Thread: Upgrade 1.5hp dust collector?
I've slowly been upgrading my tools and have a similar collection to you Peter.
I have a 30' x 30' shop and have a 1.5 Jet Dust collector, converted to two stage with a Super Dust Deputy, sitting in one corner. I use 5" metal tubing from the DC along two walls, about 50', with three 5" drops eventually going down to 4" and 2.5" blast gates, which then serve the individual machine with either 4" or 2.5" flex hose..
If your budget allows, I would not hesitate to go with a larger system and it's something that crosses my mind most times when I read threads like this.
But as of yet, I've had no issue collecting sawdust and shavings from either my Hammer A3-31 or ShopFox W1812 moulder, which produce the largest volume and size of shavings.
I do close the blast gates that are not in use, but for the most part, I usually have minimal evidence at the tool that I just made a bunch of sawdust, so I'm pretty happy with my limited system.
So every time I turned on my dust collector, it would put out a puff of dust that reminded me of Pig-Pen from the Peanuts cartoon. I believe it was blowing more dust back into the shop than it was keeping in the collector. Therefore, I wanted to upgrade the filter to something that would do a better job.
My dust collector is an old Delta Shopmaster model AP400. It has a 1HP motor, and the best information that I could find on it stated that it came with a 50 micron bag, which probably accounts for all of the dust that was escaping.
I decided that I wanted to upgrade it to a cartridge filter and a plastic bag, and I found the parts that I needed on Wynn Environmental's website. I contacted Wynn Environmental to see what they recommended for my collector, and they offered me several options. I ended up going with the 35BA222NANO Cartridge Kit. This cartridge will filter down to .5 microns, which is 100 times better than my old bag, literally!
Because the cartridge was not designed to fit my collector, the folks at Wynn Environmental sent me an experimental gasket and mounting kit, in order to see how well we could retrofit the 35BA to my unit. By the way, it worked great.
So anyway, this tutorial is not so much of a step-by-step how-to. It's more of me showing pictures of the process with a short comment under each picture. (Click the pictures to see the comments.)
Here's some specific information about my upgrade:
The website for Wynn Environmental: https://wynnenv.com/
The filter kit I bought: 35BA222NANO Cartridge Kit
The parts I used for installation:
- 1 piece of edge trim gasket to go around the rim of the collector.
- 1 flat gasket to attach to the bottom of the cartridge.
- 7 small pieces of carpet tape to hold the flat gasket onto the bottom of the cartridge.
- 2 angle brackets do be mounted to the top surface of the dust collector.
- 2 latch keepers to be mounted to the sides of the dust collector.
- 6 screws for mounting the angle brackets and latch keepers.
- 6 spring nuts for holding the screws into place.
- 2 long floating gear latches for attaching the bottom of the cartridge to the latch keepers.
- 2 short floating gear latches for attaching the bottom of the cartridge to the angle brackets.
- 4 short floating gear latches for attaching the cartridge's top to the cartridge.
- and a bicycle inner-tube for cutting out random small gaskets.
All of the parts that I used came from Wynn Environmental except for the carpet tape and inner-tube.
Dust Collector Handle Upgrade
Fitting tools into the tight quarters of my small shop is always a challenge. And even though the space is small, I still manage to kick out an alarming amount of dust. I was happy that I was able to shoe horn in a small, but mighty, dust collector in the corner. As you see in the photo, it’s the type that has a canister filter on top. I had one problem with the setup. To clean the pleats, I had to rotate the large handle on the top of the filter. This meant leaving the unit out from the wall, which ate into my floor space. I could roll out the collector, clean the filter, then roll it back, but that proved to be a hassle, as well. I decided to abandon the handle and make the large handwheel you see in the drawing above. It’s a simple plywood disc that lets you turn the paddles on the canister without having to move the collector. A hole in the center lets you bolt it to the paddle arm. And with the four slots, you can grab and turn the disc freely in the proper direction.
