a good one.


I"m looking for a shop vac and was wondering if anyone could recommend one they were using and/or one they were displeased with.
I'll be using it mainly to clean up dry messes. Dirt, sawdust. Any suggestions?
Also, I have a ?sawdust? collector that connects to my table saw ( I inherited it so I don't know anything about it.) I was wondering if there was something that one could put in line to collect larger pieces of sawdust or wood CHIPS. It makes a lot of noise sometimes when it sucks up larger pieces of wood. I've also been using it to clean up my work areas.....one of the reasons I thought maybe I'd better buy a shop vac then mess this thing up.
(I'll still need a shop vac regardless.)
All help appreciated.
Bonnie
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B_ snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

1. Regarding a vacuum, they're pretty much interchangeable. You'll want the most powerful one your budget can afford. If all else is equal, a wet-dry vac has obvious advantages.
2. Consider a saw diaper: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?ItemnumberE794
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On 4/25/2010 7:35 AM, HeyBub wrote:

I have used an old circa 1971 Sears central vac in my old house as a shop vac (and for the whole house too) for all those years. I got really spoiled. Every shop-type vac that I have tried to use in my new house has been a dismal failure. The filters plug up almost instantly when picking up fine sawdust and the suction goes way down. Cleaning the filters is not fun. I and the tree that I beat it against, get covered in dust. I know fine dust is not good when going through a bagless central unit, however, my experiences show no problems. I am looking for a bagless central unit for my basement area. I will also extend it to the upstairs living quarters. BTW, most of the bagless central vacs today have a self cleaning filter. Apparently, when the power is on, the filter pops inward. When the suction turns off, it pops towards the dirt container releasing any trapped fine dirt. BTW, the one I am looking at is http://www.centralvacuumstores.com/products/AirVac-AVR7500.php . It's available at many different places. All this said, if you are a really serious woodworker, a real dust removal system is a necessity. In may case, woodworking is a necessity for the other things I do, so I will go with the central vac.
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For a shop vac, I use a Shop Vac brand, one of the larger models. Quiet for a vac and works for me. The best is Fein, but very expensive.
For the dust collector, yes you can put a cyclone in line with the inlet. Take a look here for a simple setup http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?p0282&cat=1,42401&ap=1
You can get more sophisticated and spend a lot of money for industrial grade equipment that can be well over $1500.
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*Not what you are looking for, but the other day I was on a job where the contractor had a little Bucket Head vac by Emerson Tools for clean up. It uses a regular five gallon bucket for the collection of dirt. I thought it was nice and compact, but it had a short hose. Home Depot sells them online for $20.00
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On Sun, 25 Apr 2010 01:26:41 -0400, B_ snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Since you have a dust collector, you can use that for cleanups around the shop. Don't suck big stuff directly into the impeller, though (see below).

Yes, you can get a cyclone separator to go inline with your dust collector. It's basically a lid for a 30gal metal garbage can that attaches in series with the 4" line to the collector. They cost $20, or so, in addition to the metal garbage can. They work great for taking wood chips out of the line before the dust collector. They also keep 75% of the sawdust out of the collector and make it easier to clean (just dump the garbage can).
You can also get a floor sweep for the DC, and a pickup wand.
Separator: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 15 Floor sweep: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 964 Pickup wand: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 375
Though I don't usually buy from Rockler, they have one-item-only 20% off sale this week.

The brands are pretty much all the same. I don't trust the specs, so can't help much there.
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On Sun, 25 Apr 2010 01:26:41 -0400, B_ snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I've had a Rigid shop vac for a few years and I'm quite happy with it. WAY more quiet than the old Sears it replaced.
-Zz
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I have a Rigid WD1450 vac I bought from Home Depot that I've been happy with. It is relatively quiet, as least as quiet as shop vacs get, and has good suction. It compares favorably with my old Shop Vac brand "quiet" vac.
No matter which shop vac you end up using, the best investment you can make is a "fine filter" bag. These fit inside the shop vac canister (in addition to the stock filter) and offer a much larger filter area. Without the bag, the stock filter will clog up in a day or two of vaccuuming fine sawdust, and finer particles like drywall dust can blow right through. You'll constantly be pulling the filter out trying to bang off the dust. The filter bag catches all the smaller particles, keeps the main filter clean, and will maintain suction until the bag gets full.

I use my shop vac with my orbital sander and my router table. The higher suction works better for catching the small particles these produce, not to mention the smaller hose is just more convenient for hand held tools.
I have a JDS "Dust Force" dust collector I use with my table saw, planer, and bandsaw. I just wheel it to whatever machine I'm using and connect it with a short hose, rather than run ductwork throughout the garage.
The dust collector works better for larger particles, planer shavings, and whatnot. A shop vac would fill up too quickly (I can easily fill a 40 gallon bag in a couple of hours of planing boards).
One disctinction to note, the shop vac filters BEFORE the airflow reaches the impellers. This means it's better suited for general cleanup where you might be sucking up rocks, nails, wood or metal scraps, etc. Dust collectors generally filter AFTER the impeller which means any debris you pick up could hit the impeller and damage it.
Take care,
Anthony
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On 4/26/2010 10:43 AM, HerHusband wrote:

What you need is one of these:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page 15
It is a centrifugal separator that mounts in the place of the lid of a garbage can. You run tubing from the bottom of the tool to one side of the lid and then another length of tubing from the separator to the dust collector. All the bigger pieces of crap fall into the garbage can before they have a chance to chew up the impeller of your dust collector. They also allow you to go much longer between emptying the dust collector since the garbage can will also get a lot of saw dust as well.
For the money, they can't be beat.
Jay
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Hi Jay,

Yeah, I've considered buying one of those, especially since large planer shavings often clog up the grate on the port of my dust collector. But, I'm already tight on space in my garage and that would complicate the mobility of my collector. In my two-car garage/shop, everything is on wheels to bring it out when I need it, and roll it away when I'm done.
Anthony
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Two-car garage? You actually put cars in there?
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:) We don't park our cars in the garage, but I do pull them in for repairs, and store my utility trailer in the garage when I'm not woodworking.
Anthony
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One thing to consider is one that has a built in pump-may cost a bit more but its worth every penny. During the recent episodes of water in the basement etc. my wet/dry Vac picked up the water and pumped it out at the same time--no need to carry/push the Vac and then lift and empty. 12 Gal Shop Vac picks up at the rate of 10 GPM and pumps out at 5 GPM. So when working a full capacity would fill up in about 2 min and then it took approx 2 min to empty. Otherwise, for the majority of the time it just sucked and pumped. MLD
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