Well, a few months ago I ordered a 3HP dust collector for the shop.... It
got here pretty quick (more or less on time), then spent a few weeks sitting
waiting for me to get the time to put it all together....
My observations so far:
Hanging the DC blower/separator/cyclone
That sucker is *heavy*
you've got to lift the motor/blower about 9 feet
up, and secure it to a bracket mounted to the wall (or some other supporting
device). This is not a job for one person. 2 can do it, 3 would make it a
easier (if you've got the space)...
The second part (the separator) is also heavy, but you don't have to get
it up 9 feet. Only about 7 1/2. Then you have to secure it in place by
placing a long (like 3' diameter) band clamp over a lip in the top of the
separator and another lip in the bottom of the blower. Add the fact that
there is a large piece of loose sheet metal that sits inside this part, and
it tends to like to fall out as the unit is lifted into place..... 4 people
would be good for this, but unless you're mounting the DC unit in the middle
of a room, count on doing it with one or two. Creative use of verbs is
encouraged here...... Oh yeah, and you're supposed to put a bead of silicone
sealer on the joint before you put it up. And if you get it place, and its
not pointing in the right direction (this is where you determine which way
the intake duct points) plan on redesigning your ductwork.....
Once the separator is in place, the cyclone is pretty easy to deal with. Its
light (sort of), not very high, and pretty easy to get on....
Overall, I can think of a couple of places that could use major improvement
(like the fastening system between the components). My advice would be to
ignore the directions, put the whole thing together on the ground
(preferably on a pallet or something), then jack it up the 3 or 4 feet
needed to get it into the right position.....
It took me 2 half days to get this installed. Half days because after I got
the motor/blower installed, I really didn't want to deal with the next bit,
so I put it off....
I've got something like 350 pounds of snap-lock ducting to put in place.
The snap-lock stuff is easy to work with. The pre-crimped ends are great,
and slide together nicely. I wish I could say the same for the "Y" joints.
they're all nicely made, but the QC seems to be spotty at best. Almost all
of the ones I used needed to have their crimps redone (or the crimps of the
pipe going into them needed to be re-done). The larger diameter Y joints
were the worst, with the "finished" ends being a little to small to allow a
crimped pipe to slip into them, and a little too big to slide into a
non-crimped pipe. These were bad enough that if I was repeating this
exercise, I'd buy all them locally.....
The long radius elbows are supposed to be adjustable from 90 degrees to
straight. They may be, but Arnold S would have a tough time getting the
joints to move. The manual recommends "tapping the ends lightly on the
floor" to loosen them up, but that didn't seem to do anything. I ended up
building a set of clamps using romex and a stick to make something like a
giant oil filter wrench. I made two, and used them on adjacent sections to
twist them to the desired position. I probably spent as much Time trying to
get these things set right than I spent putting the rest of the system
together. recommendation: don't bother with these unless you need an odd
angle. Find a shop that sells 45 degree long radius corners, or have a local
sheet metal shop make them for you. It'll probably cost about the same as
Oneida charges (I'm including the cost of the angst of dealing with them
here). All of the ones I needed were for either 90 or 45 degree corners, so
it should be pretty easy to get them made, and it'll be worth it.... It took
me 2 days to install all of the ducting...
The method of installation that I used was to build a small section of
ductwork - usually 2-4 pieces, depending on what it was - seal all of the
joints and seams, then carry it downstairs and install it (all of the
ducting runs under the floor). I chose to not bother screwing the pipes
together. The metal tape I used to seal the joints seems to be plenty
strong, and I used a lot of supports (roughly one every 2 feet).
Overall, the ductwork setup wasn't that bad. Their design team blew one
section - they tried to feed 2 machines that are fairly close together by
putting flex hose and a splitter at the end of a run. They missed the fact
that the machines were "close" in relation to the shop, but the shop is 40 x
52 feet, so I ended up with a 10' run of flex tube. I redesigned that
section to use more snap-lock. I must admit that I missed this until I
started building it, so the fault isn't entirely with Oneida....
I still have to hook up the machines to the ductwork, but based on the
ductwork experience, I don't think it'll be too bad. I'm expecting to spend
about a day at it.
That makes a total install time of 4 days, mostly working alone. a couple of
helpers would probably speed it up a lot, especially the ductwork - one
person could build the small units, and another could install them, and they
would both be able to keep busy.
For wiring I'm building a system that will turn the DC on whenever a blast
gate is opened. I figure probably a day or so at that. most of it will be
low voltage wiring and getting the switches installed into the blast
Overall, I'm pretty happy. There are a couple of areas that I think Oneida
really screwed up on, but they only matter when the system is being built
(biggest gripe is what it took to get the blower/cyclone hung on the
share and enjoy