Shop vac for dust collection


I have a few tools (table saw, radial arm saw, sander, grinder) that I use probably a few times a month that are fitted with connections for dust collector. I use them in the garage where a lot of other stuff is stored. So after using them there is always dust all over the place. To what extent would a dust collector keep the garage clean? Do they just get the big bits so you don't need to sweep but still leave dust everywhere? Given that I don't have the space to permenantly connect a dust collection system I'm wondering if I wouldn't be as well off buying a strong shop vac and connecting as needed.
All advice appreciated.
Peter
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Peter Wells wrote:

DC collects SOME of the dust and wood chips, but there will still be some airborne dust. For that, you can install an air filtration unit. They are quiet and some have remote controls. mount in a high, central location. I don't have a severe enough problem with dust in my shop so I haven't purchased the filter, but I've looked at them and read about their usage. I think if you are concerned about the dust laying around, you should realize that you are also BREATHING it in, so for your health, you might want to seriously consider getting one. Delta and Jet both make them. There is a small triangular shaped one with a light under it, available at Lowes. I doubt it is a high volume unit, however--it's pretty small.
Dave
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David,
Would you have any recommendations for an air filtration system? My workshop will be rather small (about 13' x 18'), but large enough to warrant addressing the dust problem.
I too will have a DC system of some sort, but I was in fact concerned about the dust and particles that will ultimately fill the environment. I'll wear a dust mask when sawing, but I'd rather not have to keep it on after I'm done sawing. The fine particles float around for quite some time.
Jack
David wrote:

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mywebaccts (at) PLUGcomcast.net wrote:

Jack, no, I'm sorry, I'm not up on the merits of the various units currently available. I know what you mean about wanting to rip off the mask when it seems the worst of the dust has settled. Problem with removing a mask just moments after shutting off the saw is that you'll still be breathing in the fine dust, which is much worse than the large visible particles. The filtration units should turn over "x" amount of air per hour to be considered effective. It takes a finite amount of time to clean the air to a healthful level, so I wouldn't count on a filter to obviate then need to wear a mask. Capturing the offending dust at its source should be a high priority, as once it's airborne, it takes time to remove it. Meanwhile, maskless, you are breathing in tiny particles which can lodge in the lungs. As uncomfortable as it may be, I say keep your mask on. I use the disposable N95 type masks unless spraying. then I wear an organic vapors respirator.
Dave
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Good point. Breathing in a little dust won't hurt you, but over time it really adds up. Plus, it's those micro-fine particles that do the most damage to your internals. Sometimes I wonder how my father lived as long as he did! He took no precautions at all.
Then again, his health in his last 10-15 years was pretty dismal.
I do worry about my safety in the workshop. I suppose I should have plenty of dust masks available and easily assessible so that I never have an excuse not to wear one.
Jack
David wrote:

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I tried the same thing - small, weekend shop on a budget - and I've found that I shop vac (with the optional HEPA filter) works fairly well for sucking up dust and chips. I've used it connected directly to my home-made router table, bandsaw, and RO sander. It is definitely loud, even with the optional 'muffler', so with that and your power tools, you'll definitely need hearing protection (Unless you drop $300 for the Fein shop-vac). I've found that my basement shop stays fairly free of dust. When possible, I also have a box fan that I point out the window or attach a Filtrete furnace filter to. This isn't as efficient as a true shop air filter, of course, but I usually use a face-mask filter too, and the fan + filter is about $190 cheaper than a true air cleaner. Good temporary fix, until I can start spending more time in the shop. Hope this helps, Andy
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Andy wrote:

I have done much the same as you -- I have a HEPA filter for the shop vac, but I also use the .1 Micron Bags -- for drywall and cement dust.
Recently I added the small chip separator from busy bee tools. $30 CDN...
I will be adding an air filter soon -- HEPA style.
For face masks, use the N95 NIOSH filter with the port on the front if you have glasses or face mask -- it stays cooler and less fogging.
Face mask is now standard equipment in the shop. Breathing is a lot easier...
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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I use both. DC connected to table saw, router table, jointer and other high dust volume, stationary, tools. I use the shop vac with my ROS, belt sander and other portable tools. What I would like to do some day is have a very long small hose that I can drag around the shop as necessary to use with the portable tools. I cant imagine any shop vac doing what my DC does.
I have a Griz http://www.grizzly.com/products/item.cfm?itemnumber=G1029Z

