Another Dust Collection Option


Isaac
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I've been working to up my dust collection game. I wasn't happy with my shop vac based set because I had to constantly move the hose from one machine to another, which leads to me forgetting to move the hose, not having dust collection, big mess, etc. Plus the suction simply wasn't were I wanted it to be. The dust collectors available didn't seem to quite hit the sweet spot for me, I don't have 220 power where I want my unit, which eliminates the big 2hp units, and the regular wall units, at 1/2hp-1hp seem just a bit under-powered. 

I had a bit of inspiration when I was at a birthday party for my son's friend and I saw they had a bounce house with blower. I noticed right away the blower for the bounce house seemed to have a near identical form factor to dust collector blowers. So searching on amazon, I was able to turn up many bounce house blowers, including this one:

61DU7vXqdvL._SL1500_ (Custom).jpg

https://www.amazon.com/CFM-Commercial-Inflatable-Bounce-Blower/dp/B00MFVFXK4/ref=sr_1_cc_8?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1475847012&sr=1-8-catcorr&keywords=bounce+house+blower

 It is a 1-1/2hp unit, which I think is about as big of a blower as you can power from a regular 120 outlet. I had to buy a special set of security screw bits to remove that little metal grill (which otherwise clogs with dust) but otherwise it was good to go. 

I paired it up with a 30 gallon bucket (55 seemed like it would get heavy and be a pain to empty), a filter bag and some flexible duct work and blast gates to my machines. My shop is very small (around 12x20, with low ceilings, and space vac system make one side unusable) so I'm not at all worried about some minor loses in the duct-lines. The other advantage of this duct work is the ability to re-route as I'm still fine tuning my layout. If the flexible ductwork gives me problems I'll probably replace it with rigid lines piecemeal, as I finalize my tool layout. 

So here is the new set up, a 6" immediately reduced down to 4" that is my main diameter, and only reduced when the tool itself requires it. So far is doing a fantastic job, as the suction I'm now getting will practically pull my wedding ring off my hand if I'm not careful. 

IMG_20161007_082044391 (Custom).jpg

IMG_20161007_082034398 (Custom).jpg

I haven't crunched the numbers to hard, but I'm confident I saved some good cash and got exactly the size blower I wanted. 

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@Isaac Gaetz That will probably work really well. I'd be concerned for high flow applications. The design appearance of that blower makes it seem like it's higher pressure and lower flow. The other thing that is nice about dust collectors is they are probably a bit more durable. I'd be diligent on keeping your drum empty and not sending any chips through the blower.

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2 minutes ago, Chestnut said:

@Isaac Gaetz That will probably work really well. I'd be concerned for high flow applications. The design appearance of that blower makes it seem like it's higher pressure and lower flow. The other thing that is nice about dust collectors is they are probably a bit more durable. I'd be diligent on keeping your drum empty and not sending any chips through the blower.

Seems like these blowers generally have comparable CFM ratings to the same HP dust collector. I did leave this plastic grill in place on the intake side, so nothing bigger than that mesh is getting through, and with the bucket pre filtering, I'm hoping not too much makes it to the blower at all, though I agree, I'll try to empty the bucket when it is half full or so (which still gives me 3x more time between dumping than my previous 5 gallon bucket did).

71uF4rWgnKL._SL1500_ (Custom).jpg

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4 minutes ago, Immortan D said:

That air intake will have to deal with a lot more load than it's been designed for. Time will tell if it's a nice job or nice try! LOL

I'm not too worried. These blowers are designed for commercial, outdoor use and run for many hours at a time, my demands of it shouldn't exceed that.

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1 minute ago, Isaac Gaetz said:

I'm not too worried. These blowers are designed for commercial, outdoor use and run for many hours at a time, my demands of it shouldn't exceed that.

True but once they fill said bouncy castle they generally spike pressure and the flow decreases causing a lot less strain on the motor. I'm sure your still safe though. Though this thread did get me started in a long argument with a friend about which flows more air a turbocharger or a dust collector. It's interesting turbo's flow a lot of air.

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These are static blowers with no responsiveness included. They cavitate once the pressure remains constant. Unless, of course, you have a leaky unit. Bounce houses are designed with adjustable leak for this reason. They are designed to always leak a little bit. This accounts for the pulsation caused by the bouncing heifer. If your system is designed likewise, and your separator makes it appear as though it is, you should not ever tax the capability of the blower. 

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3 minutes ago, C Shaffer said:

These are static blowers with no responsiveness included. They cavitate once the pressure remains constant. Unless, of course, you have a leaky unit. Bounce houses are designed with adjustable leak for this reason. They are designed to always leak a little bit. This accounts for the pulsation caused by the bouncing heifer. If your system is designed likewise, and your separator makes it appear as though it is, you should not ever tax the capability of the blower. 

Thanks for the breakdown. On the outflow side, where the theoretical bounce house would be, that is just a filter bag, which captures the dust but allows the air to escape and  that bag is just tied on so there is some play there, so I think those would provide the necessary leaking. 

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11 minutes ago, Isaac Gaetz said:

Thanks for the breakdown. On the outflow side, where the theoretical bounce house would be, that is just a filter bag, which captures the dust but allows the air to escape and  that bag is just tied on so there is some play there, so I think those would provide the necessary leaking. 

Yes. More clearly my point is that a filling filter is what creates lots of back pressure in bag setups. I think the barrel keeps your filter clean-ish. 

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O yes, I see your point. Inside the barrel lid I've got elbows in alternating directions in this arrangement, as a poor man's cyclone:

 

cyclone_250.jpg

 

The barrel is fairly tall, so stuff that collects on the bottom won't get sucked back up, I'll have to monitor to see at what height of material that is no longer true. 

If the filter gets excessively clogged I'll have to clean it, but that must be true of any of these systems. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
31 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

Yo Isaac, any updates on how this contraption is working?

Working great so far. The challenge now has been finding ways to make my hoses, gates, etc. flexible enough to get to everything. I was doing some handheld routering dados this weekend and found that one of the plastic floor sweeps like this:

floor-sweep.jpg

did a pretty good job of catching the dust and chips as they were shooting out. The tough part was remembering which way to run the router, half the time I wound up shooting myself up with a pile of debris!

Right now I'm waiting to see at what point my bucket will be too full and additional dust will skip the bucket and head to the filter.

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28 minutes ago, bleedinblue said:

Awesome!  The wide variety of these blowers make it an interesting option.  

Yes it does.  They aren't optimized like a purpose built DC is but certainly do work. The unfortunate thing is that even though Isaac said it was a commercial unit,  that isn't the case.  There are actual commercial ones available but they cost about $800 new. That unit was built for Walmart and Costco to be used with their one season disposable Bounce house. 

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2 hours ago, bleedinblue said:

Awesome!  The wide variety of these blowers make it an interesting option.  

That was appealed to me as well. It seemed like most Dedicated DC were either the really small or they were 2hp units that need 220 power which I don't have in my shop. This split the difference.

 

3 minutes ago, Brendon_t said:

Obviously your shop, your money, your time but I took an actual industrial blower with a granger 2 hp motor and big thick aluminum impeller and tried it for the same things.. it worked  for chips but doesn't do enough for the band saw or drum sander. 

Brendon, I'm curious the HF DC only costs around $200 and includes the cart, bag attachment, etc. considering the cost of those elements, are you sure the actual blower is something so different? I couldn't use the HF model because it requires 220 power, and also I didn't want that cart set up anyways.

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