$300 Dust Collection System

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Blog entry by BlueRidgeDog posted 08-15-2020 11:29 PM 474 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So for the past several years I have had a great cyclone that I connected to what I needed with 50” of 4” flex pipe. The cyclone was one of the original units from Pen and “should” have had amazing air flow, but was really struggling.

I ditched the felt bag and piped the exhause outside with 5” flex hose.

Then I purchased a box of Taytools 4” blast gates (the all metal ones) and tool one to the local big box store to find any schedule 20 pipe that was a close fit. The gate is for a 4” ID pipe ,but they do intend it to be clamped on, so they are often a bit smaller than 4”.

The white schedule 20 pipe was a bit loose, and the green was “just touching”. So I loaded up on $210 worth of green sewer pipe and fittings. DO NOT buy the fittings in the plumbing section as they are for schedule 40 and up pipe and will not fit. Big box stores often put their schedule 20 larger fittings in the landscape or vent related area.

With no particular plan in mind I started a run down my main shop wall with a wye angled out level with the ceiling and branched it off to the planner/thicknesser. When I got over the planner I turned a 90 and put in a gate.

All gates were installed with silicone with the fitting or pipe sitting on the bench.

From there I kept heading down the wall, anchoring the main pipe with steel cabled sold for that purpose. I put in three more wyes, each followed by a 45 degree fitting. The first headed across the room to the bandsaw, the second came down for the jointer and the third was split in two with the first let going to the router table and the second going to my general cleanup port that has 40’ of 4” and 20’ of 2.5” attached and can reach all four corners of the basement shop. For the cleanup port, I added a relief valve so I can use it for a sander or such without it sucking the guts out of it or sticking it to the work with so much suction.

A simple part of the pipe makes an adjustable door.

From there I had to use 45’s to jog around my water feed line, then headed down the wall with a drop for my table saw and then my miter station.

The miter drop ties into my existing 3d printed dust collection unit for the miter saw.

I did not glue a single thing. Once it was where I was happy, I used duct tape to seal it. Why? Well I think I may change it at some point if I move my tools around and I know I have two more stations in the future (dedicated spot for the motiser and drill press). However, the “real” duct tape works as well as glue “IMHO”.

So, about $300 and six hours work.

Getting rid of the felt bag doubled my flow (and cut my noise to 1/4 of what it was) and I think going to hard pip doubled it again. I have found that I have to leave the gates closed, but not locked so that the system suction will pull them up and form a seal. These gates are also “self cleaning” in that they leak some through a slot in the back. I have enough CFM to handle it, but if I did not I would just tape it off.

3 comments so far

View clagwell's profile


323 posts in 706 days

#1 posted 08-16-2020 10:38 AM

Looks like that was a productive six hours!

Those gates will likely leak less if they’re reversed. There’s less gap when the adjusting screw pushes the plate toward to the suction side rather than away from it.

-- Dave, Tippecanoe County, IN --- Is there a corollary to Beranek.s Law that applies to dust collection?

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3559 posts in 4351 days

#2 posted 08-16-2020 11:36 AM

I would love to vent outside but in Maine I think I would evacuate the heat in my shop faster than I can make it. Good job for Virginia though.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View BlueRidgeDog's profile


740 posts in 693 days

#3 posted 08-16-2020 03:29 PM

I lived in Maine for a few years. Winter is not too cold, but darn lots of snow. If I was still there I would setup a dual vent option. Outside when above 40 and inside otherwise. My situation was bad in that I had the old felt bag hooked up to a monster of a cyclone system and it was really holding it back. Now things roar.

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