Cyclone dust extracter. Cant decide which one?

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Rob Cheetham

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I am looking at buying a cyclone dust extractor for my new workshop (5.2x3.2m). I am stuck between the following four models:

Laguna c flux 1
Laguna c flux 3
Lagauna c flux 3/3
Axminster trade AT357CEH 3HP

All of them have 3hp motors except for the c flux 1 which has 1.5hp. All the laguna ones filter down to 1 micron at 99.7% but the axminster states to filter to 0.3 micron at 99.7%. The higher end laguna machines seem to just beat the axminster one on airflow.

I want to hook which ever one I buy up to a small pvc ducting system with blast gates to lead to my table saw, band saw, pt and router table (I have a shop vac for power tools)

So what im asking if you was me which one out of the four would you buy for them needs if you only had them to pick from. I have already planned my workshop for one so space is not a problem. Even got the 16amp socket right where it needs to be. Just need to know which one would be worth it in the long run (Im a very much buy right first time kind of guy). Im thinking one that is running 3hp at least. But if im wrong please let me know your reasoning and thoughts.

Also If anyone can give me some good links to websites or youtube videos giving more information on creating ducting systems or similar that would be greatly apprciated.

TIA :) (y)
 

johnnyb

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I brought the at155 secondhand. its plenty powerful enough. a bit noisy. I suppose a 3hp one will be a bit noisier though. I do think that with 3hp you really need bigger duct than 100mm on the initial run depending on length. my point being extra power on a short run with smooth ducting would be pointless. the only real advantage would be a bigger bin.
 

Inspector

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Rob it doesn't matter much what DC over 1.5hp you buy if you are going to use 4"/100mm ducts. The small duct doesn't allow the airflow to exceed 425CFM (cubic feet per minute) 720 cubic metres per hour (I'll use CMH as I can't do the math terms easily with this keyboard) no mater what HVLP (high volume low pressure) DC you hook it up to. It is a diameter surface area inside the duct physics limitation unless you reach static pressures of a LVHP (low volume high pressure) system like a shop vac reaches. Up to 10 times higher. You need to run 6"/150mm ducting as a minimum to get 1250CFM/2125 CMH of airflow and that also means the machine must have a connection that size and openings in it too. Hoses (3 times the drag of smooth duct) elbows, machine opening restrictions etc reduce the flows even more. In other words what I am saying is the small ducts will strangle a system.

So why does the size and flow make a difference? If you want to catch the under ten micron dust, most dangerous dust you can't see, you need to capture it at the source, the cutter, before it gets loose. To do that about 1000CFM/1700CMH of airflow is needed therefore 6"/150mm ducting. Here is a link to Bill Pentz's site. It explains it but I'll warn you it is a long read of many hours. A much abbreviated version.

Another thing to note is the advertised flows are likely double the flows the machine will give you in the shop. They test the blower only without any ducts, filters etc on them in the centre of the short test duct where the flow is fastest. Add the cyclone, filters, ducts etc and you actually get closer to half.

As to the filter ratings 99.7% still lets some fine dust through. That 0.3% is larger than you think. You should be looking more at a P flux with the HEPA after filters. You might be one of the one in seven people that have a problem with fine dust or you could be in the other six that are not going to have a health problem. Only you can decide what is important to you.

Pete
 

Rob Cheetham

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I brought the at155 secondhand. its plenty powerful enough. a bit noisy. I suppose a 3hp one will be a bit noisier though. I do think that with 3hp you really need bigger duct than 100mm on the initial run depending on length. my point being extra power on a short run with smooth ducting would be pointless. the only real advantage would be a bigger bin.

