When I say “Sucks Hard”, I mean that in the suction sense, not in the “dude, that sucks!” sense. For most HomeFixated types, their “shop” typically is part of the garage. The reality for small workshop environments, is that it may not make much sense to install a 15 horsepower, 120 decibel mega-cyclonic dust collection system that rivals an F5 tornado. And I’m not the only one that thinks this way. Marc Spagnolo (aka The Wood Whisperer) suggested a portable dust collector in his October 2009 Shop Tour Video. Granted Marc’s dust collector is a little daintier than the Delta 50-760 (no offense Marc), but it’s the concept we’re focusing on here. The dust collector part comes in at about 12:25 into the video, however the whole thing is definitely worth checking out. As are most of Marc’s other well respected and very informational videos. Plus he wears cool t-shirts in every video (in this case, GI Joe). And he spells “Marc” properly, sans the “k”. Ok, enough sucking up to carpentry royalty. Let’s get back to sucking up dust with the Delta 50-760.
I tend to think of dust collection in two general ways: 1) Permanent ducting runs to various tools connected to a hugely powerful dust collector that ideally filters and collects the dust outside the shop, and 2) A smaller mobile dust collector like the Delta 50-760, that can either be quickly wheeled to different tools and connected as needed, or is connected to a very small number of tools in close proximity. For most weekend warriors, option 1 just isn’t realistic, and that’s where the Delta 50-760 comes to the rescue.
I found the Delta 50-760 Dust Collector to be very easy to assemble, with one exception. After assembling the dolly and motor housing portions, there comes a point where Delta recommends using two people to lift the motor housing piece onto the dolly section. I, of course, ignored this very reasonable advice and elected to lift everything myself. I managed to get the two major parts united without destroying anything, but my solo technique was dicey, and definitely not recommended. Have a friend give you a quick hand with the heavy lifting portions of the assembly and you can avoid that awkward hernia conversation with your doctor.
Hernias aside, Delta provides two methods of attaching the dust collection bag, via cloth covered flexible ring or using a metal bag clamp. I found the cloth ring to provide a very secure fit. The filter bag goes into place fairly easily as well, and is kept upright by a support rod that gets bolted to the motor and blower assembly. Delta has also conveniently provided two different orientations for the 50-760: with the dust intake coming from below, or with the intake coming from above. Potentially very handy depending on your shop and ducting setup. Once assembled, you’re ready to start sucking!
Although it’s a tad out of date, Wood Magazine did a super-comprehensive dust collector comparison / showdown, which the Delta 50-760 triumphed on. In their grading, the only other dust collectors that came close were the Grizzly G1029Z and the Penn State DC2000B. And unlike the Grizzly unit, the Delta runs on standard 120v juice, making finding a plug a lot easier. I highly recommend reading the article, even if you don’t plan to buy this particular unit, as it provides some valuable insights into dust collection.
My testing was a lot less scientific: I rolled the Delta 50-760 to various machines in the shop and tested how it did with my super sensitive nasal spectrometer. Considering my shop / garage normally fills with a huge cloud of dust anytime I run the table saw or chop saw inside it (I typically wheel them outside whenever possible), the Delta 50-760 made a world of difference. I mostly used the 50-760 on my Bosch miter saw. I used the included “Y” (seen to the left, with 5″ single port to two 4″ ports), to allow two very short duct runs to the same tool. One hose I connected to the built in dust port at the top of the saw. I connected the other duct to a Rockler dust hood which I placed under and behind the saw. The result was that the Delta 50-760 was able to pull almost all of the visible dust out of the air. The nasal spectrometer didn’t even sniffle. Pretty slick!
The Delta 50-760 Dust Collector uses a 1 micron upper filter bag and six mil plastic bags to collect the larger particles for the lower bag. Relative to its competition, the 1 micron filtration is great, although there are still some that say that even 1 micron filtration poses a health threat in terms of the even smaller particles that get back into the air. For an insane amount of dust collection information, visit Bill Pentz’s site, however you may wish to do all your woodworking in a full haz-mat suit/respirator after reading it. I also found an interesting mod of the 50-760, retrofitting a Wynn Environmental .5 micron filter.
Almost every review I found in my research raved about the 50-760. I did find one negative review at LumberJocks from Charlie, who felt the rod that helps hold the filter bag upright was under-engineered. I haven’t had an issue with it, but some have. Other than that, I found many people very happy with the 50-760. You can find the very reasonably priced Delta 50-760 Dust Collector at Rockler for about $400 plus shipping, which is nothing to sneeze at.