Repurposing motor/blower and VFD for DIY dust collector - viable?

Thread Starter

ryanjg117

Joined Nov 3, 2017
35
I'm looking to build (TIG weld) a dust collector for a sandblast cabinet capable of achieving 400 cfm (recommended by the manufacturer as the minimum for this particular blast cabinet). Collecting dust in the corner of my shop is a Baldor 1hp three-phase motor with blower and Baldor VFD currently setup to input 120vac and output 240v three-phase (pictures attached). A little research seems to indicate this Baldor motor/blower is pretty similar to their DC14-3 dust control system for bench grinders, and the specs I'm reading for that show 700 cfm running with three-phase supply with a simple bag filter/collector. (That's also a 1hp motor.)

I would like to maintain the 120vac input for this motor since it will be connected via the light bar on the sandblasting cabinet. In so doing, I expect I won't be able to achieve the full 700 cfm (or that I'll be pulling a lot more amps to do the same work). I know that CFM is highly dependent upon a lot of variables such as fan blade size, filter size and type, housing construction, ducting diameter (which will be 4"), etc.

I'm looking to probably build a DIY dust collector similar to this Econoline unit which sells for about $2K, but scaled down a bit:
blower6.jpg

Filters for this unit are widely available - here is one supplier:
https://damnfilters.com/products/495114-econoline-oem-replacement-dust-collector-filter

I'll probably skip the pneumatic vibrator for the initial build and just routinely give it a vigorous whack.

My current idea is to see if I can find an enclosure on Craigslist - my initial thought would be a metal gym locker since it has the access from the front, but certainly isn't dust tight. That's fine as I can add gasketing and weld any holes closed, and reinforce with L channel around the outside if necessary. Open to any better ideas on what I might be able to salvage to make this work!

So what's my question? Is this motor/blower/VFD a viable potential solution here?
 

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jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Years ago (mid-1980's), I built my own blast cabinet and dust collector and used similar sized components. We had a small HVAC metal fabricator in town. The cheapest and best solution I found was to have it do most of the cutting and bending for me. It also supplied the steel. I cut things like holes and did the welding. It was either 12 or 14 gauge -- don't recall. While I enjoy TiG welding for most things, you may find MiG easier to do and get better results (less distortion) with long welds on sheet metal.

Dust collectors and abrasive cabinets are subject to abrasion themselves, particularly if you are collecting from metal working activities as I was rather than just woodworking. I would question whether a gym locker is big or durable enough.
 

Thread Starter

ryanjg117

Joined Nov 3, 2017
35
@jpanhalt, totally agree about warping sheet metal. I still haven't found a way to get around that, other than fast, hi-amp bursts and constantly moving around to wait for hot zones to cool.

Another idea, though I'm not sure any sturdier, would be metal filing cabinets which always seem to be available in abundance on Craigslist for free. Yeah, not the thickest walls on those but I could reinforce with L angle around the edges.

Do you remember what horsepower motor you were using?
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
Another idea, though I'm not sure any sturdier, would be metal filing cabinets which always seem to be available in abundance on Craigslist for free. Yeah, not the thickest walls on those but I could reinforce with L angle around the edges.

Do you remember what horsepower motor you were using?
I think that's what HF uses for its abrasive blasters. ;)

Almost anything would work for a dust collector, perhaps even plywood. The question is how long it will last and whether it will withstand the small pressure differential it will experience. An industrial cabinet, even a large transformer or distribution box, would be heavier. I used a 55-gallon steel drum. Steel culvert pipe is also fairly thick gauge.

At the time, Dodge Center, MN was only a few miles from my home. You might not recognize that town, but you may recognize McNeilus concrete and refuse trucks. They were built there. A lot of heavy industry resources and scrap were in that town -- one fellow I knew repurposed the mixing barrel from a concrete truck to be his incinerator. Wherever you are, I would look at industrial scrap/recycling to get stuff.
 

Thread Starter

ryanjg117

Joined Nov 3, 2017
35
@shortbus - The VFD model is a Baldor ID15J100-ER. My understanding is Baldor brand labeled this VFD from IBT, and they no longer make their own drives. So I'm reaching out to IBT for a manual.

I'm a fan of TP Tools and Skat Blast as well, but even their $1,100 dust collector doesn't quite reach 400 cfm.

My thinking has changed a bit and I'm considering going with a cyclone style dust collector. Oneida sells a Steel Super Dust Deputy 5" Cyclone as a standalone part. That would drop dust into a small bucket or metal vessel (I'm thinking cheapest/easiest to fabricate would be an old air compressor tank). I could mount the motor/VFD to the top of this cyclone, like Oneida does with their Mini Dust Gorilla. I could then add a HEPA filter at the outlet of the blower; Oneida sells the HEPA they use for Mini Dust Gorilla separately.

