Dust collection beyond shop vac

bphaynes

Parker
User
I just got my first cabinet saw, a Sawstop PCS. It has a 4in dust port and I needed to upgrade my dust collection anyway. I’ve seen a lot of posts about a HF dust collector with a Wynn canister and possibly even a super dust deputy. If you have a set up like that, does it work pretty well? I know the CV 1800 is an option too but it’s beyond my price range. I also live in rental so I can’t put ducting all over the wall and will move in a few years anyway. Is the DIY harbor freight set up the best option for me or something like an Oneida mini gorilla? Right now I just have the sawstop, old craftsman jointer, bench top planer and then handheld tools like sanders, circ saw, etc.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
If the CV is past your price range, what are your lungs worth? You really need a cyclone with HEPA level filtering. Just running a single stage into a canister works for about 5 minuets. Been there, done that. One machine portable, I would look at the mini gorilla for sure.

I run a CV 06 on my Fein HEPA shop vac. Works quite well for the vac. Not enough bulk flow for a table saw or band saw, forget a miter saw. But my hand-held tools and cleanup, super. My ducted system is with my new CV 1800. Boy does it suck!
 

Jeremy Scuteri

Jeremy
Staff member
Corporate Member
I had the harbor freight dust collector for a couple years and it was a huge improvement over the shop vac I was using previously. As Scott indicated don't expect it to give you pristine, clean air, a respirator can be used to protect your lungs for around $35.
 

Eric G

New User
Eric
I'm pretty happy with my Grizzly G0548ZP 2HP. I don't have much to compare to, but for $540 with a 1 micron filter, it was a good deal. It's my first DC so I don't have much to compare to. I run it on a 17" bandsaw and it does a great job. If you buy from Grizzly, you can snag a 10% coupon code pretty easily.

I initially looked at the HF unit, but it can't be run on 220 and is rated at 20A, so I didn't feel like fighting for power with my other tools or running an additional circuit in my shop for it. The stock filter is pretty bad, so upgrading that would probably be another $200. After all the extra purchases and modifications I saw online...I figured it would be less hassle just to buy a better unit for a close price tag.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Do not confuse a chip collector/dust distributor with a dust collector. Bag or socks are dust power distributors. Probably worse than nothing. A canister without a cyclone will load up so fast as to either blow the bag ( huge mess) or not pull any air. Been there. Done that. Wasted a lot of time and money on half-ass solutions.

Now, if you have the discipline to wear a good respirator every time you walk into the shop, fine. Even a molded N95 with vent is pretty good and we can finally get them again. Not as good as an Eclipse or 3M half face. As I have a beard, they don;t work that well. When I painted my last car, I had to grease my beard to get it it to seal.

As you grow, the only safe answers seem to be:
Fein or Festool HEPA vac fitted with a mini cyclone ( because you can't afford to feed them bags) A keeper even when you move up.
Mini gorilla when you can't put in a full system
Full size cyclone canister: Oneida, Clear View, Jet, Griz, Laguna, Harvey, full system.

Now, IF you can exhaust outside, forgo any semblance of HVAC, then a HF sitting outside would work fine. It wil pick up dust so if outside, the fines which are what kill you, are pumped into the wind. Actually viable for the occasional garage shop. Just roll it out when you use it. Even a bag unit would work.
 

bphaynes

Parker
User
What’s the difference between a mini gorilla and a dust collector with Wynn filter and super dust deputy?
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
You need 350 minium preferably 500CFM to collect a table saw.

Bear in mind the dangerous stuff comes off the top of the blade. If I had to make a choice, I'd collect at the guard and forget about the cabinet. A SawStop blade collector coupled with a shop vac would probably work.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
My son has a HF collector with a Super Dust Deputy upstream. NO CANASTER it cut his flow down to almost nothing. The DD works well. He has yet to clean out the HF bag. Still after 2 years nothing. I am putting in the same system. I did want a cyclone, but my pockets aren't deep enough. I have been running my shop for many years with only a shop vac. This DC system will not get the fine stuff floating in the air. For that you need an ambient DC. My plan is to install a Stratus for the airborne dust. Rwe2156 is right an I'm looking at a dust pick up at my saw blade. Check out YouTube. There's a good many post on home made blade collectors. I still haven't come up with a collector at my miter saw. They all will not fit in my space behind the saw.

