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Thread: Is a 1.5 HP cyclone enough for my garage shop?

  1. #1

    Is a 1.5 HP cyclone enough for my garage shop?

    I know this has been asked many, many times, but I'm hoping for opinions on my specific setup:

    I have a typical hobbyist 2-car garage-shop. I only use 1 machine at a time. My biggest chip producer is a 12", 3 HP Powermatic 100 planer.
    I also have a 3 HP Unisaw and a 21", 5 HP bandsaw, but I think the BS only needs about 500 CFM.
    I will be running ducting across the ceiling, with "typical" lengths.
    The inlet to the Onieda cyclone I'm considering is 6"
    I can duct directly to the outside in warm weather, but have to design the system for use with a filter. (Or two filters, if that helps.)

    I run TWO 1/4 HP air filters in the shop, but I still want to keep the air as clean as possible, since I have a form of very mild asthma.

    I'm considering buying my neighbor's very old Onieda 1.5 HP cyclone, as he wants to upgrade. It's the old model with an internal filter.
    I would of course pull that filter out, and retrofit an external 36" Merv 15 filter.

    I know this system will be "right on the edge" and duct layout etc will be critical, but I'd like opinions on whether should wait for something with a bit more CFM capability. According to Onieda, if using a single 36" external filter, and maybe 40 feet of ducting, I should see around 700-800 cfm at my machines. He said venting outside would help a little, but not as much as I'm probably hoping.

    I don't know how much is required for the PM100 (12") planer. Mine has a home-made dust port, so I can change the outlet diameter, but what diameter & CFM is proper for it, not marginal? I guess this is the main question I have to answer.

    So, what do you guys think? Was the Onieda tech correct with his estimate?
    Would I be making a mistake with this system? The price is "pretty good", but only if it will do the job.
    Last edited by Allan Speers; 04-13-2019 at 4:42 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Peoria, IL
    Horsepower is a poor rating when asking about dust collection systems. You need the air flow and static pressure numbers of the blower, the trunk line length and diameter, the length of flexible duct you plan to use, and if you plan on using long radius elbows. If you put the dust collector in the middle, and right next to the large chip producers, it will greatly help.

  3. #3
    A lot of dust collector manual have a performance chart. Add in some simple calculations for static pressure loses in the run, and you can do a good job of guessing.

    Personally I have the Grizzly G0443, which is 1 1/2 HP cyclone, and it's doing far more than I need. Most of the problems I have relate to getting a shroud to the dust creation, rather than limitations of the cyclone. I've checked all the openings, and they're hitting right at what the cyclone is rated for at the mouth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central WI
    If you can buy it for almost nothing and upgrade later, it is a short term solution. If you are paying money plus spending for a filter, I'd save for something guaranteed to work. A 2 hp bagger will give more cfm and they can be found cheap used. 800 cfm at the machine is optomistic. A 3 hp cyclone will run in the 800-1000 cfm range with piping and flex to machines. Dave

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    NW Indiana
    In my opinion, I do not think it is big enough for your machines and the ducting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Upstate NY
    Nothing will do a good job on your TS or BS, but it should be okay for the planer; so for what you have it should be fine. I wouldn't want to use it on a drum sander or edge sander.
    If you can get it cheap enough, then sure. Otherwise I would avoid the hassle and go directly to something larger.

  7. #7
    Thanks, guys.

    Not the answer was hoping for, but this is exactly what I needed to hear.

    If I can get the price really low, maybe I'll snag it and put the planer right next to it. Otherwise, yeah I'll pass & keep looking.

