I've recently come to the conclusion that my shop-vac just wasn't
doing a good enough job at dust collection. When a Harbor Freight
flyer arrived in the mail recently, I noticed that HF was putting
their 13 Gallon Industrial Portable Dust Collector on sale for
about $90. So I picked up one today to use with my planer, jointer,
and anything else I could connect up.
At the store, I looked around for some 4" hose, as the ad and the
web page for the DC state "Hose sold separately". I couldn't find
any. I asked one sales person and they claimed they didn't sell any
hose of that sort. Given the wording about the hose being sold
separetly, it implied to me that it was something HF sells, but maybe
not all the sells people know about it. So I decided to ask a
different sales person--this time I got a better answer. It turns out
they don't sell just the hose, but they do sell a Dust Collector
Accessory Kit for $43. This kit wasn't out on the floor, so they
had to get it from the back. If you should decide to get one of these
things, make a note of the model number (93601) and then ask someone
to get one of them for you.
The DC kit includes two 10' lengths of 4" hose that seem quite
sturdy, along with a collection of wire clamps, blast gates, etc.
I was really only interested in the hose and clamps, but figured I'd
find a use for the other goodies later on.
When I got the DC and DC Kit home, there wasn't much to put together
except the casters on the DC. I was impressed with the size of the
motor on it (1HP) and it looked to be a pretty beefy little unit. The
DC bag is made out of canvas, but it is very thick and sturdy. One
thing I immediately noticed though was the casters. In the ad/web
page it describes them as "heavy duty ball bearing casters." Not even
close--these are just those plastic sort of things you find on cheap
office chairs. No biggy there though, if they break, I'll just
replace them with some better casters.
The first thing I decided to try was using the DC with my jointer. I
fired up the DC and was pleasently surprised at how much less noise it
makes than my shop vac. I then fired up the jointer and ran a board
through a couple of times and then shut everything down. Checking the
bag of the DC there were indeed some dust in there--so it must be
Next I decided to try the DC with my planer. This is where I'd really
been wanting better dust collection, because even with my shop vac
hooked to the planer, it would still spit chips all over the place.
After getting the DC connected, I ran a board through and immediately
noticed that the planer was still spitting chips. I decided to check
the DC and see if there was something wrong. At the end of the hose,
it seemed the suction wasn't very strong. I shut down the DC and then
removed the hose on the input side and immediately I noticed what the
problem was--it was clogged with chips. On the inside of the DC's
input was a plastic mesh/screen that was clogging things up, so I
decided to see if I could remove it. The input is held on with four
machine screws. After removing those, I was able to easily remove the
screen. I put the input connector back on along with the hose and
then fired up the planer again. Again, it was spitting chips at me.
This time, it turns out the output side of the DC was clogged--again
with a screen. The screen on the output was also easily removed.
With both input and output screens removed, I was now getting some
decent suction from the DC. This time, when I ran some wood through
the planer there were no chips to be seen at all. This little DC
really does a good job at getting the dust and chips away from the
cutter head on the planer.
So, with the HF DC on sale for about $90 and the added DC Kit it all
comes to about $133 (with out tax). Normally the DC goes for about
$120. If you've been wanting a small dust collector, this one seems
to do a pretty good job.
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