Festool Owners Group

GENERAL DISCUSSIONS => Other Tools & Accessories => Topic started by: LaserGecko on March 28, 2007, 10:50 AM

Title: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: LaserGecko on March 28, 2007, 10:50 AM
(figured I'd put this here instead of hijacking a thread about CT capacity)

I haven't been paying much attention to or researching anything seriously other than Festool equipment since I've decided to get serious about the woodworking thing, so obviously there are a lot of cool toys out there that I've never seen. However, I've always been a fan of better ways to do things, so you might not be too surprised if you saw the Dyson Full Gear vacuum in our house.

Best darned vacuum on the planet. Somewhere around here, I have pictures of the impressive amount of dirt it pulled out of the "test area" of our carpet after a couple of schmucks demonstrated the Rainbow right after we bought the Dyson (at about 25% of the price of their wet mess maker). I get that same "this is the right way to do it" feeling from Festool's gear, too; You know, that "somebody, somewhere actually thought things through for a change" concept.

<SuperFriends Announcer Voice>Meanwhile, back in the original point of this message...</SuperFriends Announcer Voice>

Did all of this interest in cyclone style collectors develop before or after the Dyson vacuums hit the market? They've been out in Europe for quite awhile (sound familiar?) and are finally really catching on here in the US. After I clogged my Dyson's cyclones with drywall dust by vacuuming the carpet after using my ShopVac, I wondered why they don't make a shopvac style Dyson.

Somebody does, obviously, but who laid the first egg for the idea?
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: greg mann on March 28, 2007, 11:34 AM
I don't know much about the Dysons other than most folks who have them seem to like them and they appear to use cyclonic technology. The cyclones referred to in the woodworking world are somewhat different animals, traditionally higher horsepower, stationary systems. The little Clear Vue and Oneida attachments that go in front of a normal shop vac are relatively new. It appears from testimonials I've read here that they have some real value primarily in collecting a higher volume of chips while using a Festool style dust extractor but saving one from filling the bags too quickly. Sounds like a pretty good compromise to the expense of a big unit. They may be a better bet than the bigger, portable single stage dust collectors. But to your question, physics is physics, and there might not be an obvious reason an integrally designed cyclone DC couldn't be 'downsized' to a portable unit. I think the problem may be that cyclonic units, at least the big ones, works on a different principle than a positive displacement system, of which all portable shop vacs are (at least to my knowledge). Buy Hey, I would encourage you to try a Tim Allen routine on your Dyson and let us know if you can make a really nice bagless shop vac out of it. Mr. Dyson may be missing a big market. I am not trying to be sarcastic. You may be on to something.
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: brandon.nickel on March 28, 2007, 06:37 PM
For all you even wanted to know about vacuums and cyclones, read Bill Pentz' treatise on the subject:
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm (http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm)
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: Lou Miller on March 28, 2007, 10:02 PM
I'm a little confused as to what you're asking actually. Are you asking about the larger cyclones (2, 3, 5HP and up, induction type ones), or the small ones that are available now that hook up to a shop vac?

I don't know much at all about the little ones, but the larger cyclones have been around for quite a while. I'm on my second one now. I'll never be without one again, it was one of the best purchases I've ever made. The large cyclones and the CT "extractors" (shop vac style) are two entirely different animals. A large cyclone is meant to move large amounts of air and lots and lots of sawdust, chips etc. Mine has a 55 gallon drum on it and there are days when I'll empty it 5 or 6 times in 8 hours. It sounds to me like you're asking more about the vac type.

For what its worth, I have one of the Dyson vacs and think it was a total waste of money. Its better than the Hoover, Eureka, etc types. However, I have a woman that cleans my house on a regular basis and she brings her own vac with her. It puts the Dyson to shame and then some. I believe its some type of Industrial Oreck or something like that. Its a good bit different than the ones you see advertised on TV and so forth. She said it cost about a third of what the Dyson does, yet it runs circles around the Dyson. We have two large dogs that shed a ridiculous amount of hair, a cat, one slob (me), and I'm also creating quite a bit of dust from doing home imporvements on a regular basis. Even with all that, she does the house in very little time and there's no dirt at all when she's done. I can run the Dyson right after she leaves and I'll end up with a completely empty canister on it. The Dyson is okay, but there's no way its worth the money, IMO. If mine broke tromorrow, I wouldn't buy another one.
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: Dave Rudy on March 29, 2007, 09:52 AM
Has anyone checked out the new dual-cyclone portable collector?  http://oneida-air.com/products/systems/portable/portable.htm

Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: LaserGecko on March 30, 2007, 11:34 AM
Basically, I'm asking which came first: The Dyson or the Cyclone dust collectors? I'd do more research now, but that April 1 deadline is looming!


I was having the same problem with my Dyson. It just wasn't sucking as well as it should have been and I wasn't very happy at the time. I called 'em and they recommended blowing it out with compressed air and beating the heel of my hand against it until while open and over the trashcan until no more dust came out. Well, it only takes about five minutes of that to figure out that you need to do something different. I called them back and asked about opening it. Of course, they had no idea how to do that nor why I would need to do it, but I had a hunch.

