Dust Collection Installation Help

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Forum topic by Ken Fitzpatrick posted 08-08-2012 12:07 AM 1759 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4045 days

08-08-2012 12:07 AM

Im getting ready to finally install ductwork for my dust collection system. Until now I would run flexible hoses around the shop.

My question is: Has anyone ran ducting below the floor in their shop? Are their considerations that must be taken into account. My thinking tells me ducting below the floor would be just as efficient maybe even more so than running them overhead in the shop. I’m fortunate to have access below the floor in my shop. I could run my PVC to the most direct route. All hookups would be at floor level so it seems to me that the short rise at the collector end would be more efficient than having to rise to the ceiling at any location where a machine is connected.

Would appreciate hearing from anyone who might have done it this way with either good or bad results. Thanks in advance for everyone’s input.


-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

11 replies so far

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 2487 days

#1 posted 08-08-2012 12:29 AM

This has been done alot. I dont have it, but have seen many pictures of shops that do.

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3915 days

#2 posted 08-08-2012 12:55 AM

No problem, just make sure you can access it in order to clean out any blockages/clogs

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View RogerM's profile


792 posts in 2421 days

#3 posted 08-08-2012 02:17 AM

Under floor configurations can be effectively done but like most things there are trade offs. One of the biggest obstacles is that once ducts are run through the floor that are much more permanent and offer less flexibility than overhead ducts. As mentioned above, allow for cleanouts which ever way you go. I have used plastic and metal ducting but prefer metal mostly because of the static electricity in plastic. Also, most of my ducting is 5 and 6 inches and there is a lot more elbows, Tees, adapters, couplings, etc. available at local big box stores.

-- Roger M, Aiken, SC

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2944 days

#4 posted 08-08-2012 12:49 PM
Lots of info on dust collection there.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3090 days

#5 posted 08-08-2012 12:59 PM

When I got my first DC, I just ran 4” flex hose everywhere and had a section laying on the floor. I got used to stepping over it, and when I upgraded to 6” metal duct, I used the same path and made a wood cover to protect it. It works fine and has never been a problem for me.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

View danr's profile


154 posts in 3207 days

#6 posted 08-08-2012 01:09 PM

I ran 6inch metal duct in my floor for the entire shop. My floor is a concrete slab so the main trunk and branches cannot be moved. The slab was poured over/around the duct work. Lots of people advised against doing this. It has turned out to be the best thing I did in my shop in terms of planning and layout. I highly recommend the “in-floor” layout that you are considering as long as you are fairly confident in your tool placement.

Also note that the layout does not have to spot on. For example, you should bring the end of a branch out to the edge of a wall where you may have several machines. Then you will come up (above the floor) to extend that branch to those machines. I have at least three branches that are laid out like this. I have 3 others that come up out of the floor (not next a wall edge). These are for table saw, bandsaw, planer/drum sander (i.e. those tool that don’t want to be right up next to a wall). So just think about your tool layout and the in floor routing will be excellent for you.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4996 posts in 2515 days

#7 posted 08-08-2012 01:13 PM

I think it would work just fine, but you still have to install the ducting for effiency. No sharp 90’s, that sort of thing. The one drawback already mentioned is the permanency of the layout. Over the years, I’ve probably reworked my layout 7-8 times for various reasons. Having it in the floor would make that a lot harder, or impossible.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4045 days

#8 posted 08-08-2012 07:54 PM

As usual you guys came through. Everyone has some good points. I have a pretty good size crawl space under my shop. That’s why I can install below the floor. RogerM’s point is well taken because after I install I’m going to have closed cell foam sprayed under the floor to tighten up for heating and cooling. DanR says what I was thinking splitting off for one connection for several machines.

My remaining dilemma is plastic vs. metal. I still can’t make up my mind. JimFinn’s link has really got me thinking. Fred Hargis mentions the first thing I looked at to increase efficiency. Thankfully both metal and plastic have many connectors to help accomplish that. Sawkerf describes exactly what I have now and I can’t stand it. Always tripping. Guess its my old age and lousy memory. Sorry Sawkerf I just can’t live with it that way but appreciate you input.

Finally Moron brings up a a very important pont. Can’t afford to install then foam with no way to clean out.

Once again thanks to all. Will let you know how it goes, maybe even some pics.


-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 2948 days

#9 posted 08-08-2012 08:42 PM

Ken, I installed all of my metal ducting under the floor of my shop as well. Once connected, you would have a hard time to plug it up, I see no problem with foaming it.

A plumber’s snake should clean any obstruction, especially if you left yourself a cleanout on the main level for that purpose on any long runs.

I have dumped a bunch down my ducting to see if I could plug it, not even close.

The biggest advantage is there are no hanging hoses, ductwork in the way, etc.

I also mounted my cyclone on the main floor of the barn (shop is in the loft), so there is virtually no noise.

I certainly would recommend it!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View Ken Fitzpatrick's profile

Ken Fitzpatrick

376 posts in 4045 days

#10 posted 08-09-2012 03:26 AM


My shop is in a barn also only my “crawl space” is actually a hot house for starting plants. The barn faces due south and there are windows all along the foundation with shelves on the inside for the plants. Can’t take credit for the design, it was actually built that way in 1860.

Thanks for the encouragement. I intend on haveing my dust collector in line but in another room for both quiet and dustless exhaust. I have a Delta air cleaner hung from my ceiling, so with the dust collector in another room I will have the fine dust under control. Since I have COPD I also use an Airway mask whenever I’m running anything that generates any possible dust. Cant’ get away from it but certainly can take serious precautions. All of this has allowed me to keep making sawdust and keep breathing at the same time lol.

I’m looking forward to getting rid of the hoses on the floor and more dedicated drops for the largest producers.

-- • "I have noticed that nothing I have never said ever did me any harm."....... Calvin Coolidge

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2657 posts in 2944 days

#11 posted 08-09-2012 11:45 AM

I will be moving to a new shop later this year and am planning a layout for this new 22’ x 14’shop. I plan to place all my equipment along two walls, except the table saw, but the out feed table will go to the wall. I plan to run the 6” duct on top of the floor under the equipment along the wall and under the out feed table. I should not have to step over any of it. I am a retired construction sheet metal worker so I plan to use metal pipe and fittings. I have made a bunch of wood and metal self cleaning blast gates and metal wyes for this 6” system already. The reason I want to keep this duct above the floor is that I learned long ago that nothing in life is permanent so I want to be able to easily change this duct system in the future.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

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