Have you ever looked up the price of an 8” to 6” PVC “Y” fitting? These are in stock and shippable today but If you are planning an extensive DC system that involves several of them as well as 6” to 4” and 6” to 6” ones, it may be that $256 each is a little steep for your budget. I know it was for mine.
(Edit: it is 2016, three and a half years since I posted this blog, I just clicked the link above and the price isn’t $256 anymore. They’re $369.16 now.)
When I built my “dream retirement shop” in 2004, two of the big must have items were:
1) A raised wooden floor. I’ve spent enough years working on concrete floors. No more.
2) If you are going to have a raised floor then get the dust collection and the wiring for the floor tools under it.
I settled on PVC for my system for reasons of cost, availability and because the bore is so smooth. Then I discovered the cost of the fittings.
The obvious choice was abandon the PVC idea or figure out how to make my own fittings.
Here are a few photos I took in the crawl space today. Sorry, I didn’t take any when I was building it. They will give you an Idea of the size of the system. The main is 30’ long x 8”. The secondaries are 6” and there are a few 4” stubs that go to dust only things like my downdraft bench.
As you can see I didn’t actually make “Y” fittings. Instead I avoided both the cost and air turbulence by simply joining long pieces of pipe at whatever angle suited my needs.
Here are close ups of two of the joints.
Making them is easier than you may think. PVC glues well so really all you have to do is figure out how to fit it. My Idea was to turn some drums to the OD’s of the 8” and 6” pipe and then after covering them with sandpaper, remount them in the lathe and use them to “sand to fit” my pieces. I rough cut the pieces and the holes with a jig saw and finished the angled branches with the sanding drums. The through pieces were smoothed with a file.
Here’s about the only photo I have showing the sanding. Man, the static electricity makes that dust stick to EVERYTHING!!!
Because I didn’t have the interlock that normal PVC fittings have I added some epoxy and ‘glass cloth to re-enforce the joints on the outside. The joints were assembled in place and are well supported so there is very little stress on them. They have never given me any trouble in eight years and I would recommend the method to anyone.
Just an addendum to the first part of this blog:
I added some residue collection today to complete the re-fit. The filters I used were closed on one end so I was able to test them for flow yesterday but I felt I could make cleaning them easier if I cut the bottoms out and added some see-through ice cream tubs. Now to clean all I have to do is loosen the bottom nut to remove the tubs and empty them. The filters will remain clamped in place.
I saved enough room to store my ShopSmith 10ER.
Thanks for looking in.
I hope this will help someone. It sure has made my life easier / cheaper.
Questions, comments and critiques are always welcome.
-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglas boats he would have given us fibrerglas trees. http://thecanadianschooloffrenchmarquetry.com/