Putting ductwork and pneumatic gates in the attic

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Forum topic by Kelly posted 03-15-2016 12:44 PM 982 views 1 time favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Kelly's profile


73 posts in 2866 days

03-15-2016 12:44 PM

Topic tags/keywords: dust collection

Hello LJ’s!

I’m hoping to get a little feedback on the pros and cons of moving my dust collection and operating pneumatic dust gates in an attic.

Originally I had hoped to put my DC duct work in the floor, however that didn’t work and I currently I have it mounted to the ceiling. This system works well but because I leave my DC continually running while I’m working in the shop, (the DC is in a separate room) there is the constant noise air leaking through the gates. Also, to avoid having ducts running through the middle of my ceiling I have everything running against the walls and some of the runs are a little long. Moving both the gates and the ducting to the attic would solve both problems allowing for more direct runs and the noise of the gates, not to mention all the additional tubing that would accompany a pneumatic system. As I have been considering changing all my gates, which are now controlled manually to a pneumatic system, I thought this might be a perfect opportunity to work change the location of all the ducting too.

I’m hoping to get some feedback on the pros and cons of going this route as well as any insights anyone might have on the pneumatic gates and issues I might encounter by going into the attic with both my ducting and gates.

Here is a short video clip of how I would like to automate the gates. The only difference would be that I’m going to use a current sensor which will open the gate when the tool is powered on rather than having a separate switch.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing your ideas!

7 replies so far

View bigblockyeti's profile


7195 posts in 2778 days

#1 posted 03-15-2016 12:52 PM

My concern would be regarding accessibility for maintenance and clearing a clog if you were to experience one. Other than that I see no reason not to put everything in the attic, especially if it shortens the runs.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View Robert's profile


4523 posts in 2538 days

#2 posted 03-15-2016 01:05 PM

I leave my DC continually running while I m working in the shop


Also, to avoid having ducts running through the middle of my ceiling I have everything running against the walls

Anything you can do to increase the efficiency of the layout is worth it.

As I have been considering changing all my gates, which are now controlled manually to a pneumatic system
Personal choice, but for me, its much cheaper to just get in a habit of closing gates when I’m done at a machine.

Pretty neat, though.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3065 days

#3 posted 03-15-2016 01:19 PM

I think the pneumatic gates would be a “Techie” kind of thing (such as I am also prone to liking ) but the main question I have is regarding placing the ducting in the attic. I’m wondering how much moisture the heat/cold cycles will cause to be in the pipes? When you’re pulling wood dust and small chips thru pipes, the LAST thing you want is the pipes to be damp. The buildup of “crud” would not take long at all.

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

6928 posts in 3551 days

#4 posted 03-15-2016 01:20 PM

I agree with yeti, the maintenance aspect would be a bummer. Maybe not with clogs (if you have a big DC) but there will be a time (guaranteed) that you will have to change something. It might be due to a tool change/upgrade, an additional tool, or you just want to rearrange things…but there will be changes.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View bonesbr549's profile


1588 posts in 4125 days

#5 posted 03-15-2016 03:11 PM

As long as you don’t have leaks your fine, and don’t think it should be a problem. If you have a jam or something which I would doubt, you’d have to tear into it to fix, but if you have a way to access the area above the ceiling i.e. attic whats the issue?

Only thing I would suggest is you add a delay in closing your gates and cutting off the DC. Allow a little time to clear the line.

I went with the grngate system. I liked it because it’s modular and is electric but the gates are connected by eithernet cables that are off the shelf, so you can get them anywhere and any length. The gate motors are powered by the ethernet cables and you can chain them together so no special power wiring. They are controlled by a central unit. I also liked them because they were the only system I could find that had a sensor for three phase tools, which I needed.

I put the sensors on the tool and the gate senses power on, opens the gate turns the dc on and then when I cut the tool off, it waits about 10 sec’s to clear the line and shuts the gate and cuts off the DC. I love it. They also have a manual switch option that I use for the chop saw as you don’t want that thing causing the dc to go off/on all the time, so just turn it on and then off when you leave the station. I also liked the design of the gates to keep them from getting fowled.

I’m getting ready to add a cnc machine to the shop and will be adding one more gate and its a snap to do, I just ordered the gate/sensor and i’m in business.

I did a review here. If you already have all the investment in the pneumatic, then probably not for you, but I would add that delay

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View JAAune's profile


1939 posts in 3374 days

#6 posted 03-15-2016 03:23 PM

Don’t run drops straight down from the main. You need a small horizontal leg before dropping down. This prevents the drop from collecting a bunch of sawdust when the gate is closed.

-- See my work at

View AZWoody's profile


1478 posts in 2282 days

#7 posted 03-15-2016 04:15 PM

I leave my DC continually running while I m working in the shop


- rwe2156

It’s actually better on the larger dust collectors to leave them running than to use them on and off as you use the tool approach. I was looking at putting an ivac switch to turn on my clearvue but after talking with them, I found that it could lead to early failure of the capacitors and the larger motors are designed for continuous run, rather than constant start/stop.

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