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Thread: Shop vac. vs. Dust Collector question (newbie)

  1. #1
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    Shop vac. vs. Dust Collector question (newbie)

    Forgive my ignorance but other than the huge one in highschool shop class years ago, I have no experience with a dust collector.


    and love it by the way. It is 6.5HP and can suck the stipes off a zebra thru the 7' hose no probs. The hose is 2.5" dia.

    So far the only tool I own with a 4" dust port is my Dewalt 635 planer. (I will soon own more). I noticed on the planer that the port that the dust comes thru is only 2.5" anyway, the rest of the 4" is blocked off by the attachment that comes with the planer. So I just hook my Ridgid vac up to that and voila, sucks the shaving up like a bugger!

    So my question is, do I even need a Dust collector? Or can I just use my shop vac? Will I see any real benefit from a 4" hose and dedicated unit, other than not having to empty the 16 gallon vac as often?

    TIA.

    edit*... the vac is rated at 203CFM.
    Last edited by Ryan Sparreboom; 06-01-2008 at 6:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Ryan,

    You should do a quick search through this forum, because that question has been run through a number of times. Please don't take that as a snide response - there is a lot of great information on some of those posts.

    The short answer is that ther is a difference between a shop vac and a DC. Shop vacs are designed for high suction, low air flow. They can pick up a bolt from your shop floor. A DC is designed to move a much larger volume of air and at higher velocities, because that's what's really needed to keep chips and dust suspended in the air.

    A shop vac is better than nothing, but it won't do what you want for something like a table saw.

    Rob
    Last edited by Rob Russell; 06-02-2008 at 7:16 AM. Reason: missing "like"

  3. #3
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    IMHO you dont need either with a planer, jointer, maybe even router table. Those will make a heck of a mess but it's not airborne stuff - just chips that can be swept up rather than sawdust. Dont get me wrong, if you've got a DC (or vac) you can hook up to them do it. Where a DC is almost a must are with table/band saws, power sanders or anything else that's spewing cloulds of airborne sawdust that get breathed in and all over every surface in your shop.
    Use the fence Luke

  4. #4
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    Thanks guys. Ya I guess I should have realized this might be a popular question and done a search first. My bad. I'll search now and see what more I can read.
    Cheers!
    A shop vac is better than nothing, but it won't do what you want for something like a table saw.
    Sorry, but I have absolutely no idea what that means. (???)
    Last edited by Rob Russell; 06-02-2008 at 7:16 AM. Reason: Added "like" which was missing

  5. #5
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    Ryan, a table saw throws off a large amount of very fine dust in a large area. A shop vac is "ideal" for picking up material in small spaces, but not in large ones fore the reason that Rob suggested above...it's just can't move much air. The more air you can move, the more dust and chips you can move. Honestly, you've been lucky with the planer...it's very easy to overload even a small DC with a planer when the board is somewhat wide.
    --

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

  6. #6
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    Ah, I get it now, sorry, wasn't reading that line right and he missed the word "like" between "something" and "a table saw" so I was a bit confused there.

    Thanks for the explanation Jim. That makes alot of sense now and I think I understand why I'll need a D.C sometime (sonner rather than later hopefully).
    I really havn't used the planer much yet. But the luck I've had so far is probably because the Dewalt 735 has a dust ejection motor that spits the dust out. Combine that with my shop vac and although it's still a small space, that air is really moving and sucking hard.

    Thanks again gents!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Sparreboom View Post
    Ah, I get it now, sorry, wasn't reading that line right and he missed the word "like" between "something" and "a table saw" so I was a bit confused there.
    Yeah - I missed it. Edited both of our posts so it's clearer for other readers.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Shepard View Post
    IMHO you dont need either with a planer, jointer, maybe even router table.
    I defer to your experience, but I don't find that to be true for at least routers. Depending on the type of cut yr making, the dust can be tremendous. I can't speak for the dust from a jointer or planer, but I can say that when I've done these operations on a router and t-saw, because of the thinness of the cut, there's no 'cut-off' portion of the stock to shield the blade/bit from the dust it emits, so I find these operations to be the dustiest of all and hardest to tame.
    Last edited by Prashun Patel; 06-02-2008 at 10:39 AM.

  9. #9
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    On my DW 735, I don't connect it to my DC, I have the dust collector kit attached to a 30 gallon metal trash can just because otherwise it fills up the DC faster than I'd like and as mentioned, there's not real 'dust' per se. just the shavings (which I use to start fires in our fire pit, planer/jointer shavings make the best kindling)

    I'm not sure how the other makes/models of planer do, but I'm quite happy with the dedicated extraction blower on the 735.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Patel View Post
    I defer to your experience, but I don't find that to be true for at least routers. Depending on the type of cut yr making,

    (INSERT), and material (MDF will produce more fine dust then a non manufactured, actual hardwood)
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Patel View Post
    the dust can be tremendous. I can't speak for the dust from a jointer or planer, but I can say that when I've done these operations on a router and t-saw, because of the thinness of the cut, there's no 'cut-off' portion of the stock to shield the blade/bit from the dust it emits, so I find these operations to be the dustiest of all and hardest to tame.

