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How bad are Craftex dust collectors?

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  • How bad are Craftex dust collectors?

    So I'm way behind in my posting in these forums! I used to be more active, but life got in the way - marriage, new house, baby, in that order. While my wife was pregnant I built a garage in the back yard, and the baby arrived before I could finish it in August last year. So I spent the fall low on sleep toiling away outside! It's done now and I'm long overdue in posting a build thread! Now I'm fitting it out as a workshop.

    But I digress - with the new shop and family comes new responsibility to make sure everyone's health is looked after. It's a detached building but after working with MDF last night I'm reminded that I really do need proper dust collection. The start of that, of course, is a proper dust collector. I have a cheap portable 1hp craftex with a canister filter, but obviously that's too small.

    I believe Bill Pentz when he says that 1000cfm at the tool is what's needed to capture fines, and I know how hard that is. While I'd love to get a 5hp Clearvue Cyclone to make that a reality, that won't happen. The next best thing would be a Oneida Mini Gorilla, which while a pain to wheel around, is HEPA certified and would give me the best collection at the source. But they're hard to find, and a little spendy for me right now.

    Enter: The used market. I found this unit today, a 3HP Craftex Unit. This motor is dated to 1985, and it's from Taiwan. What are the odds that it's on its last legs? And what are the odds that the impeller design is crap? My one thought for this unit is that I could mount the motor vertically and put a Super Dust Deputy underneath it, get a quality cartridge filter, and there's my cheap(er) dust collection. I may not make it mobile, but at least I could put a 10' hose on it and just wheel my machines over to it.

    An alternate approach for something similar would be this 2HP Craftex Unit but the question about impeller still remains. At least this one dates to 2006

    Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Should I just go for a legit unit and forget the cheap crap? I'll spend enough time worrying about hoods for all of my machines (And setting up an overhead boom arm for my CT26) that I don't need another "project", but I also need to be careful about the budget!
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  • #2

    Re: How bad are Craftex dust collectors?

    If you are ok with moving the unit from machine to machine then a 3hp unit would probably serve you well. Remember that it’s not just about HP but the efficiency of your filters and size of your impeller. With a short section of flex hose you should be able to get close to if not over a 1000 cfm at the tool if you regularly clean your filters then you should not see a significant drop off in cfm.

    I used to own a 3hp unit with dual pleated filters and switched to a home built cyclone model I bought from a member here.That’s my 2 cents.


    • #3

      Re: How bad are Craftex dust collectors?

      The 3 hp likely has a larger impeller and if it was used occasionally in a smaller shop the motor should be okay, mine is a 2 hp from 1991 and still going strong.

      If you can hear it run, bad bearings should be obvious and not a deal breaker if you are handy

      Add a resin Super Dust Deputy on sale @ $275 and a pleated filter, the best you can afford. The Wynn is going for $300.

      A barrel you can cobble together or purchase from Elite Tools for ~ $150.

      Click image for larger version

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      BTW > I spent a little over $900 on pipes, etc.. From my work bench, it's roughly 58 db.

      Click image for larger version

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      With a 2 HP/11" impeller I'm getting roughly 500 cfm at the tool which is adequate even for the table saw with over head collection. A 12 3/4" impeller would be nice

      Click image for larger version

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      The key to dust collection isn't moving massive amounts of air, it's a properly sized cyclone and piping system with large efficient collection ports.

      Ideally the cyclone will separate the majority of the fines and the filter will catch what little passes and not pump it back into the air.

      When I'm using a tool that is hooked up to the dust collector, I leave the door to my house open. That is how well it works...

      Cheers, Don

      Don Kondra - Furniture Designer/Maker
      Product Photography
      My Acreage Bird Photographs


      • #4

        Re: How bad are Craftex dust collectors?

        Click image for larger version

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        They are fine, but the consensus is the filters are crap.

        Ny dust system is a 2hp grizzley blower (same as busy bee, it’s even green) mounted to a used Oneida cyclone.

        Check the swap meet and kijiji /Craigslist.

        You should be able to pick up a used 2 or 3 hp system for $300 ish and add a cyclone and filter upgrade at a later date.

        From what I can tell the impeller is the exact same size on the 2 hp and 3hp.
        I haven’t opened both of them up to compare but they are the same physical size last time I saw them.



        • #5

          Re: How bad are Craftex dust collectors?

          Not to be too self serving, but I will hopefully be selling my current set up in about a month. It's a craftex cx405 with an upgraded cartridge filter, connected to a super dust deputy installed on a nice steel barrel with bleeder hose, and I'll even throw in the box of barrel liners. Haven't determined the price yet, but hopefully I'll get it posted in the swapmeet in about a month.
          darrin1200 likes this.