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SS Dust Collector - Opinions?

#2467 by john » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:29 pm

I am considering purchasing a dust collector and wonder what the opinions are on the ShopSmith unit. As with most SS machines it seems pricey compared to other brands, ( especially here in the cold north), but would like to know if there are qualities that make it a preferred product.

Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks

john

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SS Dust Collector

#2470 by dusty » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:58 pm

It works as a dust collector and as a vacuum. When using it as a vacuum (for the floor and work benchtops) I insert a screening cloth in the line so that I don't get nails, small screws, the like in the vacuum.

I'm prepared to rant about my SS but the dust collector is just so-so, IMO.

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#2472 by charlese » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:39 pm

John - Just got an E-mail from SS saying Dust collectors are now on sale for $100 off. The way I think - that's too good of a deal to pass up. Don't have any experiance with any of the other brands. I've read the reviews and like all reviews they appear good, but I'm happy with my 3300. It gets about 80% of dust from the saw and better than that with the jointer, belt sander and bandsaw. Also I'm not set up so I can use 4" hoses.

Yeah, I just broke a fan blade and now am temporarily out of business. (The hose was just laying on the floor when I inadvertently stepped on the remote switch and turned on the 3300 - the offending piece of wood must have been laying right next to the hose end.

Using a shop vac works but is a poor substitute for the 3300. I have vacuumed up many small pieces of wood when cleaning up the floor with the 3300. Have not had any trouble for ten years with the same machine. Guess the small piece I got today was the proverbeal straw that broke the fan. It's size is 1/2 by 1/2 by 1 inch. Heard it shoot through the hose but couldn't react fast enough to pull the hose.

I've really been happy with my 3300. The floor attachment won't pick up larger pieces if it is kept down on the floor. There is a brush in the back of that attachment that if one vacuums backward, (pull it towards you) it sweeps the larger pieces away form the suction.

One of the best things I did for the 3300 was to buy a larger hood. I got the medium sized one as it fits in my shop better than the large one would. With the larger hood (filter area) proficiency is noticeably increased. One job I don't like is cleaning out the 3300. The only really distastefull part is cleaning the inside of the hood. (This had to be done more often with the smaller (stock) hood). I turn it inside out and brush it fairly clean with an old paint brush. I used to try to beat it like a rug, but found the dust doesn't always blow away from my face. A clean hood is best for more air movement and dust collection. The larger hood has more surface area and stays cleaner longer,

---

Octogenarian's have an earned right to be a curmudgeon.
Chuck in Lancaster, CA

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#2473 by charlese » Fri Mar 16, 2007 9:39 pm

John - Just got an E-mail from SS saying Dust collectors are now on sale for $100 off. The way I think - that's too good of a deal to pass up. Don't have any experiance with any of the other brands. I've read the reviews and like all reviews they appear good, but I'm happy with my 3300. It gets about 80% of dust from the saw and better than that with the jointer, belt sander and bandsaw. Also I'm not set up so I can use 4" hoses.

Yeah, I just broke a fan blade and now am temporarily out of business. (The hose was just laying on the floor when I inadvertently stepped on the remote switch and turned on the 3300 - the offending piece of wood must have been laying right next to the hose end.

Using a shop vac works but is a poor substitute for the 3300. I have vacuumed up many small pieces of wood when cleaning up the floor with the 3300. Have not had any trouble for ten years with the same machine. Guess the small piece I got today was the proverbeal straw that broke the fan. It's size is 1/2 by 1/2 by 1 inch. Heard it shoot through the hose but couldn't react fast enough to pull the hose.

I've really been happy with my 3300. The floor attachment won't pick up larger pieces if it is kept down on the floor. There is a brush in the back of that attachment that if one vacuums backward, (pull it towards you) it sweeps the larger pieces away form the suction.

One of the best things I did for the 3300 was to buy a larger hood. I got the medium sized one as it fits in my shop better than the large one would. With the larger hood (filter area) proficiency is noticeably increased. One job I don't like is cleaning out the 3300. The only really distastefull part is cleaning the inside of the hood. (This had to be done more often with the smaller (stock) hood). I turn it inside out and brush it fairly clean with an old paint brush. I used to try to beat it like a rug, but found the dust doesn't always blow away from my face. A clean hood is best for more air movement and dust collection. The larger hood has more surface area and stays cleaner longer,

---

Octogenarian's have an earned right to be a curmudgeon.

Chuck in Lancaster, CA

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#2488 by reible » Sat Mar 17, 2007 1:41 am

I was just out searching to see if anyone had ever reviewed the shopsmith dust collector against any other system. I gave up after a while...... so has anyone seen such a review??

The next question is... are any of you using a seperator between the tool and collector? On my non-shopsmith system I have this lid that sits on a 30 gal trash can... The lid has one line to the collector and the other to the tool or duct system and gets all the big parts to drop out and most of the chips as well. It is a poor mans two stage system. You can see what they look like at:
http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=1515&filter=27351

Ed

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#2498 by charlese » Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:00 pm

Saw such a review of dust collectors in one of the woodworking mags recently. SS 3300 was not included. Those reviewed had CFM ratings of more than SS. The article, as I remember, said that 800 CFM or so was the minimum that would work. Personally, I can't agree, as the SS works for me.

