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Thread: First DC questions

  1. #1
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    First DC questions

    I am Thinking about grabbing a DC here in the next few days, my budget is pretty tight atm for new tools so I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on DC 1 DC 2. This will be my first DC

    Both are available at the Harbor Freight near buy. I'm thinking one of these along with a new bag with a lower micron and This cyclone system might be enough for me.. i'll only have it hooked up to one thing at a time 12 inch planer and table saw are the largest with my router beign the smallest. I't also will be portable due to shop size so i wont have to have a lot of duct work. The unit will most likely be only a few feet away at any given time.

    I was also tosing around the idea of even haveing between the DC and the chip colector some sort of water filter for fine dust, Or would a low micron bag be enough? The thing with water tough is i figure if the bubbles are large thats quite a bit of dust still makeing its way through and i'd have to somehow reduce the size, thats alot more reaserch but if anyone has or has heard of such a system in use let me know your thoughts. I want to keep useing these lungs for the next 70 years :


    Thanks
    Chris

  2. #2
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    First ... I'd like to ask you about your goals.

    It sounds to me like you are after fine filtration and a reduction in the amount of dust you'll be breathing in. If that's the case, I don't feel either of those machines have enough power on their own to pull the fine stuff outta the air to begin with. Everything you add to the system will only make that problem bigger. The ratings on these things are very very unrealistic - figure less than half what the spec sheet can pull, when new, with a 100% clean bag. After a few minutes of sanding, your bag is clogged and that performance drops even further. If you add devices to help with separation, they will take a toll on the airflow as well.

    If your lungs really are that important, buy a respirator and wear it while making the sawdust (and well after you've stopped, too) until you can save up enough cabbage to put together a more effective DC solution.

    Despite what seems like a simple thing, cleaning the air in a wood shop takes quite a bit. It's not cheap. Not by a long shot. A far less expensive solution to save your lungs would be a respirator.

    Now, if you're just looking to avoid sweeping up as much, either of these will undoubtedly improve that front. They won't do as well as a full system, of course. In this case, though, I would look at filter area in addition to the particle size filtered. The more area of filtration, the longer it takes to clog up the bag and reduce performance. I don't really like these horizontal dealies much because they make adding a canister filter more trouble. A canister, in so far as footprint, will offer the most filter area by far.

    A respirator in addition to one of these will be a pretty good start ... but if you're looking to avoid wearing that respirator you either have to spend some $$, stop woodworking, or settle for less protection, I'm afraid.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  3. #3
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    Yea defently dont wana breath alot in. The resperator is a good point and I'll defently look into that for fine filtration. Other then that yea I wanted to reduce the mess as much as posible. Defently dont want to stop woodworking, Its something iv'e always wanted to start doing but never had the time or ability till now.

    How much CFM should one go for if its just a one thing at a time system. That way i know in the future when i have more money what would be acceptable. even though i'll still keep a mask.

    Thanks
    Chris

  4. #4
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    The CFM required depends on a lot of factors. The type of tool itself (bandsaw, jointer, table saw), the type of dust/chips/shavings that come off it, etc ... I think the most important first thing to consider is the ports.

    Most machines come with dust ports on 'em. Though, some of 'em make me wonder who decided where it should go. To really make good use of the air flowing, you gotta get it pretty near where the dust is in order to coax it out of the air. The trick is that sometimes that point has the dust moving so fast it takes a BUNCH of airflow to change its trojectory.

    On a table saw, the latest "best practice" is to wrap the underside of the blade with a shroud that gets pretty dang close. That seems to help quite a bit for a lot of these saws, provided the airflow is properly directed to that point. I see lots of "split port" designs that I wonder about. Port design is quite a challenge....

    As a general rule, a DC that can deliver 500cfm to the end of a 4" dust port is about as good as you can hope for. That's quite a feat, mind you - despite what the manufacturers try 'n tell you. I like to use 6" ports as much as possible myself because it can handle more than double the airflow of a 4" port. Remember, this also means all the reductions imposed by separators, ducts, hoses, wyes, clogged filter bags and everything. 500cfm is tough to GET, much less KEEP with those small units.

    Unfortunately, there really isn't any math you can apply to what a manufacturer claims to pull in order to get an idea of what it really will do. I should be clearer about that and say MOST manufacturers. Some of them are reputable - they're usually the ones who provide their fan curves willingly and those fan curves are created by an independent party if at all possible.

    In the end, you could do all sorts of math and calculations and such, but I think most people buy a little over what they really need because it's easier than trying to figure out exactly how many CFM they'll need. There are just so many variables.
    Jason Beam
    Sacramento, CA

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Marlor View Post
    I am Thinking about grabbing a DC here in the next few days, my budget is pretty tight atm for new tools so I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on DC 1 DC 2. This will be my first DC
    I have the DC 2, I have a trashcan cyclone betweeen the DC and the Tablesaw, and it works great! If I had it hooked up to more tools it might need more power but for one tool at a time I have no complaints for the price.

    Dan
    Jesus was a Woodworker

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Marlor View Post
    Yea defently dont wana breath alot in. The resperator is a good point and I'll defently look into that for fine filtration.
    Hi Chris, a member on a different forum recommended this model and it has worked out really well for me. It doesn't interfere with my Rx safety glasses and doesn't block my vision like other models; also, lightweight. This may help as an inexpensive stop-gap for now and could be used in extreme conditions (like routing MDF) later.
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    Hi Chris, a member on a different forum recommended this model and it has worked out really well for me. It doesn't interfere with my Rx safety glasses and doesn't block my vision like other models; also, lightweight. This may help as an inexpensive stop-gap for now and could be used in extreme conditions (like routing MDF) later.
    I use that same respirator, and have been very happy with it. Even though I have a (low-end) DC, a hanging air filtration unit, and Shop Vac, and a Trend Airshield, there are times when the AO respirator is the best tool for the job.

    And despite the DC, the hanging air filter, and the Shop Vac, dust still gets all over my shop and needs to be blown out from time to time. Some of the airborne dust from turning (particularly rough-turning something with bark on it) just doesn't lend itself to being picked up with a DC.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  8. #8
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    oh wow and the price isnt all that bad, I'll defently pick one of those up and try it out. Only thing i could find at the borg was the huge ones for painting and what not. I couldnt find on their website the micron stopage or really much info but i'm guessing it will work well enough.. how often do you find you have to replace the filter like a week of heavy cutting or once a day? Just wana make sure if i buy a pack of replacment filters they last a decent amount of time.

    best yet this will also work for when i do more skim coating of the walls at my house to smooth them out.. sanding down a whole room of skim coated walls produce a load of fine dust, and those disposable masks dont do that well with that.

    you guys rock

  9. #9
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    Chris, when I was doing a lot of nightly belt sanding with no dust collection, the filter inserts were lasting me a few days to a week. Nowadays, I primarily wear the respirator when I'm doing things like emptying my DC bag or blowing the dust out of my shop, and the filters last me a few months each. It all depends on how much dust they're exposed to, and how long they're exposed to it.

    You'll really like it for things like sanding drywall, too. You'll throw the disposable masks away.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
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    note to others, dont buy a resporator while you out grabbing lunch, come back to work then try it on in your office. Passers by will give you strange looks.




    but good thing is i can breath just fine in it although the placement of the bottom seal just under my lip feels weird but will probobly work better then under the chin. I'll be putting this to work tonight

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