The American Dream…to have clean shop floors.
I’ve struggled a bit with this over the months, and have tried to make a bit of progress along the way. For most of the time, it really hasn’t been an issue: make a mess, clean it up later with a broom. It’s not really even the dust, but it’s the larger chips and flakes. But, as I make things a bit more mobile – due to space restrictions – I need to keep things cleaner.
I have two 3HP Shop Vacs (one is a spare, and was bought at the same price as an additional hose) that have done decently so far, especially with my router. However, it showed its deficiencies when it came to planing last week. The dust chute clogged on the planer and chips were shooting out the front, making a huge mess on the floor and some settling on the board, making indentations as it got planed. I can’t continue to clean up pounds of shavings each time I plane, and with the planer cart I can’t just wheel it outside anymore. Besides, I want to stop making a huge mess on the ground outside.
I bought a Kobalt wall-mount vac a few days ago to see if that would help. It only offers a marginal improvement in CFM, but I could mount it on the wall and it had a remote start. It worked well for a few days, but then the same problems came about. It will be returned. If I didn’t already have a (two) shop vacs, I might have kept it for convenience. I really need a true dust collector, if I can make the room. I’m interested in the small 1HP model from Harbor Freight or the Rockler wall-mount, but the HF one is a lot cheaper. The Rockler one you’re paying for the nice look I think. Rockler also has plans for a very interesting dust separator cart, something I could put the planer on top of. Might be worth checking out, would have to find alternate storage for my plastic tool cases, but that’s not that big of a deal. My 5gal ‘Homer’ bucket is going to be completely useless for a dust collector anyway.
Think I’ll be headed down to Rockler later this week to check out some 4″ hoses. This is going to incur some expense to go from a 1.25″ Shop Vac system to a 4″ collection system.