ShopVac as dust collector

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On Wed, 24 Jun 2009 17:30:52 -0400, Bill wrote:

Just a word of warning about the shop-vac. There is no parts for the top that house's the motor. If something goes wrong, you have to toss it or buy a complete new top. Unless it is something you can fix yourself.
Paul T.
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which parts do you mean? i've called shopvac and had them replace the motor under warrantee without any problems at all. they ship you a new one in just a few business days.
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On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 09:57:33 -0700, charlie wrote:

Try ordering the on/off switch or some other small part.
Paul T.
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I tried it on my Unisaw and gave up on the idea. It's easier to just clean up the sawdust after. I will get a proper dust collector in the next few weeks (no hurry because it's too hot to make sawdust).
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Well, I think the bottom line is that ANY dust collection is better than none...
Besides the normal considerations, I'd rate the noise of my shop vac as just past annoying, and wouldn't want it running for long periods..
There are inexpensive "portable" DC units that would do a better job and preserve your shop vac, IMHO..
mac
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Which raises the question, how much of a dust collector do I need (having already given up on the shop vac as less than useless)? I only need one tool operational at a time, though I'd not want to have to disconnect one tool to attach another. Is 2.5u too much (30u seems ridiculous)? The inexpensive portables seem to all have 30u bags. Is 1u really required? Keep in mind that this is for a hobbyiest use in a (normally open) garage, not 8x5x40 years. SWMBO isn't liking the tracked-in sawdust much.
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Take a look at Bill Pentz's website. His recommendations may seem a little extreme, but someone in this thread pointed out a good DC setup costs less than repeat visits to a doctor for lung problems. (I think it was Dr. Deb.)
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm
I do use the shop vac on the router, and does an excellent job. The router produces chips rather than fine dust, and that makes it easier for the vac to get.
Puckdropper
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On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:17:48 +0000, Puckdropper wrote:

I won't argue with that, but some of us (like me) have a tiny shop with no room for a dust collector. I did make an air cleaner that fits between the rafters, but I use a shop vac for dust collection on my router table, thickness sander, and bandsaw. I don't think the vac does an outstanding job, but it's adequate. My jointer and planer aren't set up for dust collection, so I vacuum afterwards. And my antique tablesaw has a square dust port which I haven't gotten around to making an adapter for - that's on the to do list.
So my opinion is, if you have room for a dust collector, try to find the money to buy one. If not, a shop vac is a lot better than nothing.
But everyone should have an air cleaner.
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Mine serves as a stand for my 10" bandsaw and benchtop ROS. It's a plywood box on casters that has an old furnace blower and space for three 16" furnace filters on the intake side, and incorporates plugins for the tools. My basement shop is about 10x20...
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"Dave Balderstone" wrote:

Just curious, are you able to get pleated furnace filters or are you limited to spun glass?
Lew
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Two of the three are pleated and the third (inner-most) is a 3M micro-allergen. I don't bother replacing them, I just vacuum off the outer one every now and then.
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On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 17:06:49 -0600, Dave Balderstone wrote:

My freestanding one is about 11x13 - I'll trade you.
I use two filters in my air cleaner. A regular spun one backed up by a pleated allergy one. I tried doing without the spun one, but the pleated one clogged too quickly.
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I have two, whenever it clogged I washed and let it dry. In the meantime I used the other one that I had cleaned previously.
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Which raises the question, how much of a dust collector do I need (having already given up on the shop vac as less than useless)? I only need one tool operational at a time, though I'd not want to have to disconnect one tool to attach another. Is 2.5u too much (30u seems ridiculous)? The inexpensive portables seem to all have 30u bags. Is 1u really required? Keep in mind that this is for a hobbyiest use in a (normally open) garage, not 8x5x40 years. SWMBO isn't liking the tracked-in sawdust much.
A very common size DC is in the 1100-1200 CFM range. IIRC mine is 1100 and uses the canister type filter. Very handy and easiy to deal with when changing bags. The bigger the unit, the less you have to change bags and the more effecient it is. From my collector I run a 20' clear rinforced 4" hose to each of my machines as I need it. I used the tapered quick connect on the end of the machine end of the hose. The DC remains stationary, the 20' reaches any where I need it. It keeps up just fine with a 15" stationary plainer not to mention the TS, BS and all the other stuff that produces dust.
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Bill wrote:

It depends mostly on what filter you are using...
1. Paper bag filter works well, is a *huge* PITA to change. Changing is a frequent chore, bags aren't cheap.
2. Pleated paper canister...works OK for "big" sawdust lile that from a saw, router. No good for dust from a sander as it clogs rapidly. Hard to clean too as the ShopVac ones have more than normal pleats.
3. Foam filter...OK for big dust and doesn't clog as much as pleated paper with fine dust but they (mine at least) don't stay on well.
I almost never use my 16 gallon ShopVac as I bought a dust collector. Not that much more money and worlds better.
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If your TS is one that has a shroud around the blade that the collection hose can directly attach to (Like the old Delta CS II among others) then a good shop vac may work adequately. But with a more conventional setup it won't work very well. For a contractor saw your just about as well off with one of those "diapers" that attaches under the saw.
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