Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Call for advice - dust collection

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1368 posts in 2203 days

#1 posted 10-03-2016 02:22 PM


Yours sounds like a workable plan. A separate structure attached to the shop to house the dust collector, central PVC duct work with blast gate controlled drops to individual tools, and returning the filtered air back to the shop should work fine. But all this is fairly general and the devil is in the details.

Some further considerations of these details could help achieve the results you are after…

A design of the auxiliary structure that permits full access to the dust collector would make inevitable service of the dust collector easier. At some point service of the unit may be required. Pulling the dust collector out of the structure could be a difficult time consuming task. If possible, building the structure large enough so that the unit can be services without disassembly or removing the unit could be really appreciated down the road. An alternative would be inclusion of service access doors or panels that can be removed.

Since the dust collector will process conditioned air (I assume), insulating the structure could prevent condensation within the unit. Prolonged periods of non-use, like when doing a glue-up, could be long enough for the dust collector to cool off and promote condensation.

Designing the structure to make emptying the dust collection bin easier and quicker would be appreciated every time the dust bin must be emptied. Having the ability to monitor the dust collector from inside the shop would allow you to know that it is time to empty the dust collection, before chips make it to the filter.

Ensuring the return air vent is considerably larger than the intake would ensure the return air side of the dust collector would not reduce the performance of the collector. An enlarged air return would reduce the velocity of the air re-entering the shop. The lower velocity of the return air would have less of a tendency to blow loose dust around the shop.

Upgrading the filter bag to one that removes smaller dust particles than the standard 5 micron bag would be an option that could protect your lungs.

It was not clear from your post whether you intend to add a separator. If not, adding a separator to remove the heavier debris before the air stream makes it to the filters would prolong the period between filter cleaning and thus keep the dust collector operating at peak efficiency.

A scale drawing of the shop which includes the location of ceiling obstructions and the location of your various machines would take some time to develop. But this scale drawing could pay big dividends. The routing of the dust collection pipe can be overlaid on the plan and any issues would be immediately apparent. It also makes it easier to optimize the duct work layout; minimizing the length of runs and the number of turns. Once the optimal duct work layout is known, a bill of materials is easily obtained.

I found that marrying standard dust collection fittings to PVC required re-molding the PVC to the right size. The PVC can be softened with patience and a heat gun. The inside diameter can then be expanded by dropping the heated end of the PVC pipe over a shop made die. Likewise, but a little more difficult, the outside diameter of the PVC pipe can be shrunk with a shop made mold, die, and some clamps. If you also wish to dissipate static electricity, aluminum HVAC tape can be applied to the PVC pipe, ensuring electrical continuity, and then connecting the aluminum foil tape to ground.

Good luck with you upgrade. I think when it is all said and done you will be glad you added central dust collection.

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