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  • Bill Pentz design reduced in size

    I am starting to look at DC for a home shop I will be outfitting later this year. Wish I could just buy the Cleaview 1800 and be done with it, but like a lot of people I do not currently have money and even if i did , I will not have the ceiling height. I'm wondering if anyone has taken Mr. Pentz's design and scaled it down (and I don't mean the deputy's of the world). He mentions on his site that the cyclones can be scaled to any size (hence the knock-offs) with the trade-off being that you can usually use a smaller motor with a larger diameter cyclone. ( see section H under http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyc...CycloneOptions ). My idea of a solution is to make a smaller cyclone using his plans so that it will be easier to fit in my basement. I am wondering if I need a larger motor as I would usually only hook one machine up at a time. Has anyone tried this? Do the physics demand a larger motor? Can I reduce cyclone diameter (while keeping the same ratios he discusses) and still get by with a 3 or 5 hp motor?
    Sorry to be long winded but what I'm asking is:
    a) is it possible to reduce the size of the cyclone in a cost effective manner?
    b) has anyone tried it and what were your results

    Look forward to your responses
    Thanks

    Sorry I forgot to ask: if you made it smaller you could also make it mobile and keep it closer to the machine, ie. short runs
    Last edited by reffrig; 05-04-2012, 09:37 PM.

  • #2

    Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

    Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

    Bill provides a scaleable drawing on his website. Have no idea if this is cost effective as the biggest part of making his design is the labour. If you can do it all your self, you can make whatever size you need. A friend of mine made one full size, but was able to put the blower offset to allow for a reduced being height. He uses a 3HP blower and finds it works just fine.

    Don

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    • #3

      Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

      Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

      I believe the answer is yes, it's scaleable. A few years ago some woodworkers made their own cyclones based on the plans but nowadays it's probably less common because there are a lot more ready-made ones at budget prices available.
      If you are interested in portability and a smaller footprint, most companies who sell cyclone dust collectors sell a smaller portable unit which are cheaper and somewhat less powerful than their full-sized offerings. Check out the web sites for Grizzly, Busy Bee, Oneida and Delta for examples. Typically these can be moved from machine to machine but could also run a small hard-plumbed duct network.
      A unit like this would be hard to build including the filter for the MSP of @ $750.
      Attached Files

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      • #4

        Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

        Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

        I know and that's the problem. I keep looking at the Grizzly 1 1/2 and 2 hp and even the BB 1 hp CX 401 although I think they are underpowered, especially the CX. When I first started getting into woodworking a couple of years ago Bill Pentz's site was one of the first I came across. That was the route I was going to go. Reality sets in and there are 1000's to be spent on machinery and tools, even quality used stuff, and limitations with space. I am thinking I'm best off with a portable cyclone and maybe an air cleaner. Don't know how permanent my shop will be. I've been using a shop vac and quality dust mask the last few years.
        Still, I was curious to see if anyone had experimented

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        • #5

          Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

          Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

          You can certainly scale them down; I built the following using Bill's calculation sheet and it works very well:

          cyc3.jpgcyc4.jpgcyc5.jpg

          But when I did a cost calculation for the full size and the amount of effort I figured it was very close to a commercial one. I came across a used CV and am quite happy with its performance (compared to my previous 1.5HP single stage DC).

          Comment


          • #6

            Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

            Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

            Originally posted by reffrig View Post
            I know and that's the problem. I keep looking at the Grizzly 1 1/2 and 2 hp and even the BB 1 hp CX 401 although I think they are underpowered, especially the CX. When I first started getting into woodworking a couple of years ago Bill Pentz's site was one of the first I came across. That was the route I was going to go. Reality sets in and there are 1000's to be spent on machinery and tools, even quality used stuff, and limitations with space. I am thinking I'm best off with a portable cyclone and maybe an air cleaner. Don't know how permanent my shop will be. I've been using a shop vac and quality dust mask the last few years.
            Still, I was curious to see if anyone had experimented
            It would be a much easier task to compare the full spectrum of what's available if there were credible performance measures available for DC equipment, but there aren't.
            It would also be good if you could talk with actual users of the products to learn what they have experienced. Unfortunately it seems not many of the portables have found their way into shops yet. The Winter edition of FWW Shop and Tool edition has a spread on DC's including portables. It doesn't provide much more than an overview unfortunately. No question, any of the portable cyclones will be hugely more effective than your current setup.

