I will also be interested in the same info, I have just placed an
order for a Delta AP400 D.C.
I had planned on using a shop vacuum cleaner with 2½ hose but this
idea was a bad one. The filter gets clogged up with dust very quickly
and loss of suction becomes obvious. Not to mention that vacuum is
louder than all the other tools.
i just got the ap400k for $129.00 at the Andersons General Store in
I had been using the loudest shopvac known to man prior to purchasing it and
what an improvement.
I have not yet fully installed it. but i ran to my existing 2" hoses and it
works very well, i cant wait to get the 4" runs on vacation..
My only complaint is that it moves so much air that it acts like a fan in my
garage and fights with my space heater by cooling the place down. I promise
not to complain in July..
The AP400 here in Quebec is $298.00 CDN dont't know what the asking
price is for the AP400K. $129.00 sounds like a good deal to me, it
would be cheaper to buy in the U.S and drive back with it.
Thanks to everyone for their inputs. However, giving credit where
credit is due to those folks that have created exhaustive treatises on
the subject of dust collection, I have great difficulty understanding
all those technical details, etc.
What I want to do is merely collect the waste created by a jointer, a
planer, a table saw, a router table, or a band saw, and as an added
bonus, help clear the air in my shop of fine dust particles that may be
out and about. I am a one man hobbyist shop and I never have more then
one tool running at a time. I do use palm and belt sanders quite a bit.
I usually just use a shop vac to clean up the waste from my lathe.
My shop is 20' x 30', and the way I have it arranged the center is about
right in the middle of the planer, jointer, and tablesaw. I am now
using a shopvac, located at the center which I just switch to whichever
tool I'm using, so there are no blast gates to deal with. Located
centrally there, I can easily use the shopvac for general shop floor
cleanup, too. It really does work quite well, except I wonder if I
can't improve the general condition of the shop air with a large DC
system. When the shopvac is on, and of course, when either the planer
or the jointer is on, I always use ear protection, so I don't think
noise level is a determining factor. I have a place in the corner of
the shop where I could locate the DC, so my idea would be to run one 4"
PVC duct to the center of the shop and then let a flexible duct fall
from the ceiling to floor level where I would then connect to whichever
tool I want to collect waste from, or to a long vacuum hose for floor
Any comments on that idea? Can anyone offer me a suggestion as to what
kind of system I need to put in to accomplish this?
lets get to the basics. a minimum usually is a 2hp system that has a 12"
impeller. upgrading the bag is almost a necessity to keep dust out of the shop.
plus it will increase the airflow. using a cyclone (even a homemade one will
remove the most dust and put none back in the air if setup right)
You want as little run as you can get away with you want to use as little fix
hose as you can. best to use solid pipe 4" is the minimum 6" is the best way to
go for the most airflow. keep the runs as short as possible and as straight as
possible. no sharp turns and no 90 degree t's. usually you would use 2 45 degree
elbows to make a 90 so you have a large radius.
getting the most out of your dc takes some work. a lot of tools don't have
great dc setup and you need to do some modifications to get the most sawdust
picked up. The dc is the cheep part the pipe and the gates and such usually cost
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Custom made wooden planes at reasonable prices
How good is your medical history? How many hours per week are you making
wood dust in your shop?
Even though my mother developed lung problems in her 60's, I'm not very
worried about the impact of my dust making because I spend on average
probably less than 3 hours per week making real dust in my shop. (I spend a
lot of time just puttering around.) Also, I started smoking a year ago
after about 10 years of non-smoking and no doubt this stupid habit is worse
for my long-term health.
Aside: A guy I worked with ate nothing but greasy junk food. His
rationale: "I don't want the 'Cause of Death' on my death certificate to be
'Unknown'." <g> I'm sure it won't be.
40+ hours in the shop per week making dust and a lousy family history of
lung problems? Set up a 100,000+ CFM cyclone dust collector, wear a
full-body suit with oxygen tanks piped to your face mask and set up a
quantum-ionic air filtration system. Just a few hours per week and
relatives who live into their 90's or die young in sky diving accidents? A
low-end 500 CFM dust collector might be enough to not reduce your life span.
FWIW, Tom Plamann seems to have a relatively unsophisticated dust collection
What you described is exactly what I went through. The difference is
that I was using a shop vacuum that does not need a bag. Without the
bag however creates another problem the filter gets clogged up very
quickly. A unit with a bag becomes very expensive the end. $15 or
$16 CDN for 3 shopvac bags in my area. Plus removing the bag from the
vac when the bag is full can be a pain the B.
My router generates lots of sawdust and I have come to the conclusion
that a dust collector is the best route. My opinion is a shop vacuum
does not replace a dust collector and vice versa. I'm now considering
a portable micro dust filter for cleaning the air, especially during
The trouble is that "proper" dust collection means you create an envelope
of air around the tool that drags all of the fine dust away from the
user and away to be collected. The dust is then separated from the air
and deposited in a container. A little fine dust that gets to and through
the blower then goes to a final filter and the air coming out is clean
enough to be safe.
The trouble is that if you use cheaper bucket and bag collectors, the
fine dust that gets through the bag is more dangerous for your health
than the course dust that is collected, and you may well be better off
with no dust collection at all!
To properly collect dust from a 10" table saw, you need about 500-600
CFM of air flow under the saw and an additional 300-400 CFM above the blade
to collect all of the dust coming from the board being cut. A well-built,
well-designed cyclone can collect 55 gallons of sawdust and chips with as
little as 1 CUP of fine dust getting past the cyclone to the final filters.
A conventional DC with bags for filters over the dust container and a
blower between the containers and the tools can never give that kind of
separation efficiency. Furthermore, the dust that does get through the
bag goes straight into your lungs with little defense in the breathing
passages where its cumulative effects can be far worse than even smoking
cigarettes. I have vivid memories of a friend who "couldn't" quit smoking
who died of cancer. It was a very painful process that lasted close to
8 or 10 years. I could see that kind of fate for an Osama Bin Laden or
Saddam Hussein, but not a kind neigbor.
It's your life, but I have concluded that a cyclone is the best investment
you can make if you have any semi-serious tools such as sanders, table
saws, jointers, planers, etc. Spend some time on Bill Pentz's site at
You will find the education well worth it once you understand it. You'll
also be much better equipped to see through the phony specifications that
so many importers (and others) use to make their product look better than
maybe it really is (or isn't?). It takes muscle to move air and you have
to move air to collect dust. If the hose is smaller than 6" in diameter,
the DC is a toy, not a collector.
It's your health, and it's your choice. A stay in the hospital costs
a lot more than a good DC system.
It is true that a well designed cyclone collector is a great thing,
however, in my system, I have one of those cyclone trash can lids,
and it works great at seperating most of the stuff before it gets to
my DC. I believe that it is one of the better investments that I have
made - not because it is the best cyclone seperator that you can find,
but because it does a great job for very few $$$
While I can't provide exact data, I can say it'll be highly dependent on how
you route the hose in addition to the distance of the runs. Try to use
sweep corners instead of sharp ells, and definitely avoid anything
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