Dust collector tips & tricks share

eallen

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Dust collection has been a significant essential to me for several years for many reasons. The challenge for those like myself is doing it effectively in the limited space of a small shop in a manner that is affordable, maximizes effectivity, and convenient. Affordable because I can be a bit of a cheapskate. Effective because I literally hate walking on sawdust, oh and safety. Convenient because, well, I can be lazy and skip using it if it isn't.

So let's do a thread to share our tips we have learned because I always need to learn more! For those who use a shop vac for collection I did as well for years. I still have a 16 gallon vac hooked to a dust deputy separator with a 15 gallon container for general clean up & hand small tools but shop vacs are limited in cfm volume.

While it would be great to have a fully automated industrial mega suction dust collector it just isn't realistic for me in price or space. Mine is a hodge podge of items. Not necessarily the best way to do any of it but has some good points and things I keep meaning to get to.

The motor & impellor is from a cheap Harbor Freight collector I threw the rest away & mounted it high and out of the way. It is connected to a Super Dust Deputy which has been worth the cost. For filter beyond the dust deputy I use a the glorious great out doors. I put a temporary block in a window to duct it outside until I could run a vent thru the wall. 7 years later...it's on my list! 😬 The saw dust drops into a 25 gallon metal trashcan. Not ideal but what I have space for. Literally the only time you can even see anything being blown outside is when the trashcan is over full. That is always when I am running a lot thru the planer and totally forget to check the trashcan and happen to look out the window to see sawdust blowing outside! Unfortunately that means not only is the trash can full but Super Dust deputy is also packed full with sawdust! I keep intending to install a method to tell when it is full.
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From the super dust deputy 4" PVC is ducted throughout my cramped shop with 8 blast gates for the various tools: Jointer, mitersaw, table saw, bandsaw, drill press, planer, an articulating arm, ROSS & drum sanders, and a free floating hose for floor and random things.

Because I am cheap I have opted for the affordable plastic blast gates. Unfortunately they tend to fall a part. I started drilling a small hole at each corner and screwing a small screw in it and have not replaced one in years.

A major challenge with that many blast gates is forgetting to close one significantly reduces the cfm available at another tool when using it. For me that means 2 things. First, open and closing the gates have to be easily reached and convenient. If you want to fork out major change or tinker you can opt for the wonderful tool actuated blast gates that turn on when the tool does. I am sure the cost is worth it for many shops. For me, I have rigged up various convenient levers, handles, and cables to open & close gates that arent convenient to reach.
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I used an old lawn mower cable with a spring on the table saw cabinet that connects to a lever on the table saw fence that rotates and sets on the fence edge to lock open.

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For an overhead gate I have a simple metal rod attached to the gate that I pull up and down. After years of use I recently installed a screw to put light pressure on the gate slide to hold it in the closed position when not in use.
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Another factor to keeping gates closed and open is how I turn the collector off and on. I only want the noise of it being on when needed. I use a simple Fosmon brand remote control my collector is plugged into. It was just some random brand off of Amazon but the key for me is that it is programmable to accept up to something like 20 of their remote controls. I caught their remotes on sale at their website for $4 each. $32 later and each blast gate has a remote attached to it to turn the collector off and on when I open and close that specific gate! Collector still on means gate still open!

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There are a few challenges of using 4" pvc with dust collector hoses & gates. The pvc is too large. The main reason to do so is it is cheap. No, I've never found static electricity an issue in a small shop that only runs the collector when tools are used. If it works you licking the metal hose clamps should help.🤪

An easy way to shrink the pvc opeming down in size is to lightly heat the pvc with a heat gun or propane torch while tightening a hose clamp until the opening is small enough to just slide over the dust collector fittings.

I don't like to permanently glue my pvc together. On more than one occasion my collector has collected small tools that got stopped somewhere in the pipes and required some pull apart. Other times I have had to rearrange when I got new tools. I instead place the fittings together and drive 2 #6 sheetmetal or wood screws about 3/8-1/2" long thru the fitting and pipe to secure the joint. Follow by simply smearing a bead of caulking around the joint lip. It will hold so well that I have to score the caulk years later to get them apart, but it comes apart.

