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Workshop Development #6: Looking toward the future. Dust collection...

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Blog entry by dbhost posted 1527 days ago 1720 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Bringing us up to speed. Almost to where we are today... Part 6 of Workshop Development series Part 7: Dust collection and air cleaning continued. »

As you, gentle readers have found… I have a Harbor Freight 2HP Dust Collector. Not a perfect machine, but certainly capable of sucking up dust, and keeping it out of the air… And it is quite capable of being hooked up to a ducting system, particularly in a shop as small as mine… My biggest issue is that I don’t want pipe size to strangle it. Now the machine is capable of supporting 5” ducting, but… Well have you tried to find 5” duct?

I have found Snap Lock 5” reasonably affordable-ish… However fittings appropriate for dust collection have been challenging to find…

My design, is to put all the dust producing machines, that possess some measure of dust collection along the east wall, and center of the shop. One main trunk feeding branch circuits, with shortest possible runs of flex hose… My idea here is to run the single main line along the east wall, using 5” snap lock, or even Spiral pipe if I can afford it, then break off into a 5×5x4 wye to feed the branches, controlled by Lee Valley 4” self cleaning blast gates.

I guess this is more of a question than anything else…

Is this feasable? The sketchup shown was worked with the idea of just running 4” S&D, I would really like to take advantage of the extra inch of duct if possible…

October's plan with dust collection run along east wall...

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com



17 comments so far

View Gregn's profile

Gregn

1642 posts in 1582 days


#1 posted 1527 days ago

I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. The question I would ask is if the blast gates are automatic gates or manual? If they’re manual I would think you would want them closer to the machine so you wouldn’t have to bend so far. I myself have considered setting my ducting on the floor against the wall.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1830 days


#2 posted 1527 days ago

Manuals, Except for the table saw, all of the machines are against the east or south walls. The latest idea is to run the duct along the wall about halfway up, then to the Wye, and directly to blast gate, and a short jumper of flex hose…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Swede's profile

Swede

191 posts in 1617 days


#3 posted 1527 days ago

The smaller duct would cut down on the volume I would keep it as large as possible IMHO.

-- Swede -- time to make some sawdust

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1830 days


#4 posted 1527 days ago

That’s what I am trying to do… From my understanding of the whole science of dust collection, including reading extensively on Bill Pentz’ site, it looks like I OUGHT to run 5” all the way, but simply put, my machines won’t support it, and I am NOT hacking up my machines for this…

All of the “duct planners” I have seen so far recommend running a larger main trunk line, and a smaller branch line. Of course they want you to run a HUGE cyclone with an 8” trunk and 6” branches. Which is out of the question here. Even if I had the money for such an arrangement, the duct size would be far too intrusive into the shop…

I am however, half tempted to run 5” at least all the way out the table saw branch, so I can split that to a 4” and a 2.5” to catch the Shark Guard as well…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1763 days


#5 posted 1527 days ago

For what it is worth, without much thought. On my 1.5hp Delta, the air flow throughout the shop is very high just using 4” all the way. I only run one machine at a time, and that is part of the deal.

If you are a commercial worker running very big machines, that work very fast, and generate a whole lot more dust than you are likely to, then maybe every little thing counts. Personally, I would string cheap 4” stuff and see how it works.

Simple no cost experiment, probably reasonably accurate, and you are going to buy a lot of 4” stuff anyway, so make that your first purchase:

Then….............before you do a permanent implacement take a very long 4” run, equivalent to your longest antipated run, before you cut it up, and temporarily hook it up to your most demanding machine and see if it is adequate. Then decide if the bother of a 5 inch main is worth it.

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1830 days


#6 posted 1527 days ago

I actually already have the 4” stuff (S&D PVC) and it is just laid out on the floor. I was hoping to get more airflow so I could pull from the top of the table saw as well as the bottom without involving the shop vac… Actually I “can” but the solution is kind of flaky. My HF DC has a 5×4x4 Y that one branch goes to the separator and out to the 4” ducting, the other branch is closed off. I can put a 4” to 2.5” reducer there, and run my hose from there. Just need to use a blast gate to shut it off when not in use…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1763 days


#7 posted 1527 days ago

I split the flow to my drill press, so that I have through the hole in the table from underneath, and also have a flexible hose, 2” ID, that I direct more or less where I want it near the bit from the top. This gives good air flow to both, in fact the above the table port has been known to snatch small pieces of wood from my hand and try to suck them up.

So….....here’s how I did it, and I plan to do the same for the TS.

Let’s call the device a plenum….....don’t know if that is accurate, but just for now for brevity…..........

The plenum is a sealed cube, roughly 6” square in largest dimension for the 4 inch feed, the height or whatever it is depending on the way you set it up, needs to be high enough for the holes for the smaller hoses. I built it from scrap plywood, in my case, a 1/2 inch base and the rest 1/4, and put it together with nails and glue. Basically free, totally customizable, easy to mount any way you want. Perfect for zero bucks.

