Workshop Dust Collection System #3: Adding a DIY Floor Sweep

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Blog entry by grumpybear7357 posted 12-29-2016 02:41 AM 4326 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Adapting to the Machines Part 3 of Workshop Dust Collection System series no next part

I have had my Dust Collection (DC) system in use for about 6 months, but have never taken the time to add a floor sweep. Although I have shop built plywood dust chutes for my jointer and table saw, neither machine was built with Dust Collection as an integral part of the machine design. My DIY dust chutes work well, but I still get a small amount dust and chips on the floor from each machine. My surface planer does facilitate dust collection, however I still get a small amount of dust and chips on the bench and floor, especially when planing thick stock. Additionally, I routinely use my old ShopSmith (SS) as a lathe, disc sander, morticing tool, and drill press. The SS has no dust collection capabilities therefore all debris falls on the SS or to the floor. Finally, I do a lot of hand tool work at my workbench – chisel/hand-saw/hand-plane/etc. So, even though my Dust Collection system captures 95+ percent of the debris from those machines to which I have it connected, I still have some cleanup to perform. To date, I have swept the debris to a point near my miter station (far end of the shop), disconnect the 2 inch flex from the miter, and vacuumed the debris through the miter flex hose.

This week I constructed a plywood floor sweep chute and piped it into the DC system. The floor sweep measures 10 inches wide, 4 inches deep, and 1.25 inches high. I added a new 3 inch PVC drop, with its own 3 inch blast gate, to the DC system. I cut a hole in the top of the floor sweep to match the outside diameter of the 3 inch PCV. I inserted the PCV through the top of the sweep and aligned it even with the underside of the top piece – so the end of the PVC pipe is 1.25 inches above the floor. I sealed the 3 inch pipe to the sweep with GE silicon. I positioned the Floor Sweep in close proximity to my planer/jointer bench and the SS as this is the area where the majority of loose debris falls. Further, it is relatively close to my work bench area, therefore a short broom sweep away.

On the new 3 inch drop tube, above the 3 inch blast gate, I have also included a 2 inch port and seperate blast gate. The 2 inch port was installed to have a dedicated flex hose port available to clean the SS and the few chips that fall out the side of the jointer or are tossed out of the planer.

The floor sweep works great, pulling dust, chips, and shavings from the broom 5 to 6 inches away from the port. The relatively small size (10 inches) is not a limiting factor. As the broom approaches the floor sweep, all debris are pulled in. The two inch port also works very well. I will no longer have to disconnect/reconnect the miter to clean debris from the SS.

As an added benefit, the floor sweep clears shavings from the bristles of the broom!

I wish I had done this long ago. Thanks for reading.

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

3 comments so far

View htl's profile


5516 posts in 2316 days

#1 posted 12-29-2016 03:41 PM

Nicely done!
I went back and reread your vac posts and and didn’t realize the SS vac could handle that much piping.
Great job and looks the ticket.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View grumpybear7357's profile


45 posts in 1802 days

#2 posted 12-30-2016 01:12 AM

htl – Its all about the diameter of the pipe. 3 inch is about maximum for DC-3300. Beyond that, I have made every effort to minimize turns and use as little flex as possible. Turns and flex cause turbulence, therefore impede airflow, and performance suffers.


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

View htl's profile


5516 posts in 2316 days

#3 posted 12-30-2016 05:25 AM

Thanks for the info grumpybear had been wondering about using 3” with the smaller vacs.
Some of us just don’t have the need or $$$ for the big guns.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

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