Bandsaw upgrades #2: Dust collection challenge, part 1

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Blog entry by Elizabeth posted 09-26-2011 07:01 PM 3669 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: How to rewire a Grizzly G0555 Bandsaw Part 2 of Bandsaw upgrades series no next part

My bandsaw is located in a very convenient yet awkward place. It’s right at the front of the garage shop:

...and right underneath the garage door.

I’m currently installing a permanent dust collection system in the shop, and encountered a challenge regarding the bandsaw’s placement. I love the light that the saw gets in this location, and it’s very easily accessible…but I can’t hang the dust collection ducting from the ceiling because the garage door is in the way. So for the past few weeks I have been brainstorming on a way to solve this problem.

Originally I was thinking about using the garage door’s rails to hang some kind of beam which the ducting could run off of, but I didn’t like this idea for a couple of reasons. While there is clearance on the rails for some flat-headed bolts to rest without interfering with the door, there wasn’t MUCH space, and I was worried about adding too much extra weight to the rails’ support structures.

So I took a closer look at those supports.

The garage door rails are supported by two triangular structures made of steel 90-degree-bent rails. (I don’t know the ‘proper’ name for them.) They’re bolted to the ceiling and to each other, and look pretty sturdy. And they go into a ceiling beam, and happen to line up pretty closely with the entry location of the ductwork. So, I sketched out a plan.

I recreated those triangular structures, in a slightly larger scale so they would go underneath the door. A trip to my local hardware store showed that I could easily get 8 foot lengths of steel, which would not quite be enough to span the 10-foot-and-change gap but could be extended with three foot beams on either end. This could work! So off I went to get supplies.

$75 later, I had my supplies:

(1) eight foot steel L-beam – this cost $25 on its own; shame I couldn’t find a HF coupon that day
(5) three foot steel L-beams, three of which I got cut in half at the store
(30) washers
(6) lag bolts for the ceiling (all bolts 5/16, I think?)
(12) bolts
(12) lock nuts

Amazingly, once I had a plan of how to proceed it went really quickly. First I connected the 8 footer with the two remaining 3 footers to make a 12 foot section with two one-foot overlapped sections for strength.

Then I started playing around with the triangular structures. I had calculated that I would need about 14-15 inches, but had ended up with 18-inch pieces, but this won’t be a problem, and I may even find that I want that extra length in the end.

These bolts and nuts are only finger-tightened at the moment, as it will be easier to install the ceiling-mounted piece without everything else in the way. Particularly since I seem to have misplaced my ratcheting socket wrench so am making do with a normal one. I did need to trim the corners on the angled piece with a flat file to make them fit in place a little better.

Once one of these structures is on the ceiling I will connect up the rail…

...and use it to determine exactly where to locate the other ceiling mount.

Part two of this entry will be the actual installation of these pieces!

5 comments so far

View StumpyNubs's profile


7851 posts in 3882 days

#1 posted 09-26-2011 08:49 PM

Too bad you don’t have a cheap welder- like the $100 flux core wire welder at HF. You’d be surprised how easy it is to use and how many little projects like this one it is a lifesaver for!

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View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4225 days

#2 posted 09-26-2011 08:58 PM

True, and I have welded once before (at a day out during an engineering internship) but that was a LONG time ago and now I’d probably be more likely to run a bad weld and run my components! But I think the bolts should work fine. There’s lots of redundancy should any one bolt fail, and it seems to be working well for the garage doors.

View flippedcracker's profile


91 posts in 3535 days

#3 posted 09-26-2011 10:15 PM

that kind of steel is what all my rafters in the garage are held up with. the PO built those and the workbench out of it, and it seems to be holding up pretty well.

View StumpyNubs's profile


7851 posts in 3882 days

#4 posted 09-26-2011 10:23 PM

I wasn’t saying it wouldn’t hold up- I think it will work out very nicely. I was just saying it would have been a bit less hassle to assemble and you could have used ultra-cheap steel conduit. But nuts and bolts will hold as well as a flux core weld will.

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View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4225 days

#5 posted 09-29-2011 10:56 PM

Update – the “bridge” went up in a single evening, my measurements checked out, and the whole thing looks pretty sturdy in the up-and-down direction, though it would wobble side to side if messed with. I’ll post part 2 of this project once the ducting for it has gone up, which will probably still take a while to get to.

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