Oneida V-System 3000 - 3 HP Dust Cyclone
Five months ago, I replaced a 1983-era 4-bag, 3-HP Grizzly model G1030 dust collector with a V-System 3000.
The Grizzly had 3 micron bags over the factory 30 micron cloth bags, so most dust was trapped in the cloth bags. There were two major problems with the G1030:
1. Although there was terrific suction immediately after the bags were emptied and cleaned (in the washing machine), suction steadily declined as the bags filled and clogged.…
Even at 1/4 full, suction seriously declined.
2. After dust collector use, the surrounding area had an obvious wood dust smell. My wife’s sewing area is nearby and I didn’t want her (or me) breathing polluted air.
A review of 3 HP cyclones found but a single (positive) review of the V-system, in Wood magazine, but no customer reviews. The V-system’s primary selling points for me were:
- 100% made in the USA with an American made (Leeson) motor
- 99.977% efficient @ 0.3 to 0.5 micron HEPA filter
- the cyclone and motor housing are thick heavy steel (painted yellow)
- being 3 HP, the 220 volt 20 amp wiring and breaker for the Grizzly would work
- its 6" air intake matched the existing workshop dust collection piping
- machine with a 35 gallon drum had 7" clearance under my 93" basement ceiling
- sized for a one-man shop using one machine at a time.
My 6" duct-work has 3" or 4" blast-gates with flex hoses to a jointer, table saw, router table, sliding compound miter saw, table saw, belt/disc sander, band saw, and surface planer.
Two undesirable V-system attributes were resolved as follows:
1. System includes a cheap fiber drum, so I paid Oneida $100 extra for a 35 gallon steel drum. A 55 gallon steel drum is also available.
2. The $72 V-system 3-legged stand needed too much floor space and it just wouldn’t work for me. So, I ordered a 4-legged Super Dust Gorilla stand ($218), and made a 3/4" plywood collar for the stand top to receive the V-system. This approach worked fine and the stand’s square footprint is smaller than the 3-legged stand.
I mounted steel handles on the drum and made a dolly for it to sit on and for rolling it out from under the machine. Oneida mistakenly sent both drums, which allows a comparison. The fiber drum is basically pressed paper, had a thin metal lid, a weak clamp to hold the lid down, and was fairly light. Oneida didn’t even want it back so it went in the trash. The steel drum and lid are strong gage with a large heavy-duty clamp for securing the lid, is on the heavy side, is 23" high and 23.5" in diameter, and the lid has a giant O ring for sealing against the drum. The included 1' long flex hose that goes between the cyclone bottom and the drum is 7 ½" diameter, while the cyclone and lid pipe are 7" diameter – so there’s some play. Fortunately, the two included worm-gear clamps secure the hose against leaking. If the floor under your drum will ever be wet or damp, elevate the drum on wheels or a dolly, etc. To empty the drum, release the lid’s band clamp and lift the lid off the drum. Slide the drum out and empty. Reverse to reinstall the drum.
The system includes a magnetic starter, which I didn’t need – so I cut the motor cord and installed a 6-20P NEMA plug on said cord and a matching 6-20R 220-v receptacle adjacent to the machine. My machine is electrified with a 220-volt 20 amp circuit breaker (in a sub-panel) within the shop. That breaker was used thousands of times since 1983 to power the Grizzly. The magnetic starter, if used as is, must be mounted in close proximity to the machine due to the cord length.
I also replaced two existing 6" galvanized narrow radius elbow ducts with Oneida’s large radius 90 degree adjustable elbows. Large radius elbows have less air resistance than standard elbows.
Assembly instructions were very clear and complete and it’s largely a one person job – except that mounting the very heavy (and expensive) motor/fan assembly on top of the cyclone is a 2-man job. Overall quality of the Oneida, including the welding and painting, is first rate.
I added more foam weatherstripping between the major assembly pieces than Oneida suggests, and drilled two additional mounting holes on the bottom of where the black filter duct meets the machine; applied aluminized tape over duct joints for leak control; and used a chain and turnbuckle arrangement to pull up the square black duct leading to the filter until it was level vertically – otherwise, the filter’s bottom seriously slanted toward the stand due to its weight.
An issue for me was having clearance under the support frame for the steel barrel and dolly to roll in and out – which required modifications to the lower front bracket on the Super Dust Gorilla stand. I bought the 35 gallon sized stand, which was a couple of inches too short at that bracket because of the added dolly height. If you plan to do something similar, get the 55 gallon stand and shorten the legs as necessary. The wall bracket would be an excellent choice if mounted on a masonry wall, but on my 2x4 framed, plywood covered wall, it would have amplified the machine’s sound.
After using the machine for several hours the first time, there was some fine dust near some of the bolt holes where the filter adapter attaches. After reinstalling those bolts with a rubber gasket under the washers, there was no more leakage anywhere.
The cast aluminum fan blades appear to be reversed, and they are. It’s called “backward inclined”, which is required by NFPA fire code. The machine is pretty loud (75db) – about what you’d expect from a giant fan. I use ear-muffs while operating any big tool and the cyclone. There is no perceptible vibration, which isn’t surprising, given the two-plane dynamically balanced fan blade.
- Suction: even though Grizzly claims the G1030 is 2300 CFM versus the V-system’s claimed 1105 CFM, the Oneida seems to move at least as much air as the Grizzly did with clean filters. But, V-system suction remains constant regardless of how much sawdust has been collected. In my setup, with over 40' of duct-work between the farthest machine and the cyclone, suction is excellent at every tool even though several tools have two blast gates & hoses each. The surface planer generates the most sawdust (and chips) and the Oneida handles it with ease.
- Cyclone efficiency: after emptying several barrels of sawdust, compressed air was blown from 6" away all around at the HEPA filter as Oneida suggests. This is to loosen dust particles to fall into the 1-gallon ABS plastic dust bin under the filer. However, when the bin was removed for cleaning, it was empty, except for a very thin dust coating on the bottom. At that rate of accumulation, it would take many years of use to collect much of anything. This was proof that the cyclone is nearly 100% effective in diverting sawdust & chips into the barrel, with virtually nothing solid making it to the filter or dust bin.
- Dust smell: even after using the cyclone for hours on end, there is no wood dust smell in the air. This means the HEPA filter works as advertised. I run the cyclone as an air cleaner for a minute or two after using the sliding compound miter saw since that spews the most dust into the air.
This machine exceeded my expectations in quality, suction, filtration, and cyclone effectiveness, plus it’s designed for 6" ducts. Had ceiling height and floor space been sufficient, I might have bought a 3HP Super Dust Gorilla, since it has a Baldor motor, a larger cyclone, and a bigger HEPA filter.