Something else I have found helpful is using heavy magnets to hold a hose in place on tools. It also allows me to hang a hose up out of the way when not in use by sticking to the clamp.

Eric

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eallen

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A great addition was an articulating arm. Fully extended it reaches 9' in a 180 degrees swing to hold at whatever location desired for anything from sanding, over a table saw blade, or router.

The best way to do the rotating hub is a heavy duty lazy suzan or rotating stool seat type mount. Of course being cheap I opted for a single large center bolt mine rotates on. I have kicked myself & been meaning to change it every sense, along with the dust port outside. 😏 The cheap way wasn't the smart way in this case.

Some things I have learned over the 5 year or so of regular use are primarily in the bolts that apply pressure to squeeze the wood pieces to hold the sections in place. One, the pan heads will eventually round out the wood it rests in and allow the bolts to turn instead of tightening. I eventually drilled a couple small holes in a large washer and tack welded a bolt to the washer. Finish by screwing the washer in place with a couple small screws and problem solved. Another issue is that the nuts and bolt threads will strip over time unless you use grade 8 bolts & nuts. I use a make shift rotating arm to tighten and loosen the out of reach top arm section.

Let's see your tips!

Eric

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Blue Bill

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Wow, you have it dialed in! I love that accordian arm on the table saw.
 

old wrench

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Nice setup Eric !!!

I incorporated a lot of 4" PVC in my original dust collection system too - it was much cheaper than the purpose-made fittings that were available back then - as long as there is sufficient "suck" the 4" works good :)

I recently added a cyclone separator and I'm really impressed with how much junk it pulls out of the stream.

It's one of the smaller separators suited for use with a shop-vac.

It's the one that Harbor Freight sells - about $40 bucks for the separator, hose and fittings, and seems to work very well ;)

.
 

eallen

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Nice setup Eric !!!

I incorporated a lot of 4" PVC in my original dust collection system too - it was much cheaper than the purpose-made fittings that were available back then - as long as there is sufficient "suck" the 4" works good :)

I recently added a cyclone separator and I'm really impressed with how much junk it pulls out of the stream.

It's one of the smaller separators suited for use with a shop-vac.

It's the one that Harbor Freight sells - about $40 bucks for the separator, hose and fittings, and seems to work very well ;)

.

Thanks, I originally got a shop vac size dust deputy about a decade ago as well that I still use with a 15 gallon container on my shop vac. Couldn't believe how much it separated out as well! Not sure if all separators do but they seem to catch as much as the cheap high micron filter bags. Well worth the cost!

Eric
 

schmee

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I avoid getting rid of dust because It might be someone I know: "you are dust, And to dust you shall return."
 

eallen

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I'm using an SDD in my temporary shop and it performs well for its size.
What sort of collector do you have it connected to Jim?
Mine is the XL version but tests I have read on the over the years indicate it is capable of significant higher cfm than I am pulling especially if using the 5" input/exhaust ducting & 6" debri dump.

I have a old single stage Delta dust collector that works great. A few years ago I added an ambient filter in the rafters. No more breathing problems 😁
View attachment 938215
Great tool! I run a big squirl cage with filter that I use when spraying that is ducted outside pretty consistently when doing much that creates fine dust in particular. No collector catches 100% for sure!
Does it feel like your delta unit has pretty strong pull or do you know the cfm they are rated at? Have contemplated adding one since it doesn't require air coming in like my finish one does being ducted outside.

I avoid getting rid of dust because It might be someone I know: "you are dust, And to dust you shall return."
😂😂 I just picture people I always wanted to get back at anyway!
 
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RobRiggs

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What sort of collector do you have it connected to Jim?
Mine is the XL version but tests I have read on the over the years indicate it is capable of significant higher cfm than I am pulling especially if using the 5" input/exhaust ducting & 6" debri dump.


Great tool! I run a big squirl cage with filter that I use when spraying that is ducted outside pretty consistently when doing much that creates fine dust in particular. No collector catches 100% for sure!
Does it feel like your delta unit has pretty strong pull or do you know the cfm they are rated at? Have contemplated adding one since it doesn't require air coming in like my finish one does being ducted outside.


