Interest in upgrading dust collectors?

I was wondering what interest there is in upgrading the dust collectors for the table saw / miter saw, and the planer/ sander. A separator and a canister filter to replace the cloth bags. The bags are oozing dust through the fabric, and in 1 hour, my phone is covered with sawdust, even 30 feet from any equipment. Since masks are required, it’s not as big a deal, but I can feel the difference between a cloth mask and an N-95. I’m willing to contribute time and resources.

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I have a 1 micron filter upgrade for it. It’s a bit of a thing to install.

I’d be happy to help out.

@cfstaley If you want to send me a bill of materials/links we can try a separator/canister like you proposed on the planer/drum sander one. Then we can decide to upgrade the others as well ,after we see how it performs.

Thanks for your interest,

Eric Peterson
Director of Facilities

It will take me some time to put that together. I should be in the hackerspace next weekend. I can work on a parts list then. @dannym, you said you had a canister. Have you already worked up designs for mods?

I prefer washable shaker felt over canisters. It needs to be hung, it just straps on so it’s actually quite simple.
The planer/sander need to be plumbed over to it. It has a massively upgraded impeller now, with the proper bag it can draw mad suction. The second DC is just taking up space and electrical capacity.
The table saw DC was previously modded with a reusable trash can instead of those dust bags that are supposed to be single-use, expensive, and have a nasty habit of exploding. Basically, it worked really well, but people didn’t understand it and I found the system removed and AFAIK all the mod components just got thrown away. They weren’t simple to acquire and build unfortunately.

An important upgrade would be a dust level sensor. When no one empties the system, things go downhill if people keep using it, it’s been a problem.

What about building a hanger on the current DC carts? A conduit frame? Plywood box frame? Two things work against emptying the collectors. Complexity, and laziness. The planer collection bag is not easy to reinstall, at least the first time. If we can get the dust separator systems to be the same, and be relatively easy, that would be a big step. The dust bags can stay the way they are, and they wouldn’t need to be emptied as often. Then it’s the felt bags/ canister maintenance. What about replicating the trash can collector from the CNC? That’s pretty easy to remove and empty.

I don’t have a preference on what is installed or modified, nor have I done it before. But I’ll be glad to help get it done.

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The can on this design uses toggle clamps to raise and lower the lid. It is easy to dump and has a sight window to check the level. We should borrow the design for ease of dumping it

Lots of options on collection / separators. DIY to full on kits.

Grizzly has a decent looking system with a metal drum. Latches, wheels, sight window.
Amazon, $350.

Another mod used this 20 gallon salvage drum. $35. But will need plywood attached to lid, cyclone separator, etc.

Oneida 6" Super Dust Deputy cyclones are $239 in plastic. Steel 5" for $279, and you still need a barrel.

Oneida also makes a complete fill sensor kit for $148. There are also projects on the internet where basically the same thing is built, maybe cheaper, but don’t know full build price.

@dannym, if the impeller is that powerful, what about hooking up the table saw and miter saw to the same system? Get a spare barrel to swap out, so that all of the tools are not down for as long when emptying.

ooh the sensor kit is awesome. I am also looking locally at dust collectors that we can get and modify to make it better.

The miter saw and table saw are on the same DC. The mitersaw station dust hood needs a few improvements

The miter station and table saw are hooked up. I’m saying add the planer and sander to it. Jointer, probably more trouble that it’s worth, it mostly produces shavings that just fall down a chute into a trash can.

That makes more sense, that that one was upgraded. Are you thinking about blast gates, or simply having it pull from all 4 tools all the time?

You’d blast gate it. This system really should be taken off the floor and plumbed properly overhead with cleanouts. Flex hose isn’t supposed to be used as a run.

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What about a two-step process then? Upgrade the current DC to the felt bag and cyclone. That would include any repositioning / framing to account for hanging the bag, and for eventual attachment of the other equipment. Later, run the ducting, and attach the planer / sander. A single drop between the two could be split, with a single gate to that leg. I was looking at iVAC, which has the automatic gates and switches. They also have a sensor system that is half the price of the Oneida.

We already have the iVAC system. I believe we already have extra gates for expanding it on-hand

Four machines isn’t that big a DC load. Can we not move enough air to handle 4 x 4" drops?

blast gates, especially automatic ones, are just another gadget to clog up and need maintenance. Straight pipes (and maybe short flex-hose jumpers) would be ideal if we can maintain sufficient velocity at the machines.

Charlie’s phase suggestion sounds about right to me.

That was pretty successful! These cyclones separate SUPER well. The Chinese SN designs are just flat out superior to the Dust Deputy and Oneida stuff.

I have 3x SN75, a can, and 3" hose there to do it. It needs manifolds to be 3D printed. The DC needs to be modded to a 6" inlet, it has the CFM to need it.

The trash can lid was modded with a template for the cyclones cut out of underlayment plywood. The lid was cut all the way around with tin snips, and the plywood lid carefully taped with gaffer tape. Honestly I didn’t think the gaffer tape was a long term solution, but in fact it has not given any trouble at all.

One thing that became inconvenient, though, is the lid with cyclones and hoses hanging off is cumbersome. On the CNC, there’s cord holding it up, but I know that’s still cumbersome, but I struggle to find a better way to do it. If we’re routing hose to a similar can cyclone then there needs to be a way to suspend the cyclone lid over there too.

Actually, with routing, there’s not necessarily a reason the CNC needs its own DC. Would make sense to route everything to the one with the mad CFM upgrades.

Still need to remind here- these need to be overhead runs. You need a 4" lift pipe per tool (we have plenty of them) and about a 6" run. Running on the floor and doing a lift pipe for a combined branch is just not a good idea. If you use a 4" lift, the system will be crippled badly for flow, it needs 6" plumbing for the runs. If you do a 6" lift, then it likely won’t reach entrainment velocity unless multiple tools are turned on together. This is why systems are pretty much always run overhead.

The other rule is no 90 deg turns, must be 2x 45’s. One of the more difficult probs is joining up 4" lifts to the main run, which would be at 45 deg. This is not a standard PVC fitting. But they can be made with a template generator:

And they need to be reasonably strong if we’re joining rigid pipes. I don’t picture 3D printing as a great option here, it’s pretty big, and 3D prints do often come out with weak layers. Being “big” does tend to make people want to favor thinner walls to save filament and print time. I’m concerned a pipe gets pushed and the leverage snaps a 3D part up there.

How hard is it to heat and bend PVC to make a large-radius elbow?

Is there any reason these could not be used? Then put in a reducer? We don’t need a ton of parts.