Hey all. I occaisionally lurk here reading what you all have to say. I have
had a garage shop for years and finally decided that I need to get a dust
collection system. The shop-vac just doesn't cut it and I am also concerned
about the dangers of dust in my lungs.
So I'm going to do this right the first time so I don't waste tons of money
and time. I know I have to get a cyclonic collector the will get the dust in
the .5micron range otherwise I might just as well be saving for a nice
oxygen tank for when I get emphysyma (sp).
Gentlemen, I've looked at a design by Bill Pentz, (Clearvue) and Oneida as
well as Grizzly. What I ask of you is recommendations or what to avoid.
specific troubles you might have encountered etc. Other brand that might be
Thanks for the help in advance.
1986 CJ7 4.0l head w/MOPAR MPFI, Tom Woods driveshaft, 4:10 w/Detroits F/R,
Some machines can benefit from an upgrade to their dust ports and/or
openings that exist as purchased. To wit: bandsaws and tablesaws. Buy
the biggest dust collector you can swing, and keep the main branch and
drops as large as feasible, around 5-6 inches if possible. Tom
Over the last year I watched my house being built and planned on using
the oversized garage as a wood shop. My father and I decided to
upgrade our previous Grizzly dust handler to a rigid (hard pipe)
system. We went with Oneida. The 3hp system we got is very powerful.
There are a few pleasant surprises I won't go into with this system.
The things I will go into with at least the Oneida system is what
we've experienced setting the system up.
1) Design. Oneida will design the pipe layout for you. Make sure you
include the actual USABLE ceiling height. We have some support beams
that actually lower the ceiling bit and have caused some assembly
changes on the fly. Also make sure the designer knows the size of the
barrel you plan to use under the cyclone. It has a bearing on the
height the pipes will enter the shop.
2) Weight. The cyclone shipment IS heavy! You will either need a
lift gate truck or a forklift to deal with this load. It's something
you will have to arrange with the freight company. The rest of the
pipe came UPS.
3) Assembly of the cyclone. BRING LOTS OF FRIENDS. This puppy is
heavy and top heavy when assembled. If you have a forklift or sissor
lift, you'll have no problems. It took 3 people to get just the
impeller and motor assembly to the top of the cyclone. Also make sure
you have the intake and outflow fittings organized correctly before
you put it up. To change this arrangement requires the near complete
disassembly of the cyclone.
4) Piping setup. READ THE PLANS! Due to our earlier mistakes in not
giving them complete information on the shop we had to modify the
designed layout a little. But by going over the plans have been able
to keep the pipe reductions correct so as to maintain the needed CFM
for the various equipment we have.
Rich, I've been doing a lot of research on this myself lately. To me,
the ClearVue is not only a terrific cyclone, but also the cheapest for
what you get.
WITHOUT a cyclone separator (e.g., the Harbor Freight conversion), a
system is only as good as the filter when clean. My experience is the
shopvac filter clogs in 5 minutes--meaning I spend more time cleaning
the filter than actually using the vacuum. So I need a cyclone.
WITH a cyclone, there are a few vendors to choose from (ClearVue,
Grizzly, Oneida. Delta) but if you use motor HP and impeller size as
the true measurement of CFM (not the vendor's testing) ClearVue is
less than 1/2 price of the next cheapest Grizzly.
I've been contemplating making my own cyclone, but by the time you buy
a motor, impeller, and materials you're just about at the ClearVue
price. I don't have any affiliation with them, it's just that from
what I can tell, they simply have the best dust collection value out
I installed the Clearvue and am extremely happy with it. The cyclone does a
tremendous job of pulling dust from the machines but you do have to change
the dust ports on most of the machines to make them larger to take full
advantage of the power of the cyclone.
I had a few problems in assembling the unit due to not reading the
directions properly and Ed was most helpful to bail me out of a couple of
problems I created. He did it at no cost to me and I would have been more
than happy to pay since I caused the problems.
Great machine and great service.
: Hey all. I occaisionally lurk here reading what you all have to say. I have
: had a garage shop for years and finally decided that I need to get a dust
: collection system. The shop-vac just doesn't cut it and I am also concerned
: about the dangers of dust in my lungs.
I'm in a similar situation. I have a small shop and I work in it
alone; I'll never be using two machines at the same time. I'd like to
see a discussion of the trade-offs between the following approaches:
1) Install a cyclone with ducts and gates to each machine.
2) Same as (1), but I put the cyclone in a shelter outside the
building to reduce noise (and free up space in my shop). How much
extra power do I need to compensate for another 30' or so of duct?
3) Get a small dust collector on wheels and attach it directly to
whatever machine I'm using. Very inexpensive, and no problems with
long runs and leaky gates.
Much as I'd like to design, purchase, and install the perfect dust
collection system, I'm thinking that starting small and cheap might
make sense. If I use this for a few years and decide that I really
need a larger system, I'm only out a couple hundred dollars. I might
even be able to re-use the small DC to provide additional suction for
one machine, by removing the filter bag and attaching the output of
the small DC to the duct leading to the cyclone.
Or, is this just a waste of time and money, and I should just get a
Well, just by using a DC on wheels with a dust bag you'll capture a
lot of dust at the source. But, if you thinking about installing
piping, elbows, cyclone, blast gates, remote switch--the whole
works--you'll need $1000 or more. I suggest starting with a 2 or 3 HP
DC that has a .5 micron bag from PennState or Grizzly (about $400).
You'll have enough air flow to add piping, a drop box (or cyclone)
later. If you can get a DC that can run on either 120v or 240v, all
the better (I started with 120v and later switched to 240v for very
little money). A garbage-can cyclone works very well, about $60 for
both can and lid. A pre-collector, either a cyclone or drop box will
help protect your DC propeller. Do not buy a DC with a plastic
propeller. Oneida is very good but a bit overpriced. With all this,
you *still* should wear a good-fitting respirator, about $120. Some
kinds of wood dust is particularly bad to breathe, but all can
irritate. After 30 years of woodworking I still do not have
stationary DC piping, but I do have a remote switch which I highly
recommend for convenience. Cheers to clean lungs!
I'm definitely not going with a single stage system. I might just as well
suck the dust rght from the machines, it would be cheaper. Cyclones are the
only way for me. I'm willing to pay the cost. What price can you set on a
good pair of lungs. I think I'm going with the clear-vue, oneida or
something similar. Its just hard to weed through the adversiing hype that
all of them spew. When I invest that kind of bank on something that is
supposed to stop me from developing lung disease I want to make an informed
and correct decision.
Rich Harris :1986 CJ7, Detroits F/R, 4:10's, 33"BFGMT's, Mopar F/I, 4.0L
head, Rubicon Express 2.5" Wrangler springs, Procomp MX6 Shocks, and a bunch
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