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Dust Collection - Table Saw and Router Table #2: Vacuum Valve

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Blog entry by EEngineer posted 244 days ago 1000 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Dust Separator Part 2 of Dust Collection - Table Saw and Router Table series Part 3: Control Box »

Whew! It has been a while since I added anything to this. But it took a while to get this part right. I needed a way to steer the vacuum from the shopvac and Dust Deputy to either the table saw or the router table. Inspiration for this design came from here .

In principle the valve is pretty simple:

Just a flapper moved by a rotating shaft to steer the vacuum to one port and seal the other port off. To move the shaft I borrowed the design from the seed link above. I ordered a couple of 120 VAC solenoids and mocked the driver up on my bench to see how it worked. A scrap piece of MDF, two plugs from a hole saw leftover from another project and lots of rooting around in the junk box:

These tests went really well. This solenoid has some authority! The seller rated it at 3 lbs of force and I believe it. I made up all the pieces for the entire valve:

And here is the solenoid driver with shaft in its new home:

When finished there will be a 2” cavity for the solenoid and moving parts. This will get a cover to keep fingers out of the moving parts and away from the hot solenoid. This solenoid is rated for continuous duty but, when I left it activated for 20 minutes, it did get hot.

I made a quick jig to remove part of the shaft to hold the flapper at the router table. There must be a better way to do this! I ended up making 3 shafts to get one good one. The shaft kept tearing out at both ends of the cut.

And here is the flapper, simply a piece of 3/16 plywood, installed:

I epoxied weather stripping onto the flapper to get better seal:

Getting a good seal on both ends of the flapper was the hardest part of this project. When I drilled the holes for the shaft, I centered it in the valve cavity. When I made the flat for the flapper to attach to the shaft I felt that centering the flapper in the shaft would weaken the shaft too much. So the flapper ended up offset from the centerline of the shaft by quite a bit. I should have offset the holes for the shaft to compensate for this.

In the end, I used a round nose router bit and routed two channels in one side of the cavity to compensate for the flapper offset.

I epoxied pieces of 2 inch PVC pipe for connection to standard 2 1/2 inch vacuum hose:

In the picture above, you can see the relief I routed to compensate for the flapper offset.

And here is the completed valve:

Next up: the Control Box.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"



1 comment so far

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2353 posts in 2023 days


#1 posted 244 days ago

Okay, I’m impressed. Can’t wait to see it up and running.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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