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Dust extraction for hobby woodworker

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charlieboy

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I am an occasional hobby woodworker looking for some advice re dust extraction. I use the back half of a single garage for woodwork and my main power tools are currently (with dust port diameters outside/inside):-

Triton TWX7 Workcentre fitted with modules:-
Triton TWX7CS001 1800w Contractor Saw - Lower port 64/56mm (with adaptor to convert to 33/26mm)
Triton TWX7RT001 Router Table fitted with Triton MOF001 1400w Router - 33/26mm
Triton TPT125 1100w Thicknesser - 53/48mm
Delta 40-560 200w Scroll Saw - no dust port

Over time, I may add other tools (e.g. drill press, mini lathe, band saw, mitre saw?)

I am currently getting by, using an old Miele Cat & Dog domestic cylinder vacuum cleaner, attached to the power tool via a Triton DCA300 Dust Collection Bucket. The latter acts a bit like a cyclone, preventing most of the dust and chippings from entering the vacuum cleaner, but unlike a cyclone, it relies on its own filter to do this, and when the filter starts to clog, the suction reduces.

I would like to improve my dust collection by replacing the Miele with a 'shop vac' or similar, replacing the Triton bucket with a 'Dust Deputy' type cyclone mounted on a barrel, and housing both on a cart that can be easily moved from tool to tool and connected directly to the tool. I don't plan to install a ducted system (though I wouldn't necessarily rule that out in the longer term). Ideally, I would like power tool take off, so that the vac automatically starts on switching on the power tool.

Because of my limited time for woodworking, I don't really want to spend a fortune, but am thinking of spending about £100 to £200 on the 'shop vac'. I am considering the following products (with manufacturers specs/features):-

Bosch AdvancedVac 20 - suction power 300 watts; max airflow (turbine) 70 l/sec; max vacuum (turbine) 260 mbar (26 kPa); motor power 1200w; power tool take off up to 1800w; hose diameter - doesn't say, but probably similar to the Nilfisk Aero.

Nilfisk Aero 26-21 - airflow 60 l/sec or 216 cu m/hr; vacuum 21 kPa, motor power 1250w, power tool take off up to 1900w; hose diameter 32mm; 'push & clean' filter cleaning. Although not certified as M class, it will accept an M class filter - I'm not sure that the Bosch will.

Axminster Craft AC50E Portable Dust Collector - airflow 180 cu m/hr @ 63mm; air volume 50 l/sec; pressure 2500 Pa (2.5kPa), motor power 1100w; no power tool take off; inlet and hose diameter 63mm.

It's confusing because manufacturers quote their specs for airflow, suction etc. in different ways - and are they quoting maximum at the turbine or actual at the end of the hose? Also, due to the various port sizes on my different tools, I don't know how stepping up or down from the vac's hose diameter affects the suction/airflow. And how does the Bosch's 70 l/sec @ say 32 mm hose diameter compare to the Axminster's 50 l/sec @ 63mm hose diameter?

I would appreciate:-
- any help in understanding this minefield of specs
- any guidance as to which of these vacs (or any other) would best suit my needs and budget
- any user experience of using any of the above vacs for dust extraction from tools such as table saws, routers, thicknessers
- any user experience of successful dust extraction for a similar small hobby application, with details of DE kit used

Thanks
Charlie
 

Fitzroy

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I have the Titan one from Screwfix. £90 for the big capacity one. Good airflow and suction uses a cartridge filter that you can knock the dust off, they last me a good year or two each. The units has lots of positive reviews.

There’s a bunch of posts and a sticky on types of extraction so won’t get into that.

Fitz.
 

mbartlett99

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Over the years I've bought maybe a dozen Nilfisk units for the places I work - yet to see one break, they're proper commercial quality and Nilfisk make for Makita and Festool amongst others. I use the 26-21 with a cyclone for all my power tools, router table and mitre saw which it deals with easily. Do make sure you use the cyclone as the M class filters are 25 quid each (HEPA 120 quid each!).
 

mbartlett99

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Should have read all your post, sorry.

A vacuum is never going to be ideal for use with a table saw and definitely not a thicknesser. They're not designed to shift huge quantities of air and the hoses too small to handle thicknesser shavings; for that sort of application you need to be looking at something with at least 63mm hoses but ideally more.

