Dust Collection

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  • #16
    I use Jet DC-1100VX-BK. I bought it about 6 months ago and it absolutely suits me.

    In fact, for the last couple of months I have been working a couple of times a week, but at the end of fall, I made products every day.


    • #17
      Now that my hard-piped dust collection setup has seen some use, I can offer a little more of my experience. I have the 1.5 HP Laguna P-Flux 1 Cyclone (HEPA filter) unit; basically the largest Laguna unit that'll run on 120 volt outlets. The factory setup has a single 6 inch inlet going to the typical plastic Y making two 4 inch inlets; I removed the Y for my hard piping. I used 6 inch HVAC piping - 26 gauge for a little extra strength (big-box stores typically stock 30 gauge but can get/order 26 gauge) for the majority of the runs. Normal HVAC wye fittings have the crimped ends on the wrong side for woodworking (they'd snag/catch dust and fine shavings) so I went with the "flue wye" fittings. Those are intended to combine the exhaust outlets of gas appliances (e.g. a water heater and something else) to feed a single vent pipe in the roof. The advantage of flue wyes though is they have the crimping in the right airflow direction for dust collection. My setup uses 6-6-6 inch flue wyes with roughly 45 degree angles; these feed 6 to 4 inch reducers. Blast gates are then attached to the reducers; flex hose goes from the blast gate to the tool. Most of my tools are on mobile bases or roll-around cabinets so some flex hose is essential.

      I needed a fair bit of foil tape to seal the joints, especially on the flue wyes since the spot welded joints were pretty sad... I bought thin strapping material from the BORG (in the plumbing section actually) to bend into "J" shapes for hanging the HVAC stuff. That strapping has holes every inch or so making it easy to attach to walls/studs and the HVAC piping. Bending it is easy too; I made a wooden buck/form/jig so my "J" shapes would be consistent. One long weekend of work and I had my setup for about a third the cost of "real" dust collector ductwork from Oneida or similar places. I didn't price out PVC. Since it's metal, static electricity isn't a concern. The end feeding the dust collector (via a short 6 inch flex hose so I can move the collector when it's time to clean the filter or empty the drum) has a wire tied to the collector to ground everything. I cut away some of the plastic on the ends of the flex hoses at the blast gates so I could bend the internal wire around one of the blast gate mounting screws so the flex hoses are somewhat grounded as well. I haven't felt any static while using the system; back when I did the "flex hose laying on the floor, moving it from tool to tool" technique, I could feel static sometimes.

      My setup consists of two runs, joined by a flue wye just before the inlet to the dust collector. One run is along a wall for "benchtop" tools on my roll-around cabinets. This run is tucked underneath my wall hanging storage cabinets so it is about 4 feet off the floor - similar height as the ports on the tools. Thus there are no vertical "drops" going to the tools; the dust collector does not have to lift the sawdust at all. The other run feeds tools sitting in the center of the shop so it goes up from the dust collector to the ceiling joists, runs along a joist over the tools, with vertical drops to reach the tools. Those drops use 4 inch ducting, rather than 6 inch, to keep the air velocity a little higher. This run handles my BT3000 and a radial arm saw (RAS)

      Performance: for the tools that came with factory 4 inch ports, like my jointer, my setup works quite well. I don't have any way to measure actual CFMs at the tool but my jointer cabinet stays clean. The jointer is at the very far end of the piping run too. The thickness planer has no issues either. The tool that got significantly worse was the Ridgid EB4424 oscillating belt/drum sander. It was designed for shop vacuums (high vacuum level but not large CFMs); reducing my 4 inch flex hose to the EB4424's 2.25 inch port really strangles the dust collector. The dust collection is about half what it was with a shop vac. I swapped the 4 to 2.25 inch reducer cone (Woodcraft reducer cone) with one that doesn't have the cone part (Woodcraft simple reducer) and drilled holes in the face of it hoping that would work better... it did a little but the EB4424 still makes a mess. Woodworking dust collectors don't have as much vacuum/suction as a shop vac; instead they have significantly more airflow (CFM) volume. I was afraid my collector might not have enough strength to lift sawdust and small wood shavings/chips upwards after a 20 foot ducting run. For the RAS the performance is excellent. For the BT3000, having the ductwork taper down to the BT's 2.25 inch port does strangle it somewhat but it does clean out the BT's saw blade cavity quite well. I do get a little more on-the-table dust than I used to however. I have a second hose for the BT's blade guard but I rarely use it as it's often in the way. I need to make a vertical drop for it... My BT setup includes a half-rail wide table kit with a router table in the extension area. The router table has a box underneath to enclose the router; the 4 inch port on that box works very well. For the router table-top, I use insert rings that have small holes/slots in them so the box dust collection can also service the workpiece. I find this works much better than a dust collection port in the router fence... especially when making dado/groove cuts that normally spew sawdust off the side of the table. I have very little cleanup needed with the router table this way. The router table uses the same dust collector drop as the BT3000; a wye fitting and blast gates determine if the router box or BT gets the dust collection.

