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After a particularly dust-laden weekend in the Toolmonger shop, we must say that the sight of Dugbee’s collection system choked us up a bit. Of course it could’ve been the quarter pound of oak particles, or the ever-floating mist of dust in the shop — but who knows?

Not only is this shop in good working order, but Dugbee has laid out his gear in a handy row so the dust collection system can capture debris from all the major offenders in the shop. Well done.

Toolmonger Photo Pool [Flickr]


14 Responses to From the Flickr Pool: Sweet Dust Collection System

  1. Nice job. I like the clear tubing so you can see if anything is blocking the ductwork.

    I can’t tell from the picture if you grounded the plastic ductwork though.

  2. Gene says:

    This looks like he used the ShopVac dust collection system. I just purchased one of these but haven’t had the time to clear out my garage to get it set up. It is a pretty basic setup, but the price is right: $39.99


    I’d like to know where he got the 4″-2 1/2″ reducers that are connected to the gates in this picture. Perhaps Dugbee would be kind enough to speak up!

  3. Dugbee says:

    Indeed, the kit is the shop-vac one for $40. (even cheaper if you sign up for the newsletter, and get a 10% off coupon) So it’s all 2.5″ – but the inner/outer diameters can drive one mad.

    The flexible hose you see is called 2.5″ Dust Collection Hose, Woodcraft part number #127761. It’s quite heavy, actually. That is coupled with a 2.5″ Hose End Fitting, which is a left-hand threaded plastic piece that screws into the flexible hose. Woodcraft part number #128685. Those fittings let you connect the blast gates to the tools, via the flexible hose.

    The vacuum has a CleanStream filter. I didn’t ground the hose, yet.

    Thanks for your comments!

  4. Vody says:

    I think this is great! I’m just starting out with home woodworking projects and found very quickly that the garage (and the wife’s car) gets covered with sawdust. I was thinking about hooking up an old leaf blower to a hose system like this.

    Does anyone think that would work?

  5. SuperJdynamite says:

    Amazon (and others I’m sure) carry 4″ -> 2.5″ reducers. Here’s a link.

    Also, why would one ground plastic ductwork?

  6. Dugbee says:

    You would still need some place to trap the dust, rather then tossing into the air. I’m using a low-end Craftsman wet-dry vac, and very little dust escapes from the tools.

    Note that any non-captured dust (in my case) just goes to the floor/wall, rather then behind a workbench. That makes it easy to clean up. I added the “muffler” to the shop vac to just make sure no extra dust shoots out the exhaust.

    The foam tiles (cheapest is at Big-Lots type stores) are easy to vacuum, and can even be mopped as long as the mop is damp, not dripping. (I guess I’m a clean-freak!)

  7. Mr P says:

    SuperJdynamite Says:

    Also, why would one ground plastic ductwork?

    You create static electricity with a vacuum. Not to bad when you take a nylon sock and rub it on carpet and make your friend touch it. But when it build up it can be very high voltage and the electrical charge can blow computer boards and cause havoc and damage you tools.

  8. Chris says:

    Not to mention that the static created will make it really hard to pull the dust through cleanly — you’ll get lots of fine dust clinging to the inside and outside of the collection tubing.

    I’m not sure what the best way to ground a large plastic tube is, though. Maybe wrap it in metal mesh?


  9. Chris says:

    Oh, and Mr P: I wouldn’t worry too much about the static damaging circuitry in the tools themselves; that’s why they’re grounded. Most tools don’t have anything particularly sensitive to static shock in them anyway. CNC equipment does, but your average drill press, circular saw, table saw, planer, router, power drill, etc. doesn’t have anything in it that can’t take the transient kilovolt DC spike that you’d generate with static. I wouldn’t go hooking a Van De Graaf generator up to my tools to test that, but yeah.


  10. Zathrus says:

    A 1 kV spike isn’t anything special though — based on (believe it or not) this thread I went looking today for info on grounding plastic slides; we recently got a playset for the kids and they can build up one heck of a charge. A researcher was actually looking into this, since the static charge can routinely zap cochlear implants on hearing impaired kids (which are built to resist up to 8 kV) and found that his kids could build up charges of 10 kV, and kids in dry climates up to 20 kV.

    I don’t think a dust system would build up that much static charge, but 5 kV is probably not out of the question.

  11. Jim says:

    The often cited reason for grounding PVC/Plastic dust collection systems is becasue of a potential fire/explosion hazard of the dust. While a potential and real hazard for large commerial dust collection systems, it is not applicable to a home system. A while back, Fine Woodworking explored and debunked this dust collection ‘myth’. In addition to the experiments and scientific calculated of a noted professor, they could not find one documented explosion in a home dost collection system attributed to static discharge. There have been fires in dust collection systems, as a recent thread in Laguna Tools Bandsaw forum illistrates, but this has caused by a smoldering ember generated in under table sawdust by sparks off the ceramic guides being sucked through the dust collection system and into the dust collector.

  12. Brau says:

    Wow! That is quite beautiful. I recently priced out clear tubing of this size for a small project, and all I can say is someone has a lot of extra cash to spend on the luxury of seeing the dust inside. Me … I’m stuck using regular old PVC/ABS pipe, dryer hoses, and a vacuum.

  13. Chris says:

    Zathrus: Right, when I said “kilovolt” I meant “between 1 kV and 999 kV”, although it’s pretty unusual for a person (or anything not designed specifically to generate large DC voltages) to generate over 100 kV. Even a good benchtop-sized Van De Graaf tops out around 250 kV or so, though the amount of charge it can build up depends a lot on ambient humidity.


  14. Mr.Miz says:

    I’m not an electrican or anything but couldn’t you just use an old length of Romex and attach it to a few of the clamps that hold it to the wall and then either put in in your breaker ground bar or rebar outside the shop? Again I dont know what I’m talking about but that’s pretty much what your whole house electrical system breaks down into….

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