Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dust Collection

One of the biggest complain my wife has for the shop is the dust. I always wanted to setup a dust collection system. With the commercial units cost in the $xxxx it's natural to look for homemade solutions. And of course I found the bible of dust collection (http://billpentz.com/). I'm really really interested to build the entire thing myself, but before that I need to have some dust collection for my power tool to make it, and ... you see the problem.

The compromise is to buy a off the shelf cyclone and impeller/motor and try to fit them together myself. Harbor freight has a not very good reputation of quality tools, but their price just can't be beaten, especially the 2hp dust collection unit for under $200, it will cost me more to just buy the motor alone. Plus induction motors are very reliable, given they don't have much moving parts. For the cyclone, I wanted one with ramp, but there isn't anything like that available under $200, so I picked this one. It's pretty well built, and have a ramp like structure to it.

The basic configuration of my homemade dust collection system is just like the clear-vue cyclone, the motor and impeller on the top, the cyclone hang under it.

I start by cutting a ply with the hole snugly fit the top of the cyclone, and screw that to the impeller housing. The opening of the bottom of the cyclone is 6 inch, I can fix it directly to the collection bin, but that means it's a rigid connection, and will make it really hard to position the bin. I ended up bought a 6 inch flex dust pipe which is really really expensive for around $60. The dust collection is just regular metal garbage bin.

With all that done, the cyclone is basically functional, I tried it out, it works great, except the exhaust still have really fine dust, and it goes to where we air dry our cloth, and was close to our neighbor, so I have to make a filter for the exhaust.

First I used the filter bag come with the dust collector, but it was way too big, and I probably don't need the plastic bag down there.

So I have to get a smaller want, All the available solution cost a lot, and more so that I think it's a simple enough problem I should be able to solve on my own with readily/cheap materials. I figure I can use those A/C filters from Home depot, they are cheap, easy to find and you can find all kind of filtering capability for your need.

I made a open frame box that receives 10 by 20 filters on 4 sides. The thoughts are, I don't want to compromise the air flow, do I'd rather make a lot of filtering area then getting really good/expensive filters that with high through capability. The filter I use cost little over $2 each.

The end result is great! I can still see really fine dust coming out of the filter box, that's acceptable, if my wife complains, I can just replace them with higher rating ones. The total cost for this 2 stage system is $160 + $160 + $60 + $30 + $10 = $430. I tested the air flow when the dust collector was not connect to any pipe, it's around 600 - 800 CFM, not to Bill's standard, but good enough for me.

Tape holder

Emma loves doing crafts, and tape if a tool she use a lot. I always want to make a cute tape holder for her. I prototyped with some ...