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Thread: Harvey G-700 dust collector review (sorta) after 3 months of use - long winded

  1. #1
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    Harvey G-700 dust collector review (sorta) after 3 months of use - long winded

    For any Creekers considering a Harvey G700 dust processor, I thought I would offer my insights on this machine that I purchased about 3 months ago. It’s not my intention to give a thorough and in-depth review of all the features and specifications of the machine. There are several Youtube videos and websites that cover those aspects. I more wanted to point out what I see as the pros and cons of the machine and some suggestions for improvement, where appropriate.
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    A little background. Over the last 30 years I have owned 2 previous dust collectors. First a single stage bag unit and then a Oneida 2hp cyclone. The Oneida was certainly an upgrade and performed well, but after 20 years I finally got fed up with removing and cleaning the internal filter in the cyclone. A dusty job, likely exposing me to greater dust hazard than actual woodworking.

    So, my main objective in considering a new dust collector was easier and cleaner dust disposal. When I saw the Harvey on a Youtube video, it seemed to meet this objective plus I liked the potential for some space savings in my small shop.

    Low Profile: The Harvey is only 34” tall and 24” deep (and is mobile), so this design lends itself to placement under a taller bench or shelving unit. As you can see in the photo, I placed mine under a shelving unit which has made for a more efficient use of my smaller shop space.
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    Ducting Options: An advantage of a cyclone dust collector is that the duct inlet is typically higher up on a wall and out of the way. There is only one duct inlet on the Harvey and it is low to the ground. Some forethought is required in locating the machine to avoid the duct work either creating a trip hazard or stealing real estate. Fortunately, in my situation I was placing the left side of the machine near a wall, minimizing floor space taken by the ducts. Placing the machine against the opposite wall (to the right), the inlet would be about 3’ out from the wall, which could be problematic. So, this machine may or may not work for everyone, depending on individual shop layout. I have 6” and 4” duct throughout my shop and mostly run one machine at a time.

    Mobility: Because the Harvey is on casters it is rather easily moved around. That said, there are only three casters on the machine, two fixed and one swivel. The machine would be much easier to move into tighter spots if there were four swivel casters.

    Controls: The machine comes standard with a remote control, and I find that it is immediately responsive and works well from anywhere in my shop. I wish that the company had provided two remotes as these are easily lost items. The Harvey has a ramp start so takes 10 secs or so to come up to full speed. I don’t find it to be an inconvenience, but others might.
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    The other machine controls are, in my opinion, a weakness with this machine. Not a game changer, but an area for improvement. There is a small control panel on the front of the machine with an on/off button, a couple of “Do Not Touch” buttons for technicians, a pressure dial, a speed control knob, and a digital screen. The main on/off switch is on the back of the machine (more on that).

    IMO, much of the control panel could be eliminated, but I am not one enamored by gadgets and dials. Having a remote, I find the existing front panel on/off redundant. Others on Youtube have commented on the wisdom of having unprotected “technician only” programming buttons on the front panel. At least one owner bemoaned the fact that his young shop helper pushed the wrong button and the machine required a laborious reprogramming. I will say that I use the speed dial more than I thought I would as it is nice to dial down the suction (and the noise level) when max suction is not needed. I suppose there are those out there that want to monitor suction with a dial gauge and digital readout, but I find it unnecessary.

    I am not sure why Harvey placed the main on/off switch on the back of the machine. It would seem much more sensible to place it on the front of the machine with the other controls. If one wants to slide the machine under a cabinet or shelf, how do you reach the main on/off switch at the back of the machine? I ended up buying a 220/20amp extension cord and splicing in an on/off switch. That way I could leave the main machine on/off in the “on” position and place the spliced in switch in a convenient location.

    Noise Level: This machine is quieter than the other dust collectors I have owned. Others have measured db levels and you can find those results on Youtube.

    Dust Disposal and Filter Cleaning: This is, in my mind, where the Harvey dust processor really shines. Though the machine only holds 32 gal of chips, it is easy to unload. I actually prefer this size chip capacity as at my advanced age, lugging a heavy 55 gal bag or barrel of chips is not an option for me. I am not sure why Harvey chose to deposit chips/dust in two separate containers. Perhaps the smaller “fines” container is supposed to fill less often. I find that both bins fill at about the same time and that there is not much of a difference in chip size, but I have mostly been collecting from my planer, jointer, and table saw. Heavy use of a drum or wide belt sander might change how the bags fill. I really don’t care what goes into what bin, so I would prefer a single larger bin rather than the large/small bin design. One less step in emptying the machine.