You will read, on the better units, that the machine is either; Class L, Class M or Class H.
Class L - low level filtration for dusts that are not intrinsically harnful ie softwoods
Class M - medium level for dusts that are harmful ie sheet goods and hardwoods
Class H - high level for the really nasty rubbish ie heavy metals, asbestos etc.

Note that a decent manufacturer like Nilfisk and Numatic produce different filters so you can upgrade the filtration if you wish - the Aero 26 comes with a Class M filter but they produce a HEPA for it too.

Other features to look for are; power take off to auto start when the tool starts (is it rated for your largest tool?), filter cleaning where it reverses the flow to blast the filter clean and of course is it wet/dry (comes in handy now and again).

From what you're describing I'd say go ahead with one of your choices - a shop vac will always be handy no matter what you do - and if you get a thicknesser etc then buy a unit to deal with that. Afraid one size does not fit all and it always a trade off between air flow, filtration and cost.
 

charlieboy

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Thanks Fitz. Would your Titan be the TTB431VAC 1400W 40Ltr? What power tools do you hook yours up to and how effective is it? The only issue for me is the 1600w PTO, as my table saw is rated at 1800w. Thanks too for pointing me to the sticky and other posts. I'll take a look.

And thanks mbartlett99 for sharing your experience of the Nilfisk 26-21. One thing that confuses me is that I understand this vac comes with an M class filter, but it is only the 26-2L (which costs about 3 times as much) which is actually certified as class M. So would the 26-21 fitted with the M class filter give me M class filtration?

I note your comments about thicknessers. I have not used mine a lot, and when I have, I have tended to take multiple light passes, rather than try to hog off the max depth (2.4mm) in one go. Even with my existing small hose setup, I don't recall any clogging, so I'm wondering whether the smaller hoses of the Bosch or Nilfisk would actually be an issue for me.

I find the manufacturer specs for airflow very confusing. The Bosch claims airflow (max at turbine) of 70 l/sec, but has a small diameter hose. The Axminster claims airflow of 50 l/sec @ 63mm hose diameter. I don't know which is better!

Similarly re vacuum, The Bosch claims 26 kPa (max at turbine). The Axminster's spec is more than 10 times smaller at just 2.5kPa. I assume the Bosch is classed as HPLV, whereas the Axminster is classed as LPHV, but then I would expect the Axminster to have much greater airflow - but the specs bald numbers appear to give the Bosch (70 l/sec max at turbine) higher airflow as well over the Axminster (50 l/sec @ 63mm hose diameter)! I don't know how I can really compare these 2 machines!

I have read that air watts is a good measure of power as it combines airflow and vacuum into one measure. The 300 air watts of the Bosch sounds quite good, compared to other vacs that quote a value for air watts. Unfortunately neither the Nilfisk nor the Axminster provide a figure for air watts!

I am heartened by your final advice to just go and get one of the 3 I have shortlisted. Perhaps I am over-thinking this?!!! (But I'll read all the other dust extraction posts on this site first!!) And I would appreciate any further nuggets of wisdom from your knowledge/experience.
Thanks, Charlie
 

Fitzroy

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Morning. My vac is the Einhell which the Titan replaced as screwfix own brand. Reading reviews the Titan seems to have lost quality, the tool set is now all plastic, the hoses are push-fit not screw-fit.

I frequently plug my 2300w triton router into the power take off, not tripped it yet. This is not a recommendation to overload a socket though just my judgement ;) you not want to run a tablesaw off it as I expect the in rush current spinning up the blade would be a issue.

I use it on my router, orbital sander and mitre saw. Great on the router and sander but mitre saw dust collection is always poor. I’ve also used it on my thicknesser but it blocks, as would be expected, on anything but the finest cut.

Fitz.
 

charlieboy

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I did some tests yesterday of my benchtop thicknesser with my existing set up (Miele domestic vac + Triton Dust Collector bucket), taking multiple passes (<1mm). 90% of the dust/chippings ended up in the dust collector bucket, with no clogging, but 10% was thrown out across the infeed table and on to the floor. Is this just a fact of life with a benchtop thicknesser, or would any type of extractor capture this as well?

