Dust extraction made easy(er) with remote control.

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Project by LittleBlackDuck posted 08-26-2016 05:13 AM 2930 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi Boys and girls,

If you are interested in remote control dust extraction read on.

This may be old hat to most, but a few people may find it interesting.

In keeping with the LJ concept, I made the switch boxes out of timber.

Most of us (still living) are all aware that one of the primary aspects of woodworking is dust extraction.

Well just to transgress a tad, I did not get this Adonis body by sprinting around my workshop. You’d know what I mean if you saw a photo of me, but my missus forbids me to post one so that people may not know what she finished up with.
To save me unnecessary exercise, I have converted all my dust extraction to remote control.
All you people with old extractors only need the remote power point (and probably the controler if you want to use it).

Unfortunately all the modern machinery have mag-switches that require manual activation once the power is cut off. This I presume is to prevent unexpected machine activity after a power failure.

This inhibits the use of remote controlled “power points”. What I have done is to replace the fangle-dangled mag-switch with a standard toggle switch. All you politically correct safety officianados turn away.
  • I don’t think that a dust extractor being switched on is a great hazard… your call on static electricity dangers.
  • hard to not notice that a dust extractor has been inadvertently turned on (unless you have an iTunes sticking out of your ears).

With the normal switch I can turn it on and use a remote controlled power point (with the red btton) to toggle the dust extraction on/off from anywhere in the workshop (and outside to scare the bejeasus out of unwary guests).

Here I make 2 warnings.
  1. Make sure that your remote power point is rated at 2400amp or you might trip a fuse or two (just read the package) befor purchase.
  2. If you use a neck chord as I do, don’t forget to put it in a top pocket (not the cord but the controler). At least keep it away from hanging into/over operating machinery… This is something I am very aware of and have a “quick release” join on the cord (granny knot.. not a reef knot… just kidding).

Depending on your electrical skills, it is not an over complex task (though some places may have laws against it) and could easily be done by all but ”Tim the Toolman Taylor” impersonators. However I do recommend getting a neighbour you are not too fond of to go and test the switch for the first time… just joking.. life threats are not condoned.

I took a picture of the original wiring, however, it’s squat all use to me as I can’t find the original switch even if I wanted to reverse the operation.

Another single bag dust extractor with the surgery.
The original switch,

The facelift (Hey #3 & #4, just to prove I can laminate too),

This picture is just to prove the switch has aged but still operates after 7 years.

With the mag-switch replaced, this setup now permits simple on/off operations while working on my lathe… just a quick tug of the handy cord within simple reach above the lathe (the fingers never have to leave the hand)...

The horizontal cord to the left save me one whole step when I want the dust to be gone at my drill press (which is just out of the picture because of the skinny photo).

I also use a remote swithch (the green button.. same colour as my Hitachi dust extractor) to control a central Hitachi dust extractor that has ducting channeled to all corners of the workshop with a flexible hose on each end. Just a press of the remote button and your an instant sucker.

While on the topic of dust extraction a friend of mine crowed I make the following informative posting but I didn’t know how to approach it so I crapped on about my remote dust extraction above to give it an anchor. SO, here is a handy link all those people with only 2 arms and have trouble switching out dust bags…

Hope someone may find this topic new and can reap some benefit from it.

PS. Since installing my cyclone front end,

I’ve only used this magnet aid for dust bag change once and that was because I hadn’t realise the cyclone’s collector bin was full till I noticed the dust bags were half full from the overflow. I have since put in that observation port.

PPS. The other two buttons on the remote (gallery picture 4, the orange and blue) remotely operate other paraphenalia in the workshop.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

4 comments so far

View crowie's profile


4458 posts in 3000 days

#1 posted 08-26-2016 06:51 AM

Is that 4” or 6” flexible hose ducting??

What sort of air flow rates are you getting thru the system and then at the pickup points??

Have you considered building a soundproof box around the dusty??

Your system looks heaps better than mine, but you have a bigger shed and more toys…

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


6899 posts in 1870 days

#2 posted 08-26-2016 07:25 AM

Crowie, It’s all 4”. I fell asleep in cooking class when they were talking about the science behind dust extraction. I wasn’t aware of the efficiencies/deficiencies of either.

As for airflow rates, I have no idea other than it happens and all the dust and shavings get sucked up fast… My collector fills up far too quickly. If the suction drops then I close a few blast gates I forgot about.

During my tenure in Richmond (that is a suburb about 3K from the Melbourne CBD) I did have a sound proof box, but more because of neighbours rather than my well being. I found that opening the box to check on bag levels and playing with replacement bags with a box around it was too much of a hassle. Had I known about the magnets it may have been a different story.

In my current workshop, I use ear muffs so the noise is no issue and the location doesn’t offend the neighbours.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile


7840 posts in 3253 days

#3 posted 08-26-2016 08:12 AM

Its interesting all right, in fact so interesting it makes me wonder where do you and Crowie get the room for these workshops from?

-- Regards Rob

View JPJ's profile


820 posts in 3669 days

#4 posted 08-27-2016 01:29 AM

Nice job!

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