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Connecting tools to the DC

1586 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  DIYaholic
Tonight, I plumb the shop. Yay!

Anyways, here's my plan on the connections to each tool, and I'd like thumbs up or down on each of these please:

- Miter saw - PVC will come up through the counter, behind where the saw sits. Hood/box behind the saw also helps the dust fall into this hole.

- Jointer - I have an open stand 6" jointer. I will build an enclosed ramp underneath the cutter, and will connect the PVC to the lowest point of that ramp.

- Cabinet table saw - on the right side, the motor cover has a 4" hole in it. I plan to run the pipe through that hole and was going to have a funnel sort of widening just beneath the blade from within the cabinet. The idea being to collect the dust before it could fall and collect in the cabinet. Although I expect to have to clean the cabinet out sometimes manually. I will also have a 2.5" hose from above to the blade guard.

- Drill press - A short run of 4" flex will be clamped to the table or fence (etc.).

- Planer - Short run of flex connected to the 4" port on the planer.

- Band saw - Short run of flex connected to the 4" port on the planer, AND a 2.5" hose clambed to the table or fence (etc.).

For hand held power tools (router, sander, circ saw) I use a shop vac w/ thien baffle, and work beneath a box fan air cleaner. I also wear a 3M 7500 respirator while woodworking.
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I think you will find it a pleasure to have a dust collector even if it doesn't get quite all of it! Your miter saw is going to be the toughest to collect the dust on. I used a similar method as you describe and still couldn't seem to collect more than about 70%! The more airflow there the better!
The rest sound pretty standard.
I built baffles inside my cabinet saw to help channel the dust to the port out of sheet metal, mine was in the back at the bottom.
All in all it sounds like you have it pretty well thought out.
I'm putting a fair amount of time into learning some of the fundamentals of dust collection, right now … in order to plan for that Happy Day when I plumb my shop.

Meaning … I'm NOT the voice of experience, but have picked up some of the theoretical stuff from some reading.

My only concern with your plan is this: some of these machines require higher CFM than others for effective dust collection-so MUCH higher than you're (again, in theory) surpassing the CFM capacity of the 4" ports on your machines.

So … ideally … you'd use any of the hundreds of good sources of info to work through this by:

- establishing the CFM needs of EACH machine (and adding them together, if you plan to pull dust from 2+ at the same time),

- figuring out the size ports and ducting you'll need based ON those CFM calcs

- figuring out the layout, and then how you'll accomplish that (how many feet of pipe, flex hose, PVC, or whatever, how many wyes, how many bends, etc., etc.)

- the static pressure that all of those elements will create

- how many CFM your DC will need to create in order to achieve that many CFM at the machine, through that plumbing.

If you already HAVE the DC, then it may be even more important to "do it right-" particularly if your DC can't overcome "improper" ports, or "improperly" sized ductwork.

Here's but ONE source that helps understand the process:

I realize, now, that … if you really want to build your shop right … it IS a great option to BEGIN with the dust collection, and work everything out from there.

Are 4" ports going to be a source of ongoing pain, frustration, and regret, if you don't change them ? Oh, I doubt it. Just food for thought about trying to "optimize" your system.

Also … Bill Pentz's site IS a treasure trove of DC info:

Have fun !
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Thanks for the replies guys. I finished most of the work this weekend, but won't be able to test the setup until the blast gates arrive in the mail (right now, if I turn on the system, every port is open… even then, suction at the nearest machines ain't bad).

If I had unlimited time and money, I would: 6" pipe throughout (including changing ports on all machines), no 90 bends anywhere, bigger dust collector etc.

As it is, I'm positive that my 2 hp harbor freight with thein baffle system is underpowered. I will NOT be catching all the fine dust (I have read Pentz info, emailed with him, and done all the calculations). I WILL have to sweep up the floor at times still.

But, I figure, at a certain point with limited means you just gotta go for it, make iterative improvements as needed, wear a respirator, and get to woodworking instead of DC designing. :)


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Nah. You did just fine.

There's the old saying, "A 75% plan that you can execute is better than a 100% plan that you can't."

You executed. Well done !

Incidentally, I'm probably going with 5" when its my turn to make the leap. Mine's an HF 2HP DC, too. I think 6" pipe is too much air for the HF to move, and would generate significantly lower air speeds.

I'm jealous. Very cool !
I plumbed my whole shop with 4" PVC, running into a 1.5 HP collector. HUGE improvement.I have figured out how to shorten some runs, so that 's next.

As it is, there is no longer dust all over my shop.

Is it perfect? No! Do I think it would be better with/wish it was 6"? Yep!

I'm saving for a cyclone….

Very cool, dude.
Thanks for the replies guys! I'm looking forward to firing up the system for a true test, but the blast gates have to wait until next paycheck. Such is life for a single income family like mine :)

Neil, the inlet on the HF ring is 5" so your choice may be a good one. However, I know even my local plastics supply house was limited in their 5" fittings offering, so just keep that in mind. Probably not an insurountable obstacle.

Paul, thanks for recounting your experience. I figure I'll someday upgrade to a bigger DC with 6" pipe as well, but in the meantime while I'm learning my craft, this will get me by considerably better than a shop vac and worlds better than a broom and dust pan. Sounds like my figuring, and your experience are in line.
Make sure you wear a mask still. I do when sawing or planing. I don't think I'm getting the fines as well as I would with 6" and the resulting higher cfms (a bigger DC would help as well.) That being said, what you have done will help your lungs and your shop tons.
great minds think alike.. in my original post above, I wrote:

"I also wear a 3M 7500 respirator while woodworking."

I have a box fan air filter that I use as well, but I wear the respirator full time in my shop.
Got the miter saw hood built last night. Another "I built if for free from scrap, it ain't pretty but it'll work" creation by rieferman. It's my specialty :) ha ha

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Hello from a newbie,
Just joined LJ last night and what a great community it is. A heartfelt round of applause to all.
I just ordered my 2HP HF DC tonight (BTW: for $139 w/ a coupon from a link I found here on LJ). YEA!!! I too, will be constructing a "Thien Baffle" to complement the DC. I'm in the process of setting up shop and implementing DC from the get go (I hate sweeping, dusting and doing dishes for that matter). I don't have any calculations or real plans, just winging it.
In less than 24 hours this club has proven to be well worth the cost of membership. Lol.
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