Dust collector in the attic? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-18-2010, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Dust collector in the attic?

I've moved into my first house. Looking above my garage I've got a rather large attic. Has anyone tried to put a dust collector in their attic? (Sure changing the bag might be a pain.) Put a switch for it in the garage. Rather than having the pipes running everywhere, just have them going directly up into the ceiling connecting up to it.
I've looked at attic ventilation fans, but I don't want to fill my attic with saw dust.
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-18-2010, 10:14 PM
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Check out this discussion...

http://www.bt3central.com/archive/in...p?t-10233.html
I have a friend with overhead duct work, but that's in a commercial application and a 10Hp system. My fear would be that any leaks will deposit dust up there and not be noticed. But sealing the system with aluminum tape, actual duct tape, or silicone will work well. The discussion above mentions the need for 3000 cu ft per min of flow, more than your DC's capacity, therefore not a good idea possibly. I donno myself. bill
OMT the use of a cyclone or other separator down below will minimize the amount of dust collected in the bag/filter above!

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Last edited by woodnthings; 10-19-2010 at 11:08 AM.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-19-2010, 09:23 AM
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I think it will work fine as long as the air from the attic circulates back down to the shop. Just put either a regular floor vent in the ceiling or one that has louvers that open when under vaccuum/pressure. I have a DC on the first floor of my garage and the shop is on the second. There's a door at the top of the stairs going in to the shop. I haven't yet, but am planning to put a louvered vent in the bottom of the door. That way, when all doors are closed and the DC is on, the air that gets sucked out of the shop will get replaced by air blowing out of the DC by coming up the stairs and through the vent on the door. The minor problem is heat/air conditioning. Oh well. I can't have everything. Luckily, I live in a mild area that doesn't require a whole lot of either. If you don't have a way for air to circulate when the DC is on, it won't be as efficient, and you may burn the DC motor up depending on how tight everything is. If you allow the DC to expel air out the roof, then you will lose ALL your heat/ac. Plus, you will need to let air IN somehow and somewhere else. At least with my set up, I keep most of it. Even though I lose some to the first floor, at least it stays in the garage and doesn't get lost outside.

Bud

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Last edited by TS3660; 10-19-2010 at 09:28 AM.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-19-2010, 09:56 AM
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Bud your system looks great

But somewhere in the corners of my brain I just feel that gravity is working for you with the collector below rather than above. Maybe it's just me, but I would think your system is just a better way to go. I'm not saying "above" won't work, but there is the issues of clean out and return air replacement. I wouldn't want to be up in the attic in a confined space emptying the bags or filters without "serious" respirator protection myself.
On the other hand, the collector could be centrally located minimizing the run lengths and certainly easily have drops to each machine. Ya know someone should just do it......JMO bill

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post #5 of 12 Old 10-19-2010, 10:37 AM
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I would be real interested in how an attic DC system worked out. I have no space for a big DC system, just a ceiling mount one. It is tough cramming all my tools into the 2 car garage and still having room for my wife's wheelchair accessible van. The gravity issue, especially with larger planer chips, had me leaving it on the backburner.

I was trying to figure out how to put it on a lift like this: http://www.jnkproducts.com/versa-lift.htm . Still need to go up and disconnect, but I could service it on the ground. May be easier to just use it to store seldom used tools in the attic and make room for the DC in the shop.

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post #6 of 12 Old 10-19-2010, 02:26 PM
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Thanks Bill

I think gravity does help me some. Overall I am really pleased with my system and there are a lot of advantages to it, but like anything, there are disadvantages too. Losing air & heat for one.

As far as Jeffrey's attic idea, I'm wondering, as far as suction, if there is a difference to putting a DC in the attic and putting it on the same floor as the machines with the ducts running up into the attic and then back down. I am thinking the siphoning effect to having it on the same floor as the machines is good. But then, it would be a longer run, (up & then back down) which may cancel that advantage out. Of course, having the DC in the attic certainly makes more room in the shop. I dunno. It was a real hard decision for me to decide what to do with it. I'm sure Jeffrey is going through the same thought process. Advantages/disadvantages, yadda yadda. A set of drop down stairs is all it takes to make access easy. And one big advantage if he puts it in the attic: The duct runs will be the same as if he puts it on the shop floor. So, if he doesn't like it in the attic, he can simply extend the main duct down through the ceiling and move the DC.

But hey, what if he just puts the DC in the attic without the filter? In a matter of a few projects, his attic will be fully insulated ! Yeah, What a brainstorm !

Bud

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post #7 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Dust collector in the attic?

I've got the smaller of the Delta dust collectors. I think I'm going to have to step up to something larger if I'm going to stick it in the attic.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-20-2010, 07:29 PM
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Why not build a lean to shed



Like this for the dust collector just smaller. You'd still have to deal with replacing the air in a conditioned space., but if not no problem. Just an opening near the bottom with a small screen to keep the critters out. I'd do this rather than an attic mounted DC for easier access and less noise in the shop. bill

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-21-2010, 08:39 AM
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My suggestion is,WHEREVER it goes........#1 priority is the ability to very quickly clean up that immediate area.This is where its gonna be tuff to beat woodnthings lean-to.Take an air hose and blow it out....then run.BW


Edit to add:To go completely off into left field,the lean-to can have a simple fire suppression system.Go green and pump water into a decent sized tank mounted descretely on roof.Paint it Black and run a garden hose to it.Solar hot water for parts washer,built in servo "dump" vlaves that can snuff out any potential problems.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-22-2010, 09:57 PM
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There are two major issues.

Gravity doesn't take a vacation. You'll need more horse power and more electricity to get the dust upstairs.

There is a heat exchange issue. You will be taking heated/cooled air from the garage up to the attic at the rate of 1300 to 3000 cubic feet per minute. (The typical 20x20 garage is 3200 cubic feet.) You will do a complete exchange of air in the garage in a minute or two. The air will be replaced with outside air.

Use the right tool for the job.

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post #11 of 12 Old 01-25-2016, 05:41 PM
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Attic dust collection

Its the best. First thing it is MUCH MUCH quieter. Second, it is easy to vent inside or outside. Either filter and send back down or preferrably to filtering, put on a jacket and vent outside. Finally you are NOT bringing the chips upstairs. Chip collection occurs with a trash can or other cyclone on the main floor. I am procrastinating cutting a hole in the roof, so I just have the bag on the DC. Catches any errant dust and the small stuff either wanders off or settles into my fiberglass insulation. My bag has never yet filled up.
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-25-2016, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings
http://www.bt3central.com/archive/in...p?t-10233.html I have a friend with overhead duct work, but that's in a commercial application and a 10Hp system. My fear would be that any leaks will deposit dust up there and not be noticed. But sealing the system with aluminum tape, actual duct tape, or silicone will work well. The discussion above mentions the need for 3000 cu ft per min of flow, more than your DC's capacity, therefore not a good idea possibly. I donno myself. bill OMT the use of a cyclone or other separator down below will minimize the amount of dust collected in the bag/filter above!
The leaks are going to have to be after the impeller. If you vented it outside the chance of that is virtually zero. Leaks anywhere else are going to suck air in not blow dust out.
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