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Dust Collector Expansion

 
This project is all about improving the Dust Collection in my shop.

I have a pretty narrow shop, which can make filming a video, as well as still photos, a challenge. In the youtube video above, you can get a good sense of the layout and space in my shop as I pan the camera around the space. Those pan shots did NOT translate well into still photos that I can us here. So I dug into the archives to find a wide-angled shot from a previous project, as well as a top-down-view of a 3D sketch of my shop.

Some of the Tools/Supplies Used In This Project: (Affiliate Links)

Here is a wide-angled shot (from a previous project: Office Side Table) of my shop which I have marked up.

I have a narrow basement shop. Most of my big tools are along the left wall in that photo, and I have a Dust Collection pipe running along the base of that wall, which is connected to my Bandsaw and Table saw, and so on. However, my six-inch jointer is on the opposite wall. The DC pipe and the jointer are both marked on that photo.

Right now, when I use the jointer I need to pull it out away from the wall and stretch a flexible hose across the shop to hook it up. That is both inconvenient, and a tripping hazard. Sometimes I just run it without the DC hooked up, which makes a mess, is a minor health hazard, and can clog the machine.

Here is a reasonably accurate 3D sketch of my shop, in a top-down view. There are basically three approaches I could take to solve this. (Let's not even consider rearranging my shop layout. That is just not on the table right now.)

First, I could continue the DC line around the left side of the shop then around the top side, past my workbench, to arrive at the Jointer. That would add about 25ft of DC pipe onto the end of my DC pipe run. The resulting DC pipe would be about 50 ft long. It might work, I haven't done the math, but it seems long to me, and would be pretty disruptive to set up.

Second, I could go the other way, around the right end of the shop, turn the corner and over to the Jointer. That is a shorter run of pipe, maybe 22-25ft in total, but the door is in the way. So I would need to climb the wall and go over the top of the door. This again adds length, but more importantly it adds a lot of complexity.

What I have chosen to do, is to have the DC pipe climb the wall right behind my big Bandsaw, then cross the ceiling, and then drop down the wall beside the Jointer. This seems to be the least disruptive path across the shop, though I am a bit apprehensive about having relatively big and heavy jointer chips having to go almost 8ft straight up.

In this photo, you are looking into the corner of my shop, where my 2HP dust collector is located.

Behind my 17" bandsaw I will add another Wye connection to the DC pipe, so that I can add a vertical line up the wall.

Even though I almost never move it, I do have a mobile base under my big Bandsaw. I'm very glad of that, as it makes it easy to move this out of the way so I can work.

 

In the next two photos I am adding on the Wye, guaging where the vertical pipe will go, and then measuring down from the ceiling so I konw how long a piece is needed.

Cutting the pipe to length on the miter saw.

I use 4" PVC sewer pipe for my DC piping. It's pretty easy to work with, and relatively inexpensive. As well, it's a lot easier to buy around here.

The first problem, which I was expecting, was that my wall-mounted tool cabinet is located exactly where I need to place the DC pipe along the wall above the Jointer.

I had to empty it, dismount it, move it about 8ft left along the wall and then rehang it, and refill it.

I realize that turning corners introduces a lot of inefficiency in a DC system. I used the biggest elbows that I could find at the local big box store. Another option that I have heard of is to use two 45-degree corners together. I considered that but it does add complexity and did not seem to be that much longer/gentler than using this. Compromises are necessary sometimes!

Here is a collage of shots... I traced one of the pipe sections onto some plywood, and layed out some J-shaped brackets for holding the pipe up by the ceiling. I cut them out with the bandsaw and sanded the rough edges.

I mounted these brackets up to the ceiling joists to hold up the pipes. (Actually technically they are floor joists, but it's the ceiling of my shop!)

And after some finicky measuring, guesswork, re-arrangments .... It all fit pretty much the way I planned it. Here, behind the big BS the DC pipe climbs the wall, missing an outlet and the window along the way.

(Next photos) Then it goes along the ceiling to a 45-degree bend. In order to get the drop right where I wanted it by the jointer I actually had to angle the DC pipe away from the jointer, before it hooked up to the 45-degree angle, and then moved on to the drop by the jointer.

Here it makes the transition to the wall behind the jointer. In the right of the photo you see the door, and also some ceiling-mounted-storage that also had to be worked around.

In the interests of time I totally skipped the bit where I made a blast gate. If you want to know how, I would refer you to this video from Marius Hornberger. I basically followed his method.

I was a little nervous when I fired the jointer up for the first time... Jointer chips are pretty large, and they needed to be sucked up almost 8ft vertically, and then still another long run to the DC. But it ran just fine. I'm very pleased with the outcome. No longer do I need to pull the jointer out from the wall and run a hose across the floor to use it. No longer will I be tempted to use it "just for a few cuts" without the Dust collection running.

 

Thanks for reading!

See Also:


Tool Tote Organizer


Window Replacement


Disc Sander Build


Fixing My Tablesaw Stand