I spent months researching this dust collector order for my shop rebuild. I had been using a 1HP jet and a 2HP Central Machinery unit from Harbor freight. They did a reasonable job of collecting chips from on or two machines. I had to make sure the other blast gates were closed when usIng a particular saw or planer. The other thing that worried me was fine dust filtration. I wanted something with far more power and fine dust filtration.
In my search I knew I wanted a cyclone separator and a good final filter. I considered Laguna, Jet, Powermatic and Clearview. I looked a 3-5 HP units. Any one of them would have been a huge upgrade over my current situation. I wasn’t afraid of spending a couple thousand for the right unit.
As I learned more about cyclones I found that the longer cyclones are far more effective at capturing fine dust. I eventually had to rule out the Laguna, Jet and Powermatic units as they have compact cyclones. They are pretty effective at separating larger chips from the air stream but do little for the fines. To make them work wel for the fine dust I would have to have a HEPA filter. This would mean more filter cleaning and wear and tear on the filters as those three all use a rotating flipper to clean the pleats.
This brought me to two choices in my price range. The Clear view and the Grizzly. I love the informative website over at clear view. It is absolutely worth the read even if you dont order a dust collector. I learned more there than anywhere else. Even so I ruled out the clear view because I wanted a steel separator. Clear plastic would make for some cool videos but I felt that for the money I was getting a lot more value from the Grizzly unit.
I ordered it from Max tool and about a week later I got a call from the shipping company. I met them at the road with a ramp door cargo trailer. We slid it off the back of the truck on the ramp door right into the trailer without incident. I checked the boxes and all was well except for two small dents. One on the cyclone barrel and one on the metal filter cage. I decided they were minor enough that I could correct them with a dead low hammer. I signed off on the order and drove it up my long driveway to the shop.
It came in two large boxes. The larger one was actually a pallet and held the main unit and accessories and the smaller box held the HUGE filter. Everything is included except mounting bolts for wall mounting and the metal stand for freestanding use. I did not see a need for spending the extra cash on a stand. I was going to either weld my own frame or wall mount the unit.
I really wanted to mount the unit on the metalworking side of my shop. It would cut down on noise and free up space in the main woodworking area. We live in northern Missouri so we get weather extremes. Summers are long, hot and very humid. Winters are just the opposite. We start getting Snow and Ice in October and it extends well into march most years. In between we have about three days of comfortable weather for spring and fall. Mounting the dust collector on the other side of my shop would mean losing most of my heat and air conditioning.
I decided to go ahead and wall mount it in my shop. This is a really heavy unit. The mounting holes are not spaced for 16”or24”stud spacing. I doubled up some plywood to make a secure mounting plate. I went a little bigger than the required dimensions in the instructions. I don’t mind overkill in most situations.
I found the instructions to be very straightforward. I did make a mistake on the install. The manual includes instructions for more than one unit. I initially drilled holes in my mounting plate and drove 1/2” lags in locations for a smaller unit. My son and son in Law helped me wrestle it up the ladders only to find that the holes on the unit wouldn’t slip over the three lag screws. It would do one or the other but not all three. After struggling for a few minutes I decided we had to bring the motor and blower assembly back down for evaluation. To make matters worse the difference was only about 3/8’. That meant my holes were too close for drilling new ones at the desired height. I decided to drill new ones slightly higher than the manual states. I figured if the hose from the bottom of the cone to the collection barrel ended up too short I could easily get some more 8” hose to make a secure connection. In the end it all worked with the factory hose. I felt a little sheepish when I finally saw the info box in the instructions showing the spacing for the mounting bolts.
I am still ordering equipment for my shop upgrade. As such I have not installed my duct work yet. In the meantime I am using an 8”flex hose. I have two 4” slinky hoses and a
1 1/2” vac hose shoved in the end. The hoses are far from ideal. They are actually deformed from being stepped on and bunch up under the negative air pressure. Even so the dust collector is proving more than adequate for this size shop. With both hoses open and the air leakage around the 8”hose i am gettting great dust collection from my Sawstop industrial cabinet saw, my Jet 6”jointer and DeWalt 13” planer.
I look forward to getting the machine upgrades and finally doing the duct work install. Then I will update this to talk more about the performance of the system.