Salvaging my dust collector

I have a Penn State 1.5hp single bag dust collector, and it really sucks(well, actually, it doesn't). The bag gets clogged real fast and the draw is reduced; and the bag fills quickly and is difficult to empty. I bought it because space is very precious, but it was a bad buy.
Someone below asked about the "Dust Boy" dust collector, and said there is a jet equivalent. I looked that up and found I can buy the jet filter and a trash can separator for about half the price of the jet dust collector; and I would have a 1.5hp unit rather than a 1hp.
Does this make sense? Does a trash can separator work as well as the jet that has the motor built into it? Is the jet filter easy to clean? Or would the 1.5hp motor overpower the filter and make it a bad idea?
Thanks.
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I'm assuming your DC has one of the felt-type filter bags?
Have you tried washing it?
Maybe that would restore some effectiveness.
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It says that washing it will ruin it.
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Mine says the same. The layer of dust stuck to the flannel supposedly helps filter out the fine dust. And the fine dust is the hazardous stuff that could enter into the lungs.
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toller wrote:

I cannot address the different models you are talking about, but a separator is almost mandatory, in my opinion. Mine is home built from a fiber drum with two elbows glued into the lid. My filter now needs emptying about once a year because nearly everything stays in the drum. Also I had noted curly chips hanging on the impeller before. These cut down on suction. My (Delta) also had a cross-bar in the inlet to stop big chunks, and chips would pile up on it before adding the separator. I believe my lid is more air-tight than a trash can cover.
--
Gerald Ross
Cochran, GA
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Just two elbow? Any baffles or something to produce the "cyclone"? I suppose a first step would be to use a separator and think about the filter later on.
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<snip>

Put the 'out to the DC' fitting in the center. I used a PVC toilet bowl flange, with 4" S&D pipe up from that. (I know, living dangerously.)
Put the 'out to the tools' elbow(s) near the edge, with the elbow under the lid such that it is tangent to the edge of the barrel. It will hang down 6-8" below the lid. That seems to give sufficient 'swirl' to drop the heavier chips, etc. The 'fines' are to be dealt with at the DC.
Have fun with this.
Patriarch
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Hi Patriarch. Like you and Gerald, I built my own separator. Made it out of a fiber drum I picked up from a ditch alongside the road, plywood scrap and some black ABS pipe from the local Ace Hdwr. In use, my Jet 1.5 DC hardly ever gets much more than dust in the lower bag - it all seems to end up quite nicely in the drum. Doesn't appear to be rocket science tho I could be wrong...
--
Owen Lowe and his Fly-by-Night Copper Company
____

"Sure we'll have fascism in America, but it'll come disguised
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<snip>

I made mine out of a plastic garbage can and also used 2 elbows... I'm ASSuming that his elbows are inside the can, as mine are.. They point in opposite directions and (I hope) cause the cyclone effect... it works very well, anyway..
mac
Please remove splinters before emailing
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My experience is similar to what Gerald relates. I made the lid for mine from scrap 1 1/8" subfloor plywood, with a routed groove, to fit over the edge of the heavy duty plastic trash can. As long as I remember to not let the seperator overfill, almost nothing makes it to the DC bottom bag.
I think I would use a bigger barrel next time, though. Using the planer fills it with chips pretty quickly.
Check Bill Pentz' site for a link to the folks who market filters like Jet OEMs. Seems to me they are at least as good, and significantly cheaper. They also will likely have a reference to fit to your current machine.
BTW, these things don't clean up after hand plane or lathe shavings all that well. You still need a broom. ;-)
Patriarch
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