Oneida air system install: the story so far.....

Well, a few months ago I ordered a 3HP dust collector for the shop.... It got here pretty quick (more or less on time), then spent a few weeks sitting waiting for me to get the time to put it all together....
My observations so far: Hanging the DC blower/separator/cyclone
That sucker is *heavy* you've got to lift the motor/blower about 9 feet up, and secure it to a bracket mounted to the wall (or some other supporting device). This is not a job for one person. 2 can do it, 3 would make it a *lot* easier (if you've got the space)...
The second part (the separator) is also heavy, but you don't have to get it up 9 feet. Only about 7 1/2. Then you have to secure it in place by placing a long (like 3' diameter) band clamp over a lip in the top of the separator and another lip in the bottom of the blower. Add the fact that there is a large piece of loose sheet metal that sits inside this part, and it tends to like to fall out as the unit is lifted into place..... 4 people would be good for this, but unless you're mounting the DC unit in the middle of a room, count on doing it with one or two. Creative use of verbs is encouraged here...... Oh yeah, and you're supposed to put a bead of silicone sealer on the joint before you put it up. And if you get it place, and its not pointing in the right direction (this is where you determine which way the intake duct points) plan on redesigning your ductwork.....
Once the separator is in place, the cyclone is pretty easy to deal with. Its light (sort of), not very high, and pretty easy to get on.... Overall, I can think of a couple of places that could use major improvement (like the fastening system between the components). My advice would be to ignore the directions, put the whole thing together on the ground (preferably on a pallet or something), then jack it up the 3 or 4 feet needed to get it into the right position.....
It took me 2 half days to get this installed. Half days because after I got the motor/blower installed, I really didn't want to deal with the next bit, so I put it off....
Ductwork: I've got something like 350 pounds of snap-lock ducting to put in place. The snap-lock stuff is easy to work with. The pre-crimped ends are great, and slide together nicely. I wish I could say the same for the "Y" joints. they're all nicely made, but the QC seems to be spotty at best. Almost all of the ones I used needed to have their crimps redone (or the crimps of the pipe going into them needed to be re-done). The larger diameter Y joints were the worst, with the "finished" ends being a little to small to allow a crimped pipe to slip into them, and a little too big to slide into a non-crimped pipe. These were bad enough that if I was repeating this exercise, I'd buy all them locally..... The long radius elbows are supposed to be adjustable from 90 degrees to straight. They may be, but Arnold S would have a tough time getting the joints to move. The manual recommends "tapping the ends lightly on the floor" to loosen them up, but that didn't seem to do anything. I ended up building a set of clamps using romex and a stick to make something like a giant oil filter wrench. I made two, and used them on adjacent sections to twist them to the desired position. I probably spent as much Time trying to get these things set right than I spent putting the rest of the system together. recommendation: don't bother with these unless you need an odd angle. Find a shop that sells 45 degree long radius corners, or have a local sheet metal shop make them for you. It'll probably cost about the same as Oneida charges (I'm including the cost of the angst of dealing with them here). All of the ones I needed were for either 90 or 45 degree corners, so it should be pretty easy to get them made, and it'll be worth it.... It took me 2 days to install all of the ducting...
The method of installation that I used was to build a small section of ductwork - usually 2-4 pieces, depending on what it was - seal all of the joints and seams, then carry it downstairs and install it (all of the ducting runs under the floor). I chose to not bother screwing the pipes together. The metal tape I used to seal the joints seems to be plenty strong, and I used a lot of supports (roughly one every 2 feet).
Overall, the ductwork setup wasn't that bad. Their design team blew one section - they tried to feed 2 machines that are fairly close together by putting flex hose and a splitter at the end of a run. They missed the fact that the machines were "close" in relation to the shop, but the shop is 40 x 52 feet, so I ended up with a 10' run of flex tube. I redesigned that section to use more snap-lock. I must admit that I missed this until I started building it, so the fault isn't entirely with Oneida....
I still have to hook up the machines to the ductwork, but based on the ductwork experience, I don't think it'll be too bad. I'm expecting to spend about a day at it.
That makes a total install time of 4 days, mostly working alone. a couple of helpers would probably speed it up a lot, especially the ductwork - one person could build the small units, and another could install them, and they would both be able to keep busy.
For wiring I'm building a system that will turn the DC on whenever a blast gate is opened. I figure probably a day or so at that. most of it will be low voltage wiring and getting the switches installed into the blast gates....
Overall, I'm pretty happy. There are a couple of areas that I think Oneida really screwed up on, but they only matter when the system is being built (biggest gripe is what it took to get the blower/cyclone hung on the wall)....
share and enjoy
--JD
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You had more trouble than I did. I fabricated weldments that hang the components from the floor joists above my basement shop and then put the DC and cyclone in and bolted them down. The longest time was spent waiting for the paint on the weldments to dry.
I don't always have my wife here so I've gotten to be pretty quick at lifting and moving tools by myself. A little cribing and a hoist are all it takes.
Not a difficult installation.
Phil
jduprie wrote:

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yep. A hoist would have helped a lot. The only problem is htat the cieling is suspended (read nothing to hook to), and the walls are the structural unbits. There wasn't enough head room over the blower to wall mount a lift of any sort, so I ended up sliding the whole thing up a ladder and on to the wall brackets......
thanks
--JD

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