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Time to Empty the Dust Collection Bin

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MikeK

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I decided to check the dust bin on my dust collection system this evening before starting another project, and I am glad I did. The cone of dust from the cyclone was almost touching the bottom of the lid when I peeked in, but it flattened out a bit and settled as I moved the bin out. The fun starts in the morning as I empty the bin.

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I was very happy to see that there was no accumulation in the plenum, or the dust filters. Both filters looked like the one in the photo below.


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Doug B

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You need a sight glass Mike though judging by your filters not as bad as I need a big cyclone 🤔
 

Jonathan S

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I decided to check the dust bin on my dust collection system this evening before starting another project, and I am glad I did. The cone of dust from the cyclone was almost touching the bottom of the lid when I peeked in, but it flattened out a bit and settled as I moved the bin out. The fun starts in the morning as I empty the bin.

View attachment 97099


I was very happy to see that there was no accumulation in the plenum, or the dust filters. Both filters looked like the one in the photo below.


View attachment 97100

View attachment 97101
Mike, would you care to share details of what set up you have please..
 

AJB Temple

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What do you do with the dust, Mike?

Mind gets raked into the leaf mould, quite thinly, on a dry day. All turns to compost.
 

MikeK

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The dust bin is empty and ready for use. I made the support in the middle of the bin from plywood offcuts to keep the bin from collapsing. This happened once, and I didn't realize at first that it happened, as the dust collection system is in an enclosed closet. By the time I noticed, lots of dust made it to the filters. Any leak from the bottom of the cyclone to the dust bin will create an alternate airflow path to the filters and take dust with it.

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The contents of the dust bin are bagged and ready for collection in a few weeks. We cannot put sawdust in the container that goes to the local compost farm or take it there ourselves. I tried once when I had a truckload of brush and pruned limbs, and was refused entry until I returned without the bags of sawdust. Sawdust must go to the landfill if not used on the property. My Restmüll container (everything that can't be recycled and is destined for the landfill) was nearly full with offcuts, so I bought two bags from the city hall for €5 each. These used to be €2.50 each, but the collection contract changed this year and all of the fees increased. The monthly collection truck won't pick up separate bags unless they are the purchased bags, which indicates the extra collection fee was paid.


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MikeK

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What do you do with the dust, Mike?

Mind gets raked into the leaf mould, quite thinly, on a dry day. All turns to compost.
We have a small garden and no space for a compost pit. I will use some of the sawdust in an experiment for weed and grass control in the flower beds. The sawdust robs the soil of the nitrogen, unlike the larger mulch, so I hope it chokes out the unwanted shallow root vegetation without harming the plants with deeper roots.
 

MikeK

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Mike, would you care to share details of what set up you have please..
yes, would love to see the setup
I designed my basement shop around the dust collection system; although, I made some mistakes along the way that will be corrected with the next version. Since my basement is below grade and fully enclosed with no exterior access, anything that happens in the shop can affect the rest of the house, so I made sure I had the best dust collection system I could build. When I had the interior walls put in to separate the shop from the rest of the basement, I included a 1x2 meter closet for the DC system and compressor.

The first mistake was putting two 90-degree bends at the input of the cyclone in order to make the ducting fit the room. The second mistake was building the door offset from the perimeter wall too narrow to allow more room for the ducting to enter the closet. I used 120mm steel Schuko ducting and fittings I bought from the same vendor that sold me the Minimax SC2 Classic saw. I designed the layout in AutoCAD and produced a parts list. I have since removed part of the ducting distribution since my shop design changed a bit and I didn't need the extra run.

Here are photos of the ducting being installed as I built the shop.










I started with a Bernardo RV-350 Blower. I originally purchased a Bernardo DC-300 Dust Collector when I planned on using my garage for the shop. I abandoned the garage option in favor of the basement and wanted a larger dust collector. I found a Bernardo distributor near Köln who agreed to exchange my DC-300 system for the RV-350 and €35 refund. He already had a buyer for the DC-300 and was looking at a long delivery time.