Thanks for the reply im not sure axminster sell the at155 anymore. The one below the one I mentioned is a 1.5hp but by what your saying its pointless to go any higher lol

Rob it doesn't matter much what DC over 1.5hp you buy if you are going to use 4"/100mm ducts. The small duct doesn't allow the airflow to exceed 425CFM (cubic feet per minute) 720 cubic metres per hour (I'll use CMH as I can't do the math terms easily with this keyboard) no mater what HVLP (high volume low pressure) DC you hook it up to. It is a diameter surface area inside the duct physics limitation unless you reach static pressures of a LVHP (low volume high pressure) system like a shop vac reaches. Up to 10 times higher. You need to run 6"/150mm ducting as a minimum to get 1250CFM/2125 CMH of airflow and that also means the machine must have a connection that size and openings in it too. Hoses (3 times the drag of smooth duct) elbows, machine opening restrictions etc reduce the flows even more. In other words what I am saying is the small ducts will strangle a system.

So why does the size and flow make a difference? If you want to catch the under ten micron dust, most dangerous dust you can't see, you need to capture it at the source, the cutter, before it gets loose. To do that about 1000CFM/1700CMH of airflow is needed therefore 6"/150mm ducting. Here is a link to Bill Pentz's site. It explains it but I'll warn you it is a long read of many hours. A much abbreviated version.

Another thing to note is the advertised flows are likely double the flows the machine will give you in the shop. They test the blower only without any ducts, filters etc on them in the centre of the short test duct where the flow is fastest. Add the cyclone, filters, ducts etc and you actually get closer to half.

As to the filter ratings 99.7% still lets some fine dust through. That 0.3% is larger than you think. You should be looking more at a P flux with the HEPA after filters. You might be one of the one in seven people that have a problem with fine dust or you could be in the other six that are not going to have a health problem. Only you can decide what is important to you.

Pete

Thanks for the reply. Alot of this dust extraction stuff goes well over my head lol.

But what you are saying is that its pointless me going above 1.5hp. All my machines only have 100mm connections. And there goes fake advertising again with what you say about the advertised airflows being close to half that.

Should I just be looking at getting a 1.5hp one then. Anything you can reccomend? Just to note aswell I will be getting a ceiling air filter to cater for any more airborn dust left over. Cheers
 

Inspector

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Rob it is hard to say without knowing the size of your shop and what machines you have in it and the DCs in this market are different than yours. If a small shop with all tabletop type machines that you can't or you are unwilling to open up then look for 1 1/2hp or 2hp, brand is up to you. If a bigger than 1 car size shop with longer runs and floor/stationary machines that you can open up then a 3hp to 5hp but you need the bigger ducting. Even if you don't like the idea of opening up a cabinet saw for instance there is nothing stopping you from adding a second 4" hose to a bigger blade guard above the saw. Or one 4" duct to the bottom of the bandsaw with a second by the lower guide and a third above and behind the upper guards.

Unfortunately manufacturers put 4" connections on their machines for two reasons. First being they have been doing it that way from the 1960s or earlier when that's what the regulations required, but that was when they didn't know about fine dust. Second hobbyists don't know better and want to do what the rest of the flock is using and it is cheaper.

My goal is setting up a 5hp system with 8" and 6" ducting and I will put in bigger connections and open the cabinets/bases to allow more airflow into them as well. You can't suck up a milkshake it there is a cherry stuck in the straw. If you are not going to go bigger on the DC and ducting keep a mask on while you work and for at least a few hours after making dust. It takes that long for it to settle.

Pete
 

johnnyb

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I'm not going to get involved in 5hp extractors with 8 inch pipes as it's way beyond my experience. my 2hp extractor with cyclone will pull most of the dust down 100mm smooth plastic ducting maybe 15 yards. everything else is pretty irrelevant. my 750w extractor without cyclone also extracted nearly the same amount from a single machine( but deposited dust on everything) 3hp may be better( it should have the potential for more suck).but with 100mm outlets it may not be worth the extra. but I chose mine as it was used but nearly new and cheap complete with all the fittings and pipe.
 

Inspector

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Johnny it is for each person to decide what is best for them. If you are happy with what you have that's great.
A bigger DC won't improve the "suck" because it is the 4"ducting that is the limitation.

