Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Efficient Dust Collection

  There's plenty of info on the internet regarding dust collection for our small shops. Without doing the math I can tell you this,  "Use the largest diameter duct you can obtain. The more air volume your collector moves the more successful your chip collection will be." Also, I strongly suggest the use of a chip separator. My collection system employs a separator made from plastic barrels.                (see separator)

  Both collector and separator are outside my shop housed in a large shed attached to the workshop. This keeps the shop quite and my lungs away from the fine sawdust particles that escape the filter bag. A switch is located on the inside of the shop to turn the system on and off. You could also use wireless remote. My setup causes a negative pressure in the shop which can be bothersome in the winter as it draws the cold air into the shop. I'll live with it.

  I checked building material recyclers for ducting first then picked up the rest from the local building supply. Watch prices as they vary widely on this stuff.

In this photo you can see some of the duct work for my setup
  My setup works very well but as always nothing is perfect. Here are some ducting items I would try to do differently:

Little or no flex hose, they mess up the airflow.
Rework pickup boots from 4" to fit 6" duct.(I'm doing the jointer and planer next)
Combine 2 adjustable 90's to create swept 90's. (set each at 45 degrees).
Y Pipes no Tee's
Connect pipes using pop rivets, long chips can get caught on screw tips.

  The way in which my Y pipes are oriented to my drops is a bit of a problem. When you use a machine that is down stream of the previous Y pipe some of the chips will fall into the drops and begin to pile up on top of the closed blast gates. I just open those upstream gates to get rid of the chips before I shut down the collector.

   I was unable to find 6" blast gates readily available so I made them myself using coffee cans and plywood. I got the idea from this video on Youtube. I used a jig saw to cut out the circles in the plywood.

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