About a year ago I purchased a Felder (Austria) AF-22 dust collector. I purchased this collector since I needed a machine that was capable of extracting chips through a 6" main line over a 28' horizontal distance plus an 8' drop, and fit in a 4' space. I had been looking at various cyclone configurations, and I was going to buy the Oneida 1.5hp, which is a great compact unit at a good price. Unfortunately, it did not enough power for the length of runs that I have in the shop. Other cyclone configurations either took up too much room, not powerful enough, or were costly. I never seriously considered the
Felder until I saw it demonstrated at a machinery show in April 1998.
The machine is compact. It fits in a 50"x22" space by 6'4" high. The stationary model literally bolts to the wall. It is powered by a 3hp 1ph or 3ph motor. Operation is simple. Dust and chips are drawn through 6" main line to the inlet in the top of the machine. The motor directly drives the 18"d heavy steel epoxy coated impeller. Through a sort of cyclone action chips are thrown into one of two large plastic collection bags. Fine dust is then filtered up through a European style pleated drum filter.
The AF-22 is powerful and loud. Ear protection is a must. Bag changes are easy. Unbolt the retaining clamps, take out the bag, empty it and hook it up again. The bags are very sturdy. I've had the same ones for over a year. Replacements are about $1.50/ea. Occasionally it will be necessary to tap the drum filter to loosen the very fine dust that stays in the pleats. Occasionally you'll need to clean the drum of the very fine dust that will clog the pleats.
Like everything Felder makes, options abound. Besides the pleated paper drum which filters I believe up to 3 micron, there is a 1-micron polyester-coated drum. Mechanical drum cleaning vibrators are also available. There is also a choice of intakes and a mobility kit. The price was also right. I was surprised to find the AF-22 cost about the same as a 2hp cyclone unit.
The machine has no problem pulling chips and dust produced by large stationary machines. I have not tested the AF-22 with two machines simultaneously, but it has operated very well connected to a shaper with two dust ports, a 120mm port in the fence and an 80mm in the machine body. For remote operation I have it hooked up to an X10 type remote which I purchased from Lee Valley.
Ive tried to make this review as concise as possible. If you are interested in the machine or have any other questions feel free to contact me.