As I mentioned in an earlier thread, I recently purchased the Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector. Based on what I’ve read on various forums, this is one of those HF tools that is worth owning, especially with a few modifications. The day after I got the DC, I ordered the filter cartridge kit from Wynn Environmental. I also knew from my research that a neutral vane was recommended, especially when using a filter cartridge, to keep the bigger particles out of the filter itself. I picked up a couple other modification tricks on the Internet as well. Kudos to Brad Olson, among others, for many of the ideas.
My filter cartridge arrived today, so tonight it was time to ‘hot rod’ the new DC. To do this, I removed the middle ring section of the DC. Here’s what it looked like at the start of the evening. Keep in mind the ring is upside down in these shots:
Attachment 3442 Attachment 3443
First order of the evening was to build the neutral vane. This is intended to keep the circulating air from disrupting the incoming airstream. It’s essentially an extension of the inlet tube, with the bottom trimmed a bit to conform to the sloped inner ring of the DC. I played around with a piece of heavy paper stock, and came up with this as a pattern:
Tweaked a little and transferred onto my brand-new piece of galvanized sheet steel from the ductwork aisle at Lowe’s, and ready to cut out with the jigsaw:
After a bit of bending, trial, error, and pop rivets, it came out like this: (Unfortunately, I didn’t take any progress pics of this part):
Attachment 3446 Attachment 3447 Attachment 3461
As you can see, I’m not real skilled when it comes to sheet metal work, but it’s functional. The final fit was very tight, so the neutral vane is not physically attached to the DC. The friction fit will more than suffice.
Continued in the next post…