Industrial Scale Dust Collection #1: Old System Doesn't Suck Enough

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Blog entry by Mainiac Matt posted 08-05-2015 06:56 PM 1199 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Industrial Scale Dust Collection series Part 2: Rules and Regs.... how to stay out of trouble. »

I’m up to my elbows in alligators lately overseeing a sizeable project for our Wood Department at work, where we manufacture crates an pallets.

After shutting down our 10,000 s.f. architectural millwork operation last fall, we decided to expand our existing 20,000 s.f. crating shop into that space. We underwent a complete shop re-organization, utilizing a manufacturing engineering process called Systematic Plant Layout. It was a 7 month adventure and greatly reduced the inefficient movement of men, tools and materials. We ditched four large, under-utilized capital assets and replaced three of them with smaller machines that better fit our high mix job shop environment. This freed up a lot of floor space in the main shop area for point of use material storage and a new assembly area for “jumbo” projects (think small house sized crates). But the entire reorganization also created a much larger demand on our existing 10,000 cfm dust collection system.

So now, after looking at options to upgrade, augment and replace the current system, we concluded that a complete system replacement was the only viable option for us.

I thought blogging about this project might be of interest to my fellow Lumberjocks, as it affords a sneak peak into one niche arena of industrial scale woodworking…. industrial packaging, and it will detail what’s entailed in larger industrial scale dust collection.

Here’s the old 10,000 cfm Torit cartridge system, which my old boss bought second hand on the cheap some 10 years ago, but which was never really quite right for our type of wood waste.

It uses a 30 HP direct drive blower that is mounted high on the tower.

We’ve had pretty good luck with a home brew material transport loop that takes the debris from the bottom of the hopper via a rotary air lock and blows it directly into a customized tractor trailer. But when we added a pallet notcher, which produces 3” shards of jagged wood chips, these 8” air locks started plugging up daily…. PITA to clear the jambs.

As you can see in the last trailer, I have an excavation contractor on site in preparation for an expanded concrete pad for the new DC tower, and a retaining wall to make the trailer area more stable and safe.

Hope you enjoy following along with this project. The design work is 90% complete, the new (refurbished) DC system has been purchased and is scheduled for delivery this week, and the Tin Knocker bids are in, with final details for the ductwork transition pieces to be hammered out when we can take dims off of the new collector.

Happy Trails,


-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

11 comments so far

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2108 days

#1 posted 08-05-2015 07:19 PM

Well this Blog is really going to Suck. Maybe you could take the Old system and install it on your home shop. :)

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5948 posts in 1746 days

#2 posted 08-05-2015 07:27 PM

We’re selling the Torit system back to the same company we purchased the new one from… but for $6K, it’s a smokin’ deal, as they’re going to paint it and then turn around and sell it for double that. If anyone is interested, LMK.

Torit makes top shelf equipment, but this is a cartridge system, which is really intended for finer dust, like you might find in a sand blasting operation or a grain silo.

The new system will be a bag house (details to follow).

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1167 posts in 1131 days

#3 posted 08-05-2015 07:49 PM

Enjoyed the read. Looking forward to learn more in future posts!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View CFrye's profile


8559 posts in 1257 days

#4 posted 08-05-2015 08:14 PM

That scale of dust/chop production is mind boggling, Matt. I’m following along. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Roger's profile


19706 posts in 2221 days

#5 posted 08-05-2015 08:58 PM

Holy Cow!!! The suction on that thing would probably pull the whiskers right off me face… lol

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View JL7's profile


8399 posts in 2383 days

#6 posted 08-05-2015 11:02 PM

Hey Matt… got your hands full there…....will be interested to see how this turns out…..good luck!

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

5948 posts in 1746 days

#7 posted 08-05-2015 11:11 PM

I was lucky to have a summer engineering intern who was my go-fer to run down a lot of the details and keep after the contractors during the bid process… but his last day is this Friday and I’m on my own to oversee the actual work.

But we have good contractors lined up who we have dealt with before, so it’s really about juggling the schedule and making sure things are done right.

Next installment… How to Avoid Getting in Trouble.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View lightcs1776's profile


4145 posts in 1072 days

#8 posted 08-06-2015 02:39 AM

And here I thought you were doing a shop upgrade. Pretty cool.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View Richard's profile


1871 posts in 2108 days

#9 posted 08-06-2015 07:23 PM

Next installment… How to Avoid Getting in Trouble.
I got to watch for that as I sure haven’t figured it out yet. Good Luck

View DIYaholic's profile


19135 posts in 2092 days

#10 posted 08-06-2015 09:26 PM

Great topic for a blog….
Looking forward to following along….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View kipibenkipod's profile


36 posts in 741 days

#11 posted 08-07-2015 05:41 PM

Very interesting. Looking forward to read more.

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