Where would you start with a dust collection system when you are ready to
move up from the shop vac?
I am a recreational woodworker and based on the price of the retail DC
systems it would be the most expensive tool in my shop. Do you have a
recommendation on an entry into DC that would not be too expensive?
Thanks in advance for your help!
I built a chip collector using a Toro Lawn blower/vacumm. $58 at Lowes. It
does a magnificent job of sucking out the chips in my thickness planer. I
have been using this for about four years.
Walter H. Klaus
Try Harbor Freight for a unit under $200. Some deem it inadequate but it
works for my small shop. Moving up in quality look at Delta, Penn State's
offerings too (www.pennstateindustries.com). Do a Google search too. Just
remember that you will have the price of the unit again tied up in piping
(some use Sewer and Drain, aka S&D or PVC, both available at Lowes and HD).
Harbor Freight has an accessories package that is useful with dust gates and
hoses. Check out some of the archives here (search) or on one of the WW'ing
forums for a well hashed out discussion on multiple threads. Best of luck!
I got one of these but I wish I had gotten a bigger version. It
actually works pretty good but running it through a trash can cyclone
it has lost a bit of volume.
Delta 1 hp, 650 CFM for $150 OK?
I have one, use it mostly with a drum sander and it does the job. Home
Depot also sells (sold) them for about $30 more than net stores but that
might still be cheaper depending on shipping costs and local taxes.
I will be selling a Jet DC-1100, with a cannister filter and trash can
pre-separator in September.
It works very well, but I've outgrown it and am replacing it with a 3HP
I'm in Connecticut. email me directly, if interested.
I have one question to ask, "What would one trip to the doctor cost?" If
you have insurance, a lot less than a DC. BUT, that would not be the last
trip nor would your life ever be the same.
So, is a DC worth it? Dumb question, right?
If you are on a short budget, go for the HF model, add a felt bag from
Highland Hardware and you will be in pretty good shape for about $250.00,
if you catch the sales right.
What I did was try the shop vac and quickly realized that was not cutting
it. Moved to a small Jet 650CMF for about a year then moved to the HF and
the felt bags (anything that does not filter to 1 micron is a waste of
money). To increase the amount of filter bag area, I put two filter bags
on the top of the DC, (made a wooden frame to mount on top of the collector
ring and mounted the two bags on top of the frame - the nice thing about HF
is that the parts to do this were cheap - two collector rings, plus another
bag from Highland Hardware).
I ran that for two or three years and then had a cyclone made, pulled the
impeller off the HF, mounted it remotely and vented it outside the shop in
to a small collection shed - that I built to resemble an outhouse, half
moon and all). That has worked well, CFM is up because I do not have a
filter bag to reduce the airflow. I would like to upgrade the impeller,
but that is for the future. With seven drops, and blast gates leaking like
they do, I still have fairly good vaccum - better than with a filter bag.
For what it is worth.
Not sure what you mean by "not too expensive". I bought this one
(Amazon.com product link shortened)19841839&sr=8-1
Just a little over $300 delivered to your door. It has 1 micron
filtration, sucks like you wouldn't believe and the bag is really easy
to install (read reviews on the difficulty of some units. It even
grabs most chips off of my lathe. There are other bigger units but
this one suits my purpose just fine and I felt the price was very
Keep an eye on craigslist. I bought a Jet dc1200 (I think that's the model?)
It was an older unit that had never even had a plug attached to the cord. I
Now I need to spend another $400 building an outdoor enclosure for it and
run the piping into the shop.
The DC system you start up with is probably not what
you will end up with.
The layout of your tools(floor size) is the biggest
decision in what you need.
You need to do a workup of what tool needs HOW MUCH
DC and what tools need a smaller amount.
Some tools can "get by" with a large shop vac:
1. drill press
2. router table
4. miter saw
While other tools CAN NOT get by with a shop vac and
require a great deal more DC power:
Soooo, you will probably start out with a
combination of collectors.
Many folks start with a classic:
This unit can actually be wheeled around from machine
to machine but that will become a pain in the wazoo
and you will want to discover the wonderful and complex
world of DC pipe systems. This will require more reading
and more conversation.
You will also need a couple of these:
This little system is quite handy:
and could be used with a large shop vac for the smaller tools
or larger tools with a bigger DC hooked up to the system.
One last piece of advice:
You CAN NOT run pipes all over a shop and expect a 1.5HP dust
collector to work properly.
Read up on what others have done and note that bigger
is better in dust collection.
By educating yourself as much as possible in the beginning,
you can avoid a LOT of the mistakes that others have made.
Yep....it's an expensive hobby...
Before you buy anything, read through
Also for a second opinion you might want to pick up a copy of
(Amazon.com product link shortened)19846788&sr=1-3
for 15 bucks.
Once you've been through both of those you'll be in a _much_ better
position to decide what you need.
If you don't filter down to 1 micron then your risking your health and
wasting your money. You can even make the health risk worse with bad
filtering. I'd recommend you stop by the library and pick up a copy
of Controlling Dust In The Workshop, by Rick Peters. It covers
everything you need to know and the text is broken up with lots of
A couple of budget dependent options I'd recommend.
1. Shop vac with a pre seperator and a 1 micron filter added inside
2. Portable dust collector with 1 micron bags or replacement 1 micron
3. Cyclone with 1 micron or better filter or bags
Worst case, wear a respirator as much as possible. I often wear one
even when there's good dust collection. A lot of dust still escapes
when sanding or using certain tools. Over time you'll get allergies,
cysts, tumors and emphysema. I've dealt with the first 2 already.
Define "not too expensive". Dust collectors basically start at less than
$150 and go up to well over $1000.
With that, I got my first and current dust collator in the spring of 06
IIRC. I knew that I could spend tons of money on the set up if I were not
careful and I did not want the purchase of one to require me to work harder
to set it up.
I spent about $500 total for a set up that is simple and efficient. I have
a Jet 1100 CFM collector with the large canister filter on top. To it I
attached 2, 10' , 4" diameter clear hoses end to end. I have a hose hook
attached near the ceiling near the collector to loop the hose over when
working near the collector. If I need to go across the garage with the 20"
hose I take the hose down from the hook. The end of the hose has a slip on
quick connect end that is a friction fit to all my equipment. This
arrangement works great and I am not committed to using any particular tool
in any particular location.
My collector has the factory remote control which is a VERY HANDY feature.
My Jet DC-1100 really sucks, in a good way.
I left it portable since it has to live in a distant corner if I want to get
the car and truck into the shop.
It pulled the remote off the tablesaw from about a foot away... Impeller is
pretty tough too, no marks after the remote was reduced from one to 17
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