What I'm unsure about is if cyclone-style dust collectors are a good fit for sandblasters? I don't see them offered by the big sandblasting companies, and I wonder if that's because pretty much all of the dust coming out of the sandblast cabinet will generally be very fine, meaning it will all pass into the HEPA filter and potentially quickly clog it?
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,586
The VFD model is a Baldor ID15J100-ER. My understanding is Baldor brand labeled this VFD from IBT, and they no longer make their own drives. So I'm reaching out to IBT for a manual.

I'm a fan of TP Tools and Skat Blast as well, but even their $1,100 dust collector doesn't quite reach 400 cfm.
The reason for asking about the VFD is we get many coming here asking for 110V VFD's. Never saw one that can take in 110V and put out 220V though.

I'll just say that one of the shops I worked at had a very powerful dust extractor on it's blast cabinet, and it not only pulled out the dust but also the sand since it was on a sandblaster. So I don't know if 400cfm is a good number or not. With the time that TP tools have been around I think if they needed more CFM the customers would have forced them to do it.

Usually a cyclone type collector is used with wood cutting, it separates the heavier wood chips out so they don't get into the filters. That way only saw dust goes to the actual filters.
 

Thread Starter

ryanjg117

Joined Nov 3, 2017
35
@shortbus, thanks for the reply. Yeah, I actually wasn't aware of drives taking 110v in and outputting 220v until I happened about this kit on Craigslist. I'm sure there is a penalty (in terms of amp draw?) and probably a power hit I would take as well. It really sucks hard though, even on 110v.

I'm only using the 400cfm figure since it's what the Econoline rep recommended. Econoline has been building cabinets since before I was born, but I do think they specialize more in the industrial direct-pressure units. I'm sure I could get by with less suction, but I have had issues with the cabinet getting so filled with dust it was nearly impossible to see what I was doing, so I figured even if 400cfm is overkill, at least it's a target to shoot for.

I had to hunt around for awhile to find a cyclone unit being sold for sandblasting - check this out:
https://www.redlinestands.com/catal...abinet-dust-collector-vacuum-reclaimer-p-2811

I'm familiar with cyclones for woodworking as I own a ClearVue CV1800. It looks like they're more typically called "reclaimers" in the sandblasting industry. Like I suspected, the Redline unit features a much smaller cyclone bin and a pretty large filter stack on the output side. What really shocked me was their maintenance note: Redline recommends cleaning your sand blast vacuum filter every 3 hours of use and replacing every 30 hours of use in order to avoid premature failure of the electric vacuum motor.

At a cost of $130 per filter, that adds up fast.

I wonder if that is just an inherent problem with cyclone designs (rather than the filter bag I see more often in sandblasting).
 

jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
11,088
@shortbus - The VFD model is a Baldor ID15J100-ER. My understanding is Baldor brand labeled this VFD from IBT, and they no longer make their own drives. So I'm reaching out to IBT for a manual.

I'm a fan of TP Tools and Skat Blast as well, but even their $1,100 dust collector doesn't quite reach 400 cfm.

My thinking has changed a bit and I'm considering going with a cyclone style dust collector. Oneida sells a Steel Super Dust Deputy 5" Cyclone as a standalone part. That would drop dust into a small bucket or metal vessel (I'm thinking cheapest/easiest to fabricate would be an old air compressor tank). I could mount the motor/VFD to the top of this cyclone, like Oneida does with their Mini Dust Gorilla. I could then add a HEPA filter at the outlet of the blower; Oneida sells the HEPA they use for Mini Dust Gorilla separately.

What I'm unsure about is if cyclone-style dust collectors are a good fit for sandblasters? I don't see them offered by the big sandblasting companies, and I wonder if that's because pretty much all of the dust coming out of the sandblast cabinet will generally be very fine, meaning it will all pass into the HEPA filter and potentially quickly clog it?
Sorry, it took me awhile to remember some names. I have a file somewhere....it's not lost. Just misplaced.

Anyway, Torit and another brand Empire(?) made cyclone collectors for abrasive blast cabinets awhile back. Torit is now: Donaldson. I modeled mine after them. If I find the file, I will update the names.

https://www.dustcollectionpros.com/cyclone.html
 

shortbus

Joined Sep 30, 2009
8,586
I'm only using the 400cfm figure since it's what the Econoline rep recommended
If you look around on your Redline site, you will see that there are many different CFM on their machines, like this one very similar to TP tools, and it's only 90CFM. https://www.redlinestands.com/catal...one-dc1500-inverted-bag-dust-collector-p-1680

Or this one with a cyclone reclaimer, also 90CFM - https://www.redlinestands.com/catal...nd-blast-cabinet-dust-collector-vacuum-p-1704
 
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