Dust Collectors in a Small Workshop
If you are thinking about adding dust collection into your workshop, it’s always good to do a little planning in the beginning. If your shop is small, this is essential. Smaller spaces generally mean that you have to fight for space, or come up with some ingenious space saving idea. In can get old trying to squeeze every last square inch out of a work space without it being cluttered. My shop is fairly small since I had to downsize a bit to add room to the home office.
I reclaimed some space by combining my router table to my table saw by using a table saw extension. This is basically a replacement wing for your saw that houses a router insert and fence. With the planning mindset I was able to incorporate a smaller dust collector underneath. Building a small shelf over the dust collector also allows you to capitalize on more space to put different items. You could even add a small drawer. The smaller dust collectors, sometimes called portable dust collectors work very well for this purpose. I find that if you take the handles off of them, you can make it fit in a smaller spot. If the saw has a portable base it also adds the portability factor. Not so much of loading it on your truck and going somewhere, but maybe more like rolling it outside on a nice day.
CFM’s for the smaller portable units tend to be around 600, which is more than enough if you use a shorter hose. You can easily get away with a shorter hose if the router sits right above the unit. Add a “Y” fitting and you can use the dust collector for the table saw as well. This gives you double duty for the dust collector. I now have dust collection for my two biggest offenders in the workshop.
If you budget allows you can get another portable to tuck away nicely underneath another workstation. I have my shop set up with stations, so the router table and table saw take up one and the drill press, miter saw and small bench take up the other. I utilize being able to line up the drill press and the miter saw on the same side of the shop next to each other. I can also share the dust collection from the miter saw and the drill press to one unit. I prefer to not trip over dust hose so I like the two unit concept. Besides I can buy two smaller units for the same price or less of a larger unit. Duct work and accessories are all standard and priced reasonably. I use a small jointer, so a bench top model can go on the bench and still utilize the same dust collector. Again this takes planning but with these two stations, there is nothing that I cannot build.
Budgets for the smaller portable units usually run between $150 and $239. Hoses can be found for around $30 from most vendors. A ten foot hose could easily be cut into 5 foot sections if you have a two station shop like I do.
-- Ken, Florida, www.theroutermaniac.com