Shop vac blast gate splitter and a ‘dust can’ (this one is for Dan / Maveric)

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Blog entry by mafe posted 11-15-2011 03:12 AM 5662 reads 3 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Vacuum splitter and a ‘dust can’
this one is for Dan / Maveric.

Yes the dust goes to Dan this blog is dedicated to him and his recovery…
Why? Because Dan just had a terrible time and this might have some roots in the dust from the shop!

I personally sometimes sneeze and cough when I am done with sanding and I have had my thoughts on this for a while.
My Vacuum is a shop vacuum, but just a standard one from Atlas copco and I used simple 50 mm 2 inch plumbing to distribute it since this was something I could get for almost nothing.
But when it came to the splitter I have settled with the fact that I took out one hose and the put in another, this made me sometimes get lazy and therefore not use the vacuum, but after reading Dan’s story I looked in the mirror and agreed that I had enough illness in my life, so it was time to make some upgrade’s and most important a splitter.

First I cut up sides for a little box.
The size of the box is fit to the size of four hoses inlet and one outlet at the end of the box, and the box is glued and nailed together to make it fairly tight.

Here it is!
The end pieces are made a little smaller than the box so a sliding piece of aluminum can be moved forward and backward, and only one hole is drilled in this aluminum lid so it will open only when the opening gets to the outlet.

As you can see I added a thicker front so it would be easy to mount the vacuum hoses from the different tools.
Matching numbers are made on the slider so it is easy to see what opening is activated.

Here it is in use, and works really fine.
I connected my drill press, disc sander, band saw and then one more for the next project here; the Super sander dust collector.

Here my old Super sander dust suction, that actually worked quite fine but was a little too open for the suction provided.

So when I found a bigger and better quality can the other day it was time for a upgrade.

Drawing where the hole will be.

Drilling some holes for the corners.


Making room for the drill mount.

Hole in the cap for the hose.

And that’s it!
Fast and easy – and yes it works now better, some dust on the floor after but no dust in the air of the shop and this means no dust in my lounges!

Fast, easy, recycle and good for the health! Not bad, yes Dan?

Hope this little blog can inspire others to clear the air in the shop,

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

18 comments so far

View snowdog's profile


1165 posts in 4037 days

#1 posted 11-15-2011 03:42 AM

Nice work and yes it has inspired me to add a few tricks to the dusty collection plate.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View patron's profile


13611 posts in 3395 days

#2 posted 11-15-2011 03:46 AM

well done mads

there is always a way
don’t need every toy made

make your own !

that dust will get into everything
it is good you had a little talk
with that guy in the mirror

stay healthy
and safe

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View kiefer's profile


5619 posts in 2721 days

#3 posted 11-15-2011 05:00 AM

Another good and useful blog on a subject that should be of concern to all of us.
Further to this I am concerned about the dust that stays in the air and is not collected by the vacuum .
This dust is the most dangerous type apparently for the lungs.
Ceiling mounted filters go some way to eliminating this type of dust but in the end the respirator is the only real option to catch this dust and fumes in the air .
I know most guys hate them including myself because they are a pain in the butt.
What else is out there ??
Lets hear you ideas !

Thanks and especially you MADS
Your buddy Kiefer

-- Kiefer

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2988 days

#4 posted 11-15-2011 07:27 AM

This is a very important subject Mafe.

I must say your ports switcher is ingenious and that “can upgrade” proves you do not need much to improve your setup.


-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2556 days

#5 posted 11-15-2011 11:46 AM

Nice work Mads – a really good design there. Now if I can get my vacuum working, I may just try something similar. After all, I am well qualified to say that lung trouble can be serious trouble.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3131 days

#6 posted 11-15-2011 01:38 PM

Outstanding piece of ingenuity Mads! I really like the home build switch box to change from one tool to another. I too get lazy a lot when it comes to a this or that. I can see this making it easier for us folks who tend to get in a hurry and skip some important safety habits. With everything already hooked up all you have to do is make a switch, turn on the vac, and your done…. Now that just makes it easy…lol

I am right there with you Mads when it comes to looking at the man in the mirror. There are some habits I am most definitely going to change around my shop after the “Memorable Experience” I been through. I have already went out and purchased a good mask system with the replaceable filters and has a good seal. I am not even going to trust those disposable paper mask any more. For now on I will have the “Better Safe Than Sorry” mentality when it comes to my safety stuff…..

