I was ready to plane down some white oak, to dimension some boards and get ready for the art and craft project. Here is my old dust collector custom setup, bought it used couple years ago. Notice that I have the shroud removed, apparently for a reason. After planning a few boards, while I stopped imminently and got ready for next board, it hum and hum and eventually tripped the circuit breaker. Tried again and it stubbornly kept tripping the 20A breaker. I could feel it struggled really hard to get up to speed.
Unlike the last century, when things fail in the 21st century, you don’t go to the library, you don’t call “experts” seeking for opinion, you don’t guess or second guess, you go to the internet. After all, if they say it in the internet, it must be true.
Next I visited the YouTube, there must be someone who knows something that would have described the same problem as I was facing. In return, I generously gave them a click on the “Like”. Here is my video:
It started, got up to speed and the centrifugal switch spread apart, then immediately tripped the breaker and the winding down of the coiled shaft.
Apparently this step failed to address the issue. I went to check on forums next, someone who also knows something more will sure spin their thoughts around. Start capacitor usually is the culprit for my symptoms, tripping breaker, hum and hum to get to speed…
Now here is the problem, unlike last century, if there is a failure of 400mfd, 125V large cap and is needed for a 2HP motor, I could run up to the store nearby and get one. Turning on the Yellowbook app on my phone, I seriously could not know where to find a store that carries this kind of capacitor, not to mention on a father’s day Sunday in Long Island.
What does an online woodworker like me do in the 21st century? I went to order one from eBay and patiently count the minutes till the kind postman deliver the capacitor in my mailbox, many days later.
In the meantime, to eliminate all the possibilities of why the motor would not consistently run without drawing too much ampere, I tried to replace the breaker itself. This was the GE breaker that I swapped out.
Well, after a new Murray breaker was installed, there was no eureka moment. It was not the breaker, it was not the centrifugal switch. The motor still runs, enough to tease with my hope that it is not dead. it could be the cap, or worst yet, it could be the sealed bearings inside the motor.
I seriously like to restore this dust collector, instead of getting a whole new unit. I have it custom made with a Phil’s baffle, which honestly speaking, works wonderfully.
I also had a custom remote switch wired, modified from Robert Payne’s idea utilizing a contactor that works flawlessly like below. All these work like a charm, at a fraction of the retail cost. The downside? it is not very flexible for me to swap in a new unit.
Now, I just got to wait… patiently…
I am back in business!