DC flex hose giving me fits

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 02-01-2012 10:05 PM 2120 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

7673 posts in 2236 days

02-01-2012 10:05 PM

Hey gang, I’m setting up a DC with three 4” outlets with my machines in a ‘U’ around it.

I purchased this 4” clear flex hose, but am finding it to be quite the pain to work with.

It is quite stiff and difficult to expand, and snaps back to fully retracted as soon as released. My DC is on casters and the spring in the hoses is strong enough to drag it accross the floor.

I can secure the DC, but am having difficulty getting the hose to stay in the orientation that I want it in. It’s also a struggle to make up connections.

Any ideas out there?

I’m thinking of borrowing a heat gun from work and attempting to put a permanent set into some sections of the hose. But the clear PVC is not that thick, and I’m concerned I’ll melt it.

Thanks in advance for any good ideas.

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

15 replies so far

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Mainiac Matt

7673 posts in 2236 days

#1 posted 02-01-2012 10:06 PM

looks like this

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

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


704 posts in 3181 days

#2 posted 02-02-2012 12:29 AM

How about bending some metal conduit to the shape you want and attaching the hose to the conduit with zip ties? If you don’t have a conduit bender (rather inexpensive at Harbor Freight) you can use flexible copper tubing instead of metal conduit. But given the cost of copper these days, buy the conduit bender!

Good luck.


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2877 days

#3 posted 02-02-2012 01:30 AM

Not the most elegant of solutions, but a generous application of duct tape will keep that in shape.

Or replace that piece with a “stayput” or “bendyhose”

For connections, you could fit a collar:

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

5698 posts in 3102 days

#4 posted 02-02-2012 01:37 AM

Send it back and get another kind, or from a different woodworking place… Rockler or Woodworkers Supply…I wouldn’t put up with that at all….it shouldn’t do that at all, so why fight it? I’ve never used that stuff, but then I don’t buy Grizzly either…...

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 3178 days

#5 posted 02-02-2012 01:54 AM

I was wondering why you decided to use that collapsible style hose? The picture shows the hose that is supposed to squeeze together in order to reduce it’s size when not in use….it is more like a bellows then a hose. I would do as Rick suggested, and purchase another style of hose…..I have some from Rockler and it works great…I have had no problems with it that I can recall.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3082 days

#6 posted 02-02-2012 01:55 AM

I’m with Rick and Reggie. Doesn’t sound like expandable hose is doing YOU any favors, here.

Plan B, if it were me, would BE to block my DC, somehow, to keep it from playing follow the leader ;-)

-- -- Neil

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5686 posts in 3140 days

#7 posted 02-02-2012 02:06 AM

Send it back, and go with a more forgiving hose…. I use the stuff from PSI with good results…

-- My workshop blog can be found at, YouTube Channel

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Rick Dennington

5698 posts in 3102 days

#8 posted 02-02-2012 02:11 AM


Plan B sounds ok, but you’d spend more time blocking the d.c. everytime you moved it, rather than keeping it in one sopt (?). That’s just not the right kind of hose ssnvet needs to use….that hose is awful stuff…..I’m with reggie… some good hose…’ll be glad you did in the longrun….......

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3082 days

#9 posted 02-02-2012 02:20 AM

Agreed, Rick.

As long as they’ll take it back, and the OP can live without it, in the meantime, I’d just go with something else.

I also agree with dbhost that PSI—generally—has very good DC stuff.

-- -- Neil

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2583 days

#10 posted 02-02-2012 05:20 AM

Is the blast gate on the collector size or is it on the machine side of the flex hose? If it is on the machine side then the collector would draw a vacuum on the hose and cause it to compact. Just thinking. If it returns to the original packing size with the vacuum off then you have a real problem. Talk to Neal

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Mainiac Matt

7673 posts in 2236 days

#11 posted 02-02-2012 09:32 PM

I can’t really ask them to take it back, now that I’ve cut it up into about four sections…

My shop space didn’t seem to justify hard plumbing in the DC…. and the layout may change as I go along.

So I came up with a layout that placed the machines in a ‘U’ around the DC (show in blue up against the post to the left of the TS).

I have a contractor TS, 6” jointer, 12” bench top planer, drill press, router table, 10” slide miter saw, and band saw arranged in an oval with the DC at the left side. The DC has a three-way ‘Y’ with 4” inlets… one to TS, one shared by jointer and planer, and the third split up into 2-1/2” lines to the band saw, router table and slide miter. Three 4” blast gates are at the ‘Y’.

The jointer, drill press with work table, and planer are all mounted to an old wooden dest with a solid walnut top, that I cut and stepped to lower the jointer. The whole rig is sitting on a large plywood bottomed tray, which is on casters. The planer is actually mounted under the desk in the middle of the tray with the infeed and outfeed going end to end, beneath the desk drawers.

All the machines are on casters (or light stands) and can be moved to accomodate large/long stock.

So having the three DC branches with “flex” pipe seemed like a good way to go. At least initially.

The pipe seems to be OK, aside from it’s tendancy to spring back into the fully retracted position. I basically have to hold it open by anchoring the machines. This is only a problem with the DC as it’s the only one without locking casters.

I believ Rockler has this same hose as an option…. it’s all PVC with a black PVC “wire” wound around clear thin PVC walls.

I thought I was going middle of the road, as this was a little more than the all black flex hose and quite a bit less than the flex hose with metalic wire.

The top left corner is burried in materials left over from construction. The top wall is kind of reserved for something fun in the future. The top right corner has a bench top milling machine mounted to a shop built stand. the right wall has two work benches with my tool box in the middle. The bottom wall is lined with recycled kitchen cabs and a desk. Air compressor (noisey airless model) is in a sound box in the lower left corner with two rubber hoses running through the ceiling to different locations.

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

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3596 days

#12 posted 02-03-2012 02:01 AM

Air compressor (noisey airless model) ” I hate the “airless” models too : )
I bought my DC hoses from WoodCraft…no problems !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Philzoel's profile


302 posts in 2251 days

#13 posted 02-03-2012 03:06 AM

I have same arrangement as you and simply use 12’ length standard 4” collector hose. works fine.

-- Phil Zoeller louisville, KY

View HuFlungoo's profile


6 posts in 2213 days

#14 posted 02-03-2012 03:11 AM

Maybe stretch to outside for sun to warm and relax.

-- Simple Rules of Game: Smack the Donkey until he breaks.

View hairy's profile (online now)


2608 posts in 3440 days

#15 posted 02-03-2012 05:04 AM

I bought that same exact hose a few months back. I thought it was odd at first, but now I’m ok with it. It has not caused me any problems. I can make it longer or shorter easily.

I use a flex hose from my dc up to a 4” green pvc pipe that runs under the joists for the floor above. That pipe is about 8 feet long with flex hose dropping down from the ceiling. I move it around to where I need it. Not an ideal situation, but it works for me.

The new piece is connected to the green pvc pipe. I use 4” corrugated drain pipe couplings to connect flex hoses together. They’re cheap and snap together.

-- My reality check bounced...

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