My overall dust collection upgrades have been a long time in coming. There was always the plan to build a Thien Top Hat, reconfigure or “Hot Rod” the HF 2HP DC & run metal ducting in the shop. I was spurred into action because I was tired of wasting time switching out the flex hose from machine to machine & tripping over the hose. This latest upgrade is but another step in the metamorphosis from “Dungeon to Lair”. It is also a huge part of making my shop time more efficient and productive.
With the original DC setup, I was running 20’ of flex hose to my machines. Sometimes, that was way more than needed, but hose comes in 10’ lengths. So whatchya gonna do? We all know that flex hose kills air flow. The goal is to remove as much flex hose &/or reduce the length of the runs in the system. We’ll see how that works out later!!!
Has anyone noticed that Y-fittings are designed for “air flow” in the opposite direction. I wanted the “Male” sections to slide into the “Female” sections, flowing towards the DC. This was to try and reduce restrictions to air flow/turbulance & to help reduce the chance of chips getting hung up and causing clogs. There was some “cosmetic surgery” involved in making that happen, but it did work. At least I hope it works!!!
My shop ceiling is but 6’ 4” high, which does make handling 8’ lumber cumbersome, but made installing the ceiling runs mucho easier, as NO precarious ladder climbing was required!!! In any case, I’d rather have high ceilings.
I’ll try to let the pictures do most of my talking….
Here is the Thien Top Hat, connected by 1’ of flex to the main duct run. The main run goes behind my ambient air cleaner & Y’s off to two seperate runs. One run to the ceiling and another to the floor. The floor run serves the jointer, while the ceiling run serves everything else.
The jointer in position, Ready to joint:
The jointer Stowed Away:
Once through the wall, the “Main Run” Y’s off:
The run along the wall Y’s off to serve my OSS & RIKON 10-325 14” BS with a 1-1/2HP motor and 13” of Resaw capacity:
The OSS Blast Gate:
BS Blast Gate:
The run along the wall will also eventually serve my SCMS & RAS. However, as they have NO DC ability at present, that will happen in the future. I just hope, not the tooooooo distant future!!!
From the ceiling, there is a drop that serves my planer and TS:
In these images of the Planer & TS Blast Gates,
You can see ply standoffs that needed to be installed:
Another view of the Planer/TS Drop:
The “Main Run” for the ducting is complete, except the SCMS & RAS run. All seams have been sealed with foil tape. There are a few tweaks yet to be done, but I WON”T be tripping over flex hose anymore!!!
Overall, ALL runs were shortened & flex hose use has diminished. There is a total of 6’ maximum of flex hose on one run, with most at 3’. I can probably make a few flex runs shorter, but I’ll hold off until the whole system is used for a while. (too short won’t work!!!) I also need to get a few more hose clamps to replace the zip/cable ties, securing the ply standoffs.
The next DC upgrade will be building a Thien baffle & 2” PVC plumbing for a “Shop Vac” collection system for my bench top machines. I also need to remove/reconfigure the octopus that is my electric supply system.
Well, that’s the plan at least!!!
-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow!