Dust Collection Overhaul

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Blog entry by doorslammer posted 03-09-2010 06:30 AM 2167 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For a while now I’ve been more than a little unhappy with my current shop layout and dust collection setup, but have failed to do much about it since I’ve had some projects that had to get done. My current setup had a run feeding the jointer and table saw, but was done completely out of corrugated flex pipe, so I wanted to replace this with more solid pipe and move my planer near my jointer. This would also solve another problem I have with sharing a pipe between my planer and chop saw. I was always having to switch back and forth between the two and both machines were located behind the table saw which created some space constraints with longer stock or sheet goods. In anticipation of getting a new band saw, I decided it was time to make a change to improve the layout, make some room for the new saw, and hopefully increase the overall efficiency a bit.

It seems like arranging your shop can be one of the most difficult exercises since there are so many constraints on your layout decision. For me, I want my machine area to be compact enough so that I’m not having to move excessively between operations, but still maintain some space to handle longer stock or sheet goods. Another consideration is my dust collector. Right now I have a basic 1.5 HP bag style collector. This machine does a pretty decent job, but I definitely need to limit the length of my runs to maintain maximum efficiency.

I started by replacing my first run to the jointer/planer and a “Y” to the table saw using 4 inch hvac ducting. I decided to run the trunk lines on the floor to reduce the length of the run and to avoid fighting gravity. The downside here of course is I will have to be a little more careful not to step on the pipe. I’m also planning on putting my router table in a extension wing on my table saw side to consolodate space and dust collection so that will “Y” off the table saw line eventually.

The other leg of the system will feed the new band saw and my chop saw. This leg is made from the original PVC system I put together. Here I removed all my other outlet ports and inserted a “Y” for the band saw and continued the run for the chop saw. I was a little concerned about the length of the run to the chop saw, but I think with the addition of more smooth pipe and eliminating several “T”’s I had in the line I’ve actually improved the efficiency.

Finally, I went through the entire system and made sure all the joints were well sealed with duct tape. You know your really woodworking when the duct tape comes out!

-- Aaron in TN -

2 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 3147 days

#1 posted 03-09-2010 06:55 PM

This was quite a project. I can see why you put it off though. It takes some tiem to get things right. I am surpriised that you are getting good airflow through some of those long runs with so many joints and curves, but I;m comparing against my own experiences using flexible hose. I assume the smooth interior of the pipes helps a lot.

One suggestion is to look into a separator to filter out the bigger stuff before it gets to the bag. This is one thing I’ve got, and it makes a world of difference.

View chewbuddy13's profile


150 posts in 2704 days

#2 posted 03-09-2010 11:00 PM

I second the separator, it is much simpler to empty. I have a similar setup and the smooth wall pvc pipe makes a huge difference.

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