Very informative and useful blog Mads (as usual…lol). Thanks for sharing with us all….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2747 days

#7 posted 11-15-2011 01:45 PM

This serves as a bit of a wake up and I hope Dan is well on the mend. I’ve got all the toys but I don’t always use them. I think it’s time to upgrade my system to one that’s more convenient; might make me use it more.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3727 days

#8 posted 11-15-2011 05:24 PM

Nice work, Mad.

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2815 days

#9 posted 11-15-2011 06:19 PM

Thanks for the ideas Mads. I’m in the same position you are, so I’ll have to consider what you have done when I build my own dust collections system.

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View handystanley's profile


169 posts in 2967 days

#10 posted 11-15-2011 06:20 PM

Earlier this year I posted in the forum a Mobile Dust Collection Cart that I built. I am going to take some of your ideas and incorporate them as I build out my shop.

I enjoy working with wood; but I do not enjoy some of the sinus infections afterwards due to the dust.

Thanks for sharing.

-- "Projects beget projects and projects beget the need to buy new tools and that is what the cycle of life is all about." Stan Pearse, Novato, CA

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3169 days

#11 posted 11-15-2011 09:10 PM

way to go Mads :-)
I just thought you where placing the sander further in the plastick can
I like you simpel but effective switch :-)

thank´s for sharing Mads

take care

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3143 days

#12 posted 11-16-2011 12:35 AM

Hi guys,

Dennis, When I use the Supersander for knifekaking I like to have space, to be able to work quite freely so I cant put it too deep, this is why I wanted a smaller hole so the suctgion would be more effective.

Handystanley, yes we don’t want to get sick by our hobby! I am retired due to healt so I really do not need more troubles – lol.

Doug, if we are in the same position right now, then you are on your sofa, legs up and takinga break since you are tired and your neck is making troubles… Ok it was peobably not what you meant… lol.

CJIII, nice router buddy!

Al, yes sometimes we need a wake up call… Amazing how stupid we are sometimes when we risk our health because we are lazy.

Dan, there you are! So happy you are better, it warms my heart. I was spending a little shop time today and I used the new system with big joy, and send you a thought. And I was also looking at my mask and realized that my filers are four or five years old, so I guess it it time also for this. Thank you for opening our eyes. And yes that man in the mirror might be a ugly bastard for some of us, but he is not always as stupid as he pretend when he acually use that brain God gave him…

Tootles, go and make that vac work! Life is to shoert to be wasted.

Ian, I smile here.

Kiefer, yes the fine particles are real sinners, I guess the only safe way is a mask when sanding… Or in other words the sanding are the real sinner, so ‘power to the scraper’.
I think the answer should be in the machines that make the dust…

David, yes us big boys can make our own toys!

Snowdog, then I’m happy.

Thank you all for the comments.

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20764 posts in 3160 days

#13 posted 11-16-2011 05:12 AM

Smart thinking, Mads. Thanks for sharing. I bought a dust deputy on Sat and now I have to make a barrel to set it on. You gave me some good ideas!...............thanks, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2556 days

#14 posted 11-17-2011 10:03 AM

Mads, mostly I have the ultimate dust removal system – fresh air on the move in the form of wind. That’s because I mostly work with my saw outside an I don’t many other machines to produce a lot of dust in the shed. But sometimes I do so I’m having a part made to get my shop-vac working and that will be a big improvement.

And I do know what you mean about life being too short. I’ve been there and done that, but I’m one of the lucky ones because I’m on my way back, though to a different place than where I started.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View mafe's profile


11739 posts in 3143 days

#15 posted 11-17-2011 12:12 PM

Tootles, yes it is funny acually that we call it back to life – since when something bad happens we seldom goes back, we learn, and then we try to do better. The worse things that happen to us the more we change our basic habbits, our way to look at life. If you never felt a suffer you see it as a picture, when you have felt it, you feel with those who suffer. The trick I think is to not fall in and become a vitim of this, but to use this insight to make a better life, to live lighter in a way. (does it make sence).
I would love to have a workshop where I could open to the outside or even work outside, it sound wonderful.

Jim, the smart part was Dan, I just solved the problem – laugh. You can call me the lemming… A vac in the shop should really never be a doubt, as soon as sanding comes into the shop it is really really really needed.
(I almost got used to your new picture now). How are you my dear Jim?

Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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