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Automatic dust collection switch

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Project by BOBAH posted 05-23-2018 08:46 AM 2764 views 29 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

At some points in the past, I owned and enjoyed automatic vacuum switch solutions from DGC and IVAC. Unfortunately, both have had reliability issues, so I decided to build my own, more powerful version.

Essentially, this is a portable, 110V version of automatic dust collection switch published in August 2000 issue of Fine Woodworking magazine. It turns on dust collection system when power tool is running and turns it off once tool has stopped. The business is taken care of by a pair of relays – self-powered current-sensitive relay that detects current from 2A to 30A in a wire passing through its toroidal sensor, and capable of switching up to 1A, and the power relay capable of reliably switching up to 30A, controlled by the first one. I used AIROTRONICS HCSDC030A as a current sensing relay, and OMRON G7L-2A-TUBJ-CB-AC100/120 as a power relay –$60 on Grainger.com for both.

To have enough capacity for future use, I have put together eight 20A 110V power outlets to plug my tools into, and a pair of switched outlets for dust collection/local lighting, with an override switch to keep dust collection running continuously when needed.

The switch is assembled on a vertical plywood panel – all outlets and override switch are mounted inside three regular retrofit double gangs screwed into place. Relays are attached next to them. The wires connecting to relays were soldered to relay’s terminals, all other wires are connected using appropriately sized wire nuts or were screwed to terminals. I used AWG12 wires for outlet wiring.

Now, the wood project part :-) It’s an edge banded .75” birch plywood for a panel and base, solid birch box, .25” birch plywood for face panel. Stained in traditional cherry, finished with wipe-on poly. Not exactly the look I was going for – I like mix of cherry and golden oak Minwax stains, but ran out of both.





18 comments so far

View Belg1960's profile

Belg1960

1073 posts in 3212 days


#1 posted 05-23-2018 09:36 AM

I love the concept but why not run the wiring to individual receptacles at each tool location and then back to a central splice location? Is there a delay feature where the dust collector will run for a short time after the tool shuts off?

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Woodtodust's profile

Woodtodust

57 posts in 1984 days


#2 posted 05-23-2018 11:57 AM

Nice project. I have been going back and forth on purchasing a retail version but after seeing yours, I think I’d like to go the same route as you. Nicely done and thanks for posting the schematic.

-- Bill...Richmond Hill, GA--"83% of all statistics are made up."

View adrianpglover's profile

adrianpglover

51 posts in 1670 days


#3 posted 05-23-2018 12:16 PM

That is a rather interesting idea. I don’t do enough woodworking to warrant it, but as a EE I like the idea and your execution looks great.

View CampD's profile

CampD

1715 posts in 3633 days


#4 posted 05-23-2018 12:23 PM

I too have not had much luck with automatic switches. Never thought to check out Grainger. I like your central design aspect of this, thanks for the work and schematic!

-- Doug...

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10334 posts in 1632 days


#5 posted 05-23-2018 12:29 PM

Nice. I used a current switch in my panel and sent all the hots from my tools ckts through it. Triggers a relay and contactor through a hand/off/auto. Need to rig up some electric duct dampers to make it fully automatic. Huge plus to have everything but the current switch floating around my shop already.

Nice work.

Edit: the problem with most automatic switches is the rating of the contacts it seems. Wire up a contactor and you can switch anything.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

5559 posts in 2555 days


#6 posted 05-23-2018 01:48 PM

Garage Engineering at it’s finest. While maybe not practical for everyone it works for you and addresses a common problem with what is available on the market today. Nice work. Love projects like this, gives me ideas!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Sam Butler's profile

Sam Butler

9 posts in 3488 days


#7 posted 05-23-2018 03:55 PM

I have used this setup for ten years
I put the current sensor in the sub panel in the shop and the relay in a small box adjacent to the sub-panel.

I can run the black wire of any circuit i want to sense through the current sensor ring and if I turn a tool on the relay is activated and the dust collector turns on. It is set to stay on for 5 seconds after current stops traveling through the sensor

View Notw's profile

Notw

667 posts in 1900 days


#8 posted 05-23-2018 03:58 PM

I find this very interesting, although I have a couple of concerns. Looks like everything is rated for 20A, most 110v dust collectors pull between 12A and 20A alone, then you add in a table saw pulling another 14A (estimate) you are going to pop your standard 20A breaker every time you use this.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5757 posts in 2960 days


#9 posted 05-23-2018 04:10 PM

I have a friend that runs a similar setup. I was in awe of it until I made the leap into automatic dust collection. The main thing these systems do is turn the DC on or off. However, there are a couple systems out there that do that as well as open/close the blast gates.

I have experience with two such systems, iVac Pro and Grngate. Both have proven reliable for me using a wall mounted 2hp cyclone. Those companies offer contactor switch boxes for larger dust collectors.

The common complaint is cost, but I’ve found that even having 2-3 automatic gates improves my production and workflow in the shop.

I’m impressed with the workmanship on your project. Thanks for sharing.
What products did you have reliability issues with? (I’m assuming it was the switches linked in your original post) What went wrong with them?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

10334 posts in 1632 days


#10 posted 05-23-2018 07:12 PM



I have used this setup for ten years
I put the current sensor in the sub panel in the shop and the relay in a small box adjacent to the sub-panel.

I can run the black wire of any circuit i want to sense through the current sensor ring and if I turn a tool on the relay is activated and the dust collector turns on. It is set to stay on for 5 seconds after current stops traveling through the sensor

- Sam Butler

I have the same setup pretty much. You have a time delay relay to keep it on an extra 5 secs?

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View BOBAH's profile

BOBAH

94 posts in 1490 days


#11 posted 05-24-2018 12:45 AM

Thank you guys. Let me try to answer some of your questions:


I love the concept but why not run the wiring to individual receptacles at each tool location and then back to a central splice location? Is there a delay feature where the dust collector will run for a short time after the tool shuts off?

- Belg1960

Belg1960, I have small workshop in the garage, and move my tools from time to time, so permanently mounting receptacles next to each location is not feasible at this point. For the large shop, the solution described in the article I linked seems to work best.

No delay feature – I wasn’t able to find inexpensive relays that have it, and adding electronic circuitry seems to be an overkill. I don’t mind running my power tool for a few seconds longer to make sure dust is removed.

View BOBAH's profile

BOBAH

94 posts in 1490 days


#12 posted 05-24-2018 12:58 AM


I find this very interesting, although I have a couple of concerns. Looks like everything is rated for 20A, most 110v dust collectors pull between 12A and 20A alone, then you add in a table saw pulling another 14A (estimate) you are going to pop your standard 20A breaker every time you use this.

- Notw

It is a valid concern. My current dust collection system is a shop vac (one of the larger Rigids), drawing 5-8A. The receptacle I am using is connected to 30A breaker, so I have only seen it triggering once so far. I plan to add more power outlets to my garage, and will run DC and tools through separate receptacles and breakers. This will require some re-wiring, for sure, but shouldn’t be a problem.

View BOBAH's profile

BOBAH

94 posts in 1490 days


#13 posted 05-24-2018 01:01 AM


What products did you have reliability issues with? (I m assuming it was the switches linked in your original post) What went wrong with them?

- pintodeluxe

Yes, the switches in my original post. Their relays are not graded to switch high current, and as a result, the contacts are occasionally stuck in closed or opened state. So far I was able to “shake” them to into working state, but it is annoying.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

117234 posts in 3724 days


#14 posted 05-24-2018 01:19 AM

I’ve seen diagrams in Fine Woodworking and other places finally I bought this auto switch and outlet combo
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004JK7SWK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00PJ2090A/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Even if I understood how to do the wiring my table saw and Dc unit are in opposite ends of my shop and the materials would have cost 70% of these units with a whole lot of trouble to install. This set up is great no remotes to turn off and on manually, they come on when you turn the saw on and after a short delay they turn off when you turn the saw off, I liked mine so much I bought a 2nd set for my chop saw. These are more expensive than the budget remote controls but you don’t have to hunt for the remote or have to keep buying replacement remotes every few months.

-- https://www.artisticwoodstudio.com/videos wood crafting & woodworking classes

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

5313 posts in 2351 days


#15 posted 05-24-2018 08:54 AM

I might build a special version with some bare wires and send it to Wanglili to test!!

On a more serious note does the DC current sensing relay chatter with AC ?

-- Regards Rob

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