How to fit a full size Dust Collector in a small shop

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Forum topic by CharlesA posted 08-31-2015 02:52 PM 783 views 1 time favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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3312 posts in 1760 days

08-31-2015 02:52 PM

Now that I’ve had my dust collector in my small shop for awhile, I thought I’d share a few things that have been helpful to me. Your mileage may vary.

I have the ubiquitous 2 hp Harbor Freight DC that I bought used off of ebay. My shop is setup with the workbench in the center of the room, tool and wood storage on the walls, and power tools against the walls, all on wheels in case I need to move them. I have the workbench in the middle for two reasons: 1) I’ve had back issues and this allows me to work from any side of the bench instead of reaching across it; and 2) it feels to me like I have the full use of the bench. When I had it agains the wall, it felt like I didn’t really have full use of the back 12 inches.

My lessons:
1) This may seem counterintuitive, but the ducting system with a stationary DC saves room. I don’t have to have room to move the DC around everywhere to plug into machines, particularly my table saw that is the furthest from the DC. I was able to put the DC in an unusable back corner, rout the ducting up and then have it drop down for each machine. Very efficient use of space.
2) I used PVC for ducting. I used 80% schedule 40. I wish I had used sewer pipe instead, but I didn’t. The result is too heavy but it now works vine. I screwed every joint with one screw except a couple of places where I want to be able to disconnect from time to time. I then used aluminum tape over the joints.
3) I vent the DC outside. I read a lot on LJ’s about this before I did it. When I had a simple separator, I was venting 15-20% of the dust outside. Unacceptable. I built a Thien separator on top of a 55 gal bucket and now I cannot see any dust when I run it (I have a remote, so I have put a pile by the floor sweep and stood outside to see what comes out). Even after a day or weeks of heavy use, I cannot see any buildup outside my shop. The 55 gal bucket is a little bulky, but the DC is really stuck in a corner that could only be used for storage.

As a result, I have a full-size DC in a small shop with less of a footprint problem than pulling around my old ShopVac and DustDeputy rolling contraption.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

1 reply so far

View Clarkie's profile


453 posts in 1803 days

#1 posted 08-31-2015 04:22 PM

Charles, been wanting to do that for years and now I can not for the life of me figure out how. I change my shop around about every 9 months, makes for a clean shop and I fool myself into thinking I have more room. Told my wife, “I am now at the age where I can plan my own surprise parties”...

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