|Forum topic by rieferman||posted 04-21-2011 05:52 PM||2263 views||1 time favorited||10 replies|
04-21-2011 05:52 PM
Just finished installing my dust collection system. My shop is a detached barn that I rebuilt last year, and my floor space for woodworking is roughly 20’ x 25 feet square. The shop is a dedicated woodworking shop, so hard-plumbing to stationary equipment made a lot of sense in my case.
I scored a bunch of 4” PVC for next to nothing, so although I understand that 5” or 6” pipe is better… well, you gotta go with the budget-friendly choice sometimes in life. So, I’ll live with a respirator still being required at times.
I went with the ever popular harbor freight 2 hp dust collector. I had a $139 coupon so it was similarly budget-friendly. While I was at it, I ordered their blast gates and clear flex hose.
Shortest runs are about 12 feet for my miter station, table saw, and jointer. Longest runs are closer to 25-30 feet for my bandsaw, planer, and drill press.
I plan to build a thien baffle for my shop vac to use with smaller tools such as hand sander or circ saw.
I modified the dust collector to make a stacked assembly. This saves me footprint size. I exhaust directly outside (there are no “makeup air” concerns in my case, and I’ll live with the heating loss.. no cooling in my barn, so no concern there either). I built a thien baffle directly into the ring of the DC which was easy and effective. And, I suck THROUGH a bag (rather than through a barrel). This makes it so that I can just tie up and discard without the messy dumping step. To keep the bag from imploding, it is lined with a cage skeleton that I shimmy out when it’s time to empty. Works great.
TOTAL SPEND on this entire setup = $250.
The cage skeleton wants to collapse under the pressure, so I need to reinforce it. It’s passable for now, but will eventually fail if I don’t beef it up.
Exhausting outside is great, at least in this warmer weater. I may filter during winter months, but otherwise, I’m very happy with venting outside, and there’s almost nothing besides air getting out of the building due to the baffle.
Dust collection for the drill press is kind of a pain. I tend to just leave it running and move the hose around manually to cleanup as needed.
Reducing to 2.5” hose works fine, but not great. It’s worth doing as a way to have a quick/easy cleanup without dragging a shop vac out, but it’s not as powerful as a shop vac.
Running two ports at the same time is not an option. I wanted to run a 4” and a 2.5” for my table saw. No way, not with this blower. It was worth a shot.
HF blast gates and clear 4” hose are fine. I used electrical tape wrapped around the couplings of the blast gates to make them fit snuggly into the PVC pipe. Then I secured with two 1/2” screws through the PVC and through the coupling. Solid as a rock.
Overall, I’m very happy with the results. My shop will stay much cleaner, and I spent less than $250 total to complete the entire effort (and that includes purchase of the DC, the duct work, blast gates, and flex hose). I hope this is helpful to anyone else that is trying to wade through the confusing/intimidating topic of dust collection. My ending point on this topic is that there’s an optimal way to do this process, and there’s an economic way to do it. I chose the economic route knowing there’d be limitations, but at the end of the day, it works pretty darn well anyways.
-- New to woodworking, old to barn fixin'