A couple of months ago, I got a great deal on a Delta 50-760 dust collector (DC). It was used but barely, and I got it for $200. I have a relatively small shop; only 8’ X 18’. Originally I planned to place it outside a shop wall, in my garage, to save on space. However, I found I could fit it in what was a “dead” corner in the shop, sort of tucked out of the way. I decided to run ductwork and thanks to the fine work of fellow LJer, Patrick Jaromin, I had a guide on which way to go. I opted for the 6” green sewer pipe with four 4” drops. There has been much discussion about reducing the drops and to avoid repetition, I will refer you to Patrick’s blog for answers to those questions. For me the biggest challenge was what to do about the junction where the ductwork breaks off in two directions. Based on the corner I selected for the DC, it was in the middle of the ductwork. We know that 90 degree tee fittings are not acceptable for dust collection systems. I found what is called a “double tee” (aka sanitary clean out) fitting. It has two sweeping 90 degree turns. Ideally it would have been 6” on the sides and 4” on the bottom. Even 6×6x6 would have been nice and I could use a reducer at the bottom but I found it is only made in 4” size. I kept searching (googling, etc.) and ultimately found that 6” to 4” adaptors are sold so I decided to go with them. I resolved that my drops were going to be 4” and since I was incorporating a pre-separator (more on that shortly), that would be 4”; I would bite the bullet and allow the ductwork to reduce to 4” just before it headed down into the separator and finally the DC.
After reading several articles and posts about pre-separators (hereafter separators), I decided I wanted to include one. I remain skeptical as to how effective it will be. It seems to me if the DC is as efficient and effective as claimed, it is going to suck up everything that finds its way into the trash can, leaving nothing behind. I can’t see how even the largest and heaviest chips will be left behind, but time will tell I guess. Anyway, the challenge here was that this model DC has a 5” flange for a wye adaptor that comes with it. The wye allows one or two 4” flexible hose connections. With the separator, I would not be using this adaptor. Instead I had to find a 5” connection down to the trash can lid. I did a lot of searching again and eventually found that Delta makes a 5” to 4” reducer and I went with that. I cut a hole in the lid, tight to the 4” side. The flange between the two sides sits on top of the lid. I used silicone caulk inside and out to set the reducer and used a short length of 5” flexible hose with hose clamps to make the connection with the DC .
I wanted to use as little flexible hose as possible but the separator is designed to accept a flexible hose to its side. I decided to bring the 4” ductwork right down to the separator using long sweep 90 degree elbows. The problem then would be how do I remove the trash can from the ductwork to empty it? One night when I was very tired and frustrated, I solicited the brain power of a neighbor who came up with the idea to use a 4” Fernco sleeve. After removing the lid, I just loosen one clamp and slide the trash can over to pull it out and empty it.
Grounding the System
I decided to run a ground wire inside the ductwork. As I installed the pieces, I fed an 18 gauge bare copper wire through. It required me to use electrical connectors at each of the drops. The ground starts at the DC, attached to one of the bolts near the motor. It goes down along the outside of the trash can to a nut and bolt I attached to the side of the trash can after drilling a hole through it.
Attached to that same bolt but on the inside of the can is another piece of copper wire.
That piece runs through the plastic pipe up the wall to the double tee fitting where it marries up to the wire running through the 6” pipe and each 4” drop down to the blast gates. Each drop ends with a long 90 degree elbow fitting and a blast gate. I wasn’t sure how the grounding system was to terminate at the blast gate and then continue via the flexible hose to each machine. A co-worker and new LJer, “Lenzo” came up with a great suggestion. I drilled a small hole behind the blast gate, fed the copper wire through and attached an alligator clip to the wire. I will use a 10 foot length of flexible hose to go from machine to machine. I exposed a small amount of metal at the end of the hose by cutting away some plastic. I attach the clip to this exposed wire.
On the other end of the flexible hose, I find an appropriate spot near the dust port of each machine and attach an alligator clip (permanently) like I did at each blast gate.
There you have it. The system is grounded from machine to the DC.
This was a lot of work and it was challenging to complete. I was bogged down a few times waiting for parts I ordered online to arrive. If anyone decides to take on this project, I suggest you check out the prices on fittings at acehardwareoutlet.com. I found their prices to be far lower than a local plumbing supplier.
-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI