Monday, February 10, 2014

Super Dust Deputy Review

Quite a while back, I built a cart using a regular Dust Deputy on a ShopVac.  My cart with the system worked like a champ as the Dust Deputy would fill up a 5-gallon bucket and almost nothing would be in the vacuum bag.  I even wrote a review about the Dust Deputy in "I love the Oneida Dust Deputy."

When I finally got around to improving my dust collection with a dust collection specific for woodworking.  I wrote an article about my Souped Up Harbor Freight Dust Collector.  When building it, I knew I wanted a cyclone and with my experience on the small Dust Deputy, I went straight for the Super Dust Deputy, rather than trying to build my own cyclone or purchase a cyclone from a different company.  After planing a lot of wood, I filled up my 20 gallon metal bucket attached to it and now I can write up a review.

Super Dust Deputy

I will let the pictures below show the story.  The 20 gallon bucket was full, where the dust collector bag had maybe ~1/4 to 1/2 cup of dust.  I would say that was a very good ratio.  To know the exact quantity in the collection bag, I would have needed to remove the clamp, but its such a pain to remove its not a worth getting the exact amount.  So doing some SWAG math, let's say the supper dust deputy collected 18 gallons and 1/2 a cup come through and into the dust collector.  This would mean that the Super Dust Deputy captured 99.8%.  In reality, I am certain the collection amount is lower due to the density of the planer shavings filling the bucket compared to the dust in the bag.  Also, the trash bag in the bucket had air below it so it was not totally filled with 18 gallons of debris.  None the less, the collection percentage was high enough to be very glad that I purchased the Super Dust Deputy.

With that, I would recommend the Supper Dust Deputy.  Also, I would recommend using something larger than 20 gallons to collect output of the Dust Deputy, but I was limited with my small basement shop.

The Entire Dust Collection System

Window Showing Filled to the Top

Emptying the Can

Small Amount of Dust in Plastic Bag

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Router Push Block

While working on a project, I needed to run a strip through the router table in order to make a T-track for my drill press table.  The strip of plywood that needed to be run across the router table was going to put my fingers too close to the router bit.  I had been wanting to make a router push block for quite a while, so here was the excuse I needed to make it.  

Below is the final picture of the push stick, which was based off many other ones out there on the web.  

My Router Push Stick

I made it by first starting with some scrap plywood.  I ripped a section of it off on the table saw in order to make the catch for the wood.  I then drilled and counter-sunk the holes in the plywood.  I had a scrap large dowel rod left over from a different project.  I drilled holes in this to become the handles.  Below is another picture of the push stick ready to push the plywood through the router table.  

Ready to be Put to Use

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Zero Clearance Insert for Ridgid 10" Sliding Compound Miter Saw

One of the things that I did not like about my miter saw was not having a zero clearance plate for the saw and I felt like it was leaving me with very rough cuts.  I pulled the original out, which was 0.250" in thickness. I started looking around for something of this thickness and started to think I would have to plane a board down.  I will still make a zero clearance fence for the back, but that is much more straightforward and often may be sacrificial.   

Then I saw something that measured 0.249" thick:  a wooden 5-gallon paint stirrer from HD.  Below is the result.

Final Zero Clearance Insert

The next pictures show some of the progress.  The first pictures shows what I started with.  I first power planed the sides smooth with my HF power planer (A great $40 purchase!) as I did not want to use my larger joiner with such a small item.  I clamped them together with glue and used an air compressor for extra weight to keep them flat.  After sanding, the thickness had fallen, so I had to use some extra spacers of tape and plastic strapping wrap used on a box.  It started to get late and I was tired.  I should have gotten some new screws and countersunk them, but the stores were closed.  With that, I just used a forstner bit for the bolt to fit. 


The stirring sticks
Power Planing the sides smooth
Gluing the sticks

Adding Spacers

My Remote Switch for Dust Collector

So now that I have installed a souped up Harbor Freight dust collector installed, I got tired of walking over to turn it on and off each time.  I looked into getting a commercial remote for it, but they are not cheap and also some of the reviews made me question them.  One of the concerns that I had was forking over the better part of $100 and then have it die after a year or so.  If that happened, these solid state unites are trash, as they cannot be fixed. 

The Dust Collector Remote Installed

I work in a lab where we recently removed some old equipment.  That night while falling asleep, it dawned on me that I could use a $10 remote control for Christmas tree lights to turn on and off an old relay from the equipment.  The cheap remote is unable to handle the motor load; however, it can easily turn on an off a relay designed to handle the motor load.

I was going to use a solid-state relay with a heat sink.  To power the DC for a relay, I had planned to use an old transformer used to power a broken wireless (computer) router.  Then in talking to the head building maintenance guy at work, he suggested a contactor relay as it uses an 110V AC input and is better able to handle the power of a motor.  He ordered one for a motor switch; however, it was the wrong size, he could not return it, and he gave it to me. 

I then took an old electrical enclosure box used to run some large tube furnaces.  I used a 12-guage extension cord as the power supply and then as an extra outlet to run to the cord for the dust collector.  Also, I got some appropriately size fuses, an electrical outlet, and finally, the $10 remote control switch. 

I wired it together with the intention of the remote control on the outside, as it would not work inside the metal box.  If you look at the pictures, I took advantage of what was in the box, so I was able to make it much fancier than if I had started from total scratch.  In addition, I figured the remote was the most likely to fail and if on the outside, it is easy and cheap to replace. 

