Dust collection overhaul
March 8, 2010
For a while now I’ve been more than a little unhappy with my current shop layout and dust collection setup, but have failed to do much about it since I’ve had some projects that had to get done. My current setup had a run feeding the jointer and table saw, but was done completely out of corrugated flex pipe, so I wanted to replace this with more solid pipe and move my planer near my jointer. This would also solve another problem I have with sharing a pipe between my planer and chop saw. I was always having to switch back and forth between the two and both machines were located behind the table saw which created some space constraints with longer stock or sheet goods. In anticipation of getting a new band saw, I decided it was time to make a change to improve the layout, make some room for the new saw, and hopefully increase the overall efficiency a bit.
It seems like arranging your shop can be one of the most difficult exercises since there are so many constraints on your layout decision. For me, I want my machine area to be compact enough so that I’m not having to move excessively between operations, but still maintain some space to handle longer stock or sheet goods. Another consideration is my dust collector. Right now I have a basic 1.5 HP bag style collector. This machine does a pretty decent job, but I definitely need to limit the length of my runs to maintain maximum efficiency.
I started by replacing my first run to the jointer/planer and a “Y” to the table saw using 4 inch hvac ducting. I decided to run the trunk lines on the floor to reduce the length of the run and to avoid fighting gravity. The downside here of course is I will have to be a little more careful not to step on the pipe. I’m also planning on putting my router table in a extension wing on my table saw side to consolodate space and dust collection so that will “Y” off the table saw line eventually.
The other leg of the system will feed the new band saw and my chop saw. This leg is made from the original PVC system I put together. Here I removed all my other outlet ports and inserted a “Y” for the band saw and continued the run for the chop saw. I was a little concerned about the length of the run to the chop saw, but I think with the addition of more smooth pipe and eliminating several “T”‘s I had in the line I’ve actually improved the efficiency.
Finally, I went through the entire system and made sure all the joints were well sealed with duct tape. You know your really woodworking when the duct tape comes out!