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Soon I will be pouring my slab for my 1600sf shop (40'x40'). The dust collector will be in a separate room just outside the main shop. Should I put the duct work in the ceiling or in the slab? Other than personal preference and the possibility of problems concerning additional machinery and rearrangement of the shop, what do you recommend? Also, do you know of any good (free) shop references that I could go to concerning tool layout, electrical, lighting, dust collection etc…...... I have pretty good knowledge on all the issues but would like some more ideas.
 

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Congrats on the new shop…. If I was going to build a shop I would pour the concrete, then make a wooden floor to run electricial, dust collection, maybe a airline. Keeps everything out of the way, and your knees and back will love you for it. You have to think it out a bit for some clean outs on your dust collector, blast gates ect. Plywood flooring you could unscrew later to make adjustments or add another electricial line ect….

That would be my dream floor….
 

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To me, the need to change overrides the convenience of having the duct in the floor. I've had a DC system for almost 20 years, and have had to change the layout probably 9-10 times, including one complete move to another house/shop.
 

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Congratulation on what sounds like a great shop, I'm green with envy.

I would put the ducts overhead. You can always change your layout if you can get to it. I know Penn state and Oneida both offer duct design services. They have lots of experience in the placement of shop tools for good flow and efficient duct design. Give them a call, they can offer good advice, and of course the want to sell you a DC.
 

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I would avoid putting the ducting in the floor; for convenience (you will change your shop around as time goes on) and for efficiency; you want to try and minimize the amount of bends in your ducting system, many machines are made for dust collection from above, if you go from underneath I've seen guys having to do a bunch of crazy ducting bends in order to get the duct to the machine.
My own experience, just having built a 1100sqft shop:
-put a wood subfloor on top of the concrete; your feet, legs and dropped tools will thank you
-high ceilings (I have 11ft ceilings, it's great being able to swing a long board around and not have to worry about hitting the ceiling/lights etc)
-double the amount of lights you planned for; for high ceilings, high bay fluorescent lights are great; my shop is 25×40 I have 3 rows of 3 of T5 4-light fixtures; I wish I'd gone with 4 rows of 4.
-20amp receptacles; do more than you think you'll need
It's well researched and based on solid evidence. Will forever change the way you look at dust collection.

For dust collection; the best info I've read is on Bill Pentz's site; http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the great advice. I don't think I'll need to put in a plywood floor because I'm paralyzed waist down and do all my work from an electric wheelchair. Except for the occasional dropped tool and I think I'll just take my chances.
 

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I put it to you, that a system surrounded in concrete will be difficult to clean should it block up unless you have pleanty of inbuilt floor clearance ports.If it were me as said as I agree with the writer that changing the configuration of machines is almost a must( part of the fun of having a woodshop.I would build from overhead and change this when needed it will be more noisy however.I made mine with dust extractors a plenty fitted to almost each machine or shared with no metal, or plastic piping .Just using the flexible hoses at the appropriate places at the ends of the machines,and I have never had a problem.Nothing in dust extraction though will provide perfect results IMHO. Anyway please have fun and don't for get the blast gates a plenty too. Alistair
 
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