My bandsaw is located in a very convenient yet awkward place. It’s right at the front of the garage shop:
...and right underneath the garage door.
I’m currently installing a permanent dust collection system in the shop, and encountered a challenge regarding the bandsaw’s placement. I love the light that the saw gets in this location, and it’s very easily accessible…but I can’t hang the dust collection ducting from the ceiling because the garage door is in the way. So for the past few weeks I have been brainstorming on a way to solve this problem.
Originally I was thinking about using the garage door’s rails to hang some kind of beam which the ducting could run off of, but I didn’t like this idea for a couple of reasons. While there is clearance on the rails for some flat-headed bolts to rest without interfering with the door, there wasn’t MUCH space, and I was worried about adding too much extra weight to the rails’ support structures.
So I took a closer look at those supports.
The garage door rails are supported by two triangular structures made of steel 90-degree-bent rails. (I don’t know the ‘proper’ name for them.) They’re bolted to the ceiling and to each other, and look pretty sturdy. And they go into a ceiling beam, and happen to line up pretty closely with the entry location of the ductwork. So, I sketched out a plan.
I recreated those triangular structures, in a slightly larger scale so they would go underneath the door. A trip to my local hardware store showed that I could easily get 8 foot lengths of steel, which would not quite be enough to span the 10-foot-and-change gap but could be extended with three foot beams on either end. This could work! So off I went to get supplies.
$75 later, I had my supplies:
(1) eight foot steel L-beam – this cost $25 on its own; shame I couldn’t find a HF coupon that day
(5) three foot steel L-beams, three of which I got cut in half at the store
(6) lag bolts for the ceiling (all bolts 5/16, I think?)
(12) lock nuts
Amazingly, once I had a plan of how to proceed it went really quickly. First I connected the 8 footer with the two remaining 3 footers to make a 12 foot section with two one-foot overlapped sections for strength.
Then I started playing around with the triangular structures. I had calculated that I would need about 14-15 inches, but had ended up with 18-inch pieces, but this won’t be a problem, and I may even find that I want that extra length in the end.
These bolts and nuts are only finger-tightened at the moment, as it will be easier to install the ceiling-mounted piece without everything else in the way. Particularly since I seem to have misplaced my ratcheting socket wrench so am making do with a normal one. I did need to trim the corners on the angled piece with a flat file to make them fit in place a little better.
Once one of these structures is on the ceiling I will connect up the rail…
...and use it to determine exactly where to locate the other ceiling mount.
Part two of this entry will be the actual installation of these pieces!