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Before we moved my basement served dual purposes: I called it my workshop but my wife called it the laundry room. Needless to say, I needed to remove as much dust as I could. I built an air cleaner - buy the blower from Grainger, mount it in a 1'x2' box with frames to install a couple furnace filters. I put a bag filter at the output. In particular, the first filter collected a lot. Total cost was about $150, or about $100 less than the commercial units, and it worked great.
Steve

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A plumber also installs furnaces and when I asked for a 2 speed squirrel cage from one pulled out they said O.K. and 3 weeks later called for me to pick it up. Gratis. Paid $8.00 for switch from motor shop.
On Fri, 19 Aug 2005 18:09:26 GMT, "Steve Peterson"

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wrote:

==========================Depends on what you actually mean by " keeping the garage clean"....
I sure would be hooking up a Shop Vac if for no other reason then to reduce the amount of dust....
I have (AND USE) both 1 and a 2 Hp Dust Collectors in my shop...(24x24) ...plus I have (AND USE) two Delta Air Filters in the shop... and I enclosed my shop vac (because of noise) in a plywood cabinet and installed my own central vac system for the shop...
Even doing this I still have... dust ! Not nearly as much as I would have without using the filters and Dust Collectors BUT my shop is 90 percent cleaner then it would be...
Dust Collectors work by sucking a lot of air at a relitevely low speed and a Shop Vac works by sucking a lot less air but at a much higher speed... That is important to understand... Dust collertors collect dust...the small stuff (air borne etc) a heck of a lot better then any Shop vac...but the shop vac will suck up the chips better then a Dust Collector...
I Honestly like working in a clean shop (relitevily) ..its just more relaxing and enjoyable... Thats why I have DC's Filters etc...I DO NOT have them to protect my health... but I realize that I do get some health benifits with my system...that is just a plus since I am after a clean shop..
In your Garage I would hook the tools up to a Shop Vac...(especially the sander)...I would also NOT own a BLACK car and park it in the garage ...
Bob G
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Peter Wells wrote:

I was using a large shop vac which did a very good job catching the easily visible stuff from the table saw, RAS, and router table, but left a cloud of dust around each machine which eventually settled everywhere. The larger space of "negative air pressure" created by my new 1 1/2 HP DC seems to have all but eliminated the cloud.
For occasional use, the shop vace would be okay IMHO.
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consider your budget. there's a breaking point at around $200. below that, shop vacs are loud enough to drive you nuts, and dust collectors are pretty wimpy.
above $200 you can start finding quiet shop vacs (but they are still not good for a lot of volume) and you get into the range of decent dust collectors.
bottom line is, you're really going to want to have both.
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It would be my OPINION that shop vacs are not designed to run for long periods, but dust collector motors are.
Don Dando

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Peter Wells wrote:

I have a dedicated Jet DC unit, or rather one on wheels with a flex hose connected to my TS. It's 1 HP and does a nice job for me. I also have a Jet Gold Air Filtration unit ceiling hung right over my TS. I've noticed far less dust around the shop on shelves and cans and stuff since I started using them. I don't use a mask unless I'm cutting tons of stuff... I just flip on the switches and start cutting/working. I shut the DC off when I don't cut... as it is noisy. Not as noisy as a shop-vac though, and the AF has a remote and timer so I can set it for X hours and it'll shut down automatically when the time is up.
A shop vac is a marginal DC machine but it's all about budget. You can build a fairly effective AF with an old AC/Furnace squirrel cage fan, some plywood, and a couple of filters. Definitely worth looking in to.
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Thanks to all those who replied, you've got me thinking about making something. One of those kids outdoor inflatable castle blowers and some sort of separator,.
Peter

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