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            • #7

              Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

              Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

              mreza, this is sort of what I have now (not designed as nicely as yours). I bought a mini Clearview a few years ago, they don't seem to sell them any more, but looks about the same size as yours but clear. I have it mounted to a regular size metal garbage can with a shop vac dragged along next to it. I have only needed it for use with a table saw and planer so far so it's been pretty good but takes up too much space. Never got around to incorporating everything into a cart or scaling it down nicely like you have

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              • #8

                Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                Originally posted by reffrig View Post
                I know and that's the problem. I keep looking at the Grizzly 1 1/2 and 2 hp and even the BB 1 hp CX 401 although I think they are underpowered, especially the CX. When I first started getting into woodworking a couple of years ago Bill Pentz's site was one of the first I came across. That was the route I was going to go. Reality sets in and there are 1000's to be spent on machinery and tools, even quality used stuff, and limitations with space. I am thinking I'm best off with a portable cyclone and maybe an air cleaner. Don't know how permanent my shop will be. I've been using a shop vac and quality dust mask the last few years.
                Still, I was curious to see if anyone had experimented
                How many people have bought a saw and changed the motor on it? There is nothing to say that you are not allowed to do the exact same thing with a small cyclone. The hardest part of building your own cyclone is putting it together. I know my limitations. I don't know how to build cars from the ground up, but I know how to build a computer data center. I know that building a cyclone body is well beyond my means. But I would have no problem taking a pre-build but under powered cyclone and retrofit a larger and better motor inside of it. It would cost me far less doing that than trying to figure out how to build the cyclone body and make it air-tight.

                Don't discount what you can buy. It might not be perfect, but you can buy it now, and upgrade the motor any time you feel the need.
                Matt

                People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

                Comment


                • #9

                  Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                  My take on Mr. Pentz's wording it that you can reduce the size or put a smaller motor on but there are trade offs. He says you need a certain air velocity to separate the fine dust. A smaller diameter cone causes the air speed to increase but requires more HP. I don't think you get the same separation with the modified designs.

                  I looked at changing the size too but to improve performance. I currently don't understand enough about the theory to do this and don't have the time to figure it out. Bill spent a lot of time optimizing it so I might as well use it as is.

                  Perhaps if you used a shorter bin you'd have the height for the full sized cone? I think he said it could work horizontally too.

                  Comment


                  • #10

                    Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                    Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                    Originally posted by reffrig View Post
                    I know and that's the problem. I keep looking at the Grizzly 1 1/2 and 2 hp and even the BB 1 hp CX 401 although I think they are underpowered, especially the CX. When I first started getting into woodworking a couple of years ago Bill Pentz's site was one of the first I came across. That was the route I was going to go. Reality sets in and there are 1000's to be spent on machinery and tools, even quality used stuff, and limitations with space. I am thinking I'm best off with a portable cyclone and maybe an air cleaner. Don't know how permanent my shop will be. I've been using a shop vac and quality dust mask the last few years.
                    Still, I was curious to see if anyone had experimented
                    Originally posted by Rick Thom View Post
                    It would be a much easier task to compare the full spectrum of what's available if there were credible performance measures available for DC equipment, but there aren't.
                    It would also be good if you could talk with actual users of the products to learn what they have experienced. Unfortunately it seems not many of the portables have found their way into shops yet. The Winter edition of FWW Shop and Tool edition has a spread on DC's including portables. It doesn't provide much more than an overview unfortunately. No question, any of the portable cyclones will be hugely more effective than your current setup.
                    People tend to look only at HP ratings and some imaginary CFM number. On Bill's site there is a very good table that, as far as I know has never been questioned, mostly avoided by Bill's detractors. It shows the capacity of certain HP, Impeller diameter vs SP in a fully operational system. It quite simply shows how much air you can move through certain equipment configurations. If you believe in the need for 800 CFM at the source, then you cannot go much below 2HP, 12" FAN and 6" ducting at all ports.
                    If more people would read this bit of research first, there might not be so many claims of 1700 - 2000 CFM, 2HP and 4 Inch suction on the market.

                    The next step is efficiency of the cyclone. If you believe that Pentz has developed the ultimate design, then wandering to far away from his public domain plan or the ClearVue design is not the right move. You could find a competent sheet metal shop to make the body and scale it down properly or you can buy just the body from ClearVue and attach your own blower. Often you can pick up some pretty decent blowers off of Kijiji or even clearance, scratch and dent new from retailers.
                    You do not require the ClearVue blower assembly to make this work. You do need a blower that will deliver the velocity/cfm required to maximize the dust separation.

                    I am not aware of any one making a portable CV other than the Mini. An out of the box CV1800 with the 5HP motor and impeller is heavy and designed to be supported in a certain manner. And it makes a bit of noise when running, so not something most people like having to close by. With the CV, you have enough capacity offset the need for portability. You can park the cyclone out of the way and save the prime floor space for other woodworking equipment and activities.
                    Did you look at the MAX for lower headroom requirements?


