So this weekend we finally got the dust collector over in the final spot. I was anticipating perhaps working on my son’s gun rack, but he had other plans this weekend . . . but I knew I was going to need to do something about the dust collector hoses. When I moved the dust collector over the other night I noticed that the inlet side of the chip collector happened to fall right between the furnace ducts – the supply and returns. This gave me a great idea about running the 4 inch corrugated piping right between there for a temporary solution. To do this I cut some scraps that I had that would go from the steel i-beam to the side.
From the wood going across I fastened another board coming down from the ceiling and to hold it to the ceiling I used a small metal shelf bracket. All of those items were things I just had laying around, so it was pretty quick work. I thought about where everything was going and how it was going to work. The dust collection hose that I have now is pretty rigid corrugated type and it’s not very happy making bends. You can see on the dust collector end (photo above) that my compressor side to the dust collector is a very large arc, and then to make sure the hoses don’t fall and kink I used a little rope to tie it to the shelf next to it. Not quite so elegant, but it’s functional.
The next quandary was what to do about the end connection to the machine(s). Peggy and I discussed that we might not be using the Shopsmiths at the same time right now, but she had the idea of being able to use the dust collector to also clean up like with a floor sweep. To accomodate this, and get past that hose delimma, we bought a kit from Metro Hardwoods (in Independence, MO) for the blast gates and fittings we would need.
The blast gates are attached to a “Y” connector that will also nestle right up to the furnace duct work. I’m putting it in the middle of the garage right by the steel support pole for the i-beam. The hole allows the one blast gate to be suspended, and the other blast gate fits perfectly between the duct work. (It’s a little tight, but all good—another suggestion that Peggy had . . . turning it to fit perfectly.)
The only problem we’ve had thus far is the blast gates themselves have a short end that is tapered, and even on the floor the piping and clamp slip off even when tightened down. It would seem like to me that the end should have less taper or some type of a ring at the end to hold it on. I know on the piping for high-output turbo cars we’d flare the ends or bead roll them slightly to keep the hoses from popping off. On one pipe we wrapped tape as an experiment and on the other one I used some weather stripping seal, but the seal was WAY too fat . . .I ended up trimming and cramming the hose on . . . it’s not a pleasant work around. I’d love something like quick release fitting . . somewhere I saw someone suggesting RV sewer hose connectors. I’ll have to measure and see how that would work out. Perhaps I could come up with a way of having a physical connection there to rely less on the hose and more on a solid attachment point. Hmm. :-)
In other cleaning news, I got rid of four lawnmowers in one weekend! I had two old Snapper mowers, all self propelled, a junk Yardman and then a Swisher three-wheeler. The Swisher brought $80 on Craigslist, and I gave my sister the other three to take to someone her fiance knows who repairs them. In exchange I ended up with a Ryobi mower that’s been barely used and a monster tracked snow blower. I put the MGB on roller skates so I can shuffle it around, and three bikes went to the shed in some of the new space. Two bikes will live in the garage for now. It’s progress, but I keep wanting to get more and more done. It’s an affliction I know! :-)
The last thing I need to do is finish the blast gate hanging and the way to retain the hoses on the gates in the ceiling. I’d also like a remote way of turning on/off the dust collector. I can’t really see springing for the remote control key fob—so I might dig around and hook a relay to a low-voltage circuit and run a switch over to turn it on from at least the middle of the garage. It’s on the to-do list at least.
-- Bradley Miller, Blue Springs, MO - http://myoldgarage.blogspot.com