    The Harvey has a “bin full” light and alarm. This is a great feature of the machine. The only time I have ended up with chips on the floor from my 18” planer is when the full bin light goes off and I don’t see it…..chips then start ejecting out the planer. With my old dust collection system, sweeping up chips was a regular chore. This is where bluetooth capability could come in handy. If you are wearing bluetooth capable hearing protection, getting an audible signal from the dust collector when full would avoid overfilling the dust bin.

    Another great feature is the ease of cleaning of the collector filters. After separating the larger chips and fines, the collector uses 2 filters to catch the finest of the dust. Each of these filters have a 4" collection port at the end of the machine that needs emptying every so often. One can either use a shop vac or a hose from the machine to recirculate the dust back through the machine. There is a knob at the top of each filter to clean the pleats of the filters. I find that the dust collector does a good job of recirculating the filter dust back into the main bins.

    To make the cleaning even easier, I used a clever idea from “Next Level Carpentry” on Youtube to construct a simple dust recirculation system. His design incorporated a custom made Y fitting to permanently duct from the collection ports back to the inlet of the machine. Instead of custom duct work, I used pieces of flexible 4” hose, a greenhouse Y fitting, a 90 degree dust fitting, and a blast gate to duct to the inlet of the dust collector. Works great and now I only need to open the blast gate and turn the filter knobs to clean the filters. No more air compressor or leaf blower to clean filters! It would be nice if Harvey plumbed the machine with this type of recirculator either as an option or as a standard feature.


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    Dust Collection Efficiency: My updated dust collection system is much more efficient than the prior system. Both were rated at the same CFM (1100). That said, I did replace my old piping (metal) with a new clamp together system at the same time as I bought the Harvey dust processor. So, it is hard to determine how much of the improvement is due to the machine or the ductwork. My guess is that both contribute to the improved performance. I have my CNC router 30+ feet from the dust collector through 6" and 4" duct and the suction is awesome.

    A side note: I bought my clamp together piping and fittings from The Blastgate Company of Warren, MI. They were cheaper than the competition and pleasant and helpful to work with. The components are heavy duty, well-built, and fit together beautifully. Whomever you buy from, a clamp together duct system is a joy to work with.
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    Customer Service Experience: I lost the remote to the machine and called Harvey about purchasing a replacement. They were kind enough to send out (quickly) a new remote free of charge. They were also interested to hear about my suggestions for the machine. In fact, the representative said she was going into a weekly meeting just after my call and would make sure my suggestions got to all the staff. So, my customer service experience was very positive.

    Final Thoughts: Would I buy this machine again? Absolutely. So far, this has been a really great machine. If Harvey incorporates some of the above changes, I think it will be a near perfect smaller shop dust collector. Of course, YMMV. Cheers, Bob

  2. #2
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    Jun 2003
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    Bob,

    Thanks for taking the time to write this up. The G700 is on my short list to replace a Delta 50-760 + SDD setup.

    I'd noticed on the Harvey Owner's FB group a few people had problems with the bin level sensors not working and ended up packing the filters solid. It sounded like part of the problem might have been due to running the unit on max speed/suction for operations that generate a lot of chips (planing, jointing) and not a lot of dust. Have you experienced anything like that?

    Thanks,

    Monte

  3. #3
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    Great information, thanks. I'm like Monte, the G700 is my likely replacement for a Delta 50-760 SDD setup.I

  4. #4
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    Bob, thanks for your thoughts on the Harvey machine. I'm seriously considering one for the new shop building that will hopefully come my way in the next year. I like your filter cleaning recirculation idea for sure!
    --

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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monte Milanuk View Post
    Bob,

    Thanks for taking the time to write this up. The G700 is on my short list to replace a Delta 50-760 + SDD setup.

    I'd noticed on the Harvey Owner's FB group a few people had problems with the bin level sensors not working and ended up packing the filters solid. It sounded like part of the problem might have been due to running the unit on max speed/suction for operations that generate a lot of chips (planing, jointing) and not a lot of dust. Have you experienced anything like that?

    Thanks,

    Monte

    Monte, I have not experienced packing the filters solid, however one time there were some larger chips in my recirculating system, so I was probably close to it. It easily cleaned it self out. If I have been planing for a while, I now force myself to glance at the overfill light every pass.....no problems since then.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2016
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    Houston
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    I got the G-700 about a month ago and use magports to connect it to three machines.