I press fit the small hoses into proper size holes in the plenum. The large 4 inch flexible hose I connected using a cheapo 4 inch dryer hose extension piece. It fits into a 4 inch hole in the plenum, and the hose fits over the the extension piece. I just leave it press fit, but of course you could make it more permanent.

You could even fit sliding gates to it if you needed to. We is woodworkers, why not make it out of wood. That is a no brainer for us and we always have enough scrap.

For my table saw, I will probably split it into a 2.5 or so above table collection point, and a 2.5 inch connection underneath. Whatever seems to work. Build it to fit for where ever you want to mount it, with mounting tabs, or whatever…......don’t have to describe details to you. For those times when you don’t use above table collection make a sliding or rotating gate, whatever.

The point is…....make your air splitter out of wood for complete control of all aspects of the issue. For free.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1763 days


#8 posted 1527 days ago

.........oh, and if it is pertinent, you could make a large plenum out of wood for feeding all kinds of things located close together. If you are worried about it getting blocked or some such, make the top removable with wing nuts or some such. So if you wanted to use a small, say 10 foot section of 5 inch, leading over to an area congested with a bunch of tools, the 5 inch hose would be easy to connect to a hole in a plenum with an octopus of stuff coming out of it. A plenum would be made larger than the hose, presenting little or no resistance to air flow, relatively speaking.

Blast gates should be located close to the tool, especially if operated manually like mine.

Gotta think like a woodworker…....use wood…...(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1763 days


#9 posted 1527 days ago

...........I know…....options make decisions more difficult…..........(-: ................sorry….......(-:

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1763 days


#10 posted 1527 days ago

Looking at your drawing, it seems to me that floor mounted stuff creates cleaning issues and fire issues. I mounted my stuff high, ran it around things. Wall mount is OK too. Floor mount…......I’d never do it. Ceiling mount with drops. My system is so small it has some wall mount also. But there are blast gates all over the place, so I can connect vacuum hose, floor sweep, portable tools, etc. 9 blast gates in all. They all have great air flow.

Don’t do floor mount…........I think you will regret it, and eventually change it.

Jim

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

3622 posts in 1763 days


#11 posted 1527 days ago

.......you are probably really sick of me now…......but….......

Remember a lot of stuff written about DC is for commercial establishments. I saw somewhere the calculations of how much air flow and sawdust generation it would take for a combustible situation, and it is impossible in a small shop with our equipment. And forget about static electricity in our scenario. We don’t run our stuff long enough. We are not going to use metal ducts, normally, too costly, and plastic does not conduct electricity so wires are useless.

That was my decision after many hours of research. A non-problem. Like worrying about a explosion when your wife uses a terribly flammable and explosive solvent….......to remove nail polish.

So wood is as good as plastic, so you can make your own junctions and stuff, and make it bigger than the hose, so no friction in relative terms.

Sawdust in the corners, on top of equipment, in piles, etc…...is a fire hazard. But not a hobbyist’s collection system, unless he puts red hot metal into his dust bag, or some such.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2175 days


#12 posted 1527 days ago

It will depend on how many machines you use at once

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View dbhost's profile

dbhost

5378 posts in 1830 days


#13 posted 1527 days ago

One.

Sorry jim,(Alaska not Oregon). I haven’t read your volumes yet… Only noticed your mention of the floor mount. The Sketchup is from October last year. I have opted to go mid level, to avoid the 2 extra bends. Not too worried about it being a fire hazard, maybe incorrectly… Just banging bad ideas around in my head…

-- My workshop blog can be found at http://daves-workshop.blogspot.com

View wichle's profile

wichle

96 posts in 1545 days


#14 posted 1527 days ago

I have a relatively small shop. My main dust run is a 4” PVC. It is mounted high on a series of steel posts that support the center of the house. It is run on a 4” electrical cable tray. It is held up with shelf brackets fastened to the vertical pipes with large hose clamps. To change something, I can put a second set of shel brackets lower on the poles and with the wife on one end and me on the other, drop the whole thing to work on it. The only thing on the floor is a 4” to the saw. Everything is on casters so if I move something I can connect an available hose. Sounds complicated but it works.

-- Bill, Michigan "People don't come preassebled, but are glued together by life"

View Pete_Jud's profile

Pete_Jud

423 posts in 2351 days


#15 posted 1527 days ago

I use 4 inch plastic pipe run at the ceiling, off a 1.5 hp jet. Blast gates on all drops, and a couple of radio remote controls so I don’t have to hike to the DC all the time. I use it for one tool at a time, and it even handles my 15 inch Jet planer with out ever clogging. I have hung around 90 running feet of 4 inch pipe around and across the shop, not counting the drops, and never have had a problem. Even added a couple of floor sweeps that the grandson loves to sweep the sawdust into.

-- Life is to short to own an ugly boat.

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