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I don't have a central dust collection system. However, I don't spend much time in my shop either. Right now I simply move my wet vac around to where I need it. This works but is a hassle relocating it all the time. Why couldn't I just buy 3 or 4 wet vacs and keep them with certain machines? I would love to have a central system and they're not awufully expensive, but the problem I have is the ducting. That just seems like too much work, too much thinking, and too much money when I just use my shop 6 - 8 hours a month or so. Any thoughts or input?
 

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Shop vacs aren't setup to handle the volume of air or wood chips that a DC is. They're also notoriously loud...much louder than a DC, or at least DC's are at a more tolerable frequency. Shop vacs fill up easily, and the filters clog pretty fast. A true DC has a much larger chip reservoir and more importantly, it can filter out the finer dust that's much more harmful to your lungs. I did successfully employ my SV for dust collection of my planer for a short time...the volume of chips necessitated the use of a 7 gal bucket with a separator lid so it wouldn't overwhelm the SV's container. It worked but the volume of chips still required frequent emptying of the bucket.

I know the DC seems like more of an expense and less of a "cool tool", but once I bit the bullet, it improved the whole experience of working in my shop. It's more important, and also more rewarding than you may initially think. Basic 4" flexible DC hose is fairly inexpensive and very easy to install....solid ducting like PVC or metal is more difficult and expensive, but offers even better performance.
 

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I am not trying to hijack your thread but I have a related question.

I have two shop vacs. One is hooked to my Miter Saw. I have a switch under the workbench to turn it on and off easily between cuts. I also have one that I have hooked to my table saw (it’s a TS3660; I guess you've got one too). I also use the one from the table saw for the router table. This works great for me for what little I do. I can operate those tools with almost no dust. My problem is my orbital sander. It's a dewalt and has a dust bag but doesn’t work at all.

I saw a work bench for sanding that hooked up to a DC in Woodcraft. Has anyone used anything like this and if so do they work. If they do work does anyone have plans for building one? Every time I sand in the garage, even if by hand, everything gets a good coating of dust.

David
 

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I am not trying to hijack your thread but I have a related question.

I have two shop vacs. One is hooked to my Miter Saw. I have a switch under the workbench to turn it on and off easily between cuts. I also have one that I have hooked to my table saw (it’s a TS3660; I guess you've got one too). I also use the one from the table saw for the router table. This works great for me for what little I do. I can operate those tools with almost no dust. My problem is my orbital sander. It's a dewalt and has a dust bag but doesn’t work at all.

I saw a work bench for sanding that hooked up to a DC in Woodcraft. Has anyone used anything like this and if so do they work. If they do work does anyone have plans for building one? Every time I sand in the garage, even if by hand, everything gets a good coating of dust.

David
David - Can you hook a shop vac hose to your DW sander?

I have a downdraft feature built into my workbench. No plans...it's basically a grid of 5/8" holes on the center of the bench. There's an angled bottom box underneath the holes, and my DC hooks into that to create a downdraft. It works fairly well, especially compared to nothing, but doesn't get everything if I'm using a sander with no DC at all.
 

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Portable sanders are a real problem for dust collection, wether they are belt or orbital. I need to build a downdraft table. The only problem with that is not everything will fit on a downdraft table.

Gerry
 

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I don't have a central dust collection system. However, I don't spend much time in my shop either. Right now I simply move my wet vac around to where I need it. This works but is a hassle relocating it all the time. Why couldn't I just buy 3 or 4 wet vacs and keep them with certain machines? I would love to have a central system and they're not awufully expensive, but the problem I have is the ducting. That just seems like too much work, too much thinking, and too much money when I just use my shop 6 - 8 hours a month or so. Any thoughts or input?
I probably spend a lot more time in my workshop than you do, but I've never stopped to figure it out. I would guess something between 20 to 40 hours per month. The first system I installed was a 21/2 inch clear pvc tube system form Busy Bee, hooked to a large ShopVac. This was pretty effective for smaller stuff, but inadequate for a thickness planer. Depending on what equipment you are working with this might be an effective and fairly low cost option for you. The bottom line is what you are blowing out of your nose after you have done some woodworking. If it looks like the wood you have been working on then you are not adequately protected, and it will have a long term effect on your health. Better to be safe now and not sorry later.

Gerry:thumbsup:
 

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I started with shop vacs. they worked OK. The noise is the worst part for me. I have a system now but still have a shop vac hooked up to my radial arm saw dust shoot. I used to just sit my shop vac on my table saw, next to the work bench, and hook the hose right on the my Dewalt RO sander. It worked great. I found that a 2 1/2" hose coupling from Woodcraft fits perfectly over the part of the Dewalt that the bag slips over. I have it set up with DC system now, but it worked just as well with the shop vac. I hung some springs from the ceiling to hold the hose and cord up. It has enough suction to hold a piece of wood.

Here's my spring set up. It does work just as well with a shop vac.
 
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