Dust Collection #1: Disappointed

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Blog entry by jesinfla posted 05-01-2015 03:43 PM 1439 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Dust Collection series Part 2: Update tp my shop and dust collection »

I started setting up my dust collection system and after trying to actually use it, was disappointed in the design.

I’m using 2 1/2” hose with 2 1/2” pvc – I know I should be using 4” but my vac isn’t strong enough I don’t think – so this is what I have for now.

I’ll post some pics later, after the disappointment wears off – the disappointment stems from usage. It seems I’m better off attaching my shop vac to individual hose attachments for the various stations, then trying to set up an entire dust collection system.

Here’s the original diagram

I’ve since cut down on the number of stations to 3 – the sander has been disassembled until I can get a better sanding solution.

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

4 comments so far

View pintodeluxe's profile


6519 posts in 4151 days

#1 posted 05-01-2015 03:50 PM

Are you using a regular shop vac, or an actual DC unit? My 1hp dust collector is pretty pitiful unless it is directly connected to one machine.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View English's profile


693 posts in 2815 days

#2 posted 05-01-2015 03:59 PM

Are you using blast gates at the equipment end? Even though they VAX my not be real strong it does not have a chance if it is trying to draw from all of the stations at once..

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View kdc68's profile


3051 posts in 3615 days

#3 posted 05-03-2015 12:19 PM

Can’t tell by the drawing but I will assume the run is too long for one vac to handle. The layout is better suited for a dust collector perhaps.

Don’t give up though. What you have is workable. Your comment about moving the vac from station to station is the best solution. BUT since you have the blast gates and all the piping you can reconfigure the layout.

When I had mine set up with those gates, I divided my areas into zones. I had a vac in each zone with short runs of PVC. The runs were less than 10 feet and each shop vac was close enough to reach by hand to turn on/off. I had no more than 3 tools in each zone. Depending on the situation I had each tool set up with it’s own blast gates, and gates in the run towards other tools. One or more blast gate was for the tool itself, the other was for the run so I could isolate the tools I was using by closing the blast gates in the run.

I found these old photos. This may help explain my description

One workstation. Router table on the left with two gates. One for collection behind the fence, the other for collection in the cabinet under the router. I could use either/or and both for collection. My band saw on the right. You can see I have blast gates on each side of the T to isolate the tool I’m using, so all the suction goes to the tool I am using. If I was using the router table, I would close the gate in the run to the right of the T. Open the gate in the run to the left of the T and one or both gates to the router table.
The blue thing next to the shop vac is a separator. The separator collects all the large chips so the vac doesn’t fill up as fast.

Another workstation. Table saw on the left and jointer on the right. Here it was a little different than the photo above. I have a blast gate on either side of the T to isolate the tool I’m using. If I was using the table saw, I’d close the gate to the right of the T, and open the gate to the left of the T.

Did these set ups work? Honestly, the worked fine for what they were. Was it the best? Honestly, no. I have a dust collector now and it is quieter, more efficient, and a better solution for DC…..

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View jesinfla's profile


275 posts in 2475 days

#4 posted 05-04-2015 11:44 AM

Thanks all – I’m now just using direct connect stations to the vac – the overhead piping I think was too much for the vac to handle

hdc68 – that’s similar to how I had it setup overhead (can’t do it lower, there aren’t any walls available) – going to try and create a vortex like canister to help with the dust.

One day, if I ever get better at this I’ll spring for a dc system but right now it’s just not an option for my hobby

-- They said I could be anything... So I became Sarcastic! They also said making drawers is easy... I think they lied :(

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