Workshop Dust Collection System #1: Workshop Dust Collector

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Blog entry by grumpybear7357 posted 11-15-2016 01:44 PM 2373 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Workshop Dust Collection System series Part 2: Adapting to the Machines »

Hi All, this is my first blog post. I have been lurking here on LumberJocks for some time – reading and learning. Thought I would share the layout and build of my little Dust Collection System.

I have a multi-use workshop where I do my woodworking. I stumbled into a deal on a ShopSmith DC-3300 Dust Collector (DC) which I have plumbed into a fixed DC system. The DC-3300 moves 330 Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM) of air. Perfectly adequate with properly sized plumbing. Of course every turn, ever blast gate, every flexible hose decreases the efficiency. I kept this in mind as I designed and built the system.

I shop built a Thien Baffle to separate and collect chips and sawdust. To maximize CFM through the small DC-3300, I designed and shop built a manifold connecting the three DC-3300 ports to the outlet port of the baffle. I have approximately 16 square inches of area exposed to the baffle. The three 2 inch hoses of the DC-3300 have an area of approximately 9.3 square inches – so manifold size alone will not restrict airflow. Using information found on a ShopSmith forum, I sized the plumbing at 3 inches (although some equipment drops are 2 inch). Using 3 inch PVC in the main line with a 330 CFM blower should maintain an airflow well in excess of 3500 feet per minute – the minimum required to suspend chips and sawdust in a stream of moving air.

Shop built blast gates were developed from plans found here on LumberJocks. They are self-cleaning, leak very little, and operated flawlessly. Shop built dust collection chutes were designed and built for my 1952 Craftsman 4 3/8 inch Jointer and my 12 inch Craftsman Floor Model Table Saw. Both work well, although I see a redesign of the table saw chute in the future as it does not fit as close as I would like. The Jointer chute was upgraded to a 3 inch port (from 2 inch) with the installation of a planer on the same cart. We ran 3 inch PVC to both. it should be noted the jointer ran fine on the DC with a 2 inch port even when face milling 4 inch lumber, however there is no comparison in how well the planer clears chips on the 3 in pipe relative to how it performed on a 2 inch flex hose.

The system is held together with small screws through the couplings, so it can easily be reconfigured such as moving a machine drop or adding a new machine. Recognize that this is a one man shop and I run one machine at a time. With that, the DC-3300 has met or exceeded all expectations. Properly sized plumbing makes all the difference on a system with low Cubic Feet of air movement. If you go too big on the pipe, the linear Feet per Minute can drop below the magic 3500 number and particles will settle out of the airstream (creating clogs). A few pictures of my little system follow:

This is the DC-3300 plumbed into the Thien Baffle via the three port manifold. Also note the use of a flexible joint in the 3 inch PVC to facilitate removal of the baffle for dumping (frequently):

One of my two inch blast gates:

The Table saw sits away from the wall so the DC drop is plumbed overhead and drops beside the table saw. The DC works quite well as configured, however the the dust chute I built beneath will eventually be redesigned. I plan to seal it tighter to the table saw chassis and run a full 3 inch PVC to it to maximize flow:

Originally the jointer was serviced by a 2 inch flex hose connected to the dust chute. When I added a planer to the jointer cart, i designed a 3 inch vacuum pipe arrangement for both the jointer and planer. it all works quite well.

Dust Collection plumbed into the Jointer dust chute and the planer. Note the use of another flexible joint to facilitate moving the equipment away from the wall if necessary:

The Jointer / Planer Blast Gate configuration:

General view of the shop equipment set up with the DC system. Not shown is a third 2 inch drop running across the ceiling joist and turns down to a blast gate over my workbench – positioned out-of-sight to the right side of the picture. This port facilities sanding, cleanup, and use of my portable router table at the workbench.

Hope you enjoy reading about and seeing my little DC system – I am quite satisfied with it. Questions and comments are always welcome.

-- Never Underestimate an Old Man with a Tractor...

2 comments so far

View htl's profile


5516 posts in 2316 days

#1 posted 11-15-2016 02:43 PM

Nice job and seeing the SS vac I wondered if you had a Shopsmith and yep it’s up against the wall waiting to get er done.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View grumpybear7357's profile


45 posts in 1802 days

#2 posted 11-15-2016 03:10 PM

htl – Yup – cannot imagine not have the SS. This one was my father’s – a 1951 10ER. For years it was my primary woodworking machine. It still gets used on every project as a drill press, mortise tool, disk sander, or lathe. Occasionally still use it as a table saw for dado. So much versatility in such a small package.

-- Never Underestimate an Old Man with a Tractor...

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