Shop vac as dust collection

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Ted wrote:

For what?
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wrote:

one anyway. What should the minimum power be? I will run it through a 5 gallon bucket collector first.
I intended to use a shop vac for my table saw until I got a real DC. It was a waste of $5 for the adapter. It's easier to just use a broom and shop vac to clean up after. A DC is really the opposite of a shop vac. A DC is a high volume low(er) pressure device. Shop vacs just don't move enough volume for anything more than a small tool.
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I'd go for the biggest and quietest one you can afford. If the vacuum can't handle a 2 1/2" hose, it's probably not going to work very well for dust collection.
I'm planning a purchase of a Fein or similar model in the future. I want something that really sucks but doesn't sound like it does. I'd like the hear the music of the cut rather than the loud humming of the vacuum.
Puckdropper
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You will be disappointed if you plan on using it with a table saw, jointer, large planer, band saw, etc. Basically any tool considered large or stationary is going to need a "Dust Collector". 1100 CFM would be a good capacity to start looking for these type tools.
I personally use a DC and a Festool vac. The Festool is great with hand held power tools. It is also very quiet by comparison to most of it's competition. Typically my drills, sanders, and Domino hide its noise.
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one anyway. What should the minimum power be? I will run it through a 5 gallon bucket collector first.
This topic has been kicked around many times here in the last few years. Google is your friend.
One of the most important things to consider is that shop vac's don't remove the fine airborne dust, which is what gets into your lungs. Some a quiter tjan others, but they're all loud. If you're going to use it strictly for keeping sawdust off the floor and tools, maybe a shop vac will work. But if you're looking at it from an industrial hygene point of view, get a real DC.
-Zz
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new one anyway. What should the minimum power be? I will run it through a 5 gallon bucket collector first.

I have a third party HEPA filter in my fein vac, which is a lot better than what you get with the bags on a low end DC. But it doesn't capture all the dust that a DC would at the source. I figured a good shop vac setup now and a good cyclone DC later was better than a cheap DC now, because some tools you need a vac, like sanders and routers.
-Kevin
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You're wrong and right.
I've got a shopvac running through a homemade cyclone. It does SFA for serious dust collection.
I'm working in a very small basement shop, but I'm seriously considering moving a couple of short walls to put a real dust collector in.
The vac will pull some dust and small chips, but keep the air and the shop clean? Not a chance.
I can buy a small DC unit for $200 - $250 Canuck bucks. It's on the list, high priority.
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Just ignore the words "wrong" and "and" in the above...
Thanks.
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But asking again brings more up to date answers.

That is incorrect. Modern shop Vacs like the two larger Festool models have HEPA filters.

That is incorrect. The Festool and Fein are probably the quietest power tools in the shop. My corded drill will drown the out the noise of my Festool shop vac.
If you're going to

Incorrect again, many dust collectors do not filter the air good enough. If you want clean air an "air cleaner" should be used in combination of a DC and or shop vac.
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Hmmm... I guess I'm one of the few. My Shop Vac DC setup is working pretty nice as far as I'm concerned. Granted, I don't expect it to do the same as a large dedicated dust collector... and I don't really expect it to filter the air but it keeps me from having to vacuum around all my tools. I even made a small downdraft table (24x18 inches) for small parts it does a pretty good job with. I'll continue to wear a dust mask when sanding... but I think I would even with a dedicated machine.
To some extent, it's all in the expectations.
Ed
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On Wed, 15 Apr 2009 08:49:20 -0500, "Leon"

Someone (maybe you) made the statement referring to dust collectors as "high volume" vs vacuums being comparatively "low volume" devices (yes, I know pressure adds to the differences as well...). Given this fact, it should Be apparent that health risks are magnified in vacuum cleaners, not because of how well or not so well they filter BUT how they will leave residual dust in the air simply because of the difference in volume being much lower on average than a true dust collector. You can find both types of systems, DC's and shopvacs, with filtering capabilities that span the spectrum from good to bad, but it is a non factor if the unit is incapable of extracting enough volume, in a short enough timeframe to insure that the air you are breathing is not constantly left laden with microfiine particles of wood dust. Bill Penz, a fellow woodworker began a in depth research effort starting from his hospital bed where he was recovering from toxic wood dust poisoning. Here is a link to the section: "medical risks" which spells it out more clearly than I have ever seen and goes on to discuss why there is so much confusion on the topic, like what I have read within this thread. This is only one section of an entire website devoted to dust collection and shop air quality in general. Here is that link:
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/medicalrisks.cfm
Hope that Bill's research sheds some credible insights on what is an increasingly confusing topic. regards, Joe.
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Nope not me, in this particular thread.
Given this fact, it should Be

