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Project by James Lango posted 09-23-2008 06:41 AM 6795 views 4 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Anyone on this site can tell you how frustrating dust collection can be. When I first decided to add it in my shop the whole layout changed. Now you have to move, relocate tools, and plan for 4” ducting.. Frustrating to me, but here are some of the things I learned. If you have a smaller shop(like mine) PVC will work fine and its cheaper/easier to use. The trick with mine was the hassel that came with empting that damm bag every week! For months I websurfed and read, and tried and failed. Since I already bought my Harbor Fr dust collector I had to find a way for it to work. First i found out that all that air being sucked in – HAS to get out on the other end. Fisrt I bought 1 huge blue tub cut a hole in my wall and piped from the dust collector to the tub. Not going to work, as the air has no place to go(thats why the bags are fabric-they let the air escape).
SO then I got another huge tub and placed the original bag inside the 2nd tub and let the heavy chips fall in and the air went up to the “bag tub”. That worked Ok, but the bottom tub’s lid had to be screwed down and that made for a hassel when empting. And there was still too much restriction- the air was not getting out. On day i was dragging this HUGE fiberglass dock box to my garbage(left over form previous homeowners). I was walking past my sad blue tubs and a light bulb went off lol..

This would make a great dust collector! So there it is. Its still rude and crude, but only needs empting ever few months, and lets that collector blow unrestricted and powerful.
The top blue tub still has the bag inside, but i drilled tons of hole in the lid and covered it with a furnace filter. Throw a tarp on the top and your good to go.

-- [email protected]

3 comments so far

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4842 days

#1 posted 09-23-2008 01:26 PM

Good idea, but in my neck of the woods it would suck all of the heat out of my shop,

or do you have a return line going back into the shop?

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Judd's profile


6 posts in 4076 days

#2 posted 09-23-2008 08:47 PM

Before I present any information, I do not profess to be an expert in any way on dust collection systems!

I have been operating the following dust collection setup for three years with no problems. I installed 6 inch PVC drian tile to most locations in the shop. From these terminations I installed 6 inch blast gates and continued with 4 inch flex to the machine. With further reductions I connect to orbital sanders, etc., but to maintain proper velocity, I open an additional blast gate when using the small machines.

Before installing the system I reviewed many online resources and determined that static electricity could be a problem, so I installed alumininum duct tape on the inside and outside of all PVC pipes and connected these tapes together with gounding wires. This was not a problem to install and I have had no problems, so I assume it works! And I have never been “shocked” by any random static electricity in the shop.

Dust Collector

The main dust collector unit was installed in the garage (which is on the otherside of the insulated shop wall) to keep the additional noise out of the shop. Note that the return air goes through a piece of 8 inch insulated flex HVAC pipe and enters the shop through the wall. This reduces the resulting noise from the collector.

I use a small garage heater to heat the shop and this collection system does not seem to add any heating load. Of course, the ceiling is insulated to R30 and the walls to R20.

Return Air

The system I have discussed is my installation. There are many ways to set up dust collection systems correctly. They don’t have to be wonderful vortex devices that can cost bunches! I occasionally grab ole’ trusty (the shop vac) and have no problems sucking up dust.

I hope this information helps

-- Judd, Adel, Iowa,

View James Lango's profile

James Lango

186 posts in 4077 days

#3 posted 09-23-2008 09:15 PM

That’s a hell of a set up! I like the idea of filtering the air and having it return somewhere else in the shop. Information like ours is helpful to those people looking to research different systems/ideas. Awsome job with that! My space is limited in the shop, so just blowing it outside works for me.

-- [email protected]

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