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Mark C.

Clay Studio Hepa Vacuum With Cyclonic Separator

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Mark C.    1,797

For my 5,000 post I,m going with a safety topic.

Clay and glaze Dust-my solution.

I have a delta air handler with a hepa filter for shop air but my shortcoming has always been sweeping and mopping every week.

I thought about this a lot and have put together a custom central Vacuum system with an Oneida cyclonic dust deputy.

 

As you may have seen in Ceramics Monthly magazine Oneida runs an ad on a portable system for about $1200.It rolls around in your studio.

It’s a shop vacuum with a cyclonic filter with an expense Hepa filter.

The cost of Hepa filters is very high for this unit as well as others that I have seen.

I got to thinking about the stronger suction that our whole house vacuum system has and that the noise and dust is all outside. I have installed a few of these systems over my lifetime. I’m a big believer in central vacuum systems.

 

I did some research and have ordered the parts from 5 suppliers.

Oneida sells the metal dust deputy with 10-gallon metal can that collects 99% of solids as well as a few fittings and a short 2.5-inch flex hose.They also have a few specialty fittings you'll need to complete this system.Cost $200

The central Vacuum is an American made unit online from central vacuum stores called an Imperium VC 300-cost $400 on sale

The central vacuum pipe is from our local electrical wholesale house, which runs a true 2-inch, made by Nutone in 8-foot lengths. You can run as many outlets as needed-my small shop only needs one in the center.

All the 2-inch pipefittings are from central vacuum stores online

The 20 foot 2.5 inch hose is made by workshop wet/dry and ordered thru Amazon.

The hose attachments are ordered direct from workshop wet/dry vacs

This system is dry stuff only not a wet vac.

 

The vacuum is activated but a low voltage  hooked to a standard light switch in studio next to outlet, which is not the usual way with central vacuums. Usually the metal hose connection activates the connection but since I’m in a larger hose I had to adapt a different switching system as I'm not using the normal vac outlets.

The hose plugs into a special fitting that adapts the 2 inch vac pipe to 2.5 inch hose transition. From here on I will be sucking all clay dust, glaze dust, trimmings that do not make my bucket, whatever, thru the system, which hangs on the outside of studio wall under a two foot overhang. I still need a hinged weatherproof enclosure for winter for this equipment.

The vacuum unit plugs into a GFI in weather tight box that I wired into my studio outlet circuit.

 The dust/clay goes into the cyclonic separator first  which is lined with its own plastic bag before entering the vacs Hepa six-gallon vac bag. The vacuum sucks an incredible 138 inch’s water column and exhausts at the bottom of can

These Hepa filters are $8.95 for this unit.I bought 10 as a start.

 

I was waiting for a few more parts but they arrived today and soon I will have system complete.

I’ll post the results

This unit could fit into say a basement studio or any workshop either inside or outside-it must be kept dry out of weather.

My cost excluding my outside weatherproof siding box. Is around $800-$900

The filters are cheap compared to most Hepa filters and the unit is fairly quiet as well. It sucks better than a shop Vac.

From here on its vacuuming every week or more.

I'll post some new photos when system is complete-these photos are of rough in.

If you are thinking about getting one set up for your studio you can PM me for more info if you have questions.

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Edited by Mark C.

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Marcia Selsor    1,301

Congrats on 5000 and thanks for the info on the health vacuum system. I think I could put one together following your instructions.

Marcia

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Great looking machine you have made there. I had never heard of a central vacuum system before.

 

I would be interested if you did a comparison in time between a mop clean and this vacuum.

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Mark C.    1,797

I finished the install yesterday while firing a few glaze kilns.

Tested it and it works like a charm. Today I will start working thru whole studio with new vacuum.

HBP-no comparison vs wet mopping time wise -the only thing mopping is great for is wet glaze spills compared to dust removal.

This does not disturb dust unless its going up the pipe.

Here's the finished system.

The switch in the brass cover plate turns on the Vacuum which is located in center of my studio under sink.

I forgot to mention this low voltage switch has a wire going to Vac unit using 18/2 Thermostat wire solid core copper from amazon.

 

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Mark C.    1,797

Well it been a week with the new vac system and it's super.

Here is the completed system in enclosure -blends right into pot shop exterior after a coat of stain on Mahogany exterior plywood siding matching same as studio addition from 2002

Not much discussion on this so maybe its beyond most users.I realize this is a more professional application tool.

I would put one together in a heartbeat for any basement studio situation .

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Bioman    6

Good idea Mark.  I have one in my woodworking ship with HEPA filters; it is a must if you build furniture.  Given that i am going full time on the potter soon I might just expand this to my pottery area.  If anyone does this I suggest  washable spun Polyester filters.  They are worth this higher initial outlay as they can be washed where some types cant.

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Mark C.    1,797

As long as you buy a powerful unit(many choices at central vacuum .com) the hose length will make no difference . What you should consider is a shorter hose is easier to move around and weighs less. 

You can het one with a power head beater for lots of carpet. Which needs an outlet at each hose inlet. We do not have this as both our systems are suction powered beater heads. that is the house system as a head that spins for rugs and is powered by the air in hose.

My pottery has a Imperium CV300 Power Unit which is on one intlet.That system will handle many inlets I only needed one.

My home unit is a Nutone brand model which was a 400 something and back in the 80's was the most powerful . 

These units are made for whatever size house you have. I bought one for a house that was double our size and it has real suction.

Now the larger more powerful the louder they are. I mounted my outside is both applications -the hose one is in a water heater shed attached to the house.

I would say a shop vac is a bit noisier but  may be the same as I never put my shop vac in a shed and listened to it?

There will be many choices of brands for you.

I like the Nutone hoses and tools-the Imperium model vacuum is my choice for the suction unit-its made here and Nutones are now all plastic and made offshore. I suggest Nutone hose and tool kits and imperium brand suction units. 

Good luck with the system.

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Mark C.    1,797

Here is a review of system after one year of use.

I cooked the motor a few moths ago-it was replaced under warranty .

My thought was either it was defective or to much dust got to it.

I since added 3 layers of that blue washable filter material-the machine came with one layer-dust had to get past the filter bag then go thru the 3 layers to get to the motor. The other fact is the heapa bags clog way faster than non-heaps bags-so since my exhaust is way outside away from people I tend to use the non heapa bags in winter (wet season) and heapa's in summer when we are out more.

The suction is super and the cyclonic collector fills pretty fast with super dense partials-say near full every few months . These plastic bags weigh more than clay as they are so dense. I have to empty system about every quarter .-new cyclonic bag and new filter bag.

The great thing is all dust and noise is outside -so there is no dust in studio from the process of cleaning-I suck the floor every few days now.

I suck and small trimmings at trim wheel I missed picking up when wet-as dry ones can be dusty .

I am sold on idea and even if I need to buy a motor every few years for $65 it no big deal.

I just wish I did this in the 80s.

Edited by Mark C.

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Mark C.    1,797

I have some news for anyone putting in a system like this after using mine a year and a 1/2

I would get a vacuum unit that has the motor in the top-not bottom, most Nutones  have top mounted motors as well as others.

I would also make sure that that motor has easy c to get at hangeable brushes.

My unit sucks like crazy(great suction ) but eats brushes due to all the ceramic dust going through motor.This will be true with any unit.

My unit also has a motor that is not made to replace brushes (motor is $67) brushes are usually $20-25 a pair . I think I can solder new ones in but we shall see.

My suggestions are to change your bag at least monthly as the dust is so fine. Keeping it off the brushes will really help on brush life.

I'm still very happy with this system as its dust free  to use and a joy to use.

 

Edited by Mark C.

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