Vacuum cleaner question

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(Scott Lurndal)

I had a central vac system and thought it was a PITA. It was in my house when I bought the house and had been purchased and installed when the house was built in 1984. Far easier and cheaper to just buy a decent upright for each floor of the house. They work better (at least better than my central vac) are easier to use than that 25 foot hose and are easier to put away out of sight when done and no carrying anything up and down the stairs.
Dave Hall
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We once owned a Kirby. Biggest piece of junk I ever saw. Fine dust all over the house from the bag. You can't get rid of the fine dust unless you use a CYCLONE or a very exceptional other machine such as a Rainbow. We bought a private-label cyclone machine 20 years ago that got splended results but it's no longer on the market. It was made by Bissell which now has their own cyclone on the market, I believe. We got over 12 POUNDS of dirt out of 2 square yards (area 4 by 4-1/2 feet) of carpet that our Kirby wouldn't pull up. A good vacuum centrifugally separates the dirt from the air and filters the air before it gets to the blower/fan. If that's not how the candidate product works, keep looking. The alternative is fine dust on the furniture, just like you get fine dust all over your shop if you use one of the many popular dust collectors that have inverted canvas bags for filters.
If you invest in a good shop dust collector of the cyclone variety, you'll get rid of most of the sawdust you're tracking into the house. So take some of the money you save buying the Bissell instead of the Kirby, and buy a good cyclone system based on Bill Pentz's design. Invest some time at
http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworking/cyclone/Index.cfm
to get educated, then look at
http://cnets.net/~eclectic/woodworking/cyclone/ClarkesKits.cfm
for information on a good cyclone in kit form which I have adapted from Bill's design to make it a lot easier to build. I also am producing a matching blower housing. Add an impeller, motor, and sub-micron fine filters, and you have a dust-free shop. Cyclones are amazingly effective machines when properly designed and installed. But just because someone calls their product a "cyclone" doesn't mean it will do an exceptional job of cleaning up your shop and the air in it.
Clarke
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