Attention all dust collection gurus - advice? Comments?

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Forum topic by glen posted 05-13-2014 04:32 AM 1975 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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163 posts in 2578 days

05-13-2014 04:32 AM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection

Hey All – I’m trying to figure out the best routing for my ductwork for my shop.

It’s 2 stalls of a 3 car garage, so not huge, but I’ve got a clearvue cyclone arriving any day now. I decided to go big. I am not totally sure on what layout would be best. I’ve read a few sites, including attempting to wade through Bill Pentz’ site, but I don’t think I’ve found the “ideal” layout, and I’m not up for dropping $250 for duct design.


Option 1 has a Y very close to the DC, where one branch goes to the TS/Jointer drop (y’d at the bottom with a 4” to each tool), one drop for the planer, and the “drop to nowhere” would be a capped Y for perhaps a drum sander in the future. The other leg goes to the bandsaw, and I would likely put a floor sweep next to the BS, and maybe a hood for the lathe. The advantage I see is that I can expand the bandsaw line a little easier than option 2, but I’m wondering if splitting airflow right off the bat like that would kill my CFM to the big dust makers.


Option 2 has 1 main branch going diagonally across the shop with similar drops to the TS, Jointer, etc, but with 1 Y feeding a longer branch to the bandsaw. The advantage I see is that there is all the airflow going right at the big dust makers, but expansion to the left side of the shop (bandsaw, and possible floor sweep, etc.) would be limited.

And before the comment gets made, I will be running my router table (not pictured) and miter saw (pictured) off my festool vac.

Any thoughts on how to maximize the suck?

Thanks everyone!


23 replies so far

View MattyMattAg's profile


38 posts in 1509 days

#1 posted 05-13-2014 06:35 AM

Wish I had some suggestions, but will be watching and reading for advice myself. Trying to figure out my layout as well.

Good luck!!

-- If Jesus was a carpenter, what better profession could there be?

View bigblockyeti's profile


5139 posts in 1746 days

#2 posted 05-13-2014 12:28 PM

I would keep the runs as straight as possible, especially to the planer much like what is pictured in option 2. The wye going to the tablesaw and jointer looks almost as if it’s directing the dust away from the collector, I can’t think of why this might be necessary or if it’s just a quick representation of where the drop will be but I would recommend against it.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2518 days

#3 posted 05-13-2014 01:26 PM

The problem with the wye at the DC isn’t probably going to be airflow related, at least not significantly. But it may reduce the separation. I was told by the manufacturer that it was pretty important to have the maximum size duct with as gentle a turn (if absolutely necessary) going into the DC for about 6-7’, reduce it after that point. In my case that was 6’ of 7”, qwhich then necked down to the 6” trunk. It was (I’m told) needed to get the maximum “cyclonic action” (their words) which was important to good separation. Long story to go with that, which I’ll skip. Back to your question: if you intend to choke down to 4” at each tool it won’t matter, it will work just as well as option 1. 4” ports are only going to allow about 400’ CFM. That said, I don’t consider myself one of the guru’s.

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

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2700 days

#4 posted 05-13-2014 02:05 PM

I have a Clearvue 1800. I believe it came with a 6” inlet so I don’t see the need to expand to a 7” since that would slow the flow. I ran 6” for a trunk line. Keep it as large as you can as far as you can. Use wye’s instead of Tee’s and us 45 deg elbows to make the remainder of the turn. Not a guru either.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1973 days

#5 posted 05-13-2014 02:20 PM

Option 1 is pretty much what I pictured. If you are running 6” line there will not be a problem with the Y. the clearvue has the power. Sizing the pipe down to 4” will choke of the system a little. I would make the ports on the machines 6”. on the jointer thats easy. as for the TS if you have 4” to the cabinet, and a 3” to an over arm then it will still flow the same. for the planer I would mod the dust hood for a 6” line right on the machine. The difference you will see in performance is amazing. On a RT I would use a 4” on top and another 4” on bottom. In my own system I have 6” from the machine to the cyclone. I broke my heart to cut a 6” hole in the back of my 70’s PM66, but it was worth in. My planer had no dust chute, since I had to fab one up I made it 6”. I had a 4” dust right hose hooked up and after I finished sweeping up a large pile of router shavings I pulled the hose off at the 6” blast gate and woosh I heard bunch of remains go shooting through the pipe. I had a stall condition in the pipe caused by choking it down to a 4” hose. On a side note you need to place the DC in a location where it can easily be accessed for ease of emptying. A planer will fill a bin in no time. and if you have never seen an over filled cyclone system, you’re in for a treat. If I am planing a batch of 4/4 rough stock to 3/4, I can make 70 gallons of shavings in 30 min or less. I have packed my filters a few times. In the summer months I remove my filters and blow the exhaust out the overhead door. and yes it looks like snow when overfilled. It just blows all over. Because all I could get under mine was a 30 gal barrel I added a 50 gal pre separator. Here is my system.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1276 posts in 1659 days

#6 posted 05-13-2014 02:42 PM

I like option 2, much more efficient run.

