Dust Collection Solution - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-01-2017, 06:17 AM Thread Starter
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Dust Collection Solution


New member and relatively new to woodworking. I just obtained the HF dust collector and am having some trouble getting things connected properly so that it works for my situation. Up until now, I have been using a shop vac with a small cyclone and bucket for dust collection with my 4 most used power tools. It was better than nothing, but still left a lot to be desired. I picked up the HF 2HP dust collector and accessory package and was able to get almost everything connected and it seems to work way better than the shop vac so far.

My problems though are many fold... First, I have a two car garage to work in, but I try to keep everything in about the space of a one car garage. I can expand out a little without too much trouble, but I often find myself moving tools out of the way in order to be able to do other things so space and mobility of tools is important. Second, I can use only the dust collector and one tool at a time as power in the garage is insufficient for more than that and there are only two outlets on opposite sides of the room. Third, we currently rent this house and are hoping to be able to buy our own at some point in the next year or so, so I don't really have the option to put in permanent pipe for dust collection. This should all hopefully be temporary as when we buy our own house, I will have a lot more flexibility and the ability to put in permanent fixtures and adequate power.

All of those factors combined have created a few challenges for dust collection. My jointer and planer have 4" dust ports so using the hose I bought worked really will, the Delta contractor table saw however, has a 2 1/2" port on the back and my router table is built in to it with a fence I built, also with a 2 1/2" port. I was able to connect up the 4" hose to the table say port by getting creative with adaptors but it's not easily movable to the router now. Also, the accessory kit came with only two blast gates so I have to slip the hose to the planer off and use the end cap when using other tools which is not very easy or convenient. The biggest problem however is the space that all the wyes and hoses are taking up in front of the dust collector now and I'm worried about the stress it is putting in the wye that came with the dust collector. My current setup is as follows... From the blower to the wye that came with the collector. One side has the planer attached with no blast gate. The other side has the other wye that came with the accessory kit attached. Each side of that wye has a blast gate and hoses that go to the jointer and table saw. As you can imagine, it is a pretty cumbersome setup, but it works. I could order another blast gate for the planer, but I had a different idea that may or may not be a good one which is where my question finally comes in.

My idea is to build a plywood box that would attach to one side of the wye with a short section of 4" hose. Then have (2) 4" ports on the box with built in blast gates to attach the jointer and planer and a third 2 1/2" port, again with built in blast gate, to attach the shopvac hose for the table saw and router. The box would be as small as possible so as not to take up a lot of room or create too much of a place for dust to get trapped inside. I know this isn't an ideal solution, but at least for the sake of getting things connected properly and space and mobility concerns I think it would work really well.

Any feed back on my proposed solution would be much appreciated.

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post #2 of 9 Old 12-01-2017, 06:35 AM
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Just a thought on one statement- install the piping. If it goes up, it can come down and be moved to your new home.

A diamond is how coal reacts under pressure.
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-01-2017, 06:54 AM
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Look at the Rockler dust right system. You can put a compatible port on your equipment, including the 2 inch ports, then just move a hose from machine to machine. Takes seconds and would be far more effective, even with a long hose needed to reach all your equipment.

In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-01-2017, 10:08 AM
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Welcome. The HF is a great starter DC and can serve you well if you understand its limitations. The major drawback is the impeller is undersized so it underperforms most 1.5HP DCs. So it is best used for short runs to each machine (which it sounds like that is what you are doing). Any port smaller than 4" would best be connected to a shop vac (which also sounds like your plan). As far as your box idea, I think you will be better served with the wyes in series and blast gates for each line. The box, without seeing it, sounds like it will add too much flow resistance. Take a gate to one of the big box stores and see how it fits into 4" PVC wyes (check the thin walled ones in the irrigation section). You can also get the DC wyes at Rockler, Woodcraft and Amazon. You can then mount the wyes to a board or something fixed to reduce your hose strain.

Without pictures of layout, it is a little difficult. Bottom line, keep flex hose as short as possible (<10'). Flex is equal to 4x straight pipe. So 10'of flex is 40' of straight pipe, and that is a lot of resistance on your machine. See attached chart. The more resistance you have the more SP you have (further to the left on your machines curve) and the less airflow. Also, keep the flex as straight as possible. Sharp bends will add even more resistance.

Hope this helps. Let us know what you do.

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post #5 of 9 Old 12-01-2017, 02:09 PM
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Pictures.. we need pictures LOL

I have a similar setup to you as well - 2 car garage, but can only use one side.

I have the HF 2hp dust collector as well - it's been standing in a corner since I got it. I ran a length of 4" pipe across my ceiling then 2 1/2" pipe to/from all my stations. I connect the stations with a clamp and small piece of pvc when I want to control the stations dust.

I'm about to change things, but for me I have to connect, disconnect anytime I want to use a different work station. I have no planer, jointer or router table yet

I've put all my work stations on wheels, and when I work in the shop I move the car out and roll my tools into position. My stations are my TS, my main work bench, my mini assembly bench, my Miter saw cart, my drill/grinder cart and and sanding cart.

It works for me although not perfectly, but it is what it is for now.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-01-2017, 06:09 PM
where's my table saw?
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Table saws are the worst to collect from

Unless your table saw has a blade shroud that encloses the blade, like some of the newer models, you will have a rough time getting the dust from it. I have both the newer shrouded types like the Bosch 4000-09, a Craftsman Hybrid about 10 years old and the older Craftsman contractor saws, so I know a bit about them.

Trying to keep the dust airborne in a large box/cabinet until it gets collected is impossible. Most of it settles to the bottom or nests in the corners rather than getting collected. You need gobs of CFMs to make it work and the HF unit won't cut it as stated above by Carl10.

I decided it was better, cheaper, and easier to just use 2 separate Jet 1 1/2 HP DC units on casters moved between the planers and drum sanders, and the jointer and table saws. I use very short runs, less than 8 ft of flex hose. I use a shop vac on any tool with that size port. There is no point in connecting a shop vac to a 4" port.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-02-2017, 09:15 AM Thread Starter
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So I was bored yesterday with nothing else to do so I went ahead and built my box...

For getting everything connected up, having the built in blast gates and some space savings, it worked exactly as I had imagined. However...

As predicted by several member's replies, it significantly reduced the effectiveness. For the jointer and planer, it is still better than the shop vac, but for the table saw it is much worse. My table saw is a new Delta contractor saw so it has the dust shroud. The 2" hose to the table saw really reduced the amount of air flow at the tool. It worked better before when I had a 4" hose going to the table saw that was reduced at the tool. It didn't cost me anything but some time and effort so I'm not too disappointed. I'm looking at it as a learning experience as it has defiantly made a few things clear.

Some of the things I did discover will help when I redesign the system. I learned that you can get an indication of how much air the system is able to move by the sound and ferocity of the chips swirling around in the collection bag. I experimented a little by moving the DC and box and tools around a bit while the DC was on so I could hear and see the change in the collection bag. As the piping got straighter, the system seemed to work better. I knew this going in, but wasn't sure how much effect it had over such short runs. My longest hose is to the planer at about 8'

So it's clear I will have to think about how I'm going to arrange things going forward.

I attached some pictures of the setup.

Thanks for all the replies.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-02-2017, 11:49 AM Thread Starter
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I rearranged the shop and now I think I have a much better setup. I'm using the new dust collector for the jointer and planer and will continue to use the shop vac for the table saw and router until I have the space for a proper setup.

Thanks for all your input. Any further suggestions or comments would be much appreciated.

Pictures of the new setup...
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-03-2017, 02:29 AM
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One of the best steps for improved flow from you HF dust collector is to do an impeller upgrade. You can get, unless they stopped selling them to non Rikon customers, an 11 inch impeller from Rikon that fits the HF machine. This vastly improves the CFM of your DC and has been done by many people. I am in a similar situation to yours, in that I use one bay of my garage for woodworking. My shop has all the major machines mounted on mobile bases, so that I can move everything around as needed. My amount of equipment has grown this year to the point that I have to move one car out to be able to work on things. I have a Jet 1100VX-CK collector and I just move it to whichever machine I am using and connect it with a section of flex hose. This has worked better for me than trying to have a fixed DC setup.
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