Dust Collecting - Any advice on what I should get?

Hey all, hope your weekend was a good one. I finally started getting my dust collector up and running along with cleaning my shop. Tonight and tomorrow I will be ordering a few things to go with it. It will mainly be used on the longmill and some part time duty on the table saw across the shop. Likely leaving it connected to the longmill and stretching a hose from the second intake over to the table saw when needed. Right now I have:

Harbor Freights 2hp dust collector
Have a merv 15 canister filter on order
and that is it.

What else do I need to order?
a length of 4 inch flex hose
some 2.5 inch flex hose and a reducer for the longmill? Edit: will it even work well stepping down to a 2 - 2.5in?
Anything I should avoid?

I made the mistake of watching a bunch of youtube vids and gained nothing but information overload.



I would avoid using a 2HP dust collect solely for the Longmill. (This is just my opinion, other may disagree.) That dust collector is designed to move a lot of air and restricting it to 2-1/2" would be like breathing through a straw. Sure you can do it but it will be way more work and you could potentially wear our your dust collector prematurely. My suggestion would be to wait till next week and buy a small shop-vac during Black Friday and devote that unit to just your Longmill. The cost of a 10’ x 4" hose and clamps to run to the longmill from the dust collector will be not much less than a small shop-vac on BF. In my shop I have a 1-1/2HP Jet Vortex, but instead use a 10 gallon Rigid with a HEPA filter and Dust Deputy Cyclone. Chip disposal is a breeze and I only have to clean the filter every very months.

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@Swinly Well, Lonnie, @Gassman69 (Jason) did say that others may disagree, so I guess, today, I am “others”. :grinning:

I use a 2HP dust collector in my shop as I have all the toys: table saw, bandsaw, jointer, planer, drum sander, router table and last, but not least, the Long Mill. I have a 4" flex hose on the DC and it has an ABS coupler on the end that I can slip onto any of those machines. Despite the flex hose, it does a good job.

When I got the Long Mill, I first used the original dust shoe and my shop vac. I didn’t like either one. So, I made a new dust shoe and rigged up the table to take the flex hose from the DC. I’m attaching a pic of my setup - ugly but very functional. Between the capacity of the DC, my dust shoe design and the exhaust diverter that I put on the bottom of the Makita, I get darn near no dust/chips on the table. This is important to me, as my shop is in my basement.

All that said, if I had not already had the 2HP DC and if I was only using dust collection on the Mill, I would not have bought a 2HP DC. Smaller would have worked well. In my opinion and as Jason said, others may disagree, shop vacs are not designed to run for several hours at a time. Also, they are noisy as all get out, with some exceptions.

With any luck, this thread will generate lots of replies, Lonnie. There is no right answer. If what you rig up removes as much of the dust and chips as you want, then it’s the one for you.


The 2hp dust collector is being given to me if I decide to keep it. I thought it might be a little overkill for being connected to the longmill mainly and the table saw from time to time. The smaller ones I’ve looked at (1 HP or less) seemed to always have reviews and comments of how they should have gotten the bigger unit. Though I do recognize that I have no clue as to what their tool inventory is. They may have been trying to do like Grant and connect all their toys.

I’m open to letting the freebie go and buying a smaller unit if that might be the better route to stroll down. I kind of like the idea of a smaller footprint that I can put under my table. Then again, I do like the freebie too.

@gwilki Grant, does your dust shoe move up and down with the router?

@Swinly Lonnie: No mine is Z independent. I prefer this concept as I can set the height to ride on the top of the material and it stays there regardless of what the router is doing. Z dependent are much simpler to design, though. To each his own.

As to DC size, there is no doubt that the 2HP is overkill for the Mill. I need that size for my other toys and connecting it to the Mill is quick and easy, so it was definitely the way to go for me. YMMV, of course. Good luck.

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Hello! I haven’t bought my CNC yet, but have some slight insight into dust collection. During my research, I found this website Dust Collection Research - Dust Collection Basics

There, you will find more information about dust, which is terrible for our lungs. Obviously, not the chunks but that fine, small particle dust that floats around even with a dust collector.

Personally, I have a 240V Jet single stage dust collector. Have owned it for years and while it does pick up the large particles, it does very little for the “floaters” in the air. This year (after a bout of bad COVID), I began with getting a good respirator from 3M and hepa filters for it. I do make a conscious effort at using it whenever I am creating dust, IE sawing, sanding, planing etc. I also have an exhaust fan that cleans the air after a bit of hard woodworking… The problem with that is it takes my conditioned environment and shoves it out the fan.

In the future, I expect to purchase a good cyclone dust collection system, and will probably vent it outside or even add onto the workshop to move the dust collection into another room. The other thing I have learned is that flex hose is poor for picking up the fine dust which is our enemy. I have not expanded my horizons into metal ductwork yet… But will as my shop evolves and I get more funds.

You could possibly use an “air scrubber”. I wired for one on the ceiling of my new shop, but haven’t made the purchase yet. The reviews are somewhat mixed on them… from “best purchase ever” to “have to replace the filters all the time”. I do believe there is value in them.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for the info and link @Jake Venting it outside and adding a exhaust fan(or something) is something I thought about and will be in the works. Hopefully not in the too distant future. Reading your post again reminded me I need to get some for filters for my mask.

I passed on the free unit when I saw it as it didn’t age very well but the offer was much appreciated. Back to shopping for a dust collector and hopefully not rip myself off in the process.

When people talk about reducing from 4 inches to less will choke it, are they talking about reducing it right at the dust shoe or about stepping down and running a few feet at the smaller size?

I believe they mean dropping it from 4" to 2" and running a length of hose… not really reducing for the dust shoe… I believe anyhow.

Keep an eye out for Black Friday ads. You may find a dust collector at Rockler or maybe WoodCraft.



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I am with @Gassman69. For me it is just a hobby not an empolyment. I attached a 2" hose to my dust shoe which runs to a cyclone. According to space/budget/efficiency the cyclone is driven by a generic vacuum cleaner running on lowest power level.

This setup is not able to catch up chips flying with high speed, but the fine dust is sucked off efficiently. Chips lying on the spoil board are cleaned after the job is done - no drawback, think others need doing this aswell.

Here is a pic of my dust shoe and hose.


Those that use a shop vac, how strong is it? The shop vac I have is listed as 4.5 peak hp, 175 cfm and I had no success with it.

@JHahn that’s a nice setup

I have a big shop and you always reduce close to the tool, not near the dust collector. You want that full sucking power as close to the tool as possible so that when the chips and dust exit the smaller diameter tube they are forcefully sucked away. That said I wouldn’t run the 4in directly and reduce at the dust shoe but I would run the 4in to the machine close and then maybe a 3-4ft 2.5 in hose from there.

I did a TON of testing with my ducting setup using a wind gauge. Made a vid on it too but haven’t posted it yet.


@blur1221 FWIW, Justin, I’m with you on this. I run 4" from my 2HP dust collector to a 4" PVC pipe that runs from the front left of my table to the back left, then up and over to about the centre of my table. Only then do I drop down to a 2 1/2" inch flex to the shoe. This gives me excellent collection with the flexibility of the smaller hose where all the movement is taking place.


Thanks, I would love to see the vid

Here are the plans, parts lists and photos of an inexpensive dust collector I completed recently.
It works very well.
DustSeparator_Parts_AssyInstructions.pdf (1.9 MB)

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Here’s what I built. The Dustopper is still working fine for my CNC only collection. I later added a DEWALT
12 Gal. Stealth Sonic Wet/Dry Vacuum
which quieted the vacuum part of it down a bunch. (I would credit the guy that gave me the idea, but I can’t remember any more about the origins.)

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