Published: Oct., 14 2021
Harbor Freight Dust Collector Upgrade Adapter
Made of 14 gauge carbon steel and durable PET-G plastic, this Harbor Freight Dust Collector Upgrade Adapter will allow you to take advantage of the increased suction (negative) pressure and airflow that the Rikon impeller gives you. Don’t perform this upgrade and keep your stock five-inch suction hose! Our kit allows you to slip on a standard six to four inch wye fitting available online. In addition to being awesome, we paint using our in-house color of light machine gray alkyd-enamel with 2k hardener added for durability.
Furthermore, we offer a 1/2-inch mesh filter screen if you don’t have a separator/cyclone in front of your impeller housing. This will help keep large chips from damaging the impeller. Spot welded in place, this screen is absolutely a must-have to keep your equipment safe.
DIY – Digital File Downloads and Assembly Instructions
If you’ve got access to a CNC steel cutting system such as plasma, laser or waterjet and a 3D printer, you can personalize this project by just choosing to download the .stl and .dxf files to make your own! Also included in the download is a PDF that details a few dimensions and where to get the fasteners we use, along with some recommended 3D printing settings. Start your advanced DIY/Maker projects using all the available CNC technology without needing to own the expensive tools yourself! All we ask is that you just use the files for personal use and don’t distribute them. Here’s a breakdown of DIY costs for your Harbor Freight dust collector upgrade kit if you don’t have the tools yourself:
$7 – DXF, STL and assembly doc files from us;
$29 – 14 ga HR carbon steel flange from SendCutSend;
$68 – ABS FDM 3D print from Xometry using standard definition resolution.
$7 – Sheet metal screws
$111 – Total for DIY
Other Parts to Complete the Full Upgrade
Along with our kit, other parts needed to complete your Harbor Freight dust collector upgrade are found below:
70 Gallon 2hp Harbor Freight Dust Collector.
Get a matching 6 into dual 4 inch wye adapter here. We don’t make ANY money from Amazon links.
Rikon 12 inch impellers can be gotten here. It’s often best to call Rikon directly as the part is always listed as out of stock.
|Dimensions||14.5 × 14.5 × 6 in|
1/2 Inch Mesh Screen, No Screen, Download Files
Upgrade dust collector
Harbor Freight Dust Collector Mod
In this tutorial we will show how we upgraded a Harbor Freight Dust Collector with the Super Dust Deputy XL from Oneida Air Systems.
My latest undertaking helped our garage look and function more like a woodworking shop.
There comes a time when you work on enough DIY woodworking projects that a shop vacuum just won’t cut it anymore.
I was finding it was inconvenient because I was constantly having to unhook it from my table saw and then wheel it across the room to hook it up to my miter saw and then unhook it from my miter saw and wheel it back across the garage to the table saw.
It was also fairly ineffective because quite often the filter on the shop vacuum got clogged because the bin filled up so fast.
Well, that might be on me because I never cleaned it out, but when you are in the middle of a project, who wants to stop the fun part to clean out a vacuum after every few cuts? Obviously not me. So much sawdust would end up on the ground that Courtney joked she could make sawdust angels.
I would procrastinate cleaning the floor until I started a new project which meant if I ran out into the garage to get something, I definitely tracked in a good amount of sawdust on my socks.
It became clear to me that I needed to build a dust collector so I finally built one for the Gray House Studio shop by taking a Harbor Freight dust collector and upgrading it to a 2 stage cyclone dust collector.
I did this with the Super Dust Deputy XL Cyclone Separator.Oneida Air Systems was kind enough to send us one to use and it made a huge impact.
My goal for my dust collector was to have it service multiple tools at the same time. Since the tools are separated by 10 to 20 feet I needed more power than the Harbor Freight dust collector could provide. It just wasn’t cutting it so I modified it with a larger impeller so that I could use a six inch duct.
Also, the filter bag that came with the Harbor Freight dust collector didn’t filter out the tiniest particles. What I really like about the Super Dust Deputy XL Cyclone Separator is it separates the wood chips and the dust so only air and very fine particles pass through the blower to the filter. This prevents any microscopic particles from entering back into the air in the shop.
