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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I usually keep the dust bag on my chop saw but when doing large amounts of MDF trim it gets pretty nasty, so I hook up my craftsman vac. It does a good job of keeping the dust minimal but after about 10mins of cutting the fine dust starts shooting out of all the non sealed areas of the vac causing even more of a mess.

I went and got a new filter that a worker at sears recommended which helped a bit but in the end made the same mess.

Any ideas?
 

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Contractor of the Month
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Why does your vac have unsealed areas? Time to get a decent vac. You really should have an RRP compliant vac with a good amount of power. My suggestion is to get a new vac not filter.
RRP eh? Don't think he needs that.

Just use bags.
 

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I agree, get a good HEPA vac. No filter is going to improve fine dust collection on a shop vac that doesn't seal properly, and is not designed for fine dust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why does your vac have unsealed areas? Time to get a decent vac. You really should have an RRP compliant vac with a good amount of power. My suggestion is to get a new vac not filter.
This thing is very powerful. I got it about 2 years ago because it is compact. I don't know much about it though.

This is the unit I have (pic pulled from the net)

 

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Hair Splitter
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RRP eh? Don't think he needs that.

Just use bags.
Bag reduces flow and thus suction. Not sure that's the desired result. RRP is simply a sealed system. If his vac is leaking, no matter what you use, it will end up throwing dust (any that remains in the canister).
 

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Bag reduces flow and thus suction. Not sure that's the desired result. RRP is simply a sealed system. If his vac is leaking, no matter what you use, it will end up throwing dust (any that remains in the canister).
Bags help maintain suction because the filter doesn't clog in 30 seconds.

And are cheap.:whistling
 

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Hair Splitter
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Bags help maintain suction because the filter doesn't clog in 30 seconds.

And are cheap.:whistling
While that is true, it doesn't negate the fact that the vac has to draw air through the bag, thus reducing overall performance. Also the bag isn't impervious to dust. It will clog rather quickly.

I do a ton of wood working and carpentry and have used them all. The best solution is a vac that is seal, has a great filter (self cleaning) and has some decent power.
 

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Hair Splitter
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This thing is very powerful. I got it about 2 years ago because it is compact. I don't know much about it though.

This is the unit I have (pic pulled from the net)

I wasn't suggesting that it doesn't, just saying that when you purchase a good HEPA vac make sure that you don't chince on the power.
 

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just because a vacuum is fitted with a HEPA filter it don't mean its gonna pass all the air through the HEPA filter. Cheap vacuums are prone to letting air bypass the filter. What normally happens is the filter gets clogged and deforms under vacuum and the seals on the filter fail.

The only way your gonna guarantee that all the Air is going through the filter is to get a certified vac. If your not doing RRP then any good quality vac like a festool, fein, nilfisk, Makita, dewalt etc etc should give you a vac that has hardly any air bypass the filter.

The above vacs filter better with a non HEPA filter than a cheap vac with a HEPA filter.

Also always run a bag unless your vac has autoclean system on the filter.
 

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Always Learning
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Buy a shop vac fine dust filter bag and also a cartridge style filter. You will have suction until the bag fills up. We run our cheap shop vac this way and it works great.

TNT does have a point about a decent vac. If nothing else its nice to clean up the customers house at the end of the day without spewimg fine dust all over.
 

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Your problem isn't the filter. It's the vac. They don't filter all of the air, allowing some to bypass. Not by design, but rather lack thereof. I would recommend a better vac. Fein, Alto, Felstool, Nilfisk to name a few. I'm sure there are others.

MDF creates a very fine dust, that dust also has the resins and other nasty stuff in it. I personally think a HEPA filter is a very good idea.
 

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millworker, look at Clean Stream Gortex filters. As others said , if there is a by-pass of the filter you have other issues with the vac.

I'd rather throw away a 7 dollar bag when it is full than clog my HEPA filters.

Not sure if it qualifies as a "ton of wood work" (the 200 sheets of mahogany plywood did weigh 15,400 pounds) like TNT does, but I collected over 1200 liters of woodworking dust in my 4 CT's over the last 7 weeks. Filled many bags, the HEPA filters are just fine.

Tom
 

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The rigid vacs any good? there always seems to be promotions on them and HD.
They are probably the best shop-vac-style shop vacs out there before you cross over to full unit HEPA vacs. I have the bigger Ridgid with a cleanstream filter, muffler and only use it with bags. For the price, it performs well and has a ton of capacity.

I also have a CT26 and CT22 which get the bulk of my use.
 
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