Pete
 
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I hesitate to add my two cents but this is something I studied pretty heavily several years back.
Here’s the thing; a good system is a big help in removing the majority of the sawdust but unless machines are perfectly designed and fully enclosed they only get a percentage. If they are too noisy they tend not to get turned on.
My solution was a small Oneida cyclone with 1 1/2 hp motor and it has worked out well. It is probably the quietest and is surprisingly effective. I used five inch steel pipe because that is the cyclone intake size and because, unlike plastic it does not attract the mountains of dust buildup.
It services six machines and the runs are fairly short. The two worst offenders for airborne fines are the table saw and horizontal belt sander. I have a Jet air filter mounted above them. There is a thirty five gallon sawdust bin, it fits neatly in the corner and is about as large as I’m happy lifting when full of saw and sanding dust.

9B193FD4-8B46-4F41-B42B-04E9A1639BEB.jpeg
 

NathanHolwill

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I've used the smaller Axminster Craft cyclone with a 4" system and it's been brilliant in my little workshop. Have now moved shops and have run a 6" system so have gone up to a trade extractor to match the new ducting. Not much noisier than the table saw and fairly compact.
 

Rob Cheetham

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Rob it is hard to say without knowing the size of your shop and what machines you have in it
@Inspector its just over 5x3m which is fine for my first proper shop. The machines I have and will have going eventually are as follows:

Laguna fusuion 3 table saw 100mm duct (min airflow required 934m3/h (550cfm)
UJK Router table with top small hose and bottom surrounding box with 100mm duct
Axminster trade AT260SPT p/t 100mm duct (min airflow required 1,000 m3/hr)
Record power BS400 bandsaw 100mm duct

I may or may not get a drum sander in the future but only once i intregate a router table at the end of the table saw (which ive seen done). wheather i do it is another story lol.

So from what ive gathered ill probably either go for the axminster 1.5hp cyclone or the laguna c flux 1. The axminster seems to filter down to 0.3micron but the laguna states 1 micron (ill still take on board how you said its got to be taken straight from the cutter really though). I will have a air filter located right above my table saw which I know will help alot there.

The laguna might be better build quality than the axminster which is why its a bit more expensive but i dont mind that if its better quality built and enclosed unit.

What are your thoughts on these two now then. With the machines ive stated in a workshop that size would they be adequate for a small ducting system?

Cheers

Rob
 

johnnyb

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I would say yes probably simply because your machines aren't going to produce buckets of sawdust. the planer having a spiral head is easy to extract from btw. the others are fairly sensible. router tables have limited output by there nature. planers with trad knives and spindles need the bigger pipes
 

Inspector

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@Inspector its just over 5x3m which is fine for my first proper shop. The machines I have and will have going eventually are as follows:

Laguna fusuion 3 table saw 100mm duct (min airflow required 934m3/h (550cfm)
UJK Router table with top small hose and bottom surrounding box with 100mm duct
Axminster trade AT260SPT p/t 100mm duct (min airflow required 1,000 m3/hr)
Record power BS400 bandsaw 100mm duct

I may or may not get a drum sander in the future but only once i intregate a router table at the end of the table saw (which ive seen done). wheather i do it is another story lol.

So from what ive gathered ill probably either go for the axminster 1.5hp cyclone or the laguna c flux 1. The axminster seems to filter down to 0.3micron but the laguna states 1 micron (ill still take on board how you said its got to be taken straight from the cutter really though). I will have a air filter located right above my table saw which I know will help alot there.

The laguna might be better build quality than the axminster which is why its a bit more expensive but i dont mind that if its better quality built and enclosed unit.

What are your thoughts on these two now then. With the machines ive stated in a workshop that size would they be adequate for a small ducting system?

Cheers

Rob


Kind of funny that Axminster calls for 1000m3/hr when maximum air flow through that size duct is only 720m3/hr.