Alright, enough talk, here is how I upgraded my Harbor Freight Dust Collector.
How We Upgraded a Harbor Freight Dust Collector
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1. The dust collector build started with a stock 2hp single phase Harbor Freight dust collector.
To seamlessly connect to the Super Dust Deputy XL I’m going to upgrade the impeller. The stock blower can’t push enough air to support a 6″ opening. I removed the impeller using a puller tool.
2. The stock harbor freight blower has a 10″ impeller so the new 12″ impeller should boost performance significantly.
Plus, the stock Harbor Freight impeller as a forward-inclined fans whereas the larger Rikon impeller has a backward inclined.
Forward inclines provide more flow but lose power when pressure increases. The backward incline provides more consistent performance as the pressure increases.
3. Using a jigsaw and sheet metal blade the intake port was widened from 5″ to 6″.
A 6″ duct collar was then attached to the intake faceplate with rivets.
4. To hold the blower to the wall we made a mounting bracket with 2x4s anchored to the wall studs.
5. After mounting the blower on the 2×4 bracket the outlet port was converted to a 6″ outlet by attaching a duct transition with 1/2″ sheet metal screws
and liquid nails.
6. Before mounting the filter to the blower I used a jigsaw to open the closed side of the filter.
Then, cut a donut shaped mounting plate out of sheet metal to mount the 6″ collar and secured the mounting plate to the filter with 1/2″ sheet metal screws.
7. I made a U bracket out of 2x4s to hold the filter in place against the wall. The filter attached to the bracket with screws from the top.
8. The Super Dust Deputy XL cyclone is designed to mount directly to the lid of the barrel.
The opening at the bottom of the cyclone is roughly 6″, so I cut out another 6″ hole with a jigsaw in the top of the barrel lid.
The cyclone comes with hardware to mount the cyclone and a gasket. Since I misplaced the hardware I used construction adhesive and large rivets.
9. Once connected to the barrel lid the cyclone was attached to the inlet of the blower with 1/2″ screws.
10. To seal the bottom of the filter I attached two latches to the filter allowing me to secure and remove a plywood donut and plastic bag.
11. The bag will catch any particles that makes it though the blower to the filter. Once particles accumulate they can be easily cleaned by emptying the bag.
12. Before turning on the dust collector I taped all the joints with foil duct tape.
I tested it out and it was nice to have it work just how I wanted and not be near as loud as my old shop vacuum.
I am looking forward to the connivence and having a cleaner shop.
The Cyclone Separator made a huge difference in taking my dust collector to the next level and making it more powerful and effective. I was also excited to attach the ONEIDA Dust Sentry Level Sensor.
I can’t wait to work on my first woodworking project with my new upgraded dust collector.
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Gray House Studio
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Dust collector upgrade thoughts
I also use the 2hp HF. Don't forget to use a 20% off coupon. But also please do not use it without upgrading the bags - filtration. The stock bags will not stop the finest dust, the type most likely to affect you. But if you go with 1 micron bags that is not expensive. With that change and a long flexible hose (Peachtree is a little less than Rockler) you will be over $200 but will have a system that will work and can be upgraded if you want.
I had a 1hp, a Delta AP-400, and it was not too good. I plumbed it with 4 inch SD PVC and blast gates and had inadequate suction for my jointer. The 2hp HF is MUCH more powerful. I would not go with a 1hp machine but it might work if you just wheeled it from machine to machine. But the 2hp HF is pretty inexpensive and it easily handles my jointer and planner.
My setup uses just the blower and motor from the HF and has a super dust deputy below them and then a box for the dust. It occupies an 18 inch square space in the back corner of my shop. I have 5 inch snap lock going to the table saw and then I swap in a long hose from peachtree going to the jointer and planner. The exhaust goes outside, no filtration (other than the cyclone). It is not my permanent setup but works for now. I will plumb in more snap lock and a couple more drops. I have the blast gates and some of the other stuff, but I like building furniture more than working on the shop. It will bug me enough to get done before too long.
