Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Hate to ask this, but could use some help figuring out my DC setup

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1368 posts in 1483 days

#1 posted 06-24-2017 03:58 PM


A small multi-purpose shop with tools on wheels and incidental woodworking suggests to me that, for now, keeping the cost low is an important consideration. I also appreciate the desire the make dust collection in a small space more effective and convenient. If woodworking becomes a serious endeavor and as the size of the workshop increases, then a fresh look at dust collection may be in order. Keeping costs down now would make it easier to spend the money for a more powerful dust collection system later.

With this in mind, 4” HVAC pipe and fittings with some blast gates to tools that stay put as well as a central drop or two for tools that roll out makes sense to me. HVAC pipe (28 gauge if conveniently found) and 4” blast gates would help keep costs down while offering respectable and convenient dust collection. Inexpensive fittings from Grizzly would offer smooth 90 and 45 degree 4” elbows that help with air flow. Sealing all the joints and seams with HVAC foil tape would help a lot by prevent leaks. If you are up for the added cost, smooth wall flex hose would likely promote air flow better than the corrugated inexpensive flex hose.

A separator added to the dust collector would do a lot to maintain air flow by keeping the filter bag cleaner longer. It could also protect the impeller. The separator could be a Thein baffle or a cyclone, either made in the shop. For a long time I used a shop made cyclone, constructed from the plans found in ShopNotes Number 13. It worked surprisingly well. There are also a few YouTube videos where various versions of the Thein baffle and cyclone separators are made.

If after upgrading your dust collection there is still too much dust in the air, looking into a commercial or shop made air cleaner might be worthwhile. With a good filter, even a box fan could improve ambient air quality. Building one from a used furnace blower and a HEPA furnace filter would be an inexpensive upgrade from the box fan.

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