    So far, I absolutely love the G-700 and the magport setup. I don't have anything to add about the technical aspects, but the brief start up delay is actually kind of nice and relaxing in my opinion. There was some damage during transit, and customer service was responsive and promptly sent out a replacement rubber foot.

    It is kind of tricky to place the unit in a small garage shop, and it is really good that it is on wheels and easy to move.

    Instead of putting mine under a bench or table, as I had originally planned. I built a light duty assembly surface and mounted it directly on top of the G-700 by shoving two dowels (5/8" I believe) through the eye bolts used to lift the machine and putting a framework over the eye bolts. The frame isn't attached to the dowels, so I am going to add some feet under the tabletop at either end to rest on the machine so the top won't tip end to end but will still be removable if I need to check the sight glass windows.

    It is really a nice addition to the shop. Plus I can move it around easily.
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  7. #7
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    Thank you for taking time to write this up. I'd like to think that one is in my future, all though some finance recovery needs to happen first. The new sliding table saw was a bit hard on the budget.

  8. #8
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    Todd, that was a really good idea for a small shop scenario, putting that work surface up on top!
    --

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

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Todd, that was a really good idea for a small shop scenario, putting that work surface up on top!

    I agree with Jim.....I love the work surface idea.

  10. #10
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    Todd, I also upgraded to Magports when I built my new dust system. What a convenience. No more screwing and unscrewing band clamps on my mobile machines.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for sharing.

    How is the dust collection for each tool? E.g., what ends up on the floor or in the air from your tablesaw and bandsaw?

    Also, you had mentioned the chore of cleaning the filters on your 2hp cyclone. Any idea if this is still an issue with the current oneida/clearvue cyclones? (I had the impression that the older oneida cyclones weren't as good for separation, somaybe some of that experience was from that?)

    Matt

  12. #12
    Bob, thanks for taking the time to write up your thoughts! Really valuable information here.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Hills View Post

    Also, you had mentioned the chore of cleaning the filters on your 2hp cyclone. Any idea if this is still an issue with the current oneida/clearvue cyclones? (I had the impression that the older oneida cyclones weren't as good for separation, somaybe some of that experience was from that?)
    Oneida has not manufactured cyclones with an internal filter for nearly a couple of decades. Early 2000's they offered a 1.5hp and a 2hp like Bob had. I owned the former as my first cyclone and converted to external filters along the way. That unit is still in use in a friend's shop in NJ...I sold it to him when I upgraded to a larger Oneida for my previous shop. The external filters that Oneida and others currently provide are easier to deal with than the those old, early generation internal filters for sure. It's still a messy job, however, when you do a true cleaning of them or, um...plug them because of a leak at the bin or a major over-fill. That's not brand specific, either...
    --

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

  14. #14
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    Matt,
    As I said in my original post, the Harvey (and my new clamp together duct system) collect most of the chips coming off my 18" planer and 12" jointer (with a 4" hose). But, I purposely located that collection hose quite close to the dust collector intake (probably <8' away) to assure I would get good suction.

    As far as the table saw, I have run a 6" duct overhead to my saw which splits into two 4", one to the base of my Sawstop and the other to an overhead drop to the blade. I have a Sawstop dust/blade guard. I ran the 4" to within about 2' of the blade, where I transition with a Magport to a smaller hose to connect to the Sawstop guard. If I am cutting with the guard in place, it captures 95%, if not all, of the dust. Of course, you can't use the guard for narrow cuts (guard hits the fence) or with the dado blades (don't want to cut up the guard), so dust collection is less than ideal in those situations.
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    Regarding my bandsaws, my biggest is a Laguna 18", which has always been a dust storm and really wasn't designed well for dust collection. I actually use BOTH a shop vac that is connected to a custom dust collection port (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ut_tqnqrRww ) at the blade as well as a 4" hose from the base of the saw to the Harvey when I am resawing. I get very little dust when resawing 10" boards using these two collectors.

    As Jim mentioned, I had a older model cyclone with an internal filter....a real PITA. Contemporary cyclones are easier to clean as they use an external filter. Nonetheless, you still have to remove and clean those filters occasionally. Time will tell how the Harvey performs when I do a lot of drum sanding, which tended to clog up my cyclone. I am hoping that with the filter agitator and recirculator system, it will clog up less than with my previous system.

  15. #15
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    This is certainly an interesting design and features. However, the 700 max cfm with 6"duct is kind of low given the price.

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