I also did a test of my router table and found that when edge profiling, virtually all of the dust was captured, but when grooving hardly any was captured - it was thrown out, both across the table and on to the floor below the router. Again, would any type of extractor improve this, or is it just very difficult to capture dust from grooving-type operations?
 

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The filtration classification of a vacuum has almost as much to do with its "intelligence" as it's micron filtering. A true M class will have a number of sensors built in that alert the user when the performance drops below the specified M standards (e.g. filter is clogged, suction is dropping, etc ) hence why they cost significantly more than the non M equivalent. So in theory, yes you can put an M class filter on the Nikfisk (I did) and get the equivalent level of filtration but you couldn't legally classify it as an M class, if you were taking into a construction site for example.
 

Myfordman

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To open up your choice of vacuum, I'll pick up on one of your comments about power take-off not always being rated for all your tools.
Sensing the current drawn by a wide range of tool reliably is non trivial.
Last year I came across a sensor module from which you can add power relays to solve this problem.
My write up here. http://www.thewoodhaven2.co.uk/viewtopi ... =22&t=4284
I can thoroughly recommend these modules.
 

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charlieboy":26resput said:
I did some tests yesterday of my benchtop thicknesser with my existing set up (Miele domestic vac + Triton Dust Collector bucket), taking multiple passes (<1mm). 90% of the dust/chippings ended up in the dust collector bucket, with no clogging, but 10% was thrown out across the infeed table and on to the floor. Is this just a fact of life with a benchtop thicknesser, or would any type of extractor capture this as well?

I also did a test of my router table and found that when edge profiling, virtually all of the dust was captured, but when grooving hardly any was captured - it was thrown out, both across the table and on to the floor below the router. Again, would any type of extractor improve this, or is it just very difficult to capture dust from grooving-type operations?
Of the amount not being collected, how are you determining the mix of dust and chips? I have a 3HP cyclone dust collector in my shop, and all of my shop equipment allows some chips to be thrown about. I don't worry about those since they don't make it anywhere near my nose. I am confident that most, if not all of the dust is collected because I have a Dylos DC1700 air quality monitor and a Record Power AC400 air filter. My shop is in my basement with no openings to the outside, so I have to be careful about dust collection.

I'm upgrading my router table to the Incra system and will be using the CleanSweep MagnaLOCK inserts. This should eliminate the problem you're experiencing when cutting grooves. I was using the Triton router table for a while, and no matter what I did, dust and chips went everywhere when cutting grooves. For this reason, the router table was banished to the garage or back porch when being used. The new Incra system should fix this.
 

charlieboy

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Coyote - thanks for clarifying what enables a vac to be class M certified - very helpful.

Myfordman - thanks for the link re sensor modules. I'll take a look.

MikeK - I don't know whether what is thrown out of the thicknesser (i.e. not collected) is just chips, or dust as well. Not sure how I could check that. It goes down on to the floor and I don't get that dusty smell, like you get with some woodworking operations, so hopefully it is mainly chips and well away from my nose. It is interesting though, that even with a 3HP cyclone dust collector, you experience a similar issue. It looks as though this may be something we just have to live with. Perhaps I can position a bin to catch most of the chips that get thrown back.
 

mr rusty

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A true M class will have a number of sensors built in that alert the user when the performance drops below the specified M standards (e.g. filter is clogged, suction is dropping, etc ) hence why they cost significantly more than the non M equivalent
The M Class standard does indeed refer to filtration standard amongst other things. The "sensor" on M Class machines is to all intents a crock of ****. The EU specification requires an indicator that shows when airflow drops below 20m/s with the largest hose the manufacture supplies for that machine. Just think about that. Supply different hose diameters with a particular machine, it's a crock of ****. Stick the nozzle in a pile of stuff to pick up, the indicator comes on because airflow has dropped. For anything other than tiny vacuums the indicator is useless.

By all means buy a vac according to the level of filtration, but also be aware that most manufacturers use the same filter in both M and H class - both have HEPA filters in - the main difference being that H Class require a filtration efficiency certificate (DOP test) and M class is just a self-certify exercise. If you are required to use an H machine because of the hazard, you have a responsibility to demonstrate that the filtration level is maintained in use.