Long way of saying I would start with the 2hp HF, upgrade the filtration, and then decide on how far you want to take it. With a cartridge filter or good bags, it could be the permanent solution. But you can also easily make it a two stage and even upgrade the impeller.
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Dust Collector Upgrade
It’s been a long time coming but I’m finally upgrading my dust collector to something appropriately sized for my shop!
The Old Collector
I bought this single stage dust collector when I was in my only shop back in 2010. It worked pretty well in that space. I had my tools clustered in one corner of the shop so the runs to each tool weren’t that long. So performance was alright. In this shop though, it’s undersized. The runs are longer and the tools I have now have grown in size.
One thing that can be done to improve a single stage unit is to add a separation stage before the collector. This stage removes the majority of the dust from the air stream before it his the collector. This keeps the filter cleaner for longer since the collector isn’t processing as much dust. This is a great way to go for a shop where the collector is sized correctly but the filter needs to be cleaned too often. The one trade off is that since the separation stage adds load to the system, the maximum air flow that the collector can pull will be reduced. Adding a separator to my system was something I was never interested in because it would just perpetuate my real problem: the collector is undersized for my shop.
I took the initial airflow readings which will represent the typical case and took the filter outside to clean it. The flappers which are supposed to dislodge the dust trapped in the pleats don’t really work so the best way to shake the dust loose is to beat the crap out of the filter. After a few minutes of that (and a few piles of fine dust on my lawn later), a leaf blower can be used to blow off any remaining dust (there’s still a lot trapped in there). I reinstalled the filter and tested the airflow again. This test case will represent the best case scenario and establishes the maximum amount of air this collector is capable of moving.
With the tests out of the way, I can removed the old collector and clean up the mess that was behind it. All this sawdust is from dust leaking out of the collection bag if the bag get nicked by something and tears slightly.
The New Collector
The selection process for me was pretty straight forward. I have some unique space constraints. Firstly is overhead clearance. Where the collector goes, I have a max ceiling height of 85″. Compounded with that is the height of the garage door rails in the same area. So the body of any collector would need to fit under these rails and a motor or something narrow could fit up between the rails but under the ceiling height. The only cyclones that fit this constraint are the compact/mobile cyclone which limits me to the manufacturers that make that style of collector. The next space constraint is the area the collector goes in and the way my ducting enter that area. Ideally, I’d need a collector where the inlet could be rotated to be perpendicular to the long axis of the collector. Some collectors have a fixed inlet straight out the end of the collector so the collector would have to be placed in line with the pipe or a 90 degree elbow would have to be installed right at the inlet. Both of these set ups wouldn’t be that practical given the space I have for the collector so I opted to only look at collectors with adjustable inlet angles. JDS and Laguna both make collectors that can be adjusted. The 3hp JDS is always on backorder so I decided to go with the Laguna since it has better availability.
Unboxing the cyclone was pretty easy. Everything was well packaged and arranged in the crate. The body of the collector come partially assembled. It’s pretty heavy and the styrofoam has a good grip on it. It would help when removing this part to break up the styrofoam holding it to the bottom of the crate.
The most difficult part of the assembly is standing the unit upright. It’s very top heavy. You’d need a friend to help with this or an overhead lift. The rest of the assembly process went smoothly – no thanks to the instruction manual. Watch the assembly video and shave a couple hours off of the assembly time.
The trunk in my shop is 6″ and the inlet is 8″. I installed a reducer by screwing it to the inlet and sealing and smoothing the transition with silicone. The cyclone also comes with a splitter that reduces the inlet to 3 4″ ports.
The drum comes a sheet steel that gets screwed together. The screws are much longer than needed and sharp. They provide rubber covers to go over the ends of the screws to protect the collection bag from getting holes poked in it. I don’t plan to use bags with this collector so for a cleaner look and feel, I cut the screws flush. This bin also needs to be sealed with silicone. It would be much cleaner to run a bead of silicone on the seams before screwing the parts together.
My dad helped me move the cyclone into position. Since the motor stuck up higher than the garage door rails, it had to be tipped and rolled into place.
