Earlier this week, I was preparing a lot of rough lumber with a jointer and planer. Usually after a couple of hours of this, I need to empty the 35 gallon barrel beneath the cyclone (an Oneida 2hp Commercial). So I checked and, to my surprise, the barrel had not reached the ¾ full mark. It turns out that I should have checked more completely because, if I had, I would have observed that the barrel was almost empty.
After about another hour, the pick up on the jointer stopped working:
My first thought was that there was a jamb somewhere in the jointer or the drop to same. There wasn’t and I was confused.
I finally got around to really checking the barrel and found this:
Now, I was really confused.
Next, I took the elbow off the end of the main pipe coming out of the dust control unit. There were chips sitting within the pipe:
OK this stuff must be gathering somewhere and I am running out of places to check. How do things look in the funnel about the barrel? Here is photo looking up into the mouth of the funnel:
The funnel was completely filled and the material was really jammed in. I thought that probably a piece of larger material had been sucked up and wedged in somewhere thus causing the problem. But, there was no such thing. I stuck a broom handle up into the funnel loosening the material and getting it to fall down and I found no large pieces of anything. I still have no idea what caused the material to gather in the funnel rather than dropping into the barrel.
Also, there was about a barrel full of material in the funnel, but I was pretty sure that I had generated more chips and dust than that. Where was the rest?
I took the tray off the bottom of the filter and found this:
And, in the filter, I found this:
Attachment 5817 Attachment 5818
The filter was completely filled and, if anything, it was jammed tighter than it was in the funnel.
Here is (a small) part of the mess on the floor that I created in emptying the filter and the funnel:
Once the chips were out of the filter, cleaning out the rest was quite a chore. I don’t have a compressed air machine and I expect that would have made the job easier. What I ended up doing was banging the end on the floor about 10 times, vacuum up the residue, bang it another 10 times, vacuum up the residue, etc. etc. etc. Stuff kept falling out. The following picture shows the result of 10 thumps after having already thumped the filter about 500 times:
After about 1,000 thumps stuff stopped falling out and I cleaned out the interior with a vacuum. I guess that I am going to have to break down one of these days and purchase a compressor.
To wrap this up, here is a photo of the totally disrupted shop part way through the investigation and clean up:
By the time I completely cleaned up everything, I had gathered 2 and half barrels of chips and sawdust.
I am happy to report that, once I put everything back in place, things worked well and, in about an hour of woodworking, I have already filled the barrel to the ¾ point.
I am very interested in hearing theories about how the system got clogged up in the first place. It remains a total mystery to me.
The trouble shooting part of my manual is no help. I plan write to Oneida soon and ask if they have any ideas about what may have happened.