  11. #11
    I use the 14 gallon shop vac as "dust collection" in my newbie shop, but I spend plenty of time with a broom and dustpan regardless.

    The shop vac makes some difference on the table saw, but it is far from good dust collection. Basically I have to sweep up less frequently, and when making a cut there are quite a few dust particles in the air.

    I also use the vac with my DW735 planer. Sure, it fills up the bin pretty fast but it beats sweeping up all the shavings.

  12. #12
    IMHO, the best way to use a shopvac on a table saw if you have no dust collector is to use a portable bag on the bottom of the saw to catch what falls out the bottom, and then to mount the shopvac hose above the blade as close to the point of the cut as poss without obstructing yr view. I've found it to do a passable job like that - but it ain't nothing like an even cheap 1hp DC with a 1mic bag.

  13. #13
    To be blunt, how good (or bad) your dust collection system is will determine how soon (or if) you will have resperatory problems. Planing without a dust collector? Out of the question. Look at Bill Pentz website for an enormous amount of information about dust collection, and the breathing problems he got from his woodshop that started his research. He had to resort to public advertising to pay for the hosting costs of his site, but he is not selling anything.

    http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm
    Last edited by David Freed; 06-02-2008 at 7:49 PM.

  14. #14
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    [quote=David Freed;865228]To be blunt, how good (or bad) your dust collection system is will determine how soon (or if) you will have resperatory problems. Planing without a dust collector? Out of the question. Look at Bill Pentz website for an enormous amount of information about dust collection, and the breathing problems he got from his woodshop that started his research. He had to resort to public advertising to pay for the hosting costs of his site, but he is not selling anything.

    http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm [/quote]

    Not necessarily. I see your point. But when I wear a dust mask, I probably breath in less sawdust without a DC then I would with a DC and no dust mask. But that's another topic.
    I was simply wondering what differences and benefits a DC is over just a shop vac. I think I got the answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike SoRelle View Post
    On my DW 735, I don't connect it to my DC, I have the dust collector kit attached to a 30 gallon metal trash can just because otherwise it fills up the DC faster than I'd like and as mentioned, there's not real 'dust' per se. just the shavings (which I use to start fires in our fire pit, planer/jointer shavings make the best kindling)

    I'm not sure how the other makes/models of planer do, but I'm quite happy with the dedicated extraction blower on the 735.
    Mike, that's a great idea. I assume your meaning that the extractor output is connected to a tube, with the other end just placed in the big can?
    I've heard of that before, but I would like to ask; don't the chips just fly out of the top of the barrel?

    Thanks

  15. #15
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    [quote=Ryan Sparreboom;865269]
    Quote Originally Posted by David Freed View Post
    To be blunt, how good (or bad) your dust collection system is will determine how soon (or if) you will have resperatory problems. Planing without a dust collector? Out of the question. Look at Bill Pentz website for an enormous amount of information about dust collection, and the breathing problems he got from his woodshop that started his research. He had to resort to public advertising to pay for the hosting costs of his site, but he is not selling anything.

    http://billpentz.com//woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm [/quote]

    Not necessarily. I see your point. But when I wear a dust mask, I probably breath in less sawdust without a DC then I would with a DC and no dust mask. But that's another topic.
    I was simply wondering what differences and benefits a DC is over just a shop vac. I think I got the answer.



    Mike, that's a great idea. I assume your meaning that the extractor output is connected to a tube, with the other end just placed in the big can?
    I've heard of that before, but I would like to ask; don't the chips just fly out of the top of the barrel?

    Thanks
    I actually mean this http://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DW7353-...2465419&sr=8-5

    I have no doubt that at the velocity the blower sends the chips out at that it would blow them all over the place can or not if there wasn't some containment at the top, though you could probably build a seperator baffle for the top and end up with a good result (or use one designed as a prefilter for a DC system that sits on top of a container)

    I paid 20$ for mine from a guy on craigslist that picked up a bunch of them lowes clearanced out at some point, but it would probably be worth the asking price now that I've used it. I consider it an essential piece, much like the infeed/outfeed tables (which IMHO should have shipped with it, even if it raied the price point)

    The Dewalt 735 is unique in that it has a dedicated chip ejector blower, I figure it's there, might as well get some use out of the extra decibels it adds

    I'm sure you could rig something up that would work similarly, the black part with the logo is a fine nylon (or some other synthetic) material that inflates and lets the excess air out while being held captive to the trash can with a drawstring, the key to using it is to make sure the tube is suspended/supported so I just have a hook in the shop that I support the span of the duct with a bungee when I'm using it, it also keeps the duct out of the outfeed path of the unit.

    It's amazing how fast you can fill a 30 gallon trash can when you've got alot of stock to mill.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike SoRelle; 06-03-2008 at 12:15 AM. Reason: Someday I'll learn to spell....

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