Can I upgrade my DC, or is it a writeoff?


Two years ago I bought a PennState 1.5hp single bag DC. It has been a real disapppointment. It is okay right after I clean the bag out, but as soon as I use it the air flow goes down quickly. I got it because I am real short on space. Well, my wife insists I increase my shop 50% (not quite as good as it sounds, since half of that extra area will be used to store stuff that is now in the rec room; but still good) so I will have room for something better. It has a 16a motor, but a small diameter fan unit.
I could add one of those garbage can separators to keep it unclogged a big longer, but I suspect the loss power will be more than what I gain. I could replace the bag with a filter, with a can at the bottom (along with the garbage can separator) but that is expensive. Should I try to rehab it, or just ebay it and buy a real DC?
Speaking of which, I never use more than one machine at a time. Is a 1.5hp filter unit adequate, or do I have to go up to a 2hp? I see the cyclones are getting more popular. For one machine at a time, and not real heavy use, are they overkill? They seem to move less air than the single stage unit for the same motor size; is that right? Their virtue is ease of cleaning?
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Toller wrote:

one right after buying my DC because the impeller shield would clog up within moments of using the DC with a thickness planer. I have a 1 mil bag on top and a plastic bag on the bottom. I can go quite a while before I lose much suction--that's from the coating of fine dust on the upper bag. It won't cost you much to at least try a separator. My unit is also 1.5 HP. 10' hose to separator and 20' to equipment.
dave
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I'm with Dave. The separator is a must. If you don't want to spend the $$ on a prefab you can cobble one together with PVC or S&W fittings. I scavanged from a business a 30 gal steel drum with a banded lid and put the fittings thru the lid. Cheap and effective.
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Toller (in N0c7f.10709$ snipped-for-privacy@news02.roc.ny) said:
| I could add one of those garbage can separators to keep it | unclogged a big longer, but I suspect the loss power will be more | than what I gain. | I could replace the bag with a filter, with a can at the bottom | (along with the garbage can separator) but that is expensive. | Should I try to rehab it, or just ebay it and buy a real DC?
I'm almost embarassed to post this again; but at http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/dust_collection.html I've posted some pix of my system with two separators. You might find it interesting to know that there's never been a need to empty the DC bags. After more than two years of use they're still (perhaps especially) cleaner on the inside than the outside...
...and you'd be amazed at the quantity of dust this thing has captured!
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Don't be. That's a good system. :-)
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said:

supposed to kill air flow.
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Toller (in Jpg7f.216$ snipped-for-privacy@news01.roc.ny) said:
| said: || ||| I could add one of those garbage can separators to keep it ||| unclogged a big longer, but I suspect the loss power will be more ||| than what I gain. ||| I could replace the bag with a filter, with a can at the bottom ||| (along with the garbage can separator) but that is expensive. ||| Should I try to rehab it, or just ebay it and buy a real DC? || || I'm almost embarassed to post this again; but at || http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/dust_collection.html I've posted some || pix of my system with two separators. You might find it || interesting to know that there's never been a need to empty the DC || bags. After more than two years of use they're still (perhaps || especially) cleaner on the inside than the outside... || | You still get good suction despite two separators? I thought they | were supposed to kill air flow.
As far as I can tell, there's plenty of suction - enough to keep the shop air crystal clear when I run the 5HP spindle at 18K RPM at 90"/min with a 1/2" bit thru MDF for several hours straight in a single cutting "session".
I probably should add that this is my first ever dust collection system and that what I show on the web page is the only configuration I've ever used - and that the whole thing serves only a single tool. There is about 25' of 4" hose in all; and I've taken care to minimize/eliminate leakage everywhere.
If I use a long (more than 3") bit to make shallow cuts in material that produces chips (as opposed to material (like MDF or Extira) that produces powder, the large gap between the material and the "shoe" allows /some/ chips to be "thrown" and escape collection. I can eliminate this problem by using bits with shorter cutting edge lengths (my spindle's ER-25 collet allows "hiding" as much shank as I want); but so long as the dust is being sucked up, I don't really mind brushing or vacuuming up a small amount of large-granule waste.
More suction is always better. I don't have particulary good collection results when I use long down-spiral bits - but I don't think that even doubling the suction would cure that problem.
My dream would be a 30 HP combined vacuum hold-down and dust collection system; but even if there is such a critter, I'm fairly certain I wouldn't be able to justify the cost.
The only real problem I've had with the current system has been remembering to turn the DC on *before* the cutting starts. :-(
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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I have the Harbor fright 2 hp DC with a shop built cyclone can... https://home.comcast.net/~mac.davis/shop.htm
It didn't seem to lose any collection ability, though on paper it must have... I've had the DC for almost a year now and have NEVER emptied either bag... I check them often, but with the DC off, the top bag has little or no contents and the lower bag has maybe an inch of stuff in the bottom of the bag.. I'm VERY happy with it..
Another reason that I'd suggest a separator is from what I learned here in the wRECk: unlike a shop vac, where the filter is before the motor, the first thing a chunk of wood or a screw encounters when entering the DC is the IMPELLER... that's not a good thing... I'd rather hear it "clunk" into the trash can on the cyclone than hit the blade.. YMMV
mac
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wrote:

Thanks.
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My separator is a 55 gallon fiber drum with a plywood top a dust collection hood and a plastic 4" elbow... total cost including a piece of plywood for the lid was maybe $20
Oh.. I also took the "Y" off of the dust collector and hooked the separator directly to the DC... moved the "Y" to the intake of the separator so I could use it with hoses to 2 areas, with blast gates.. YMMV
mac
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From my personal experience.... Dust Control means DUST Control. Unless you have a monster unit, I wouldn't expect it to suck up too many planer chips. I have a 2 HP unit and a garbage can collector... the book I read says to keep the distance between the DC and the garbage can as short as possible due to power loss.

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TomWoodman wrote:

jointer throw at it. I don't really understand what makes you think a DC won't pick up chips.
Dave
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Maybe my runs are too long.

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TomWoodman wrote:
...Top posting corrected...

Or you're using corrugated flex pipe over long runs? If you're cfm is marginal to start with, that'll kill it quick...
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My guess (no planer or jointer yet) is that it would depend on the size of the chips and the type of hose or pipe the DC system uses.. large chips through a hose with spiral ridges inside is probably going to clog a lot...
I know that I don't try to use the DC on the lathe unless I'm sanding... long, curly shavings and 4" plastic hose are asking for constant clogs... easier to sweep up shavings as I go and let the DC get dust and chips.. YMMV
mac
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Ok take this all with a 50# Salt Lick.
But when I was researching DC's the Penn State units had good reputations for the home shops.
Let's see if there's something specific about your setup?
You say "one bag" - does that mean the upper is a filter cartridge? Or do you have two bags: upper and lower (chip collector)?
If the upper is a filter - then from my reading, many folks complain that their "suction" (flow) drops more quickly than they had hoped. A few remark that they spin the flappers quite frequently.
If you have bags on both ends, upper and lower - what kind of bags are they? How big are they? When I recently bought my Delta 1.5HP unit, it came with 30u bags. I wanted to go with a plastic chip collector - since there's zero flow through plastic, I had to oversize the upper to keep backpressure down and flow up.
What's your ducting look like? 4" Flex hose, especially *cheap* flex, also reduces flow. Pipe diameter, number of 90* fittings, etc. all can have an adverse impact on flow.
My shop is small, but even so I arranged things to keep my total DC run to about 25' of 4" S&D pipe with one 90* bend. My longest run of 4" flex is about 7'.

Lots'a folks have separators and swear by them. A few report loss of flow, but many do not.
I simply view a separator as meaning I don't have to empty the collection bag as often.
I don't have one and now won't get one after an email exchange with Lee Valley about using one with my DW735 planer.

Nor do I - and I'm very, very happy with my 1.5HP. Again - so many other things factor in, especially about how you have it ducted.
Included - as you noted - impeller size, inlet port restrictions, etc.

Again - I'm only looking at DC systems from three perspectives: (1) their ability to keep my shop clean (2) reducing healh risks and (3) budget.
A cyclone wasn't the right choice for me. It's certainly the right choice for many.
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