Dust collector setup

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Forum topic by Bob Mullen posted 05-30-2010 06:40 PM 3039 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bob Mullen

3 posts in 2940 days

05-30-2010 06:40 PM

I’m setting up my new dust collector and think using 4”ABS will be less expensive and better than flex tube for the long runs. Has anyone done this? Does the flex tube fit over the ABS? Should I try this and what problems should I look for?

7 replies so far

View davcefai's profile


37 posts in 3362 days

#1 posted 05-30-2010 07:50 PM

Definitely! You will get better airflow through a smooth pipe.

I don’t know about ABS but I used PVC drain pipe and fittings. Sockets at strategic positions closed off by means of a short section of “pinched off” pipe. (no blast gates). My flexible hose fits nicely over sections of PVC pipe.

-- David

View hairy's profile


2655 posts in 3498 days

#2 posted 05-30-2010 08:14 PM

That sounds like what I’m using. I have the green PVC, not sure what kind it is, but I believe it’s thinner than the white PVC. I have it run overhead, between floor joists for the floor above, across the basement. I have a flex hose on each end, attached with duct tape. I had to make a split in the end of each hose end to get it over the PVC. Red Green would be proud.

Keep your curves as gradual as possible, sharp bends don’t work good. 2 45’s is better than a 90, if you go with fittings.

I don’t have any blast gates or anything, just a hose I move where I need it. Works for me.

-- My reality check bounced...

View thatwoodworkingguy's profile


375 posts in 2896 days

#3 posted 05-30-2010 08:58 PM

I used to have PVC and just recently when I purchased my new dust collector I went over to 4 inch flex hose and I have not seen any difference in suction.
Hope this helps.

-- ~Eagle America~ ~Woodcraft~

View pmayer's profile


1026 posts in 3031 days

#4 posted 05-31-2010 02:20 PM

As others have said, PVC works great. I also use the green, but if you can find the really thin walled white stuff, I would go with that as it is lighter. The flex tube that I use doesn’t fit easily over PVC, but it is not hard to fix that, especially with 4”. What I do is make a series of cuts into the end of the PVC running parallel to the length of the pipe, probably cutting about 3” into the pipe. Then I slide a hose clamp onto the pipe to the end of the slits, tighten it a bit to pull in the fingers that have been formed at the end of the PVC pipe, and then the flex tube will slide right on.

If you use the green PVC, here is another tip. The stuff that I buy has a flared end to be used as coupler at one end of the pipe so that these can be installed in series without using a separate coupler (it is possible that the white stuff in your area has this as well, but i haven’t seen it here). One less seam I guess. I use these flare couplers as quick disconnects for my tools by cutting off the bell along with about 4” of pipe before the flare begins (so now you have about 8” of pipe; 4” of normal diameter and 4” of flared diameter). Attach that pipe to the short section of flex tube that you attach to the end of your PVC run to attach to the tool. Then you can slip it on and off your tool easily. And these couplers offer a great friction fit, so no screws/caulk/etc. will be needed.

Of course, to use that tip, you will likely need to build your own dust port for your tools. So, tip #3, making your own dust port to match perfectly with your new quick disconnect. Cut a 5” section of PVC. Place one end of this onto a 10” x 10” piece of 1/2” or 3/4” MDF. None of those dimensions is critical, and you could use plywood if you prefer. Trace the circular outline of the PVC onto the MDF. Cut out the circle. Slide the PVC into the MDF and caulk it in place. Flip the port over, and from the back, use a router with 3/8” roundover bit to round over the edges of the PVC where it meets the MDF. This will improve air flow. If your tool doesn’t have a 4” dust port, trace the PVC onto the tool and cut a hole. That part isn’t fun, but you will get over it. Then, use double sided adhesive foam weather stripping to stick it onto your tool. Done.

Good luck!

-- PaulMayer,

View Steve Peterson's profile

Steve Peterson

371 posts in 3048 days

#5 posted 06-01-2010 04:59 AM

I also use the “green” sewer and drain pipe, although luckily the local plumbing supply house has it in white. It is the same stuff, but I prefer the white.

The 4” pipe is a bit too large to easily fit the short section of flex hose over. I heat the pipe with a heat gun and tighten band clamps around to reduce the size slightly. The first one had lots of tiny ridges where the plastic squeezed through the holes in the clamps. I wrapped a 1.5” wide band of sheet metal around the pipe before putting on the clamps and it came out much smoother. Heat the pipe all the way around and tighten the clamps. At first, the clamps barely move. Then all of a sudden the pipe gets soft and it is really easy to tighten the clamps.

I probably reduced the diameter by about 1/4”. It is really easy to get the flex hose over the smaller diameter pipe.

Also, apparently melting (or burning) PVC can give off really poisonous fumes. Make sure to have plenty of ventilation when you do this.

-- Steve

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3430 days

#6 posted 06-01-2010 05:26 AM

Thank you Steve Peterson!!! That sounds like a great way to reduce and produce a tapered end!!! I would consider any petroleum based product being melted to produce poisonous fumes but particularly black ABS is dangerous. Good point and thanks again for the post. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View CL810's profile


3773 posts in 2954 days

#7 posted 06-01-2010 08:59 PM

The plastic blast gates work very well as an adapter between flex hose and PVC sewer pipe.

DC with PVC

-- "The only limits to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today." - FDR

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