Blast Gates and Manifold

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Project by MrLaughingbrook posted 12-25-2014 09:53 PM 3336 views 26 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Blast Gates and Manifold

While I’ve always tried to stay dust safe and clean in the workshop, I’ve recently overhauled the whole system and am very happy with the results. I took the plunge and bought a large cyclone and decided on some fixed ducts with blast gates to replace the single 10 foot flex hose that I used to move around.

I owe the design of the blast gates to several others, thanks. One thing I might add is on how I cut the holes and other procedural steps.

I wanted a good tight fit on the “4 inch” PVC pipe with a 4.215 outer diameter. I thought a jig saw would make a mess and could not find a hole saw or circle cutting jig that matched my requirement so I did as follows:

A precise template to drill a hole in my router base:

Install a dowel pin:

Mark the boards to facilitate keeping track of the inside faces and drill through both boards at the same time.

Drill center holes in the blast gate body material ($3.99 MDF core shelf material) to receive the guide pin.

Drill a starting hole for the router bit using the template and pin:

Set the router/compass’ bit to just over half of the thickness and cut from each side (drill a hole in the base and use the base as a receptacle for the center pin to keep the cutout from moving around as the hole is completed, double sided tape will keep the surround mounted securely):

Resulting gate body pieces now a sets of four:

Cross cut each piece (cut with inside face down to keep mirror images). A gate is made from a piece from both boards. Remove any melamine from edges in concert on end pairs to facilitate glue on sides during later step.

Cut the short junction ducts from PVC square:

Glue with Gorilla Glue as the expanding will fill and make a nice tight fit:

Clean up with a chisel (an end cap screwed to a base plywood helps hold the work):

Round over with a router bit and pilot bearing on the inside lip:

Make some sides to connect the body from hardboard and the gate from acrylic. Space the middle with a piece of paper added to allow the gate to slide easily. Clamp and glue the final assembly:

Four blast gates complete:

Build a manifold from six inch S&D PVC with branches for the gates:

Install the gates and connect flex hose with purchased couplers at each tool:

I also purchased the terminating blast gate from Clear-Vue, two four inch ducts at the end of the main six inch duct will draw from the drill press and bandsaw when it arrives.

*this happened back in March 2014, just posting now due to comment on another project about how clean my shop appears…

-- MrLaughingbrook

8 comments so far

View scarpenter002's profile


581 posts in 3326 days

#1 posted 12-25-2014 11:13 PM

Great looking project. Thanks for sharing.

-- Scott in Texas

View mbs's profile


1601 posts in 2361 days

#2 posted 12-26-2014 03:26 AM

Very nice setup. Your blast gates look great.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View McDustmaker's profile


52 posts in 716 days

#3 posted 12-26-2014 03:45 PM

Liked the design. Nice and neat, nothing like my shop :)

-- Richard, Temple, GA.....If I smell of sawdust then I was having fun

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 1908 days

#4 posted 12-26-2014 05:03 PM

Clean, elegant design, excellent work!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View bobkberg's profile


420 posts in 2494 days

#5 posted 12-26-2014 05:32 PM

That’s a beautiful job! I really appreciate how you showed all the steps as well. Are the blast gates quieter (less air leakage) than the standard plastic ones you buy at the store also? They look like it!

-- Bob - A sideline, not how I earn a living

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


84 posts in 1388 days

#6 posted 12-26-2014 08:00 PM

Thanks for the compliments!

I’m not sure about noise level as I’ve never found plastic or even metal ones at the store that mount on the outside of the 4” S&D PVC pipe. I looked very hard before making my own. Clear-Vu has some awesome gates for 6” S&D, but I wanted an arrangement with the gate in the branch. I hear no air leakage at all. When closed the vacuum pulls the gate tight.

-- MrLaughingbrook

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


84 posts in 1388 days

#7 posted 12-26-2014 09:28 PM

Another key feature of my dust reduction methodology is ventilation and filtration. A box fan in the window draws from an open door on the other corner of the shop and a filter/blower hopefully gets all the rest.

-- MrLaughingbrook

View johnsjam's profile


1 post in 665 days

#8 posted 12-29-2014 03:53 PM

Looks sharp!

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