As usual, click any photo to bring up a larger version.
Changing the bag on my dust collector has to be my least favourite job in the shop. Here is a quick and blindingly simple tip that at least makes the job as quick as possible. It's still a chore which I dislike, but at least I can get it over with pretty quickly.
I didn't even intend to document this. This started out as me going down to the shop to test out some different camera settings, and somehow turned into a five minute single-take shop-tip video. It's certainly not polished, but I still thought it was worth sharing.
First... These dust collectors were sold with two cheap fabric bags, top and bottom, back when I bought this unit. The top bag I immediately replaced with a higg quality filter bag. No, I don't really remember how many microns the bag is rated for -- these days canister filters are available and I would put one of those on it, if I was doing this again.
But for the bottom bag -- I never used the stock bag. The suggestion here is to go to your local big box hardware store and pick up a box of "Contractory grade" trash bags. These are 3 mm thick ("3 mil") and quite strong, so that they can handle the pressure of a dust collector. They are also far cheaper than buying actual "dust collector" plastic bags.
Yanking out the old bag. Good thing the plastic is strong, as it needs to squeeze between the legs of the Dust Collector.
This is why I never re-use these bags on the Dust collector. They get banged around a bit as I yank them out and I am afraid of getting weak spots. I still re-us the bags, but not on the dust collector. After I dump the sawdust, these get used as regular trash bags in my shop trash can.
Now comes the hard part. Or maybe the infuriating part. Trying to wrestle a new slipper bag into place, and then wrap the strap clamp around that holds it into place takes about four sets of hands to complete.
So here is the heart of this shop tip...
Get yourself a couple of these rare earth magnets. I generally use just one. But get two to start with, and it will make this procedure much less painful.
(You could even find some magnets for free if you rip-apart some old hard drives, but those are probably overkill in terms of strength.)
Slip the bag around the dust collector, and pull it tight and slip a magnet onto the connection. Maybe put another magnet on the other side as well. (My contractor trash bags are just an inch or two too large for the diameter, so I fold them over to pull them snug and put the magnet there.)
That's all there is to it. With the bag securely held in place you can now easily -- or at least relatively easily -- slip the the metal strap clamp around the DC unit and tighten it into place.
Nasty job done.
The last step is to check that the clamp is properly positioned all around the unit, so that the bag is well secured, and then turn the DC on and double-check to make sure that everything holds.
Thanks for reading!