Pop
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
I use a Rigid shop vac with their quasi HEPA filter (HEPA material, not HEPA rated) and a dust deputy for small tools (track saw, sanders, domino) and a 2hp HF motor and blower sitting on top of a 5" Super Dust Deputy which sits on top of a home made 70 gallon collection box. It discharges outside. I didn't check the box one time and it shot a bunch of dust and planner chips out into a bush. But when I don't let it run too long it works well. I have a home made overarm setup on the PCS but I am less than thrilled with it. It does reduce dust but it also gets in the way a lot and doesn't do much for cuts where the blade is exposed on the left - the dustiest cut.

I tried the shop vac on the PCS but it let dust build up in the cabinet quickly. I tried taping over the many openings but it still didn't get the dust. But with the HF, there is no significant buildup. I don't even have to check it. I ran 5 inch snap lock close to the saw and then an adapter to go to a short piece of 4 inch flex to the port of the saw. The overarm is 3 inch from a wye in the 5 inch metal pipe. I used it for months before adding the overarm. Taking the wye off for it did not seem to affect collection from the cabinet much. I have 4 gates in my setup and the HF manages fine as long as I do not have two gates open. If I do, it still collects but noticably worse. I am pretty sure you could hook it up with 4 inch flex and it would keep the cabinet of the PCS pretty clean.

I used a cannister filter on a 1hp Delta I used to have. The filter worked fine, the DC was too small. I tried better bags first and I did not like that. It didn't seem to work that much better than the stock bags despite better ratings. Only the cannister filter seemed to get the fine dust. Turning the DC on with the bags got the chips but just distributed the fine dust all over. That shop was a terrible dusty mess when I moved.

Dust control is almost a religion. A system like mine will probably not keep your air cleaner than the air outside your house on a good day. But it will keep it cleaner than the outside air on a bad day. I do not believe it is unhealthy but there are a range of opinions on this. Central to my opinion is the fact that our bodies are built to deal with dust and my body doesn't seem to be unusually sensitive. If you are more sensitive then you will need more protection.

But the 2hp HF clearly has enough suction to keep the inside of the cabinet of your PCS from building up dust and chips.
 

tvrgeek

Scott
User
Sorry Jim, but your assumptions on particle pollution do not match medical science. You are forgetting we evolved to live about 35 years. It is the micron size stuff that gets through into our deep lungs and causes disease. It takes decades.
Another miss-conception is closing all the holes. Dust collection works on airborne dust, so it needs airflow. The problem on most tools is getting the airflow where you need it.

In my shop, with my old Jet 1100 1 3/4 HP with canister, it got the big stuff sort of but loaded the canisters in just a few cuts, dropping the flow tremendously. I had to remember to spin the flappers every time I used it. Improvements to the airflow under the saw made it a little better. Lots of dust out the top.

Dust collection is only religion if you decide to ignore science and make up justifications. It is your health, so believe what you will.

Prototype guard port: CV with 6 inch ductwork to the cabinet, and a take-off 2 1/2 I can move from saw to router fence. If only "ported" tools, I think the 3 HP Onida ( more expensive actually) would have worked, but I am hoping the massive flow from the CV will work behind my miter saw rear hood.

FWIW, the taller the cyclone, the more efficient. The short cones on Griz and Jet work, but you will notice on industrial cyclones as well as the Oneida and CV, much taller steeper cones. One feature of the CV is backward inclined blades which allow for higher pressure drop than strait fins. Oneida makes HP collectors too.

20210418_210818.jpg
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
When I upgraded from a shop vac, I read through all of the standard info found online. Clear Vue and Oneida make some nice dust collection systems, but they seemed way overpriced for my needs. So I bought a used Grizzly 2HP DC of Craigslist ($200), and threw away everything but the motor/impellor housing. I mounted it on the wall and vented it outside since my garage doesn't have HVAC ($25). That's the best solution if you can swing it since there is no filter to hassle with. I bought the 5" Super Dust Deputy ($200) and mounted a 55 gallon drum under it ($35). Then I hooked up the 20A 220V iVac Pro remote switch ($100). I specifically wanted a 220 DC motor as I read others having issues with the 110v iVac version's relays failing due to sustained high amperage draw. So all together for $560 I put together a filterless DC system with a very small footprint that turns on and off remotely.

Performance has been great. I expected to find some dust residue outside of the external exhaust port but two years later, I've have yet to see any. The Super Dust Deputy cyclone works amazing and the only thing that gets through are the occasional plane shaving (extremely high SA to mass ratio). From the exhaust port to the DC is 6", a short 6" length runs from the DC to the cyclone, and the intake side is all 5" duct to the tools. If I remember correctly, using a CFM meter I measured ~1000 CFM where the tool hooks up, but I have pretty straight, short runs of 5" duct. The other added benefit of a filterless system is you eliminate a ton of exhaust backpressure which, if I understand the typical DC impeller design, costs you much efficiency than intake restriction (correct me if I'm wrong here).

