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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've been slowly working up to a full blown dc for a few years. i bought a delta air filter 8 years ago and have a couple shop vacs: one dedicated to the radial arm saw, another for sanding and general cleanup. after sanding a project with the shop vac connected to the sander for hours and my head ringing from the noise, i was ready for something better. found a deal on a harbor fright dc system, normally i don't buy much hf with a cord, but i've heard enough good on them i bought this one used. i ran it for a bit hooked only to the table saw, while the bandsaw, router, drill press and ras made a mess, before going whole hog. didn't like having the hose on the floor, as i've mentioned before, i'm a gimp, stepping over a hose is impossible as is swapping from the hose tool to tool.
my shop is in an old dairy barn, floors slope to the manure trough, hand poured floors are roughly 2" thick. i have low ceilings to start with and beams below that, i guess cows don't need space. room for 5000 bales of hay upstairs with 16' headroom.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
blast gates: going with a ducted dc system, i needed blast gates. cheap blast gates have poor reviews, i decided to make my own after looking at 100s of videos. i experimented with glue for pvc-to-wood connections.

first i got this awesome circle cutter. 10 times faster than a hole saw and cuts any size hole. it takes 20 seconds to cut thru 1/2" baltic birch, set to 4.2" for pvc pipe. it makes a mess, you really need a dc just for this 馃槀

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then you need a bunch of baltic birch plywood. i just happen to buy 150 11"X40" pieces off craigslist 33垄 each

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the resulting carnage, i've never had this much baltic birch scrap before

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
glue test. epoxy vs polyurethane. 2 holes, 2 glues.
i've tried silicone before and wasn't impressed, my research indicated these 2 were best.
i roughed up both surfaces and beveled one side of the plywood.

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hammer test. first i did some tap tap, then some hammer hammer, and finally i had an ogre smackdown

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i was surprised when the epoxy failed before the polyurethane gorilla glue. lucky me polyurethane is much less than epoxy.

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i've been slowly working up to a full blown dc for a few years. i bought a delta air filter 8 years ago and have a couple shop vacs: one dedicated to the radial arm saw, another for sanding and general cleanup. after sanding a project with the shop vac connected to the sander for hours and my head ringing from the noise, i was ready for something better. found a deal on a harbor fright dc system, normally i don't buy much hf with a cord, but i've heard enough good on them i bought this one used. i ran it for a bit hooked only to the table saw, while the bandsaw, router, drill press and ras made a mess, before going whole hog. didn't like having the hose on the floor, as i've mentioned before, i'm a gimp, stepping over a hose is impossible as is swapping from the hose tool to tool.
my shop is in an old dairy barn, floors slope to the manure trough, hand poured floors are roughly 2" thick. i have low ceilings to start with and beams below that, i guess cows don't need space. room for 5000 bales of hay upstairs with 16' headroom.

View attachment 443195
I love old barns and played in one when I was a kid.
I almost bought 9 acres with a twin silo dairy barn 45 years ago, but it was 10 ft off the road.
The upper loft was about 100 ft X 150 ft? and ceilings that reached into the sky.
It would have made a great indoor tennis court or a wood shop?
Although I swore I'd never have a shop with stairs, that's not what "life' served up to me.
It's 15 steps up to the shop for light stuff and a double door with a triple 2 x 12 beam above for the heavy stuff.
Rather than suffer the goofy floor and the low ceilings could you have a shop in the loft?


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
this whole process is a make work project, sort of like ccc back in the depression.

i used 5x5 plywood square for the blast gate body flanges.
glued either a half couple, pipe nipple or hose adapter into each flange
hose adapters cost $10 each if purchased, ogre鈩 manufacturing to the rescue
i made a die out of baltic birch, rounded and tapered the top edge and used a heat gun on the pipe before stuffing it into the die. worked pretty good, it definitely fit the flex hose and saved me hundreds of dollars. 66垄 vs $10

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then it was a matter of gluing all the nipples in

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once cleaned up and sanded, i cut the gates 1/16 narrower, wrapped them in parchment paper so no glue would stick to them, clamped in my vice under moderate pressure

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and glued on sides.

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wrapping in parchment paper made clearance to slide after clamping
the blast gates actually work nicely and are fairly air tight
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
mag couplings:
all of the dc connections to machines have the last couple feet or more via flex hose. some have multiple machines for a single drop for simplicity of the piping. the connection for each machine is a mag coupling, the same 5x5 plywood flange with magnets in all 4 corners, actually 3 magnets in each corner. cheap 2mm thick neo magnets from amazon, $11 for 100 of the little buggers, 12 for each flange and 24 for each set of the mag couple. 100 magnets does 4 mag couples, luckily i only have 4 drops, but will end up with 7 machines plus hand tools and a floor sweep eventually.

i glue the magnets in with polyurethane glue, 3 in each corner slightly recessed so as to soften the blow of coupling each flange. have to be semi-careful with polarity, i say semi-careful cuz i was very careful with the first flange and then built all the other flanges on top of that one. squirt some glue in each hole and drop a stack of 3 in each hole, even with plywood between the flanges, the magnets can't go in the hole wrong. they self correct. for the reversed polarity flange i just glue magnets in with the bottom flange upside down, it's sorta foolproof. below is 2 flanges being glued up, with a finished flange underneath it, i mark T (tool) or H (hose) on each flange.

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then i glue in the adapter for use. obviously these are all hose mag coupling ends

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table saw and lathe mag coupling, will also be the planer when and if i get one. longest hose in the system

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close up of the table saw mag coupling. bottom of the saw is just flat plywood with a 90掳 glued in.
added brace is just in case i kick the hose

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i was surprised at the grip these have, i was thinking of having a lip on the bottom to hold the weight.
no need so far. you can see T and TOOL written on the table saw flange
cuz i'm sure someone will say something, the dc is not connected to the piping yet. thus sawdust in the pipe 馃う鈥嶁檪锔

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thien baffle:

the heart of my dc system is the hf dust collector. i converted it to a 2 stage with a barrel with a thien baffle on top of it. i had previously made a thien baffle on top of an old shop vac. i was impressed at chip separation and how it kept my regular shop vac filter clean as a whistle.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
this time the thien baffle is designed around 4" pipe. only slightly bigger around but easily 4 times taller.

typically i start with a cad drawing, i found a 30 gal plastic barrel on craigslist for $20

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after i cut 45 pieces, i put them side by side and taped the back side up securely

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my plywood is 11" wide, had to glue up 2 to get a 16" circle for the top

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glued up the strips, strap clamped it and fastened the barrel to the top to get it round

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we've all seen the washer trick for marking an offset, first time i've ever used it (y)
i cut out the lid for baffle prep and screwed the lid to the bottom of the barrel

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cutting the pipe and the hole is guesswork. i rough cut the pipe, marked the hole and worked my way into a good fit. happy enough with the results, i used minimal filler, i epoxied the pipe in the hole.

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and then screwed the 1/4" plywood baffle in. rod is 3/8", overkill but it's what i had 馃し鈥嶁檧锔

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
my compressor is in a enclosed under the stairs, with a simple plywood door, i'm amazed at how much noise it cuts out. i'm currently building a closet for the dust collector. the closet has to be inside my shop so as not to suck out all my heat for the subzero nights we get here in se michigan. so far i have $0 in the closet, all recycled lumber, plywood and even the screws i'm putting it together with are used 馃槀
my wife found a set of 4ft double doors on nextdoor that we picked up for free. i'm weather-stripping the closet doors and putting a merv 12 filter in the wall. i'm using a 1 micron filter bag, not as bad as the 5 micron filter bag, but still a filter bag. i figure the merv 12 filter will pick up a little more fines. the only thing bought so far is the merv 12 filter (y)

this is the closet sidewall for hanging the hf 2hp blower on

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if you noticed the tape on the wall in the picture above. we'll just say that's my bonehead move.
the shop walls are 8 inch block, 1.5" polyisocyanurate insulation glued on the block and then 1/2" sheetrock glued over that. no studs anywhere to fasten stuff to.
i did want to fasten the 2x6 stud to the block. when i drilled the hole it sounded funny... i pulled back and saw metal on the tip. i had wired the shop in conduit, 4 feet up with boxes every 5 feet. my random tapcon location was exactly 4 feet up and even with the center of the electrical box 馃う鈥嶁檪锔

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i pulled the wire out. i couldn't have centered it better if i tried.
didn't even notice the breaker had tripped until i went to use the ras

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
as stated i have low ceilings for a shop. before i started this adventure, i bought one stick of pipe and made some hangers for it. i hung it under both beams in the most obvious spot to see if i could handle not just the physical location, but also the visual. i'm sitting at my workbench, the dc closet will be on the far wall where the picture of the swimmer is.


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then i proceeded to make pipe hangers, using 5/8" bb plywood
i've seen plumbers strap used, yes it holds up the pipe, i'd like to think wood looks a little better

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no real weight on the piping for the amount of hangers i used.
this hanger is between joists with 5/8''x2''x25'' bb plywood support

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Had to make more mag coupler flanges today. I'm truly impressed with this hole cutter. Less than 15 seconds to cut a 4.2" hole in 鈪" Baltic birch plywood, with my POS drill press and slippy belt.
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I made a small table just for these flanges to quickly locate the 5x5 square center hole and by moving 1 block, it locates the corner holes. Fly cutter does make a mess.
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Between the mag couplers and blast gates, I've had to cut 30 big holes in 5x5 plywood. Just used the 4" hole saw on the bandsaw case, jambed the wrist a couple times. Hole saw for 30 holes would be suicidal 馃槀
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
i think i'm 99% done with my dc install. big project was the closet to filter out noise. my wife found the freebie doors on nextdoor, and all the plywood, studs and even the screws were recycled. i weather stripped the doors with job leftovers aka free weather strip. even the paint is 20 yr old leftovers from the original interior sheetrocking of the shop.

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notice the high filter on the left side. outlet air merv-12 filter, last chance effort to capture dust. i baffled inside for noise by boxing in the stud cavity to make that noise work at escaping.
here's the inside of the closet, you can see the noise baffle opening down low on the left. yes, still using the 1 micron bag and probably will for a while. still have room to stuff my old noisy @$$ shop vac in there

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
still have a couple tools to make shrouds to connect to the dc. here's the bandsaw connection. just a 4" hole in the case with mag couple glued and screwed on the side. i blocked off the open bottom with plywood and made a small shroud to wrap around the table tilt mechanism. so far so good.

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have the ras and drill press left to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
now the scientific stuff. i downloaded a dB meter for my phone, it's probably not accurate, but it's what i have.

MIN: 77dB
AVG: 80dB
MAX: 85dB
Duration: 00:16
Shop Vac brand vac is the noisiest vacuum i've ever used. i got it free from a neighbor many years ago, it's dedicated to the ras. 80dB is loud af

MIN: 72dB
AVG: 76dB
MAX: 82dB
Duration: 00:20
harbor fright 1.5hp blower, closet doors open. 76dB is loud, not something i could have on for an hour while i bounced between machine. can't hear the music or converse over this.

MIN: 62dB
AVG: 64dB
MAX: 73dB
Duration: 00:18
closet doors closed. my understanding of dB scale is that for every 10dB the noise doubles. so at 64dB the closet is knocking out 12dB or over half the sound level of the doors open. can hear the music and converse over 64dB.

MIN: 44dB
AVG: 56dB
MAX: 66dB
Duration: 00:20
Music only level. for reference, i didn't have the music on during the tests, but it's on 100% of the time, when i'm in the shop

so overall i'm glad i built the sound enclosure for the dc. it does take up a chunck of the shop, but it cuts out a lot of the noise from the dc. i still have some tricks to try; like the center seam of the doors is open, no insulation or dampening material on the walls or doors, finally i may extend the baffle out to the filter, make it a little more convoluted. i'd like to cut out some of the high pitched drone i'm hearing. i have a lot of 1.5" styrofoam board i can experiment with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
john... look away, this may offend you 馃槀
i painted the sound enclosure with 22 yr old paint from the original shop sheetrock project. i had done some touchup 10 yrs ago, the can was shot and so rusty i destroyed the lid getting it off. i transferred the remaining paint to a plastic costco nut jar, over the years i saw mold, layer/color separation and a skim. i just shake it an put it back. for this project i grabbed the jar, shook the daylight out of it and used it as is with big old lumps in the jar and on my wall.

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that was after adding some water to it. no pan, just jam the end of the roller in paint and roll it! surprisingly it blended well with the old paint. i even strained what was left into a small peanut butter jar for the next touch up in 10 yrs. i'm not a painter, it's not what i do 馃槀

22 years ago home depot used to sell it's 'oops' paint for cheap. i bought a 5 gal bucket of this blue/green paint for $20, the inside took 6 gal, i paid $25 for that 6th gal of paint. ouch!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
finished piping. shop is a disaster, don't get all judgy on me. what would have been a 4 or 5 day job 20 years ago took me 5 weeks to accomplish. 20 years ago all the piping would have been above the ceiling, i just couldn't do that at this time.

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