                    Don

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                    • #11

                      Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                      Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                      Thanks everyone.
                      Don, that is what got me thinking about this in the first place. Bill has obviously worked out all the important details and they can be relied upon as opposed to, outside of Clearview, most other manufacturers. That's why I was thinking about taking his plans, scaling them down say 10% or so (guessing) and take them to a CNC or metal shop and have them cut. I don't mind sourcing parts and putting everything together. I was hoping someone had tried this approach and had comments or suggestions.
                      I may end up being the first

                      Comment


                      • #12

                        Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                        Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                        The cyclone ramp design is not revolutionary. I will say that most of the cyclones that I have seen have that design inside of them. What Bill did was to look at the length of the cone at the bottom to determine the best length to give the particles trapped inside the cyclone a chance to fall out of the vortex and into a bin at the bottom.

                        From reading Bill's blog, he did spend time to debunk what for the most part is the junk that is handed us by many of the DC vendors. I still laugh that places like BusyBee and Gizzly still use CFM ratings for their equipment that are little more than total fabricated fiction.

                        That all said, it doesn't mean that the equipment being sold by these vendors doesn't work, or could not be modified to work better given the information that is provided by Bill Pentz. Using his research, the reason that many of these vendors equipment doesn't break on startup is that they are choked down with the 4" ports to limit the current draw on the motors. So logic says if you open up the ports to 6" to get the 700cfm, then you will need to up the size of the motor.

                        I don't know many CNC metal shops that do work for next to nothing. Generally this sort of work making will end up costing you more than you think. If you take a look at the ones that you can buy.. they do have many parts other than just the cyclone body. Price in the filter, impeller, collection drum, remote switch etc.. and the pre-built units sold as a kit together as significantly cheaper than the sum of all the parts sold individually. And it also comes with far less hassle so you save in your time as well.

                        Just something to keep in mind. I have started to learn that sometimes is far less expensive to get something done for you, than trying to save a penny doing it yourself.
                        Matt

                        People are like a box of chocolates. It's hard to tell initially which ones are nuts.

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                          Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                          Originally posted by reffrig View Post
                          Thanks everyone.
                          Don, that is what got me thinking about this in the first place. Bill has obviously worked out all the important details and they can be relied upon as opposed to, outside of Clearview, most other manufacturers. That's why I was thinking about taking his plans, scaling them down say 10% or so (guessing) and take them to a CNC or metal shop and have them cut. I don't mind sourcing parts and putting everything together. I was hoping someone had tried this approach and had comments or suggestions.
                          I may end up being the first
                          I hope you have signed up at the Clear Vue forum and tossed your ideas around there. I think just about every type of modification has been discussed there. Also, don't be afraid to solicit advice from Bill himself.

                          Don
                          Last edited by Don Burch; 05-07-2012, 09:47 PM. Reason: edit out text

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                          • #14

                            Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                            Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                            Although the information on Bill's site is extremely valuable, the section on blower impellers isn't that useful.

                            If you look at the fan offerings from companies such as Cinncinnatti, you'll find a wide variety of impellers suitable for material handling, and more importantly you'll find as the impeller design increases in sophistication ( curved, backward inclined etc) you'll find that HP requirements drop considerably.

                            If you look at an Oneida cyclone you'll find they have high airflow for relatively low power motors, with their filter included. This is because of the sophistication of the impeller design as well as the cyclone.

                            Have a quick look at their airflow curves for their machines, they are accurate and they provide excellent performance. Both cyclones that I installed met their published airflow curves.

                            There's more to consider than sticking a garden variety impeller on a cyclone. Since the cyclone impeller doesn't handle debris, it can be a much more sophisticated shape than an impeller that has to survive a collision with a block of wood..........Regards, Rod.
                            Work is the curse of the riding class.

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                            • #15

                              Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                              Re: Bill Pentz design reduced in size

                              Reffig

                              I'm currently building the Bill Pentz machine, what I can tell you in the scaling is that it is possible, just use the excel spreadsheet enter the size of the motor, impeller size and it will give you a new cyclone with different dimensions but there is a trade off, going to a smaller motor will only make the cyclone body higher in height and wider, I asked the same question your asking in the forum to Bills and his answer was that yes you can scale or you can mix and match parts and sizes but chances are that you will not get proper air speed, cfm, static pressure, he also said that you do not want to turn anything less than 12.5" impeller, so what I did is build the cyclone body to Bills specifications, bought a used 5hp motor and ordered the 15" impeller from clearvue but when it came to the blower I did not attached it to the cyclone body, again I asked Bill if there was any problem doing this I asked him "Also this motor is 89 pounds could it be possible to add the blower on the side and have a pipe that goes from the blower intake to the cyclone outtake, please let me know" This answer was "Yes, you can mount the blower to the side of a cyclone. I would suggest that you use all 9” tubing going from the cyclone to the blower."
                              One quick tip if your going to order parts from clearvue since almost all of there parts are made in the USA you don't have to pay duty just asked them to give you a NAFTA letter, also if you live close to the border you can clear custom your self, just tell UPS that you wish to clear custom by your self. Also shipping to a business address is cheaper than if you ship to your house

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