Then there is Type H - British standard, not harmonised with EU which our Nuclear and MOD are still happy to accept. Different filtration test but to all intents Type H and H Class serve a similar purpose.

Finally, always bear in mind that vacuum and flow are like volts and amps; power is a combination of the two. There is no substitute for overall power in kW of the turbine. You always get maximum vacuum at zero flow and maximum flow with zero vacuum (back pressure), so to get good vacuum and flow simultaneously you need power.
 

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All good stuff here, its a bit of a minefield all round with a definite lack of cohesiveness so its not surprising these question come up all the time. If its not part of your work getting all the info is a pita.

Coming back to the OP. I'm amazed that your miele does the job so well, they're great vacuums and our interior staff swear by them, but I didn't think they'd be much cop in the workshop. The Bosch/Nilfisk are proper shop vacs - easily portable, from a proper manufacturer (Bosch is made by either Nilfisk or Numatic I forget which), come with different filters as you require and will be great with your portable tools. They'll certainly outstrip the Miele. The Axminster is less portable but with its larger diameter hose might be better with the pt and router table.

There's no bad choice there.
 

mr rusty

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......and just to throw in a curve ball - wood dust in a commercial shop should be classified as an ATEX area.... :twisted:
 

Trainee neophyte

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mr rusty":3rza993s said:
......and just to throw in a curve ball - wood dust in a commercial shop should be classified as an ATEX area.... :twisted:
I have never considered that - stupid of me!

Here's how to do it on purpose: [youtube]NFeqYZK2uak[/youtube]
 

Lonsdale73

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I have the Triton thicknesser and Titan shopvac. I fitted the Titan with a Festool connector that accepts 63mm hose which fits nicely onto the dust hood on the thicknesser. The vac is connected to a dust deputy which runs through a Peter Parfitt inspired dust hub. All works great when I remember to open the right blast gate!
 

charlieboy

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Lonsdale73, I've just seen your post, thanks. Your setup sounds really interesting. Would you please be able to tell me more:-

1. What model Titan vac do you use?
2. What is the 'native' diameter of the inlet/hose on the Titan vac?
3. What is a Festool connector?
4. Do you use 63mm ducting/hoses throughout your system?
5. Do you still get some dust/chippings from the Triton thicknesser thrown out across the infeed table?
6. What other tools do you connect into this system?
7. How effective would you say your setup is?
 

Lonsdale73

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1. What model Titan vac do you use?

I have two but main one is a TTB430. The other is only 15l and lacks the power take off but sucks every bit as well. I had a Festool Midi which was great. I was offered the TTB430 at a silly price and finding it could do as much as the Festool could do I sold the latter and that paid for some other hardware I needed.

2. What is the 'native' diameter of the inlet/hose on the Titan vac?

I made a point of measuring it for you and now I can't remember if it was 56mm or 58mm but it's around there. The hoses are around 38mm diameter

3. What is a Festool connector?

One of these:
IMG_0871.JPG
I'd noticed my Festool hose fitted the Titans and then I saw this adaptor on FFX's website and noted it accepted 63mm hose. I had a look for the link but couldn't find one anywhere - maybe they've stopped producing these or - more likely - I didn't enter the right search parameters.

4. Do you use 63mm ducting/hoses throughout your system?

Sadly not.
IMG_0870.JPG
At one time I had 63mm attached to two of the blast gates, one went to the thicknesser and another to the dust port on an Incra LS fence. The Festool hose connected to the third, via an mdf adaptor and connected to my Festool tools and doubled up as a vacuum everything hose. Now one 63mm goes to the mitre saw - the worst dust offender in the whole set up! - Two legacy adaptors take up the other two ports, one going direct to the router and the other is a 'floater ' that serves my power tools and also works well on a Triton Oscillating sander. I did add a 100mm Record Power Extractor a little while back. At the moment it's on a wheeled base so I can move it between table saw, band saw, router and thicknesser. The router is perhaps the cleanest machine in the place. I bought a dust port from Axminster that has 100mm and 63mm connections. A short length of 63mm runs from it to the port on the Incra fence and I drilled a large hole in the worktop that I call "The Black Hole" as it sucks in everything thrown it's way. With the 38mm hose that goes directly to the router I have three points of extraction (most of the time) - front the fence, from below the table via the routers built in port and through The Black Hole!