  8. #8
    Have the roll around 1.5 Grizzly Cyclone and it is very good with my Sawstop, bandsaw, planer, etc, but that is with the 15' 4" flexible hose that I drag from machine to machine. Yes it does the job, but is a pitn. It was a miss on my part. On my old Unisaw, I cut some 1/4" tempered hard board ramps from front to back and along each side, plugged up some of the air entry points and dust collection on it was pretty good.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by David Kumm View Post
    800 cfm at the machine is optomistic. A 3 hp cyclone will run in the 800-1000 cfm range with piping and flex to machines. Dave
    FWIW, I get ~1000 CFM at the outlet on the G0443, which is rated at 1 1/2HP. It's probably a bit closer to 2 HP, based on amp draw, and I was pretty careful about short runs, etc.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Central WI
    I see the GO443 is rated at 1025 @ 2.6" SP. You are doing well as most cyclones and filters alone create SP of 4" or higher. Dave

  11. #11
    In general, there is more bang for the buck in the duct size than in the motor. If you had a 40' run of 4" PVC, that would be a lot of restriction. If you go too large with the duct diameter, there is a possibility that there would not be enough air speed to keep them cleaned out. I have no idea if that would be the case with a 1.5 hp motor and 6" duct. It is hard to beat thin wall 6" PVC for main ducts but the fitting get pricey. I use 6" metal HVAC adjustable 90's in some areas and then wrap the joint with stretch wrap so it won't leak. If you do that, put the crimped end downstream so it doesn't collect chips. The un-crimped end fits nicely in the 6" PVC.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    I started with that unit and as soon as I added my J/P, it didn't cut the mustard. That was with the external filter retrofit, but it still didn't move enough air to handle things to my satisfaction. It's still in use in a friend's shop but he has more modest tools. It's a good unit for sure, but an early design with a small impeller. If you have a real dust sensitivity, I'd honestly suggest you go the next step up to insure you have "actual" 800 CFM or so air flow.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    Allan, I have a 12" planer hooked up to a 1 1/2 hp blower via 8' of 4" plastic hose, and 2' of 6" pipe. It vents 8' through the wall to a trailer. I use it to clean up wood with sand on it. The planer only takes off 1/6" at a time, so there aren't a lot of shavings. The dust collector works fine. The bigger planer has a bigger blower. Be sure to supply make up air from the up wind side of the building. Before you go nuts spending money on cleaning dusty air to breathable standards, try seeing what the heat loss is in the winter blowing dust into a trailer.

    You should consider a central vac to clean the floor, clean machines, hook to routers, etc. I have a shop vac set up outdoors as a central vac. It's quiet enough (indoors) that I don't know if it's running.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by David Kumm View Post
    I see the GO443 is rated at 1025 @ 2.6" SP. You are doing well as most cyclones and filters alone create SP of 4" or higher. Dave
    Could be, even at 4" SP it's still rated above 1000 CFM, and the fall off is pretty gradual out to ~6" SP. FWIW, I measured only 2.6" SP while in use.

    I'm using 6" metal ducts, as gradual a curve as possible, and sealed with mastic. Longest run is 35', most are ~10-15'. I also added gates at each of the three major junctions, which is probably overkill. I've got 6" outlets at the table saw, scms, and jointer, 4" at the bandsaw lower wheel, 2.5" at the blade. Dual 4" ducts on the fence and box for the router table.

    Having read Bill Pentz, and a number of comments various places I was expecting much less performance, but I've been very pleasantly surprised.

  15. Allan-

    I am also a weekend-warrior woodworker, with the usual variety of machines in my two car garage. For many years I have used the shop-vac with an add-on mini cyclone. It definitely collects dust, but never seemed anywhere near adequate. I finally purchased a "real" dust collector recently. I considered smaller (1-1.5hp) roll-around units, but I did not feel these would be entirely adequate after reading through this website and others. I then looked at the various options for the larger units. I finally settled on a ClearVue CV1800, which has a 5hp motor and 16" impeller. Although a relatively expensive option, I did not want to have to upgrade...ever. I had made this mistake with other machines and did not want to repeat it. Normally the CV1800 comes with the 15" impeller, but since some of my machines have 2.25" (shop vac) ports I wanted just a little more "oomph" for these narrow connections. I did not need the 8" main duct that the CVMax requires. See my thread about constructing an enclosure for this machine, also on this forum. I finally got it fully assembled and turned it on for the first time yesterday. I am using just a 25' length of 6" flex pipe for now, until I construct a proper duct system. The suction and quantity of air moved by this thing are incredible. I am far from an expert, but I think you should buy the most powerful machine you can, even if it means a little more time to put extra money in the piggy bank.

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