GMC 1HP/750W Dust Collector review

Posted by jerry on January 9th, 2006 — Posted in Technology, Woodwork

Happy new year everyone! Time to review one of my new toys – the GMC 1HP dust collector.

GMC dust collector

I was due to run some fence palings through the Ryobi 13″ thicknesser for a friend who makes picture frames, so it seemed a good test for the GMC dust extractor. My earlier attempts to keep the dust and chips from the thicknesser from forming a large pile of chips on the floor and a thick cloud of dust in the workshop had only met with marginal success.

My Ryobi thicknesser did not come with a dust extraction port (the new ones do from last year). So I had fitted the dust port from a Sherwood 13″ thicknesser – it fits perfectly (purchased from Timbecon as an accesssory at last year’s Working with Wood show in Canberra). And I had cobbled up an adapter to the shop-vac but that had been only partially successful – when the bin filled all dust extraction ceased!

Enter the GMC dust extractor. It came in large box with some simple assembly to do – fit the handle, the casters – which do help with moving the 20kg machine around – and the collector hose and bag.

First the good points – set up was easy with a clear well illustrated instruction booklet. The construction seems pretty solid – although the 4″ (100mm) hose seems very thin walled and looks as though it would hole easily on a snag. The induction motor is very quiet compared with the shop vac, and there was little discernable difference in sound whether the motor was under load or not – ie whether or not the hose was constricted. The bag is a good size for hobby use and is made from a tight weave polyester, and is rated for 30 micron particle size.

What this means is that it will do a great job of clearing the chips and coarse sawdust, but the fine stuff that damages your lungs will go straight through the bag – you can see it as a fine cloud when you start the machine up – so keep the mask on for personal protection. GMC would do well to offer a 4 micron felt bag as an accessory – but I suspect the carbatec or sherwood ones would fit perfectly – and will be on my shopping list.

The hose was a good fit on the 100mm extracator port on the thicknesser and the machine did a very respectable effort at capturing probably 98 percent of the dust and chips – and it did so for a good hour without getting warm.

GMC dust extractor and Ryobi thicknesser

Summary – this is a good hobby machine for those with limited workshop space who need a solid, but light and portable dust extractor for occasional hobby use. It does not have the capacity or airflow (measured in cubic feet per minute – cfm) of a 2-3 horspower machine, but it represents a good effort for GMC’s entry into dust extractors. I would definitely fit a carba-tec or sherwood felt bag to capture the finer dust, and contrary to the brochure I would not be using this for more than one machine at a time. But at half the price of its competitors (under AUS$100), this is a great accessory for any hobbyist woodworker.

4 Comments »

Comment by Greg

I must admit, i found it very very undepowered, totally useless fitted to my Triton workbench, or router, i actually found it hard to pick up even sawdust from the concrete floor in my workshop.

Very dissapointed.

Posted on December 9, 2006 at 4:35 pm

Comment by jerry

I agree it is not really suitable for fitting to the Triton workbench. The triton is built to use a domestic vacuum cleaner hose – once you constrict the airflow of the GMC its suction capacity is greatly reduced – it relies on large air through-put so it works best with 4″/100mm dust ports, such as on the Ryobi thicknesser.

Jerry

Posted on December 18, 2006 at 10:49 pm

Comment by sam

As a professorial in this industry for many years mainly on very large applications I can say there is more to a dust collector then just a fan a and a sock. I recommend any one with a wood working shop to take dust collection seriously. 1 HP motor is not bad but you should be able to run 3-5 HP on 110v.
Take a look at these sites you can learn a lot…
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/Index.cfm
http://www.BaghouseParts.com

Posted on July 6, 2007 at 4:07 am

Comment by jerry

Sam is correct – there is much more to dust collection than a fan and a sock – most particularly in how to deal with the most dangerous sub-5 micron dust particles. The GMC machine and similar ones will keep the workshop clean, but should always be used in conjunction with other dust protection

Cheers
Jerry

Posted on July 6, 2007 at 7:32 am

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