-- Jeff NJ

View MrKnowItAll's profile


20 posts in 1500 days

#7 posted 05-13-2014 02:51 PM

Here are some helpful tips:
90 degrees is never good. That’s way too hot for collecting dust
6” gets it done way better than 4”
and, shorter runs are much less tiring

If you decide to spend the money on some expert advice, just send me a pm

-- -because I said so, that's why

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#8 posted 05-13-2014 03:23 PM

Branch flows and such make no difference to a system that does not have multiple ports open at the same time. If you are only going to run one machine at a time then you can put a blast gate at each machine and make all the pipe (duct) the same size; bigger the better up to the cyclone inlet size.

If you are going to have several machines running at the same time then the number of ports you can have open at once is depending on the size of the final pipe leading into the collector (cyclone in your case) and the size of the ports that will be open and the distance of the port from the collector.

It is impossible to design an efficient system without knowing the exact location and size of all the equipment connections.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2537 days

#9 posted 05-13-2014 03:37 PM

If putting it outside of the shop is an option then that’s they way to go, since I am limited to space in my stand alone I added an addition to the shop that is housing the DC no need for a cyclone or a separator since all dust is sucked outside of the shop.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View glen's profile


163 posts in 2578 days

#10 posted 05-13-2014 04:03 PM

Wow – thanks for all the advice everyone. The plan is to keep the duct work at 6” all the way up to the tool. I spoke on the phone this morning with an HVAC guy who sells Nordfab, designs small and large shops, and is basically offering free help in designing the layout. A couple things from this conversation that I thought I would put out there for opinions:

1) Go with Option 1, try to keep a main running down the left wall, and then a branch over to the TS/Jointer. This will provide maximum ability to expand and, especially for a shop my size with a 5hp DC, will not affect CFM at the machine

2) He was suggesting 5” drops, and then a 4” taper. The Y’s would be 6-6-5 Y’s. He started talking fairly technically about the velocity in the pipes and how I would actually have a lower velocity at a 6” pipe and would be below industry standards. I’ve always read to keep the pipe as big as you can as long as you can. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

I can see the logic in going with option 1, but I’m not totally convinced on #2… Man, this rabbit hole is getting deeper – off to read some more physics of air flow…

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2518 days

#11 posted 05-13-2014 04:16 PM

What he said is true, you will have a slower velocity in the 6” pipes….but it will still be adequate to carry the debris. Somewhere back in this thread it was indicated you have a CV, and that’s what the sketch resembles; if true you don’t have to worry about running 6” all the way to the tool.

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

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

8089 posts in 2353 days

#12 posted 05-13-2014 04:43 PM

I’d put the planer on the left wall and move the bench… then you can run the main down the left side of the ceiling and put one T off to pick up the TS and jointer with a drop.

The planer produces the greatest volume and weight of chips…. I don’t think you want it at the end of the road.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View English's profile


658 posts in 1502 days

#13 posted 05-13-2014 05:05 PM

According to the Clear Vue 1800 fan curve you can get 1000 CFM of air flow with 12” of static loss. With the short runs on both options you will still have much more air flow that needed at each machine. The Clear Vue 1800 can produce 16” of static. With that much static available you can get 500 cfm through a 4” duct and 1500 through a 6” duct. None of your runs as shown in option one and two will produce much more than 5”

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View crank49's profile


4032 posts in 2996 days

#14 posted 05-13-2014 05:05 PM

Did you ever say what the size of your collector was?

Surely, since you said you tried to read the Pentz site, you would know that the larger the pipe the slower the flow. That is like the entire basis for any system design.

In a basic 2/3 garage layout (about 24 ft by 24 ft?) it is not going to be a huge issue because none of the runs are all that long, but I assume your collector will have a 7” inlet and a 6” pipe is already restricting the volume of flow somewhat and increasing the velocity. Reducing to a 5” for vertical runs will do more of the same.
In a marginal system increasing the velocity for vertical runs would help to carry chips and heavy particles up to the main duct trunk line. Don’t think your system will be in that category.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1325 posts in 1973 days

#15 posted 05-13-2014 05:58 PM

To all that are concerned about velocity you need to see this, I don’t think you will have a problem of velocity with a 6” line.

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