As a qualifying opening statement, please read this post as my views, observations, and beliefs. They do not necessarily reflect “industry standards” or your experiences with dust collection, Clear Vue dust collectors, or any science related to dust collection.
That being said, here are some observations of my installation of the Clear Vue 1800 DC.
1. If the instruction suggests, or others tell you something regarding the size, placement, type of, or anything else regarding the installation of dust collection – you might want to listen to them.
In the CV documentation and in many posts I read regarding the size of room needed to install the CV DC, the minimum size was a 4’ x 4’ room. MAKE YOUR ROOM LARGER. Yes, everything will fit, but it would sure be nice to be able to easily install, fix, replace, and work on everything without hanging upside-down from a rafter or lying on my back.
2. Unless you operate a business and have to worry about OSHA regulations, PVC piping poses less danger then breathing the dust itself. I am by no means an expert, however, after reading articles by people with PhD’s in fields relating to electromagnetic discharge, the facts are clear. Your health (as related to inhaling various wood dust particles) is at greater risk then using PVC ducts and risking an explosion.
That being said, if you have the money to spend on metal ducts, and it would make you sleep better at night, then do it. If you want to read some good articles on this issue:
3. Continuing on with the ducting. In one of the posts I read that it’s best not to permanently attach the ducts. I have to concur. On more then one occasion, I changed things around (you know how that goes – you put it together just to see a better way after you’re done), and had to remove / relocate / re-do the ducting. Using HVAC aluminum tape is best. First, unlike duct (or Duck) tape, it does not deteriorate. Second, it gives a wonderfully strong seal that does not allow air leaks. I would recommend that over screwing pipes together.
4. Rather then relying on Occam’s razor, I first chose to make everything as complicated as possible. I ran wiring so I could have multiple switches to control both the motor and the remote start. Unless your DC is hundreds of feet away from the circuit box (mine is about 20’), there is no need to have multiple switches.
I also used vibration isolators, and now wonder whether I needed to invest in anything that extreme. After observing the startup, running, and shut-down of the DC, I cannot see much vibration. Perhaps it is eliminated by the isolators, and perhaps someone who is using the supplied rubber grommets would be able to confirm, however, what I did might be over-kill.
5. Unless you are going for a NASA-type clean room, I’m not really convinced that spending hours measuring and calculating resistance static pressure, zoning considerations, etc, etc., is all that necessary. My shop is small (about 1,000 sq ft). I have one main run, and currently have one branch run (which will change to two eventually). I am the only person working in my shop, and as such, will only run one machine at a time. I measured, calculated, recalculated, and sweated over the length of runs, power, diameter, and everything connected with dust collecting. I read almost every available book, article, and pamphlet on the subject (within reason). When it was all said and done, I better hang on to anything in my hand if I’m close to an open duct.
In the video I posted, I had placed about two pounds of chips by my router table duct opening, and then hit the remote. To be exact, there is 22’ of duct between my router table and the CV-DC. It took about 1.5 seconds for the chips to be sucked into the DC from that distance.
I’m not suggesting that anyone with a 20,000 sq ft shop running multiple machines just slap a bunch of ducting up and hit the switch. However, for the average LJ with a small workshop like mine, I cannot imagine having to do all of this again for such small runs.
Again, these are my observations and thoughts. I know many of the things mentioned will cause consternation with some people. I do not mean to make light of anything serious, and perhaps someone can document actual cases where great harm was incurred by not following industry “standards.” But I believe a lot of woodworkers and industry spokespersons have over complicated a rather intuitive process.
One final thought:
If you don’t have a dedicated dust collection system – get one! You’ll forever be thankful.
-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.