😂😂 I just picture people I always wanted to get back at anyway!

I believe it’s 875cfm. I know it’s not very scientific, but when I’m fine sanding and creating that talcum powder-like sawdust the prefilter fills up pretty quickly. The electrostatic element cleans easily. I’ve developed a sawdust allergy as I’ve gotten older so the ambient filter is a necessity.
 

Jim_in_PA

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What sort of collector do you have it connected to Jim?
Mine is the XL version but tests I have read on the over the years indicate it is capable of significant higher cfm than I am pulling especially if using the 5" input/exhaust ducting & 6" debri dump.
I bought the SDD and a single stage Delta DC from a local friend who upgraded. I could not get my big Oneida unit in the temporary shop, so I sold it and will replace when I get a building up. I'm using 5" quick connect duct from Blastgate Company. Expensive as all get-out, but oh, so easy to work with. My runs are short in the temp shop (which is the "garage LOL) so it's performing well. I'm not a fan of the small 35 gallon bin since I can fill it in about five minutes when milling wide stock, but it will do for now. 'Just have to keep my eye on it! Here's a couple of photos of the temporary setup...you can see the SDD and the Delta unit mounted to the wall in the background

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watercaster

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A great addition was an articulating arm. Fully extended it reaches 9' in a 180 degrees swing to hold at whatever location desired for anything from sanding, over a table saw blade, or router.

The best way to do the rotating hub is a heavy duty lazy suzan or rotating stool seat type mount. Of course being cheap I opted for a single large center bolt mine rotates on. I have kicked myself & been meaning to change it every sense, along with the dust port outside. 😏 The cheap way wasn't the smart way in this case.

Some things I have learned over the 5 year or so of regular use are primarily in the bolts that apply pressure to squeeze the wood pieces to hold the sections in place. One, the pan heads will eventually round out the wood it rests in and allow the bolts to turn instead of tightening. I eventually drilled a couple small holes in a large washer and tack welded a bolt to the washer. Finish by screwing the washer in place with a couple small screws and problem solved. Another issue is that the nuts and bolt threads will strip over time unless you use grade 8 bolts & nuts. I use a make shift rotating arm to tighten and loosen the out of reach top arm section.

Let's see your tips!

Eric

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Do you find that you lose heat in the winter by ducting to the outside?
 

eallen

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I bought the SDD and a single stage Delta DC from a local friend who upgraded. I could not get my big Oneida unit in the temporary shop, so I sold it and will replace when I get a building up. I'm using 5" quick connect duct from Blastgate Company. Expensive as all get-out, but oh, so easy to work with. My runs are short in the temp shop (which is the "garage LOL) so it's performing well. I'm not a fan of the small 35 gallon bin since I can fill it in about five minutes when milling wide stock, but it will do for now. 'Just have to keep my eye on it! Here's a couple of photos of the temporary setup...you can see the SDD and the Delta unit mounted to the wall in the background

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Love it Jim! Man I am drooling over the Jointer! Very nice shop!

Do you find that you lose heat in the winter by ducting to the outside?

Not enough to even make it noticable from the dust collector. A 4" pipe opening would take a substantial amount of cfm to effect 580 sq'of space. Whatever goes out just comes in through the garage door seal which has no perceivable draft increase when the collector is turned on.

My finish filter fan is another story! If I kick it on without an inlet air path opened you can hear the garage door move and opening the door go into the house tags a tug to open!
 

Jim_in_PA

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Love it Jim! Man I am drooling over the Jointer! Very nice shop!
SCM/Minimax FS-350 J/P combo. They don't make that intermediate width anymore (350mm/~13.68") and I bought this machine in about 2004, give or take. I do wish I would have opted for the 410mm (~16") version, but the price was right at the time as this specific machine was a show floor machine that I picked up at the close of a weekend woodworking show nearby in NJ. That was a popular way to get additional discounts at the time and not have to pay freight.