The room air filter above unfortunately capture what has already escaped so you need to wear a mask until it has had time to do its work. There are inexpensive particle counters that you can watch the levels with so you know when the mask can come off or has to be put on.

Assuming you are looking at the Axminster trade version it seems to have a smaller filter unless the specs are a misprint. If that is the case then the Laguna wins by a nose. 🙄 Made a joke. Did you catch it?🤣

Pete
 

D_W

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Buy a particle counter from china for about $40 so that whatever you do, you can see that it will work.

not everyone has the ability to open one end of the shop and just blow the air out, but when I grind metal, I open the shop door and use a box fan (no dust collection at all). If you used the grinder that I use with a 3 horsepower cyclone and an ambient continuous cleaner, you wouldn't come close to the low particle counts that I get just by simply having the door open and a fan blowing the dust and smoke out.

I wouldn't care to stand in the shop for 20 minutes while a DC and air system get the particles out of the are and blow some others around, and the particle counter lets me know what really drives up the particle count. It isn't the grinding itself as long as I am pushing the air out - it is blowing the shop out or cleaning an area with forced air that will literally push the particle count up 10 times higher than the heaviest grinding.

given as I mentioned, I have no large DC setup, I do have a cyclone on a shop vac for small dust and collecting some metal dust where a machine will do a more predictable job of directing the dust all to one spot. If a cyclone drops the airflow as much once it's receiving material as it does on the shop vac dust deputy, I can't see 1.5 horsepower being too good as a central system. Even attaching a longer hose to the vac and running metal dust through the dust deputy drastically drops the suction of the vac until the dust all swirls around the cyclone and drops into my catch can.

All that said, if you have the ability for the dustiest of activities to exhaust the shop at point that dust is created, it literally takes 100 watts of box fan in my case (and tolerance of cold, but holding on to hot things and grinding - that's not that difficult). Once you start blowing around dust that's already in the shop without opening it, it takes a long time for the particle count to go back down.) My dust particle count when grinding metal is a small fraction of the particle count in the kitchen when cooking something on the stove (which was enlightening itself).
 
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Kind of funny that Axminster calls for 1000m3/hr when maximum air flow through that size duct is only 720m3/hr.

The room air filter above unfortunately capture what has already escaped so you need to wear a mask until it has had time to do its work. There are inexpensive particle counters that you can watch the levels with so you know when the mask can come off or has to be put on.

Assuming you are looking at the Axminster trade version it seems to have a smaller filter unless the specs are a misprint. If that is the case then the Laguna wins by a nose. 🙄 Made a joke. Did you catch it?🤣

Pete
I have two yardsticks for gauging the air quality in my shop, neither is particularly scientific.
The first is the ray of light coming in through a pair of high windows. The amount of dust in the air is readily apparent, and turning on the air filter clears the air in a remarkably short period of time.
The second is the condition of my handkerchief. Before my efforts at dust control it would get pretty gross. At the same time I frequently felt almost asthmatic. Again no longer an apparent problem.
I realize there is no scientific justification.
My point is that dust removal is at best an approximate endeavor. Rough shaping guitar necks on the horizontal belt sander is a particularly dusty job. Even if ninety percent of dust is captured by the cyclone that leaves quite a lot to be scavenged by the air filter. As I say it is by my standards quite effective.
The only real option I see is a positive air flow hood and I just don’t see the benefit.
 

D_W

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particle counter, by the way - this is what I got. At the time, it was $36 shipped or something.


(I wanted to copy the picture and not put a link, but the image previewer doesn't allow that easily - maybe a snip would've been smarter). At any rate, my point is, that's a blank link and not referenced back to me to generate anything - I hate that.

I'm sure a $200-$2000 particle counter is better, but it reads dynamically and it will tell you what things make relatively fewer particles. Important as you may or may not have bill pentz's recommended this or that, but you can find out what the particle count is relatively where you're standing, and if you can shuffle your equipment around or use it in a different way and get 1/5th as high of a particle count, you're better off.

if you read 13 on here and it's actually 21, that doesn't really make any difference for a hobbyist as you may measure a spot in your shop and get 13 and 6 feet away, it could be 40.

