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Pistorious Dust Collection

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Larry Peterson, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Neil asked about my dust collector in a different thread. I thought that maybe the topic deserved a thread of it's own.

    I did build it but I'm not real happy with it. Here are some pictures of the original build with some explanations.

    The dust collector is a basic harbor freight 2HP collector. http://www.harborfreight.com/2-hp-industrial-5-micron-dust-collector-97869.html. It works just fine. The problem is that the Pistorious is not built for dust collection. The dust collector is better than not having one but nowhere near as good as a machine designed for dust collection would be.

    About 15 years ago I built a 2 stage dust collection system for a 15" Delta planer. That one worked just fine. I used the same garbage can setup as shown below and the intermediate stage did an excellent job of collecting planer shavings. Very little actually made it to the dust collector.

    In the build below, the intermediate stage is worthless. About 99% of the dust just passed straight through the garbage can and into the dust collector. For those not familiar with a 2 stage collector, the purpose of adding an intermediate state is to collect the majority of dust at that state because emptying the garbage can is easy and removing the dust bag and putting it back on the dust collector is a pain.

    In any case, since the intermediate stage was worthless in this setup, it has now been removed.

    As you can see in the photos, the back of the saw had been closed with a piece of sheet metal. This was probably done for a previous dust collector. With the Pistorious, the top is completely open and the bottom is open also, so the piece of sheet metal is of no use. Actually it is a PITA because you need to get into the back to removed those droppings that don't make it down the chute.

    Pre dust collector, most of the dropping made it down the chute. After the dust collector was installed, the vacuum was just enough to suck the droppings just a bit so maybe only half made it down the chute and the rest dropped down to the bottom of the saw. A few are even sucked into the dust collector. So the saw needs to be open to periodically cleanup all the droppings. I have built the chute a couple of inches higher (as high as I can without interfering with the blades) with aluminum foil duct tape, but still a lot of droppings don't make it down the chute.

    The bottom line is that it is better than not having any dust collection but no where near as good as it should be.

    There are a couple of things I might try later. One is trying to place some kind of cloth hood over the top to improve suction there. Another is trying to seal off the bottom and back with something removable so cleanup can be done.

    If any one else has had some success with dust collection on an EMN Pistorious, I would like to hear about it.




  2. Bandsaw

    Bandsaw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Remove the "Y" from the dust collector and run 6 inch duct to the saw

    You're losing about half your airflow by using 4 inch

    Use as little duct as you can - smooth metal is better than ribbed plastic

    Place that black plastic funnel you've got behind the saw right inside under the blades

    You should be able to pull all the dust down into the saw if you have enough airflow

    If you want to go 2 stage lose the garbage can - if the dust is passing it by there's probably a leak - it must be airtight.

    Get one of these if you want second stage


    I have a 3 hp cyclone with less than 10 feet of 6 inch duct running into the saw cabinet and turning up so it's just under the blades - just the open end of the duct, no funnel. I've closed up openings in the saw cabinet using magnetic sheets.

    No dust in my shop.
  3. Bandsaw

    Bandsaw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

  4. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Dust collector is 4" not 6". How much did your system cost and are you using it on an EMN or some other saw?
  5. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    No leak - first thing I checked - but it was just passing through. But the second stage is no longer used.
  6. Bandsaw

    Bandsaw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    The picture show a "Y" at the inlet of your collector with 2 - 4 inch ports. Remove the "Y" completely (throw it away) and the real inlet is the metal of the fan housing - hopefully 6 inch, possibly 5 inch.

    I have a CTD pedal saw - very similar to yours - better blade enclosure perhaps

    My system was couple of thou - worth every penny.

    Your saw needs about 700 cfm at the saw - 4 inch duct can only carry about 350 cfm.

    A standard tablesaw needs 500 to the cabinet and another 300 above the blade - you have 2 blades cutting at the same time.
  7. PaulSF

    PaulSF PFG, Picture Framing God

    You should also cover the top. I discovered this issue in the morning, when the sunlight was streaming in at just the right angle...I started the saw and observed a cloud of fine sawdust billowing up in the air, caught just so in the beam of sunlight. That was just from starting up the saw. And if you are the saw operator, that hits you in the face on it's way up.

    So, I took a sheet of cardboard, and cut it to fit the top, taped it in place. Now, the sawdust hits the sheet of cardboard, and is either forced back down or away from the operator, towards the dust collector inlet. Not perfect, but it helps.
  8. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks for the pictures and the info, Larry (and everyone).
    I'm new to the Pistorius. I used a CTD D45AX for 14 years at my previous job and it was built pretty well for dust collection.
    It had a 220 volt vacuum that had a motor that was bigger than the saw motors. It might have been a Jet Vacuum, I'm not sure.
    The Pistorius that I use now (one day a week) has no dust collection at all.
    I close the door to the saw room and wear a mask and hearing protection. :icon9:
  9. Bandsaw

    Bandsaw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    You do want to close in the saw but not completely. Air has to pass into the saw for the dust collector to suck and it's best if you can leave openings which encourage air paths that pass by the saw blades as they cut moving the dust into the dust pickup.
  10. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I took a look this morning and the intake at the collector is 5".

    I can't afford a couple thou for a dust collector but I will try to make mine better. A couple of questions:

    1. Do you have an online source for 5" dust collection hoses/accessories? My source is Rockler and they max out at 4".

    2. What are the magnetic sheets you mentioned above and where are they available?

  11. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  12. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I believe the magnetic sheet is just flexible sign magnet for an automobile. If you need some I have a full roll and can cut you a slab.
  13. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks. If that's what it is, I have plenty of sources. I print business card size magnets (see below) that I include with every order along with a few business cards so I have lots of letter size magnetic material already and can get larger sizes easily.

  14. Bandsaw

    Bandsaw MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Yes, that's the mag sheets I use.

    5" duct and fittings are hard to find - try Grizzly Tools

    On tablesaws the best dust collection in modern saws is a shroud around the blade which is connected to a suction source - contains the dust and provides air flow paths to carry the dust away.

    Miter saws are always a problem because the blades move and are hard to contain. The best place to catch the dust is where the blade teeth exit the work piece, right under the table. Try to connect your dust collector with as little 5" duct as you can, put the collector right behind the saw. 5" duct is 19.5 square inches. Then you could split it into 2 - 4" (12.5 square inches each) ducts with one under each blade. I suspect for good dust collection you would need a collector with 2 or 3 times the cfm that yours is actually pulling.

    I don't think a second stage is necessary as there's not much sawdust collected cutting frames - not like a planer or ripping 4x4's.
  15. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm a little late to the party but here are a few thoughts.

    First off, as to components, try Air Handling Systems. They make true industrial grade pipe, fittings and hose. 5" is no problem, we've gotten everything from 4" up to 28".

    The reason your second stage didn't work is that sawdust is too light to fall out in that configuration. As Bandsaw suggested, a cyclone is needed to separate the lighter "heavies". You could make your own if you're handy with sheet metal and welding - the concept is fairly simple and for a purpose like you have it probably wouldn't have to be too technically correct to be far better than what you've currently got. There is quite a lot of info on the web that Google or whatever will find for you. Here is a site that is very comprehensive, covering everything from machine specific hood/pickup design to ducting and collecting, including cyclone design. There is also a link on his page to a company that makes cyclones according to his design, and you can buy the cyclone itself with a 6" inlet for $450.

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