I am a major fan and proponent of jointer/thicknesser combo machines...big width capacities in a compact space, and no the changeover and shorter bed lengths are not really significant for most woodworkers' actual work flows. 60 seconds to switch and in the rare moment that something actually very long has to be processed, auxiliary support can be used.
 

telepraise

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Good thread Eric! You are very innovative, and here I thought you just made luscious instruments. Long ago I purchased a Delta single stage (~1,100 cfm I think) with the two bags top and bottom. It sits in the corner of my shop and one of the two inputs goes to a hard line of 4" metal snap duct running down a wall with blast gates for the sliding miter and jointer. The other input is connected to a length of 4" plastic flex duct that rotates between the tablesaw, large bandsaw, planer, and router table. I never got ambitious enough to run a second hard line down the ceiling (it would have to cross a couple of 8' light fixtures).

For me the, the biggest sawdust culprit is the off-the-top of the tablesaw. At my age, and after making literally a whole house full of furniture, I don't forsee processing enough big batches of lumber to rig for it. Thanks to a Swiss Bosch sander and an old Fein vac, sanding dust is nonexistent. I did invest in a Dust Deputy cyclone for the shop vac and it truly is amazing- It never loses suction, keeps the filter clean, and I've never found even a teaspoon of dust in the Shopvac can. It does make the Shopvac a little more cumbersome to move around but no more replacing or vacuuming filters for me.
 

Dan Miller

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Here is a shot of my shop, showing my constantly evolving dust collection system.

Shop Shot Jan2022.jpg


The main collection is Jet 1100cfm, formerly a two-bag mobile collector, now the guts are mounted on the wall. The exit filter is from Oneida - I forget the size but is very fine micron level. The Oneida Dust Deputy empties into a 35 gallon metal trash can. The light above that is supposed to notify when the bin is full, but it's never worked properly :(. The duct work is simply 5" and 4" metal duct from the local hvac shop. Permanent connections are made to the router table, table saw, and band saw. A fourth drop ends in 4" flex hose that gets switched between jointer, planer, combo sander and whatever else. The 2 1/2" drop over the table saw is mounted to Shark Guard (stowed for non-through cuts in this photo).

Overhead, between the TS and BS is a box 3-stage dust filter - it's connected to a timer switch, so I can turn it on and leave, without having to remember to turn it back off.

Barely visible just behind the TS is my brand spanking new Festool dust extractor with Oneida Systainer Dust Deputy onboard. And further beyond that is a Rigid Shop-vac with Dust Deputy mounted alongside.

I'd like to replace the heart of the DCS with an Oneida Supercell, and almost did a couple weeks ago when the Jet motor crapped out. However, a new start cap was a lot cheaper, and easier to justify when this set up is working pretty well.

'Nuff ramblin'.
Dan
 

Jim_in_PA

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Here is a shot of my shop, showing my constantly evolving dust collection system
I'm truly, truly jealous of that beautiful timber frame structure! I wish I could do that for the new shop building here I hope to put up this year on this property, but financially, it's just out of the question.
 

eallen

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Good thread Eric! You are very innovative, and here I thought you just made luscious instruments. Long ago I purchased a Delta single stage (~1,100 cfm I think) with the two bags top and bottom. It sits in the corner of my shop and one of the two inputs goes to a hard line of 4" metal snap duct running down a wall with blast gates for the sliding miter and jointer. The other input is connected to a length of 4" plastic flex duct that rotates between the tablesaw, large bandsaw, planer, and router table. I never got ambitious enough to run a second hard line down the ceiling (it would have to cross a couple of 8' light fixtures).

For me the, the biggest sawdust culprit is the off-the-top of the tablesaw. At my age, and after making literally a whole house full of furniture, I don't forsee processing enough big batches of lumber to rig for it. Thanks to a Swiss Bosch sander and an old Fein vac, sanding dust is nonexistent. I did invest in a Dust Deputy cyclone for the shop vac and it truly is amazing- It never loses suction, keeps the filter clean, and I've never found even a teaspoon of dust in the Shopvac can. It does make the Shopvac a little more cumbersome to move around but no more replacing or vacuuming filters for me.

