Dust Collection Upgrade

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Project by Jarrhead posted 10-19-2015 03:58 PM 3001 views 13 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This post is an update to my “shop” post that I wrote in 2011. The new shop is pretty spread out. When I moved into this house I already had three different dust collectors. If I wanted to have one central system that would pull from all areas of the shop, I would need to invest in yet another (much bigger and more powerful) machine. I decided instead to use the dust collectors I already owned, and group the machines they service into areas of close proximity. That way, I wouldn’t have to deal with a lot of pressure loss that comes with long line runs. What you see in that picture is basically a homemade manifold. When I want to use a specific machine, I simply go to the manifold and move the baffle to line up with the proper hose. It takes about 2 seconds, and I have the collectors on/off switch co-located with the manifold so I can turn it on while I’m there switching the baffle. I made the manifold with one extra inlet, so if I ever do get that drum sander, it will have a dust collection solution already in place.
The other advantages that drove me toward this method are:
1.) I’m a one man shop, so there is never more than one woodworking machine running at any one time. With my setup, I’m running 1 to 1.5 horsepower motors for my dust collection instead of the 3 or 5 hp it probably would have taken to pipe the whole shop from one collector. Saving $$$ on the electric bill.
2.) If one of my collectors goes down, I’m not dead in the water. I can still keep working by moving one of the other machines temporarily.
3.) Less noise.

I wasn’t happy with the way one of the dust collectors was set up. It was inefficient, and only had two ports. My disk sander and my compound miter saw were connected to it, but I had to mess with blast gates, and my router table had no dedicated dust collection method. When I needed dust collection on the router table, I hooked up my shop-vac to the back of the fence. It worked somewhat, for certain tasks, and not at all for others. There was no “under the table” collection occurring. It was very messy and unhealthy. I wanted to expand the collection provided by the powerful Oneida collector I had on that side of the shop. I originally planned to make a duplicate of my first manifold (see above). However, a quick internet search provided some better options. I ended up going with a modified version of the one found at this link to a Fine Woodworking article:
Instead of having a sliding baffle, the collector intake hose is connected to a shuttle that I can move to align with the hose of whichever machine I’m using. It is super easy to use. I can reach the pin and move the shuttle from either side of the miter saw extension table it is attached to. With a nearly direct connection, and limited hose length for each machine, I have very little pressure loss.
For the router table, I needed to come up with some way to enclose the underside. I initially looked at the Rockler “Dust Bucket”. Looks like a nice piece of gear, and the reviews of it were all pretty excellent, but the price!!! OUCH! $90.00 for a box. Really! So, I made my own. I must admit that I stole all the best ideas from their design. Like the vent to control the suction force, and the grommet for the cord. Most of the materials were scrap that I had laying around the shop. I did pony up for a plastic grommet for the cord, and a plastic dust collection port for the box. I also had to buy a new 2.5 inch port for the back of the fence. Total was less than $15.00 at Rockler. All three of those tools now have excellent dust collection, and I have two spare ports for potential future shop expansion. I am very pleased with the results, so I thought I would share it with the Lumberjocks community.

-- trn2wud

6 comments so far

View htl's profile


2014 posts in 578 days

#1 posted 10-19-2015 04:30 PM

Now that turned out great!!!
The biggest tip I got from it was to add the one or two extra out lets so I’m really for my next got to have tool.
PS Don’t tell my wife. lol

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View htl's profile


2014 posts in 578 days

#2 posted 10-19-2015 04:31 PM

O! and love that DR. Who toy in the back.

-- There's a hundred ways to do anything, alot depends on the tools at hand.

View Jarrhead's profile


35 posts in 2778 days

#3 posted 10-19-2015 05:33 PM

That is actually a “Tardis” costume that that my daughter made for Halloween a couple years ago.

-- trn2wud

View fivecodys's profile


566 posts in 1055 days

#4 posted 10-19-2015 05:58 PM

Nicely done. I have been noodling around with something similar for my small shop.
Good ideas here. Thanks for sharing!

-- Chem, Central California

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2760 days

#5 posted 10-20-2015 10:41 AM

great idea
will use for my multi router table

simple and slick


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

View oldrivers's profile


710 posts in 985 days

#6 posted 10-21-2015 12:45 AM

Super work, very innovative I can use this setup. Congratulations on project well done.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

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