WRONG! The fact that a shop vac is not designed to filter residual dust floating in the ambient air is not its fault nor does it magnify the problem. The problem already exists.
You can find both types of systems,

Wrong again. "Neither" type machine is intended to clean the ambient air to a "safe level" and believing that either will do so is an indicator that you may not know what their intended purposes are.
What both of these type "vacuum cleaners" are designed to do, "with varying degrees", is to prevent the type dust you are talking about from escaping back into the room air after being contained FROM A SURFACE OR WHEN CONNECTED DIRRECTLY TO A MACHINE.
Neither type machine is intended to clean the ambient air, some are designed to varying degrees to not redistribute collected dust back into the air. If you are using either machine to clean up fine dust that has settled on a surface it should not redistribute the dust back into the air providing either type has adequate filtration to prevent this from happening.
If you want to clean up the ambient air you need to use an "Air Cleaner" NOT a dust collector or shop vac.
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Over the years, I've found that shop vacs are great for what they're designed to do, which is pick up the mess on the floors and benches.
As a dust collector, shop vacs work well on power miter saws, a tribe of tools noted for its perfectly lousy dust removal into fairly standard small bags. Fix a shop vac hose on an SCMS, and zing! You've got decent--not perfect--dust collection. But, as someone else mentioned, they're not easy on the ears, even the quieter ones (though my Festool is considerably quieter than my Ridgids and Craftsman).
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Ted wrote:

As big as possible but as most everyone else says they are a waste of time for collecting dust from a tool. My story...
1. Years ago I had an inexpensive Shop Vac (brand name) I used on a radial saw. It worked OK, used a pleated paper filter, died after 3-4 years.
2. I got a Ridgid vac, 12 gallon, used it mostly on a Performax drum sander. It sucked decently, used a pleated paper filter, but was a pain because the sander spits out so much sanding dust that the vac needed frequent emptying. It too died in 3-4 years.
3. I bought another Shop Vac (brand name), 16 gallon, also mainly for the drum sander. I *hated* it. It worked just fine if I used the paper bags that fit inside the canister but - as expected - those fill up in a hurry and aren't designed to be reusable. And those pieces of paper are not cheap. There are two other filter choices...the pleated paper drum and a foam one. The pleated drum was useless...it had so many pleats that it just filled up with dust almost immediately and it was nigh on to impossible to clean. The foam filter worked better but is held in place by a plastic ring; the plastic ring always slipped allowing dust into the exhaust. The vac still lives but in a corner and is only used to sweep up stuff from the floor. Not much good for that either.
4. I got a Delta dust collector at Lowes for about $170 (discontinued model now, not then though).
Conclusion: save your money...skip the vac and get a dust collector. Use a broom for the floor.
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one anyway. What should the minimum power be? I will run it through a 5 gallon bucket collector first.

I use a small shop vac for my lathe and scroll saw. Since I have very limited space, a separate dust system isn't an option for me but this works very well enough.
If I can ever clear out my storage shed, I hope to convert it into a micro-shop and add an outside dust system. But that's just in the dream state still for now.
`Casper
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I first bought a Fein Turbo III vacuum many moons ago. They are much quieter than shop vacs at least initially. As insulation wears out over the years it starts getting louder. It has the added convenience of plugging the tool cord right into it and when turn tool on and off vac does the same automatically. Of course you don't do that with large stationary tools since amp rating is limited.. As far as vacuuming, it worked ok for my 6" jointer, marginal for tablesaw, not good for planer and so so for bandsaw. I would forget the idea of using 5 gallon bucket. You will no doubt lose precious vacuuming power. Eventually I bought a dust collector which works great for all the tools and actually I use it for vacuuming too by reducing down to a ~2 inch vac hose. Much more suction than Fein. It will vacuum up nails. I do use the Fein for portable tools (sanders/routers), and my miter saw. Having it go on and off with the tool is convenient.

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Ted wrote:

Ted, the whole purpose of using a dust collector is getting the fine dust out of your breathing space. It is only a added bonus that the course dust also gets removed.
Now one question: Which is cheaper, spending several hundered dollars on a good dust collecting system or making several visits a year to the doctor to deal with any of several major breathing problems brought on by extended exposure to dust too fine to be filtered by your nasal hair, which has lodged in your lungs and is shutting off your air supply?
Deb
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