Thanks and good sounding setup! Totally agree on dust deputy ability to catch stuff! Amazes me.

I just finished a run of 4"pvc up into the attic to go over a structural beam & back down on the other side. I didnt want to see how bad it would look & how much pressure I would loose dropping down the 16" beam & back up another 16".

Here is a shot of my shop, showing my constantly evolving dust collection system.

View attachment 939202

The main collection is Jet 1100cfm, formerly a two-bag mobile collector, now the guts are mounted on the wall. The exit filter is from Oneida - I forget the size but is very fine micron level. The Oneida Dust Deputy empties into a 35 gallon metal trash can. The light above that is supposed to notify when the bin is full, but it's never worked properly :(. The duct work is simply 5" and 4" metal duct from the local hvac shop. Permanent connections are made to the router table, table saw, and band saw. A fourth drop ends in 4" flex hose that gets switched between jointer, planer, combo sander and whatever else. The 2 1/2" drop over the table saw is mounted to Shark Guard (stowed for non-through cuts in this photo).

Overhead, between the TS and BS is a box 3-stage dust filter - it's connected to a timer switch, so I can turn it on and leave, without having to remember to turn it back off.

Barely visible just behind the TS is my brand spanking new Festool dust extractor with Oneida Systainer Dust Deputy onboard. And further beyond that is a Rigid Shop-vac with Dust Deputy mounted alongside.

I'd like to replace the heart of the DCS with an Oneida Supercell, and almost did a couple weeks ago when the Jet motor crapped out. However, a new start cap was a lot cheaper, and easier to justify when this set up is working pretty well.

'Nuff ramblin'.
Dan
Man Dan! You've got s totally sick setup! Just had to wipe the drool off my screen. Thanks for sharing it! 😏
 

moosie

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Here's mine. I wanted a cyclone, and I didn't want to pay a fortune. Also, it needed to fit a tight space. Overhead door track needs to work. Need to be able to access the electrical panel. And I didn't want to lose any lumber rack space. The waste bin needed to be easy to remove and reattach. Ideally same for the filter.


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The blower is from a 2hp Shop Fox DC (220v @ 12A).

The molded plastic cyclone is an Oneida SDD.

Waste bin is a 35 gal steel can from Home Depot. For the work I do, it seems to be big enough. I empty it every week or two, depending on the work. The DC services the 8" jointer, 13" planer, bandsaw, and table saw.

The filter is from Wynn, and is open on both ends. It mounts to a shop made plywood plenum, and the other end is closed off with a 5 gallon bucket. The unit is efficient enough that I may empty the bin 3-5 times, and still only have maybe one cup of fine dust in the catch bucket.

The filter connects to the bucket and plenum with a threaded arrangement made from Gamma seal lids and buckets. The result is that the bucket unscrews from the filter with 1.5 turns. And the entire filter unscrews from the plenum in the same way. No tools required. Details are in the second video, below.

The wall mount arrangement, and the lid of the waste bin that serves as the platform for the SDD, is all from the first video. The result is that the waste bin is up on a pair of 2x4s placed on edge. Remove those, and the full bin drops 3" to the floor. To reattach it, just reverse the process: slide bin underneath, and slip the 2x4s under the base. The way the lid is cut, there's a step that fits just inside the lip of the can. Coupled with weatherstripping, and the pressure from the running unit, the seal is very good. Again, no tools are required.

My runs aren't long, but they are flex hose, which adds a lot of friction. Nonetheless, I leave the jointer gate open all the time, and one other, and there's never a problem with suction. The massive Wynn filter is a joy. So much better than those bags that release a continuous fine cloud of the most dangerous dust. And much better than non-cyclone systems where the filter plugs up after each job. Maybe three times a year I remove the filter and clean it in the driveway with compressed air.

To get the finest crap out of the air, I also have a ceiling-mounted JET air filter.

I may eventually run my ducts up and over the work space, but for now it's trippin' over flex hose, until I decide exactly what I want. It's very tight near the DC, to avoid sharp turns, and without interfering with the overhead door track.


I used these two systems for ideas:



 




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