Dust collector placement

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Forum topic by Hylofarms posted 05-08-2018 01:23 PM 1634 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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18 posts in 1521 days

05-08-2018 01:23 PM

I’ve searched the forms and I can’t find anything that brings this topic up. I have a 25 by 25 foot garage with a second floor Loft that is a decent size. Would I run into any issues having my dust collector on the second floor while my tools and equipment are on the first floor. By having it this way I would free up extra real estate in the garage. As of right now that is how I have it. I’m wondering if I would see an increase or decrease by moving it to the first floor over the second. Right now I have a dedicated circuit for the dust collector hooked into a 3-way switch on either side of the garage.

-- If it was easy everybody would do it. But then if it was so easy, would it even be worth doing?

8 replies so far

View jamsomito's profile


635 posts in 1441 days

#1 posted 05-08-2018 01:30 PM

Is this a system ducted throughout your shop? If so I’m assuming you already have some vertical runs from ceiling to tool, and if those are working fine, I don’t see any reason adding an extra foot or two of vertical run would hurt it much. Aside from conveying dust and chips vertically, you’ll have to then take your bag of dust and chips down from there every time you empty it. But if space is a concern then maybe that’s not so big a sacrifice. I’d say give it a shot and let us know!

View RobHannon's profile


347 posts in 1546 days

#2 posted 05-08-2018 01:34 PM

Contained air behaves like a fluid in most ways, so pumping it up requires more work that moving it horizontally. It certainly can be done, but depends on the sizing of the system. It also could make emptying more challenging. Other than those 2 potential issues I can’t really think of a downside.

View soob's profile


271 posts in 2224 days

#3 posted 05-08-2018 02:34 PM

It’s not the air that’s an issue, it’s pulling all that sawdust up. It’ll probably work fine, though.

The real issue is air exchange. If those floors are sealed from each other you’ll be pulling in air from outside downstairs and pushing it out upstairs, assuming there are enough penetrations. You might put the filters downstairs so the air returns there.

View GrantA's profile


3019 posts in 2423 days

#4 posted 05-08-2018 02:53 PM

Since the OP said loft I assume makeup Air isn’t an issue. The issue will just be pulling chips vertically. Depending on your dust collector maybe consider wall mounting it so that the blower inlet is near the loft floor height, filter is in the loft and then your chip container is on the ground floor

View pintodeluxe's profile


6320 posts in 3828 days

#5 posted 05-08-2018 03:30 PM

You need a way to monitor the D/C bin!

Most dust collection nightmares begin with an over-filled bin. Then it backs up into the filter, which is a huge hassle to fix. You can get around this issue with a bin sensor. If the D/C is in the same room you are working in, you probably don’t need a bin sensor.

On the plus side, having the D/C in the loft would cut down on noise, and put you further from any fine dust being released at the filter.

I wouldn’t worry about the flow required to get the chips up to the loft. If you have ceiling trunk lines, it’s not much further to the dust collector upstairs.

Good luck with it!

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View EarlS's profile


4314 posts in 3363 days

#6 posted 05-08-2018 05:15 PM

Have you read Bill Pentz's articles on dust collection? I seem to recall seeing something about a practical limit to how much lift you can get on a shop DC system.

Here’s one comment he makes:

Will the sawdust tend to fall out of the vertical runs? Do I need to add anything different for a vertical rise than a horizontal run?

As long as the transport velocity is maintained the sawdust will remain entrained in the air stream. You do not need to do more than maintain the minimum transport velocity. Normally, in a system with multiple duct sizes, the highest velocity will be in the smallest duct – which is the vertical rise anyway. This is why the velocity in the vertical is more critical. In the horizontal, as dust falls out of the air stream, it will tend to roll along the bottom of the duct and either stop at an obstruction or get where it is supposed to go. In the vertical, it will float around in the duct until you shut off the blower and then drop back down to the hood and pile up to eventually cause plugging.

He also has a very good spreadsheet you can use to evaluate your system. It looks really intimidating but it isn’t really too complicated.

I also recall that a good rule of thumb is that 1 ft vertical is equivalent to 2 ft of horizontal pressure loss from friction.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Hylofarms's profile


18 posts in 1521 days

#7 posted 05-12-2018 11:55 AM

So far the system is working fine. I put it up there also because when looking at other systems they always have up pipe going up to the ceiling so having it go through the ceiling straight to the dust collector would only be and extra 2-foot rise. My Broad bought me a harbor freight dust collector in the attempt to save me from spending the money I want it on the Laguna models. I can’t really complain because I didn’t buy it and also she has done this in the past by buying me a Laguna 14bx bandsaw. I’m planning to upgrade the impeller to a Rikon model soon. When I do that I will change it over to a two-stage dust collector. Do you think the system would work fine if I put the large chip bucket on the first floor and the fine dust up on the 2nd with the dust collector?

-- If it was easy everybody would do it. But then if it was so easy, would it even be worth doing?

View EarlS's profile


4314 posts in 3363 days

#8 posted 05-12-2018 02:57 PM

First off, I wouldn’t waste the money on a Laguna dc. As for the chip collector, it will eat a bunch of your available pressure. Try it and if it seems that the dc isn’t doing as well as before you can remove it.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

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