Not that there are any warranty labels to void, but I took out the Torx set and removed the screws at the top. The problem was obvious.

Three of the seven cyclones were clogged with drywall dust, so the thing was operating at 57% capacity. For those unfamiliar with Dyson's RootCyclone technology, these seven inverted cyclone cones are where the finer dirt molecules get "slung" out of the airstream at a force of several thousand G's. There is a limit to the particle size, though and the manual specifically warns against extremely fine dust like drywall dust.

Well, as a testament to how crappy my ShopVac is, vacuuming the carpet after some drywall sanding is what clogged it up.

I blew it out (outside, of course), reassembled it, and it had that "brandie-new" level of suck to it again. There was a trick to reassembling it due to the latch at the bottom and the long black rod, but I can't remember what it is right now.

If you've been doing a lot of work at your house, you might want to take a look and see if you have a similar problem, too. You might be able to clear it out by using a long reach air nozzle, but I have no such beast.

Couple the Dyson with the miracle Capture Carpet Cleaning System and I'm just amazed at how good are carpet looks now.
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: Lou Miller on March 30, 2007, 12:23 PM

I'll look into doing what you did. However, it doesn't seem to be working any different now than it did when it was new. Its a good vac, certainly a big step up from the typical household vacs that are on the market. Its just the vac my cleaning lady uses blows the Dyson away. I'll get some info from her on what specific vac it is and where its sold and pass it along.

So basically, I'm not really putting the Dyson down, just saying that there is a better, and cheaper, alternative out there.
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: Michael Kellough on March 30, 2007, 03:56 PM
Cyclone dust separators have been around for decades though only in the last quarter century or so have they been reduced in size enough to fit into a house. You'd usually see them outside between buildings at grain millers and furniture factories. And now you can push them around the living room!

Thanks for confirming that the Dyson is a fancy form of cyclonic separation. I'd been wondering about that but not enough to buy one. I'd much rather collect the dust into a sack so it doesn't get out again. Blowing out a drywall dust clogged contraption with compressed air is one of my definitions of heck.
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: josephgewing on March 30, 2007, 05:58 PM
You can check out oneida-air.com.  They have a Dust Deputy that works with a separate vacuum (shopvac, Festool, Fein, etc.)  It spins out the dust into a pail before it gets to the vacuum.  It is not as self-contained and nifty as a single unit but I use it a lot and it works great.

Joe Ewing
Las Cruces NM
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: LaserGecko on March 30, 2007, 09:04 PM
That's cool. I never realized that's what those huge things were at the feed plants and graineries.

I'd much rather collect the dust into a sack so it doesn't get out again.

I really don't care what happens to the dust once it's in the garbage can outside my house. Having once worked cleaning offices and churches, I would've love to have one of these things since you never run out of bags and never have to clean up after one breaks. Blech! Never having to replace a belt or smell a burning one due to the incredibly high tech invention of a clutch is darned nice, too!

Basically, the only thing we have to do is rinse out a sponge pre-filter and HEPA filter a couple of times a year.

The problem with the bags is the loss of suction once they get any dirt in them. You know, it's that whole "a filter works best when it's clogged" bit. After James Dyson invented the technology, he shopped it around to all of the manufacturers. Oddly enough, none of them were interested in a vacuum that wouldn't have years of consumable sales to prop up the profits. The President of Hoover said that passing on the purchase of it was one of the biggest mistakes they'd ever made because they could've bought it, shelved it, and eliminated the company that would one day outsell them by a huge margin.

What really ticked 'em off is when he showed how much suction the other brands lost once they had any dirt in the sack. Bosch and Hoover (IIRC) actually sued to get him to stop and the British courts said "Well, if it's the truth, get stuffed."

Anyway, if the ShopVac I just gave away was worth a darn, I never would've clogged the Dyson.

BTW, how well will the CTs handle drywall dust?
Title: Re: Cyclone-Style Dust Collectors Question
Post by: brandon.nickel on March 30, 2007, 10:24 PM
I used my CT33 and my RO150 to do all of the sanding when I finished my garage/workshop.  It was my first shot at taping/mudding, so I had a lot of "extra" sanding that needed to be done.  The combination worked like a charm, but my CT33 did shut down on me a couple of times.  I think it was due to getting hot after a solid half hour of inhaling drywall dust.  It always started back up after I let it cool off some.  I also needed to remove the RO150 pad and clean the solidified dust out after the job was done.  It was making it growl more than usual.

The results however make the slight complaints above insignificant.  I did the first round of sanding by hand with a pole/pad sander and I had dust EVERYWHERE.  It took me 4 hours to sand it and an hour and a half to clean up the mess I'd just made.  I looked like a snowman.  A friend asked that evening (after I'd applied the second coat) if I'd used my new Festool sander.  <blank stare>  "I hadn't thought of that."  I threw on some Brilliant 220 grit and had at it the next day.  The 2nd coat took 1.5 hours and there was almost NO dust.  Tiny, tiny amounts which fell straight down the wall and a quick pass with the hose cleaned them up.  Needless to say the thrid coat was also done with the RO150 and CT33.  I've now got a new 850 sq-ft garage/workshop and I'm going to be repeating the process this summer.