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Frank Hagan

Dust Collection Choices

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Looks like I'll be able to get a dust collection set up sometime in January, and I like the cyclone set ups like the Oneida Gorilla, Woodsucker and Clearvue Cyclones. They are pretty pricey for a home shop, though. And I have a space problem (although I'm considering mounting the thing outside).

The other thing I'm looking at is a Jet DC-1100CK or DC-1200CK collector with a cartridge filter on it for the fine dust. The footprint is about the same on these, but the cost is about half.

Any suggestions on what you guys have done?

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I have the big Jet unit with the micro filter. I got it from my brother in law as he found it wasn't powereful enough for his needs. He went with a cyclone type of unit and mounted out outside of his work area (though inside the building.

My unit is OK, for jobs like the planer and such. I find that it isn't quite up to speed on the table saw and other applications where you have a lot of 'open' area. It is better than nothing, but I would prefer to go with a cyclone style unit. Mount it high and run the plumbing on the ceiling with drops (I find the hose and pipe on the ground a real pain). ;)

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Frank, have you read up on Clearvue designers site? I suffer from allergies and so far wood has not been one. But after reading Bill Pentz web site and his research, I found it to be an eye opener. (And hard to read too).

If what he says is correct your best bet is the Clearvue or another built to his design. Take some time to at least skim his research.

http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm'>

http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm

I have one on my short list too. Don't want to get to where I can't woodwork.

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Jeff, I have read Bill's site. Its excellent, but he had to remove his review of the Oneida and Grizzly cyclones "Following a heated and serious vendor complaint that has merit" See http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/CycloneReviews.cfm

If I remember the page correctly, he had praise for Oneida's cyclones, but said that Grizzly had consulted with him, designed some of the features he likes into their new cyclones, but had compromised "too much in order to make them shippable". I don't know, and this is pure speculation, but I suspect Grizzly took him to task for making such a statement without testing the units. (As you probably know, his health is bad enough now that he can't test units in action any more; in fact, on the Clear Vue site, Ed mentions that Bill tested the ClearVue unit without any ducting due to health reasons).

I think I have donated to Bill's site; if I haven't, I will before I finish with my DC project if I don't choose a ClearVue (he gets a commission from each ClearVue sold).

I'm leaning toward Oneida's 2 HP Dust Gorilla now; its acceptable to my wife, who doesn't like the "homebuilt" look of the Woodsucker and the ClearVue. And she is going to start getting involved in the hobby, so I should listen to her! The other factors are the two year warranty on their parts (I'm sure the motor and switch are still the original manufacturer's warranty ... probably one year). They use a Square-D magnetic switch, which is a quality part, whereas I think the Grizzly uses an off-shore switch. Both motors are imports, but use class F insulation, so they are quality motors (I hope!)

Oneida also uses an airfoil design impeller of cast aluminum, as opposed to the backward-inclined riveted steel impeller Grizzly uses. There's a safety issue with steel impellers; in industrial systems, only a non-ferrous material can be used because any metal that gets sucked up could create a spark, which can lead to smoldering fires in the collection bin. The standard only applies to larger systems, so there's nothing illegal with what Grizzly is selling, but it wouldn't pass the requrements of the NFPA code that applies to dust collection. The airfoil design is the type that Bill says "would make my 2HP motor work for dust collection" (see http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/Blower.cfm, about 1/4 down the page).

The testing done by American Woodworker magazine shows both the Oneida and Grizzly matching what the Woodsucker (2 HP) and the ClearVue do ... over 1,000 CFM at 6" w.c. (or maybe that's PSI). Bill mentions that at the time of his writing, the Oneida commercial units and the Woodsucker were the only ones doing that with 2 and 3 HP motors.

I plan to up-size all the dust connections to either 6" at the tool, or in the case of tools like my planer (which shoots the chips out of a 4" port at great velocity), bush up to 6" right at the machine. My goal is to have the 800 CFM at each machine to ensure the dust is getting sucked up. I'm going to test using home-built duct work (my real job is related to the HVAC industry, so I have some engineering contacts in it). I hope to remove the high cost of ducting by switching to shop-built square ducting, which would be a fraction of the cost of even PVC S&D piping.

I haven't actually decided yet, but I'm very close. I need to check some things out when I get back into my shop, but then I'll be able to make the "final choice" and get started on this project.

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Frank, obviously you have done you homework. I have not read his pages in a while and sounds like he has updated it some. So many people will just decided on a brand because it is a 3HP unit and do no research past the ads.

Before I buy I will do some more research. I have been so impressed with Bills research and all the time he spent I was sold. When I heard about the clearview I decided I wanted to go with it since it was Bills design.

As I mentioned I have allergy problems since I was a kid. Nothing severe but I average at least one Upper Respiratory infection per year. I am sure the dust doesn't help either. We just built a new home and I finally have a dedicated shop. I am hoping by spring to be able to install a DC system. I am still setting up my shop and getting tools where I want them. By the time I have the money I expect to know pretty much where I am going to keep everything and could start to plan my routing for the DC.

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I get a little obsessive about these things when I'm ready to spend money. So I have done quite a bit of homework on it.

The ClearVue unit is really very good. People who have it are very pleased with the performance; I haven't found anyone who was disappointed.

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I never got it!  I delayed buying it because of the pending job situation, and then my back went out, so I really haven't done much in the shop since mid-2006. 

I did correspond with Bill Pentz a bit, and he said my idea at that time (a little later than this thread) was pretty sound ... I was going to duct the exhaust of a cyclone unit like a ClearVue or Dust Gorilla outside rather than use filters.  Where I live I can do that without worrying about air conditioning or heating the make up air coming into the shop (you need to ensure enough make up air comes into the shop to avoid pulling air and CO down the water heater vent). 

That plan lessens the cost quite a bit, but I'm still tenative about my back.  I'm well enough now that we're cleaning up the Potter to take her out again (haven't been sailing since last July!).  And we're looking at building a couple of Diva kayaks as a "joint project" (my wife doesn't know about the joint project yet). 

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