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How well dose a shop vac with a seperator work for dust collecting

 Any opinions welcome.

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In theory you should try to have the collection equipment as close as possible to the source of the dust. One way to vent outside is to use the vacuum exhaust port and vent that to the outside. One of the nice things with a shop vac type system is that you can keep the bends to a minimum. It's the bends that really take away from the suction.. That said, a good part of my professional work is signage (this is where the Kreg jig comes in to edge join boards for larger signs). I do the wasting with a router that I made an adapter for. I uses 1-1/4" hose and this is 30 feet long. The suction is very good. My shop vac is quite old and not as powerful as yours.

The purpose of this is to trap the fine dust so that it doesn't get into the lungs. Unless you invest in an industrial system you will not get all the chips and most of these systems don't get all the chips either, but the chips don't hang in the air and a second pass with the vacuum or a broom will generally pick up the chips.

As you already have excellent masks the only improvement for you system is a "HEPA" filter and with time you will make some adapters to better grab the chips.

Ah yes! Heat, I remember that. Right now it is 8 degrees F. but tomorrow it will warm up to 30 degrees and rain, freezing rain. Go ahead complain about the heat.


This is an old post of mine . For some of you who are new to wood working from my limited knowledge the least expensive option is the dust deputy and 5 to 6 hp shopvac. I have went through 2 builds of carts for my dust deputy. I needed  more space built a cart that went up thus taking less floor space. If you look through my post you can see my 2 builds.

LOL, the heat is really bad when it starts coming on in April-May and hangs out until the end of September.  The humidity added to the heat is what I don't like because I can't handle the humidity.  I can remember moving here in the middle of August a few years back because the air was so thick and wet that I had to gulp my air to breathe. 

I was just looking at the exhaust port on our shop vac and it seems to be two ports on the back side at the top of the cover.  I don't know how I could cover that to vent outside with and I understand about the longer length taking away suction since my husband and I were talking about that as well while looking at the exhaust ports.  I'll be looking into getting a good HEPA filter for the vac.

I bought a dust collection connector for our circular saw and with a little ingenuity it ought to catch a good portion of the dust while in use.  We are going to try it out tomorrow because it was too late in the evening to be making so much noise in the neighborhood.  This saw will be used on the panel saw we built with the only concern would be the dust and chips that may fall behind the panel saw.

Right now it is very comfortable but still need to dehumidify the air or use a/c to do the work for you because the air is nice and cool but the humidity is very high.  I do like the fall/winter time here because it is when we get things done on the house, definitely different from a large portion of the country.

Does this look like the HEPA filter you speak of?  Info says it will filter sawdust.

Yes that is a HEPA filter. The designation "HEPA" is for a class of filters, I have the Wikipedia reference Almost all of the filter manufacturers make HEPA type filters, so you can choose any one you wish.

The "Shop Vac" filter is what you are looking for, but they are a bit pricey. You can buy the same filter from the manufacturer for less and they have "free shipping" in the US.

The local Home Depot has them, although more expensive than Lee Valley so I can get one when I have a lapse of attention. The brand name doesn't matter as long as the filter is made to the HEPA standard.

I hope this helps.


Thanks Otto, I bought both the HEPA filter and the HE fine dust bags for our shop vac today at Lowe's.

Those are very good items.

Depending on the woodworking materials you are using, you may find that in the long run because of the cyclone that the bags are not necessary, but they will not cause you problems.

Now I can go out and shovel my way to my car.


I use a filter in my shop vac, with the cyclone dust collector.

The filter catches the fine dust particles, that do not settle into the dust/chips collector.

We are doing great with the combination of cyclone, HE bag and HEPA filter.  The vac is totally clean and the cyclone is about 1/2 full now and probably needs to be emptied.

I run a Dust Deputy on a shop-vac for general clean up and dust evacuation from small tools.

My husband cut a piece of plexiglass and made a piece to fit on the side of the saw blade that ends out the chips with the hopes it will help to catch some more of the larger dust particles that are getting on the floor.  I don't mind the large chips, it is the larger particles that don't make it into the vacuum cleaner.  I'll let you all know how it works when we get a chance to use the saw.

I use an Oneida Dust Deputy with a shop-vac.I didn't START OUT using it, but after my first project I realized how much dust flies around and gets into everything. This makes the shop cleaner; and my wife happier.

The Dust Deputy does a good job; when the bucket is full, there's usually no more than half an inch in the bottom of the shop-vac, and best of all the filters last much longer than they used to. I use it on all my tools, which isn't that bad since I don't have a lot of room and usually need to put one tool away before setting up the next. I find that I plan my work better; do everything I need to do with one tool before I move on to the next.

While a built-in system would be nice, my shop doesn't have the room or the budget for it.

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