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Thread: HF Dust Collector Pipe Size

  1. #1
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    HF Dust Collector Pipe Size

    Hey everyone, just looking for a few good ideas...
    I have the HF DC and it comes with a Y that has 4" inlets. However, without the Y the inlet is 5". So, I am pitching the Y and definitely going to run main lines that are at least 5". My question is this: Is there any advantage to running main lines that are larger, such as 6" or 7", when I would have to reduce down to 5" back at the collector?
    "I've cut the dang thing three times and it's STILL too darn short"
    Name withheld to protect the guilty

    Stew Hagerty

  2. #2
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    I cut the opening to fit a 6" main and went that way. It was easier an cheaper to get the 6" piping and parts as opposed to the 5".

  3. #3
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    James how did you cut the opening do you have any pictures?

  4. #4
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    Just to present another option for you. The dust collector police will yell at me for using 4" pipe, but that's what I did (you see, I rebel against authority). I just wrapped some rubber tape around the end of a coupling to make it a bit wider, and then it wedged into the opening nicely. Foil tape then holds it in place and ensure air tight seal.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by james glenn View Post
    I cut the opening to fit a 6" main and went that way. It was easier an cheaper to get the 6" piping and parts as opposed to the 5".
    Like Lamar, I'm curious about how you cut and fitted it for 6" piping. And I too would love to see pictures.
    "I've cut the dang thing three times and it's STILL too darn short"
    Name withheld to protect the guilty

    Stew Hagerty

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    Just to present another option for you. The dust collector police will yell at me for using 4" pipe, but that's what I did (you see, I rebel against authority). I just wrapped some rubber tape around the end of a coupling to make it a bit wider, and then it wedged into the opening nicely. Foil tape then holds it in place and ensure air tight seal.
    So you used 4" for everything? Has the suction been sufficient?
    I'm curious, why did you go through the rubber tape thing? Didn't you have the suppied "Y"? Or, is there a specific reason you did it that way?
    "I've cut the dang thing three times and it's STILL too darn short"
    Name withheld to protect the guilty

    Stew Hagerty

  7. #7
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    I ran with the 5" to a wye, then I ran an upper, and a lower 4" circuit, and it works fantastic... I get collection at the top and the bottom. While I don't have all of my machines 100% figured out DC wise, I have come a LONG way doing it this way... Even if I ran a 6" main, I would still split off to 2 branches so I can get dust AT the source...
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by lamar bailey View Post
    James how did you cut the opening do you have any pictures?
    I basically traced out the 6" circle, then cut it with a metal blade on the jigsaw.
    Then I used carriage bolts to mount a piece of 3/4" ply with the pipe adapter to the unit. Checked
    to make sure the impeller didn't hit anything.

    I am actually on vacation, but can post pictures when I return home in a week.

  9. #9
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    stew wrote:
    So you used 4" for everything? Has the suction been sufficient?
    I'm curious, why did you go through the rubber tape thing? Didn't you have the suppied "Y"? Or, is there a specific reason you did it that way?
    Yes, I used 4" for everything. You will hear lots and lots of (accurate) information stating that larger pipe is better. Then again, an F150 is "better" than my Ford Ranger, and yet I haul lots of stuff just the same Basically, if money was no option, I would have done 6" pipe too, but there are LOTS of people using 4" pipe very successfully, myself included - and I got my pipe for free from a friend... so....

    My shop stays WAY cleaner as a result of the DC setup with 4" pipe.

    BUT (and this is an important BUT) air quality is not as good as it could be. I'm a hobbyist (i.e. not spending 10 hours per day in the shop), wear a respirator, run a box fan air cleaner, and my shop is detached from my home so I do not need to worry about contaminating my family with dust.