Hooking the cyclone to the existing ducting was pretty easy. The inlet doesn’t go quite to 90 degrees on this side of the unit, so an adjustable elbow is installed to point the inlet back a bit and upwards to meet the pipe on the ceiling. I cut down and crimped a piece of straight pipe to connect the cyclone to the pipe in the ceiling. The joints get screwed together with self tapping sheet metal screws and once I’m done changing some of the other pipe out, I’ll seal the seams with foil tape.
I turned the cyclone on for the first time and could hear stuff rattling through the pipes towards the collector. The cyclone was already pulling dust through the system that the old collector missed. I went around and opened each blast gate one at a time and could hear a rush of debris heading down the pipes. I checked the collection bin afterwards and was shocked at how much stuff there was in there. The old collector, even at maximum performance, wasn’t able to clear everything out of the tools and pipes.
Cyclone’s Separation Efficiency
With all this sawdust on the floor, I first wanted to test how easy it would be to overwhelm the cyclone. In normal cases, the cyclone has to separate a small steady stream of sawdust but when sucking up large masses of debris, huge amounts enter the cyclone all at once and larger quantities don’t get separated out and pass right into the filter. The results of this were pretty much what I expected. There was a large amount of debris in the filter bag. Not really a real world scenario but interesting regardless.
With that test out of the way, I emptied the filter bag into the drum and I could empty it for the first time. Having a drum on casters is so much better than dealing with a bag of sawdust. The drum easily drops out of the collector and I can simply wheel the bin across the yard and dump it out. This was so much easier than trying to carry a heavy bag of sawdust!
Next I wanted to test the real world separation ability of the cyclone because the biggest disadvantage of a compact cyclone is they are not as good at departing than a full sized tall cyclone (or so I’ve heard). I milled some boards down to produce one bin of shavings and a lot of stuff made it through the cyclone and into the filter. Way more than I’d expect. The one saving factor with this is the flapper in the filter actually works to dislodge the sawdust into the collection bag The bag can be easily emptied into the bin and it all can be wheeled out of the shop. Looking at these results, I’ll have to empty the filter bag once for every 5 drums of sawdust I collect.
Air Flow and Noise Comparison
One thing I thought would be interest is to compare the airflow and noise levels of both collectors. I established a baseline of what I’m typically experiencing and used to by taking measurements with my old collector before changing anything. I then repeated these reading after cleaning the filter to establish a best case scenario for that collector. I also took the same readings with the cyclone hooked up to the system. I used an anemometer to measure the airspeed at the planer, table saw, and lathe. I also tried to get a reading at the collectors’ inlet but the air speed exceeded the range on my meter after cleaning the filter on my old collector. I also had the issue of the cyclone exceeding the maximum on the meter when I took readings on the planer and table saw. With the old collector, I placed the meter inside of the hose thinking I would get more consistent results this way. When I did the same with the cyclone the airspeed was too great so I had to take a reading with the meter just outside of the end of the pipe. The results should be fine though since this difference is accounted for in the size of the pipe in the calculation. When the meter is inside of the hose, it blocks the airflow so the only path is through the fan area of the meter, which is around 3″.
To calculate the CFM based on the air speed reading is pretty simple. CFM = Cross Sectional Area of the Pipe (in sqft) X Air Speed (in ft/min)
In the end, what I’m really interested in with these CFM readings is the change in airflow throughout the various cases. I highly doubt the actual cfm number is very accurate but since I was testing consistently, the deltas should be accurate. So the results show that I was used to roughly 50% of the maximum performance of my single stage unit and the new cyclone is moving 4x as much air as I’m used to in my shop.
Noise levels on the cyclone are slightly higher but not by much. Again, I doubt the actual dB reading is accurate but I’m really only interested in the % difference.
The Excel file for these results is also available.
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Old Collector (newer version): http://amzn.to/2iUtItN
Crimping Tool: http://amzn.to/2iqKc9e
Dust Mask: http://amzn.to/2y8dl1m
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