5. Do you still get some dust/chippings from the Triton thicknesser thrown out across the infeed table?

Oh yes! In fairness, I've not used it in a while, not tried it yet with the RP DE

6. What other tools do you connect into this system?

The TTB430 serves the mitre saw, router table, oscillating sander and a variety of power tools including a Domino, random orbit sander, track saw, trim router, jigsaw (sometimes!) and it also served my table saw for a while. The smaller Titan is dedicated to my drill press. As mentioned, I added the Record Power a little while back which has replaced the Titan on the mitre saw and (theoretically) the bandsaw although I don't use the BS much and rarely bother to hook up the dust extractor. I've recently added a lathe which rivals the mitre saw for the amount of mess it can create so I'm considering yet another Titan linked to a second hub to serve the drill press, lathe.

7. How effective would you say your setup is?[/quote]

The Router table - providing everything is connected and selected is great, get minimal mess from it. I think I'm on my third drill press fence. First one was great for hoovering up but was so big it restricted how far into a work piece I could drill. Current version lot more flexible but needs further refinements. The table saw used to have just a 38mm hose from the hub into the outlet on the rear of the machine and that worked reasonably well. When I got the 4" option, I bought Dewalts dedicated extraction system that has it's own 100mm 'hub' with three 30-somethingmm hoses. Bit weird as there are only two outlets on the DW745 - the rear port and the one on top of the blade guard. I built a 'drawer' that fitted under the the table and ran the third hose to that to collect whatever dropped beneath the blade. As a result, dust collection from it got worse! I've reverted to using a single hose to the rear port and it's a whole lot better.

The mitre saw is also Dewalt and it too has a dedicated 3-point extraction accessory, approx 38mm in and out. I think that would be fine if used on a mitre stand with plenty of space around it. I don't have plenty of space and having the saw as close to the wall as I can get it, I found the hoses kept catching and coming off. I gave up on it in the end and, seeing how well The Black Hole idea worked on the router table, I tried something similar with the mitre saw, drilling a hole behind big enough to accept a 63mm port. I then built a shroud around it and painstaking cut out 'wings'. Theory was all sawdust would be thrown backwards and sucked down through Black Hole 2 however I think a lot of the dust is simply boucing off the 'wings' and it scatters EVERYWHERE! On youtube, here's a guy called John McGrath (Man in Shed) who has just built a mitre saw station and incorporated his own Black Hole system and says it works pretty well but - even with a powerful 100mm unit going to the hole and a shop vac straight in to the saw - it still doesn't catch 100%
 

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charlieboy

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Wow Lonsdale73, thanks for such a mine of information! It took me a while to get me head around it, but I think I pretty well understand your setup now. If I understand things correctly, you stepped up from the 57/58mm inlet on the Titan to 63mm, for your bigger tools, rather than stepping down to the 38mm hose supplied with the Titan. Although I assume this reduces the strength of the vacuum/suction, but do you think this gives better performance for tools like the Triton thicknesser?

Which model in the Record Power Dust Extractor range do you now have? How does its performance compare to the Titan when used with the table saw?
 

Lonsdale73

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charlieboy":rqocsre7 said:
Wow Lonsdale73, thanks for such a mine of information! It took me a while to get me head around it, but I think I pretty well understand your setup now. If I understand things correctly, you stepped up from the 57/58mm inlet on the Titan to 63mm, for your bigger tools, rather than stepping down to the 38mm hose supplied with the Titan. Although I assume this reduces the strength of the vacuum/suction, but do you think this gives better performance for tools like the Triton thicknesser?

Which model in the Record Power Dust Extractor range do you now have? How does its performance compare to the Titan when used with the table saw?
I have the DX100. I bought mine from Yandles who were best price at the time and are still offering free delivery on it. It came with a length of 100mm and another at c38mm.

My set-up has evolved over seven or eight years, helped by heaps of info from others on here with far my knowledge and experience than I'll ever have, not to mention god knows how many youtube videos and I suspect it will continue to evolve. It's had several incarnations and I wouldn't rule out the possibility of it changing again. I've bought and sold a variety of extractors, trying to strike a balance between efficiency and economy of space. The one constant has been the dust hub driven by a Titan vac!
 

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