THANKS FOR YOUR LAST POST! It reminded me that I should get one of those seperators from Rockler. Think it will save fan blades! Better late than never though! Think I will order the smaller seperator that fits a 5 gallon bucket. THANKS AGAIN!

---

Octogenarian's have an earned right to be a curmudgeon.

Chuck in Lancaster, CA

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#2500 by john » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:09 pm

Chuck:

Thanks for the info and tip on the price. Unfortunately we don't always get the same sales here in Canada and the current list price is $624 Cdn$. I will contact the distributor to see what he will offer.

Ed;

If I recall, Wood Magazine did a review which included ShopSmith many years ago and before I was really interested. I have been thinking of going through my early issues to see if I still have it but also prefer to get some hands-on user comments.

One of the things I like about it in the pictures is it's big wheels and small footprint. In my small shop that is a plus.

Thanks again

John

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Don't do it...

#2509 by chiroindixon » Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:42 am

The only really distasteful part is cleaning the inside of the hood. .Charlese....

I too did that dusty task until at a Traveling Academy, it was stressed to not clean that hood throughly. Apparently the hood needs a good cake to build up inside to ensure that the filter works well. I believe it was Doug Reid who was the instructor.

Now when I empty the dust collector, I just massage/shake the larger chunks down before detaching bag. BTW...having the bag sit in a 20 gallon Rubbermaid tub make the job easier. It all drops straight down and gives me handles to cart the bag out. Too many times I've managed to poke a hole....

He also surprised me with insistence that leaving all three intakes open increased the air flow and hence vacuum. He demoed it several times and it apparently works.

I will agree that the larger hood does work better. So much so, I don't see why at least the medium size is standard equipment. I've looked at the purchase of the biggest hood since the micron rating drops from 5 down to 1.

In my small shop, dust control is a real issue. Not just for neatness, but for my lungs. I've found several species of wood, to include pine, that can leave me coughing. Yeah, I could wear a good mask, but running the 3300 with all gates open works and I have a air filter mounted in ceiling for big belt sanding days.

Just was given a box of vacuum hoses and waste gates. Now redoing the vacuum system. The idea of a having a secondary in line bucket to drop out the larger pieces is a great idea. I've heard a number of chunks bang loudly through the fan, but so far no damage. That five gallon bucket adapter may be the ideal ticket.

Doc

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#2510 by charlese » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:24 pm

Doc - I Appreciated you comments.:D I find it interesting about your schooling to leave all three openings open. I have found (I think I have observed) with all three intake holes opened, the removing of sawdust from the saw blade is essentially the same as with two of them shut. Plus any ambiant dust gets picked up. In that sense, the DC works better. Yes, I believe air movement is the Key (as SS says). However I have also found that when using the floor vacuum system, it is better to close off the other two intakes - it yields a cleaner floor!

As for the hood and that nasty job- Your idea of putting the hood in a can is a good idea. I wonder what is meant by a cake layer of dust. I've noticed that when a dirty hood (I'm talking about the smaller hood) is cleaned of the thick cake - the air movement is decidedly improved. In fact many times, I have removed the small hood - pulled out the metal strap - turned it inside out and beat it like a rug. Boy!! That effort really improved my dust collection on all operations.

Cake or no cake - That is the question! (Apologies to William S.);)
My new and "improved?" method of cleaning. That is; paint brush sweeping of the dust from the inside of the hood is kind of a trade off between cake or no cake.

My guess is the cake cuts down on micro particles of dust escaping the hood. It is given - Air pressure inside the hood is pressing against the fabric. I can reason a cake will cut down on the openings in the hood fabric therefore cutting down on escaping micro dust particles. However this cake also will increase the pressure in the hood thereby cutting down on air movement. (Still reasoning!) Guess it is all a trade off. The larger hoods offer a much greater surface area upon which to dispell that same pressure, therefore much less PSI - yielding better air flow.

I remember reading in one of the SS notes that I could wash the hood in a washing machine. Never have, because didn't want to get the rath of wife. Guess I could have washed it in the laundry tub in my shop - but I'm just too lazy. Also didn't want to wait for the fabric to dry.

The book PTWFE has a section on cleaning the hood. (Page 314 in version 4) They say, every 8-10 hrs. vacuum the outside of the hood. I've never done that. Have you? I wonder if that operation will help make that cake of dust.

---

Octogenarian's have an earned right to be a curmudgeon.

Chuck in Lancaster, CA

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SS Dust Collector

#2512 by dusty » Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:10 pm

Whatever is right, whatever works best I'm NOT doing it. I am about to purchase a larger hood and new hoses and while it is open I'll inspect the blade.

If any of you learn anything definitive, let me know. My wife will appreciate anything that helps keep the dust down.

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