How hard was it to wire?  Well if you can barely wire an outlet, this is NOT the project for you.  If you can easily wire a 3-way switch and can understand my drawing, it is relatively straightforward.   

One thing that is also important to point out is that this system is very flexible if you are electrically minded.  For example, if you ran a 220V (or even a 480V) dust collector, you could then just run the neutral line over (or a separate 110V line) and wire it up in a very similar manor. 

In addition, just as I was getting ready to write this up, I found that Clear Vue offers an electrical box very similar to what I built.  I have not seen the box in person; but it appears to have a remote control turning on and off a contactor using 110V.   Their relay has two legs so that it can run 220V.  In mine, I am using one leg at 110V.  I guess the other difference is that their looks much nicer, where mine is not something I could sell online. 

Enjoy the pictures below,

Schematic of the Dust Collector

The Remote Before Mounting 
Note in the picture above you can see a few things.  One is that outlet that I cut to mount on the top, which powers the remote control switch.  Here, the box is set to power the dust collector as evident by the lit up end of the extension cord, which might not show to well in the picture.  The output of this is a cheap extension cord in white that goes back in to power the contractor.  This way if the remote dies, I don't need to do anything other than plug the new one in, which I think was really a ingenious solution. 

The Inside Wiring

Note in the picture above you can see a few things.  First, I was SUPER lucky to get a box that I could modify and make use of.  I was able to make use of the switch and light (which lets me know if its powered up and ready to hit the remote button.  I also was able to use left over wire and blocks to make some of the connection.  The fuses worked perfect as I have a fuse on the light, contactor, and dust collector.  I should have put one on the outlet, but I did not think of it at the time. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Souped Up Harbor Freight Dust Collector with Cyclone

In an effort to improve the dust in my shop, I decided to get a dust collector. My vacuum cart with a dustdeputy does a great job; however, I needed a larger volume of air moved to remove more dust. I thought about an individual cyclone separators such as one by Grizzly, but it was getting expensive and I think my wife would not be happy.

With that, I started searching the internet and decided to really soup up a Harbor Freight Dust collector. Below is the final picture and a schematic of what I built. In short, it’s a Harbor Freight dust collector, a Wynn Engineering Filter, a salad bowl as an internal baffle, and a Super Dust Deputy cyclone. To top it off, I just made my own remote control switch using some relays and a $10 wireless remote for Christmas tree lights. (Look for that Post Soon)

The System - Dust Collector with Cyclone

To start the process, I used some great resources, which I want to give credit too, such as:

I started with the Harbor Freight Dust collector, which using a super coupon, I was able to get for $150. By itself, I don’t know that I would be the best dust collector, but it sure makes a great starting point for something larger. One reason for my thought is that I do not believe that a 5-micron filter is fine enough as it’s the dust you cannot see (<10 micron) that is dangerous to breathe in. The first improvement to the dust collector was Wynn Engineering’s Nano filter. With that filter, I now have better airflow than the original felt bag and essentially HEPA filtration.

I have the standard Dust Deputy on a vacuum cleaner, which is amazing and I think every woodworker should use it or something similar on a shop vac. With experience with the standard Dust Deputy, I did not even hesitate to get the Super Dust Deputy. I went with the plastic over metal to save some money and I liked how it looked like the plastic one starts the air to flow down and might work better.

While waiting on the filter and cyclone to come in, I did some more reading one what people have done. I decided to put some sort of extra separation within the dust collector itself. I would have loved to have put in the Thein baffle, but because of the filter option I got, I was unable to. Then I saw the articles that try and copy a certain companies cone within a dust collectors. The company will remain nameless; however they make nice white and yellow tools. Great things have been to copy the cones used such as woks (& here), plant stands, dog food bowls, frying pans, and chimney tops. With that, I went down to the local GoodWill store to see what I could find. For $1, I found a nice red plastic salad bowl. After increasing the bowl’s strength with some plywood, I mounted it into the dust collector. The way the filter attaches, the bowl had to be easy to install and remove as it must be removed to adjust the toggle bolts that hold the filter in place.

Using a 5” hose, I then ran the input of the dust collector to the output of the cyclone filter (6” output). I reduced the input of the cyclone (5”) to the standard hose size of (4”). Eventually I would like to get the Rockler DustRight quick connects.

Without the fancy 4” Dust Right connections, I have the hose attached to a 4” plastic part. The plastic part is then connected to the part making the dust, such as my table saw, using a 4” rubber connection, which is used to join pipes. It actually works so well as somewhat of a quick connect, I may never fork over the money for the expensive connections.  The bucket that has the dust deputy on it was lined with a heavy-duty contractor grade trash bag. The lid was cut and a small plastic window as put in to see the dust level. I used some white caulk to seal any seam or connection on the Harbor Freight dust collector, including around the seams near the filter. Lastly, I noticed some dust leaking out around the bag, so I put some thin weather stripping to help seal where bag goes.

How does it work? Well it’s still too new, but I really like it. The big metal drum has a few inches of dust in it, where the plastic bag has a sprinkling in it. When it looks like the drum is full of dust, I will open up everything to see how much dust got on the fine filter. I guess at that point, I will be ready to write a full review. 
Full Picture

$7 "Quick" 4" Dust Connections

Salad Bowl Baffle

Looking up at Baffle
Seams Sealed with Caulk

Weatherstripping on Bag

The HF Dust Collector

Super Dust Deputy on Can with Window