After working with several projects involving softwood, I found my 1 hp wall mount dust collector in capable of doing the job. Wood shavings always end up clogging the tubes because suction isn't fast enough and it doesn't provide enough static pressure to provide for forks in the tubing. I also want a cleaner shop when cutting/drilling or sanding. The best way to achieve that is to collect the dust and shavings at the point of the cut.
After much research, I ended up buying a 3hp cyclone DC from Grizzly and decided to invest in piping.
Why a 3HP Cyclone?
There are a few different type of dust collector. My old 1hp wall mount was a 1 stage where the dust collection bag acts as both the trash bag and filter. This is bad because the material of the bag has to be dense enough to not allow small particulates through, but it also has to allow for enough air to come through so that static pressure is maintained by the vacuum. So this design is very counter intuitive since less area of the bag is available for air ventilation when more volume of the bag is used for storing the trash that is collected. Most of these 1 stage dust collectors come with 30 micron filtration bags. With most harmful particulates being sub 5 micron in size, you're basically vacuuming all shavings and coarser dust, but all of the finer dust is spread through out the shop every time it is turned on. This is a very bad thing especially if you work in a shop connected to your main house.
Another variation is a 2 stage dust collector. With 2 stage, the air filtration bag is mounted on the top and the trash bag is at the bottom with the blower unit mounted in between. This type of unit allows for maximum air flow regardless of how full the bag is. Only problem is the bag is once again prone to particulates being allowed through. Benefits of these type of machines is that it allows for professional shop performance on the cheap.
2 stage cyclones uses a cyclone funnel to separate air from particulates. All small and large particulates are dropped into the bottom of the funnel into a bag or can. The remaining air with microscopic particulates are then funneled up through the blower fan unit and into a large area HEPA filter. This HEPA filter usually has a brush built in that you move every now and then to clean any dust build up where the dust drops into a trash bag connected to the bottom of the filter. Cyclones provide for the cleanest output air possible for all the different types available
Bill Pentz is the person that first came up with the cyclone design over a decade ago. Since then, many implementations have come and gone. But mostly, his design is still the staple which is copied. The main players in the DC world are ClearVue and Oneida. ClearVue uses Bill's design to exact specifics and is endorsed by the man. Oneida has big brand recognition. Both of these brands offer their products at a premium. Grizzly created theor G04xx series several years ago and their design is also based on Bill's design. I opted for Grizzly because their price is fair and build quality is excellent from what I've experienced thus far. Grizzly also ships with a remote and noise muffler by default for several hundreds less than the premium brands.
The build for my dust collection system consist of 3 things
- Dust Collector Stand
- Dust Collector
|Parts for the stand. There is a lot of assembly involved since Grizzly needed to break up the parts into small units to keep things shipped in a small box.|
|Top section of the stand with bolts still loose.|
|Top sections of the stand squared and bolt tightened.|
|Bottom legs attached to the top sections with the stand flipped upside down.|
|I used a machinist square to help square the frame with the help of some clamps.|
|Had to move all my machines to the other side of the garage to make room for the dust collection assembly.|
|Unboxing of the G0441 unit.|
|Most of the connectors between one part and another required install of self adhesive foam tape. The instructions could be better written to tell you which size of foam tape to use.|
|Building the G0441 unit upside down. This will facilitate the mounting of the stand onto the dust collector.|
|The install of the top cyclone barrel involved a rubber gasket.|
|I used painters tape to hold the gasket in place. This was the easiest way I found to attach the gasket to the barrel when I had to mount the barrel to the motor mount.|
|I ended up taping the gasket onto the motor mount first.|
|Hold actually lined up! Success.|
|The install of the bolts are located in some tight places. Hope you have small hands.|
|Top barrel mounted, now situating for funnel.|
|A shot from the bottom of the funnel inside. Last time I'll see this once everything is put together.|
|About to install the dust collector into the frame.|
|This is the thread locker used for bolting some parts against the engine mount. I was afraid the vibration from the engine would loosen anything hand tightened.|
|Dust collecter fitting in.|
|Dust collected mounted.|
|Dust collector stood up. Had to get some help to achieve this feat since the dust collector is 500 lbs and it is top heavy.|
|Another shot with the HEPA filter next to it.|
|Shot of the output hole vent. In process of installing the HEPA filter angle brackets.|
|Installed the HEPA filter onto the angle bracket with the help of my stand.|
|Noise muffler installed|
|Hose connected between the output vent and the noise muffler.|
|Had to remove the electrical components from the panel it came in so I could mount it on another panel made for the stand.|
|Electrical wired back together.|
|Wiring for a NEMA L6-30.|
Dust Collection Piping
Piping for a dust collection unit is one of the more complicated things I've had to do related to wood working. It involves a lot of planning and design to get materials purchased. I first had to figure out my runs in the garage. Then, project those runs into parts. After that is decided, then I had to figure out what type of material to use. Which is mainly between PVC, spiral piping or Nordfab piping. I ended up going with spiral piping for the price. Here is a brief info for each of the material
PVC comes in variants of schedule 40, schedule 80 and DWV. Most shops use DWV which is used for drainage and waste. The thickness of DWV is enough to stand pipe implosion for dust collector with high static pressure. DWV PVC is pretty easy to find when it comes to 4" diameter and below. When you are looking for 6" and above, you'll need to go to plumbing outlets (Not Home Depot) to find what you're looking for. Prices can vary, but expect at least $10 per fitting. You'll also need to find fittings to go from PVC to regular dust collection piping. Because dust collection creates static electricity inside the pipe, wires need to be run through out the entire run of the PVC to a electrical grounding source.
You'll need to find a place to manufacture spiral piping. Most HVAC shops can do this. Make sure to purchase 26 gauge and below to prevent pipe implosion. Pipes are fitted together using self tapping screws. This is a very hard material to install because fittings are hard to assemble together since the parts are not created perfectly. There maybe shops out there that are able to create everything to spec, but the one I went to unfortunately did not. Pricing for spiral piping from the place i went to was fairly cheap. I ended up paying a little less than 500 for all my piping material.
This is the best of the best. All parts are readily available for order and parts can be found via a catalog. Install from various videos online make it look easy to do the install. I would recommend this product if you have money to spend and not much time to waste.
Main runs are 6" in diameter. I tried to keep the runs as straight as possible. All elbows consist of long radius or multiple 45 degrees attached in sequence. Aluminum blast gates were used all over.
|My initial design of my runs.|
|What I actually sent to the designer of the HVAC manufacturer.|
|Truck load full of piping. Only took 1 week to manufacture.|
|All parts laid out in my garage.|
|Hanging parts of the assembly.|
|Added the vertical run with the floor dust collector.|
|Shots of the anchoring method used. Eye hooks mounted to studs using thin gauged wire and wire couplings.|
|Horizontal runs installed on the wall with 3 outlets.|
|Finally finished all runs.|
|Final connection to the dust collector.|
I went to Ferguson Plumbing and supplies for all my parts except for the spiral piping. Use mastic tape and not duct tape for sealing joints with gaps. Duct tape will fall off of galvanized steel. Buy a magnetic bit for installing the self tapping screws with because you'll have your screw driver in all sorts of angles and having the screws fall off over and over again is no fun. For cutting down my straight spiral runs, I used a metal cut off wheel with my angle grinder.
I wanted to see the suction power with the DC connected. With only two blast gate opened, I put my hand around the mouth of the inlet. The video shows the power of the suction. The skin on my hand is rippling from the suction and once it is in vicinity, my hand is pulled in.