      Overall I'm satisfied with the setup. Would I do it again? Yup, reaching over to open a blast gate to use a tool is so much more convenient compared to moving the hose around (even with push-on "quick connect" fittings) and I REALLY like not having that hose on the floor, always in the way of my tool carts and being a tripping hazard. I think my Laguna 1.5 HP unit might be a little undersized for the length of piping I have however. I don't know if using 4 inch pipes for the main runs would have worked better with my collector. I wish I could add a drop to service my workbench when using random orbit sanders... but windows and wall hanging tool storage prevent it. I'm going to test Rockler's FlexiPort kit connected to the hose normally feeding the jointer to see if that will have enough suction to be worthwhile... if so, I'll add another flue wye and blast gate ahead of the jointer. The Rockler hose will end up on the floor, just in front of the shop door, when in use... oh well. Can't have everything perfect.

      Last edited by mpc; 07-12-2021, 09:36 PM.


      • #18
        Jim Frye So is it better to have the air filter on the ground rather than up on the ceiling? And how does the outlets on the floor and blowing up towards the ceiling help? I am thinking of building an air filter using a microwave blower motor I salvaged from my old microwave. I had thought of conventional way of mounting or hanging the box from the ceiling. But your setup is quite intriguing.

        BTW for my dust collection I recently attached a "Chinese" cyclone collector to my 16G ShopVac. It is quite elementary compared to these other setups described above. After I completed the attachment it became quite apparent that moving a two-piece contraption (dust collector with its bucket and the shop vac) was a PITA. So I made a 3-in-1 cart as one of my first project as I started back into this hobby.

        I built the height of the 3-in-1 cart to serve as an outfeed table, it houses the dust collection setup at the bottom and also serves as an assembly/work table.


        • LCHIEN
          LCHIEN commented
          Editing a comment
          I wouldn't think a microwave fan would have nearly the volume required for clearing wood dusts.
          Microwaves only want to stir the air for even cooking. But wood dust collectors need to both carry all chips without precipitating and also capture all the fines generated. Something that requires simultaneous high velocity and high volumetric flow rate. You can get one or the other but need a big blower to get both.

        • nicer20
          nicer20 commented
          Editing a comment
          May be I wasn't clear. For the actual dust collection I have the cyclone + ShopVac combo as seen in the photo.

          The air filter I am thinking of building using a microwave blower is for filtering airborne dust. I have seen people making shop made air filters with a box fan and furnace filters. I am thinking of only substituting the box fan with the blower instead. Is that still a bad idea or will it work for this purpose since I am trying to suck the air through a set of filters to trap the airborne dust particles.

          Comments welcome .....

      • #19
        The filter also needs some actual pressure, like from a squirrel cage, not just a fan.


        • #20
          After I retired and was able to spend more time woodworking. I quickly saw the need for better dust collection equipment. During this time I have spent quite a lot of money on woodworking equipment, not the most expensive or largest equipment, but it was usually the best bang for my buck, and even select Festool tools. That said, the dust collector I have now is the most expensive piece of equipment in the shop, I do not apologize for that to anyone who questions spending that much money on a single device. I say it is like a police officer who works in a department that doesn’t supply bullet proof vests and he buys his own personal vest. It is and investment in my health. I feel like it is comparing someone who buys a particular brand or model of car because of its safety record or it’s safety devices, My advice to anyone seeking woodworking equipment recommendations is to buy the best, most efficient dust collection equipment you can. Your lungs will thank you for it later.