I bought the Oneida Steel 5-inch Super Dust Deputy Cyclone on one of my trips back to the States. The new version is black, but mine is cream colored. I also bought a pair of Wynn 35B222NANO Filter Cartriges and a pair of Wynn 18FP30 Filter Pans that attach to the bottom of the main filters. This makes routine cleaning the filters a bit easier, unless something bad happens and they fill up.

Next was the task of building the plenum to hold the filters and assemble everything in the closet. Since the shop is directly below the dining room, I wanted to reduce vibration and noise as much as possible. I used isolation mounts on the blower assembly. I wasn't happy with the shear rating of the mounts, but was very happy with the compression rating, so I made brackets to hold the blower to the wall and ceiling.




With everything assembled and wired, it was time to build the plenum. In the process of installing the blower, I removed the NVR switch that was part of the motor and installed a contactor with a remote switch to control it. Here you can see the two 90-degree bends at the input of the cyclone. I know know this is not good, so the next version will not be pretty, but will be better.




I don't have any build photos of the plenum, but it's simple frame with a 10mm plywood skin to provide an airtight box with an inlet from the blower and two large holes for the filters. I also mounted the pitot for the Oneida Filter Efficiency Gauge Kit, which is a Magnehelic gauge. The pitot tube connects to the pressure side of the gauge, and the other side of the gauge is open to the ambient pressure. In normal operation, the gauge doesn't move. When the filters start to clog, the gauge moves.






The third mistake I made was not putting more thought into the size of the plenum and ensuring the side had a clear path to the blower output. To compensate for this, I used a section of 180mm flexible hose and created a rectangle that was slightly larger than the output flange of the blower. It was easy to bend the copper wire in the hose, but it took two attempts to find the correct length to compensate for the double bends.




Everything is in place, and the system works great.




The space below the filters is for the compressor. It is on a rubber pad to reduce the vibration.




I will be replacing the system as soon as I find the time. The only components I will keep are the blower and filters. Everything else will be replaced, including the ducting. I have the Oneida Super Dust Deputy XL Cyclone that I bought from Toolovation. It is taller than the steel SDD I have, and since I can't move the blower higher, everything must move down. The plastic bin will be replaced with a plywood box that is shorter, but has a larger footprint and a similar 35-gallon capacity. After yesterday's close call, I will put a sight glass insert in the lid of the box so I can check on it without breaking the seal.
 

MikeK

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I forgot to mention one important tip for cyclone dust collectors...check for leaks at the bottom of the cyclone and the bin. While checking this afternoon, I found a leak where the 160mm flexible tubing joins the metal couplers at the cyclone and the dust bin top. I made a quick trip to the hardware store for a tube of clear silicone caulking and sealed both seams.

Here is the leak test after the repairs. I used a stick of incense and a small flashlight to backlight the smoke plume while the blower is running and all of the blast gates are open. When I tested it this afternoon after putting the bin back, the smoke made a disappointing arc to the joint on the bottom ring where the flexible tube enters it. There were at least five places on the bottom ring and three or four places on the top ring. Now it's good!

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I checked all around the ring, in about 15-degree increments, and the smoke rose straight up. This indicates both rings are sealed.

Here is the Magnehelic gauge with the blower running. This indicates the filters are clean and is what normal should look like. To simulate a blocked filter, I put a large plastic bag over each filter, while the blower is off, and tape it securely so it won't blow off. Then, I open all of the blast gates, turn on the blower, and quickly go to the gauge to see what the reading is before the bags are blown open. The highest reading I can remember before the bags blow apart is 2 inches of water. When the bin collapsed and the filters were filling with dust, the reading was 1 inch of water before I shut it down to investigate.

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Jonathan S

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Thanks for sharing that Mike, super set up!
I've wondered about adding a cyclone to my system in the future, but I'm wondering if I would benefit as I seem to generate mainly larger chips from the planer and spindle moulder.
 

MikeK

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Thanks for sharing that Mike, super set up!
I've wondered about adding a cyclone to my system in the future, but I'm wondering if I would benefit as I seem to generate mainly larger chips from the planer and spindle moulder.
As I emptied the bin, it was almost like an archeological dig. I saw the different layers of dust and chips from the various projects, which included the shavings from the planer when I was setting it up. I am glad the planer chips were in the bin and not between the filter pleats.
 
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