I did get my duct fittings (sweeping elbows, wyes, etc) directly from Oneida as they seemed to be the most reasonably priced and are of nice quality.

I would not recommend going with the HF DC housing if you can find a used deal since you'll need to upgrade the HF impellor to the larger Rikon version to get reasonable performance.

I can post a picture if you are interested in this route.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
So far I am happy with my HF impeller. I also discharge outside since my shop garage is also not vented - and I really do not having to clean filters.

With regards to Scott's comments on "science" I will firmly stand by my previous statements. I have no problem if he or others want to buy bigger more powerful DCs and I would not argue there is no benefit. Our bodies were made with built in air filtration systems, however. Outside air and sometimes inside air has plenty of particles in it too. Bill Pentz is a valued contributer to my understanding on DCs but his body does not react like mine to dust. Bill has written that he needs special very good air filtration inside his house. He just cannot tolerate dust well. Anybody with similar needs shouldn't count on a cheaper HF DC in their shop IMHO. But I have no similar sensitivity to dust and I've been making it for about 50 years now. I want to be reasonably careful to not stress my built-in dust filtration system but I am pretty comfortable that my current system is OK for me.

We can use science to determine airflow we get from various DCs and the resulting particle count we see in the air. But our bodies are very complex making it hard to use those same scientific principals to determine a "one size fits all" solution. What is good enough for me may not be good enough for you. Or it might be. A clue to your sensitivity may be your reaction to a dusty environment outside. If more typical and normal situations that are dusty cause you a physical reaction, then you may be more sensitive and probably should think about a more powerful DC in your shop. If you have no adverse reaction to other higher dust environments then I think it is reasonable to use a cheaper DC.

To be completely clear, I think nobody should use a DC of any make with a 30 micron bag on it for filtration. Even a 1 micron bag did not work well for me. If you are going to return the DC air to your shop, I think a cannister filter (the one on my old system was a Wynn) is a very good idea. A DC with poor filtration is just a dust circulation device and worse than doing nothing. There are DCs I will not use or recommend, in other words, but a properly setup HF unit is a valued addition to my shop.
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
I couldn't agree more Jim. Either a high quality filter like Wynn or venting outside is essential. That's why I went with an external exhaust. The performance improvement gained by removing the filter was huge and there isn't anything to clean. But its not an option for everyone.

Our bodies are complex, but I imagine lung damage from dust is kind of like smoking. Some people can smoke 2 packs a day for 40 years and never get lung cancer or heart disease. The problem is, you don't know which one you are until its too late and the odds are likely not in your favor. There is also probably a big difference between the weekend/after work hobbyist (me) and those who are in dusty environments 10 hours a day for work. (exposure intensity and duration)

Everyone has to make their own (flawed) risk calculation. Since I'm a hobbyist, I couldn't swing a $2K CL cyclone. But for $600 I think I got pretty close. For me, the additional money is better spent improving the dust capture at the tool sources.
 

bphaynes

Parker
User
I might be able to vent outside, but I could only do it through an exterior window in my shop (how would I fill in the rest of the space around the blower?) or through a garage door window, which I assume I would have to break and remove. I am looking into a used Rikon 1 1/2 hp dust collector with a super dust deputy and a Wynn filter. I'll see how it works.
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
Since my garage doesn't have any windows, I waited for my wife to go on a day trip and cut a hole in the wall ;). That included knocking a hole in the brick facia but I think it turned out ok.

I used a 6" vented port from HD and hooked it up. Noise outside with the DC turned on is about the same as a dryer vent with the dryer running.

dc vent.jpg

dc.JPG
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
My setup is very similar. I also had to penetrate the brick veneer but that was not hard and a 6 inch dryer vent covers the hole nicely. Fortunately, the side of the house it is on is kind of the "back side". My back yard ends at a lake so people tend not to use it like I've used a back yard before and we put the HVAC and other things we don't want "up-front" on a side of the house instead. It is the HVAC side where my DC (and my dryer) vent.

I didn't empty the 70 gallon collection box soon enough once and put maybe 10 gallons of planner chips on the bushes. Not a huge issue.
 

ShortRound84

ShortRound
User
Haha yep I’ve done that. I didn’t want any larger critters getting in so I went with a screened exhaust port. But it’s easily clogged with debris when the barrel fills up. I guess I just need to empty the barrel more often.
 

JimD

Jim
Senior User
Mine just has a flap. It has worked fine for excluding critters so far. The DC blows the flap open easily and there is no screen to catch chips.
 

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