What little power tool woodworking that I do (and not much sanding, either) wasn't a motivator, but metal dust will rust on your eyeballs and it smells like death (so now I have better mitigation with the odd turning of tropicals, etc, vs. just masking up and allowing a layer to settle everywhere).

(I read higher particle counts on the top of the clothes dryer than I do grinding in the shop now - at least on my side of the fan - and at one point, I opened the window upstairs to find that the wind blowing in from outside had double the particle count that I did in my shop!! windy day and probably pollen or something)
 
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Inspector

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I've never been a fan of the booger detector as it means I have been breathing in the dust and will suffer for a couple days or more after. Works better with dark wood like Walnut. It is a clear sign to anyone that they should be doing something about the dust even if it isn't bothering them now. It might be a few years down the road before problems occur.

A while back one of the members put up a link for the dust lamp. A more controlled version of the sunlight through the window method.
https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/mdhs/pdfs/mdhs82-2.pdf Might want to be careful working in the dark though. 😉

Outdoor air is often dirtier than one would expect so if replacing shop air with it you won't get any better on any particular day if using ventilation as a means of control. Generally 20 air changes an hour is the goal to strive for if ventilating or filtering the air. One thing to understand with filtration is that they aren't filtering as fast as it first appears. If the CFM/3M/hr is the room size it won't clear the room that fast. First pass in that time frame gets half the dust, second half again, third half again. etc. Shop shape and obstructions of the room reduce that further and if working at the same time the filter is on it may not be able to keep up until the work stops. Getting the dust outside is the best but in climates like mine where it is a balmy -4ºC now it is no fun, less when it is -30ºC. 🥶 The particle counter linked is one the Aussies have been using for a few years with success as long as it isn't placed in the dust stream coming off a machine. Overloads and kills them quick. The sensors are inexpensive and the electronic tinkering types will find them easy to replace.

Pete
 
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I've never been a fan of the booger detector as it means I have been breathing in the dust and will suffer for a couple days or more after. Works better with dark wood like Walnut. It is a clear sign to anyone that they should be doing something about the dust even if it isn't bothering them now. It might be a few years down the road before problems occur.

A while back one of the members put up a link for the dust lamp. A more controlled version of the sunlight through the window method.
https://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/mdhs/pdfs/mdhs82-2.pdf Might want to be careful working in the dark though. 😉

Outdoor air is often dirtier than one would expect so if replacing shop air with it you won't get any better on any particular day if using ventilation as a means of control. Generally 20 air changes an hour is the goal to strive for if ventilating or filtering the air. One thing to understand with filtration is that they aren't filtering as fast as it first appears. If the CFM/3M/hr is the room size it won't clear the room that fast. First pass in that time frame gets half the dust, second half again, third half again. etc. Shop shape and obstructions of the room reduce that further and if working at the same time the filter is on it may not be able to keep up until the work stops. Getting the dust outside is the best but in climates like mine where it is a balmy -4ºC now it is no fun, less when it is -30ºC. 🥶 The particle counter linked is one the Aussies have been using for a few years with success as long as it isn't placed in the dust stream coming off a machine. Overloads and kills them quick. The sensors are inexpensive and the electronic tinkering types will find them easy to replace.

Pete
I certainly don’t mean to make light of your opinions Pete, I’m just responding from a completely different perspective.
My point is that when I visit other guitar builders I see familiar trends. A tendency to forget to fire up the dust collection for just one or two cuts. One fellow’s system was so loud he frequently forgot to use the system at all. I remember his plastic ductwork being covered with mountains of dust.
The point made about the hazards commonly associated with outside air really says it all. I think I’m doing okay here. I would far rather spend a month working in the shop than a week enduring the choking smoke from the California fires. N-95 mask or no.
 
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