Dust Collection System

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Project by Will Stokes posted 03-05-2010 07:34 AM 10494 views 26 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my recently completed dust collection setup. I used to lug around an old shop-vac my neighbor gave me, but it really wasn’t cutting it and banging out the filter constantly was a real pain. I decided to go with the Delta 50-760 and ordered it from since they offer $6.50 flat shipping on all orders where as shipping was like $50 plus anywhere else.

After picking up a copy of “Dust Collection Basics” from Woodcraft, I designed and redesigned and redesigned how I would setup my shop and run the trunk and drops so as to minimize the total static pressure drop for any run to any machine. For example, you’ll notice in the run to the planer I avoid an extra bend by dropping down from the ceiling at an angle. Since I don’t have any ay to place the dust collector proper in a different room, I opted to place it along the center of one wall, thus reducing the distance to the two biggest dust contributors in my shop, the planer and table saw.

I opted to use 4” schedule 30 PVC which worked out OK. If I were to do it again I might use schedule 40 since the fittings are a lot tighter and thus easier to glue and get air tight, but with a little work I made the schedule 30 work and I did get to save a little on the fittings and pipe. I decided to only ground the exterior of the system, but I was pretty strenuous about that and all the machines and dust collector are all grounded to each other.

Since the 50-760 is a single stage collector, I opted to build a Thien pre-stage using an old metal garbage can and some melamine from an old junky dresser I took apart instead of throwing in the dumpster, so the pre-stage was basically free and it works great once the baffle was added on.

You’ll notice I have a few unused branches around the setup. I eventually intend to add above the table dust collection to my table saw. I’d like to also add below the table dust collection to my router table. I have a port ready to add a floor sweep and dust collection for a future lathe. Finally, the dust collection from the miter saw is woefully inadequate. I intend to eventually build a cage behind to grab all the dust is throws back and to the sides.

All in all, I’m very happy I finally did this. It wasn’t cheap, but the shop is definitely much cleaner, and emptying the pre-stage is a LOT easier than dealing with the old shop vac. I literally have no chips coming out the planer any more, a huge step up.

17 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3697 posts in 4962 days

#1 posted 03-05-2010 08:29 AM

Nicely done! How noisy is this motor? We use various shop vacs located under the tables and they are a pain to clean and noisy too.

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Vince's profile


1292 posts in 4669 days

#2 posted 03-05-2010 08:30 AM

Nice setup…I really need to do that to my shop/garage.
What is the box fan for?

-- Vince

View DoctorDan's profile


281 posts in 4255 days

#3 posted 03-05-2010 09:02 AM

Looks good. Lots of pipes going everywhere.
A couple of questions.
- Do you think it’s important to earth it all? I see wire wrapped round and round.
- Are you happy with your seperator? I’ve seem them used before, and that design seems to be second only to a cyclone unit.


-- Daniel -

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5228 days

#4 posted 03-05-2010 09:05 AM

Great job! Looks almost exactly like how I had mine setup in my garage in California, except my DC was in a small shed outside of the garage.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Ken90712's profile


18067 posts in 4429 days

#5 posted 03-05-2010 11:38 AM

Looks great should cut down the dust real nicely!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5197 days

#6 posted 03-05-2010 03:02 PM

I’m surprised your getting enough pressure at the machines with just a 1.5 HP collector and all that pipe. Looks good though..I would love to pipe my garage/shop like that..


View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 4594 days

#7 posted 03-05-2010 04:09 PM

@mmh: I actually find it’s a lot quieter than the old shop vac was. A lot quieter than say the planer. I’m pretty religous about ear protection and with my muffs on, the dust collector running, I can still hear the radio if I have it on at a semi normal volume.

@Vince: Hehe, I noticed that when I was uploading the pictures. The box fan was part of the old “dust collection” system. I’d use the shop vac with some of the tools, then stick a furnace filter on one end of the box fan and use it to trap all the small dust that would get in the air. The 50-760 has a 1 micron filter bag on it which really seems to do a great job. I havn’t really needed to run the box fan with filter since the upgrade.

@Daniel: Perhaps, I thought about it, but havn’t needed to thus far. When I first fired up the system, pre outside grounding, I noticed a lot of sawdust standing on end and building out to large prickly contraptions on the side of the exhaust and flex line running from the miter saw. After setting up the external grounding that seems to have gone way. Since I’ve attached the wire to bare metal on a number of devices, which are grounded, I figure I have already grounded the entire system without having to attach to my house earth wire directly.

