Why I Chose the Oneida 5HP Dust Gorilla Pro Dust Collector
Before I had settled on a specific dust collection system, Oneida asked me about all of the specific machines in my workshop, the dust port sizes, distances between machines, and the electrical power that I have available at my panel.
Once they understood all of this, and my desired shop workflow, they recommended the 5 HP Dust Gorilla. You may not need this much horsepower in your workshop, but I have a 16-inch Felder AD-941 machine that works as a jointer and thickness planer.
It puts out a serious volume of wood chips and sawdust, especially when I joint and plane really wide boards. This is the biggest wood dust-producing machine in my workshop.
My previous 1-1/2 HP dust collection system really struggled to keep up with the amount of wood that I put through it, but now I have so much dust collection power that I get virtually no chips or dust escaping my planer.
And the high efficiency cyclone on the Dust Gorilla has a separation rate of over 99%. That’s infinitely better than my DIY dust collection system!
And as you can see here at the end of my dust collection ductwork, I can close the blast gate to my Felder machine, and open the blast gate that runs a hose to my band saw.
I’ve setup a custom system with hoses on the back of my band saw, and it works quite well. Most band saws aren’t designed very well for dust collection, but I have so much sucking power now, that it works quite well.
My other big dust collection requirement (and difficulty) is on my SawStop table saw.
I close the other blast gates, and then go over to the ductwork near the Gorilla, and open up this blast gate for my table saw.
It runs down to my SawStop table saw dust port. This Dust Gorilla keeps up really well with the sawdust and wood chips that come down into the table saw cabinet. But my main challenge that I still need to remedy, is collecting the sawdust that exits above the table saw.
I have tried using the SawStop overarm dust collection system, as you can see here, but it does almost nothing to keep sawdust and wood chips from flying in the air.
I have plenty of suction power from the Dust Gorilla, but SawStop’s system seems to be flawed. SawStop also has a $500 floating overarm dust collection system, but I’ve heard a lot of people say that it also doesn’t work great…and it costs over $500 (see it here). So that option is a no-go. If the Oneida folks are watching this, maybe you can make a good overarm table saw system?
Another exciting option that I designed with the Oneida engineers, was a way to collect wood chips and sawdust from my lathe and drill press.
I close the table saw blast gate at this tower, and then open the blast gate that goes to my lathe. I’m still experimenting with different vent hoods, but this is the setup I have so far for my wood lathe:
And this is the setup I have for my drill press:
Down here is where the Dust Gorilla expels the sawdust and wood chips:
Some people will send the sawdust to an outside storage bin, which sounds cool, but that wasn’t an option for me. Because of the amount of wood that I mill up, I opted for the 55 gallon steel drum, as opposed to the 35 gallon drum.
But either option is far superior to the frustrating plastic bags. Not only are the bags difficult to remove and replace, but they tear easily, and get holes all the time. You can see that’s why I have so much duct tape on my bags!
And a really cool feature that came with my dust collector is the Dust Sentry™ Bin Fill Level Indicator.
The sensor points toward the sawdust in the drum, and a warning light lets me know when my drum is getting full.
If you have your own barrel, you can certainly hook it up to the Dust Gorilla, with some modifications.
I also decided to mount my Dust Gorilla to the wall, but other people opt for mounting it to a stand.
And this is the high quality filter where the finer dust goes after the big pieces dump into the drum.
Whichever brand of dust collector you buy, make sure you get one that comes with a HEPA certified filter that filters the finest dust down to 0.3 microns. That’s really small.
I’m not going to pretend to be one of those engineer guys who spends hours comparing technical specifications between machines. I’m actually a pretty simple-minded guy. But there is one technical feature really stood out to me about this dust collection system. I’ll try to explain it as simply as I can..or at least as best as I understand it:
As I touched on earlier, air volume moving through a dust collection system is measured by “CFM”, or Cubic Feet Per Minute. Most dust collector systems for woodworking have motors that run at a fixed speed. This isn’t very efficient, especially if your machines are far away from the dust collector, if they have smaller hoses & ports, and if you have multiple blast gates that you keep closed.
These traditional dust collectors will draw fewer electrical amps under these conditions, reducing the sucking power. But this Dust Gorilla uses Oneida’s patented SMART Boost® technology, which essentially increases the fan speed under those circumstances, to maintain a maximum suction power.
Even to my limited technical understanding, I could see how much better a system like this is!