    I would say that if any part of the equation doesn't hold true for you (such as your shop being attached to your home.. you're unwilling to wear a respirator... or affording the 6" pipe is not an issue for you etc.) that going with the 6" pipe is a very good choice to consider. Removing the inlet plate (just held on with 8-10 screws) and fitting a new one made of MDF (or whatever) to fit the 6" pipe makes it pretty easy going. I'll upgrade mine someday too.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    Removing the inlet plate (just held on with 8-10 screws) and fitting a new one made of MDF (or whatever) to fit the 6" pipe makes it pretty easy going. I'll upgrade mine someday too.
    I am sure that this is probably not kosher by the math happy crowd. But this is a popular mod to these systems, and as long as the runs are short, and relatively straight, what results I have seen / heard about on the various forums from folks that have done this, it works fairly well. Now mind you, my shop IS attached, and I don't use a respirator unless I KNOW I am going to be performing nasty dusty tasks (using the miter saw, sanding etc...), but for my uses, 5" works well enough, for now. I think the big problem with a single 4" is you don't move enough air to get the dust top and bottom... I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time that's for sure!

    FWIW, in the long run, I am planning on upsizing to a 6" main but keeping my 4" branches...
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  11. #11
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    I think the big problem with a single 4" is you don't move enough air to get the dust top and bottom
    I'll let you know, I'm going to be trying a 2.5" pickup on top and a 4" below on my table saw and band saw in the next couple weeks (with the idea that if it fails, I can run the top 2.5" from my shop vac [which will also be outfitted with its own thien baffle] as an easy backup if my first attempt fails). My run to my table saw is very short, so it may work, it may not. But it's worth a shot.
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Riefer View Post
    I'll let you know, I'm going to be trying a 2.5" pickup on top and a 4" below on my table saw and band saw in the next couple weeks (with the idea that if it fails, I can run the top 2.5" from my shop vac [which will also be outfitted with its own thien baffle] as an easy backup if my first attempt fails). My run to my table saw is very short, so it may work, it may not. But it's worth a shot.
    That works, but you are using 2 separate devices, 2 separate circuits just to power your dust collection from 1 tool. Just for testing, hook up a 4" to the second branch of your wye and run it for example to the top of your band saw. You will get MUCH better results than the 2.5" shop vac connection can do, and you are only using the single 20 amp circuit for the DC... I ran mine so the Thien separator has 5" in and out, and connected the Wye to the inlet of the separator, and then ran my branchy circuits... FWIW, what you propose is how I started out, shop vac / Thien to the tops via 2.5", HF DC / Thien to the bottoms via 4", upsizing my Thien to 5" and splitting to 2 4" branches really boosted things right along... I wish I could somehow demo the difference for you.

    Not saying what you are wanting to do won't work, just saying it didn't do all that well by me, and the changes I made really improved my dust collection a LOT...
    Trying to follow the example of the master...

  13. #13
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    I'm sure you're right, and I definitely will upgrade the pipe in my system someday, but since I received free 4" pvc, I figure I might as well experiment and see what's passable and what's not
    - Bob R.
    Collegeville PA (30 minutes west of Philly)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Hostetler View Post
    I am sure that this is probably not kosher by the math happy crowd. But this is a popular mod to these systems, and as long as the runs are short, and relatively straight, what results I have seen / heard about on the various forums from folks that have done this, it works fairly well. Now mind you, my shop IS attached, and I don't use a respirator unless I KNOW I am going to be performing nasty dusty tasks (using the miter saw, sanding etc...), but for my uses, 5" works well enough, for now. I think the big problem with a single 4" is you don't move enough air to get the dust top and bottom... I could be wrong. Wouldn't be the first time that's for sure!

    FWIW, in the long run, I am planning on upsizing to a 6" main but keeping my 4" branches...
    Here is my thinking Dave; Like I said, the HF has a 5" inlet without modifications. But it also has just a 5" outlet into the filter (I replaces the bag with a Wynn filter). So do you think that upgrading beyond 5" has any real value? I would love to run 6" or even 7", but I'm not sure that it would do much.

    What do you think?
    "I've cut the dang thing three times and it's STILL too darn short"
    Name withheld to protect the guilty

    Stew Hagerty

  15. #15
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    Stew,

    You don't mention if you are going with PVC or metal duct. PVC is only available in the even integer sizes (4", 6", 8"...). You may wish to price stuff out to see how you want to approach it. 5" is certainly better than 4" and 6" often works the best in most situations.
    Wood: a fickle medium....

    Did you know SMC is user supported? Please help.

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