@Daneiel: Before I added the baffle the separator didn’t do me much good. With the baffle it’s no only quieter (before you’d hear dust and chips swirling and clanging around in the bottom of the can), but I can basically fill the can up to the baffle before pulling substantial material into the dust collectors bag. So I’m quite happy.

@Brad_Nailor: It’s all about CFM and static pressure loss. The reason I kept redesigning before cutting and hanging pipe is the computed static pressure losses I was going to generate would have reduced CFM to the point where it just wouldn’t work. By using exclusively Y’s and not T’s, using 45’s instead of 90’s when possible, keeping lengths of flex to an absolute minimum, and avoiding bends as much as possible, the system should definitely work if I did my calculations right. If I understand it all right, what you need to concentrate on is the path dust must take from any particular machine to the dust collector. Placing a blast gate at each drop is key.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4913 days

#8 posted 03-05-2010 05:06 PM

Nice system.

View Raymond's profile


683 posts in 4967 days

#9 posted 03-05-2010 05:39 PM

Looks like my octopus in the basement. Great job.

-- Ray

View Xrayguy's profile


40 posts in 4658 days

#10 posted 03-05-2010 07:08 PM

nice set up, i was thinking of something similar for my small garage shop, ive got the jet 1100 cfm single stage dc, do you get plenty of suction with the 4”? , ive read a bunch of articles and most discuss 6” but for my small place im thinking 4” would be good since ill be using one machine at a time.

-- Brad J

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 4594 days

#11 posted 03-05-2010 07:14 PM

Yeah, most books/people suggest running as big a main line as possible, then dropping down on side branches or drops. The 50-760 has a 5” port and comes with a 5” to 4” Y. I can’t get 5” PVC locally and going to metal would have dramatically upped the cost (and made things more complicated since I’m sure I would have screwed up getting the right fittings at least as many times as I did with PVC). So I opted to go 4” and it works good enough for me. I also opted to use 4” flex drops to things like the router table and joiner, even though these have ~2.5” ports. I suppose I could have used 2.5” flex and placed the reducer at the top of the drop, but by keeping it at 4” I can basically use the drops in way I want going forward and I don’t feel like things are clogging up on the vertical flex drop. The most important one is the planer since it produces a lot of chips, but I feel like it’s doing a spectacular job. I don’t see any chips on the back side of the table at all any more. Perhaps the diagonal run to the ceiling helps here as well.

View Xrayguy's profile


40 posts in 4658 days

#12 posted 03-05-2010 07:25 PM

thank you very much for the info, ive been pondering my setup for a couple years and im tired of dragging my 20 foot flex hose from machine to machine:)

-- Brad J

View Xrayguy's profile


40 posts in 4658 days

#13 posted 03-05-2010 07:27 PM

was the Thien pre-stage easy to build?

-- Brad J

View Will Stokes's profile

Will Stokes

267 posts in 4594 days

#14 posted 03-05-2010 07:34 PM

@Xrayguy: You definitely want to stop using a 20’ flex hose. You get a lot of static pressure loss with flex vs rigid. For any given line I only have like 5’ of flex drop to a machine, although I also do have flex from the collector to and from the separator and an separator does add ~2” of static pressure loss.

Was the pre-stage easy to build? It should be, but I did make my life a bit more difficult:
-I used an old metal can I found my parents basemen. It’s a little bent so the top needs to be more of a ellipse and a circle. This makes putting the lid back on a little tricky, but I’ve gotten used to it and as an added bonus by twisting the lid slightly it holds it on real good.

-I also don’t have a good circle jig yet, and my band saw leaves something to be desired. For the baffle I cut a square, then used a spline to mark out each 90 bend and then used a jig saw to cut the round. Marking with a splin was a bit of a pain but it did work. If I ever want to make a real circle some day I’m going to do that on the table saw. I’m planing on including a sliding pin on a table saw sled I wlil be building soon.

But to answer you question, it wasn’t that bad at all. You could do it in an hour or two easy.

View Splinterman's profile


23074 posts in 4601 days

#15 posted 03-06-2010 11:10 AM

Hey Will,
Well done on your system….good job.

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