GrnGate Automated Dust Collection System

WOOD magazine rating


If you are like many small woodworking shops, you have some sort of dust collection for the various machines. This may range from a roll-around collector you move from machine to machine or perhaps a central collector with ducting to each machine.

If you have a central system with ducting, you have certain requirements you must do:

Open the duct to the machine you intend to use (typically with a blast gate)
Turn on the collector
Finally, turn on the machine
After completing the work, the reverse process must now be done:

Turn off the machine
Turn off the collector
Close the machine’s blast gate.
Have you ever forgotten to close the blast gate? Wouldn’t it be slick if you could simply start the machine, do the task and turn the machine off without any other actions? This is what our system can provide. A sensor detects when your machine tool is started and in turn opens the tool’s associated blast gate. This in turn, starts the central collector.

After you have completed the task and turned off the machine, the collector is turned off after a short delay to clear any remaining debris in the duct work and then the gate is closed.

We offer a 3 Gate Starter System containing three 4″ Blast Gates, three Sensors and System Controller including all necessary cables.

Don’t be concerned about all this automatic stuff. If you can install a computer keyboard or mouse you can install our system. Whether you are building a new collection system or wish to retrofit an existing one, our system will provide you with many enjoyable hours of chip making.

There is a Sensor and Gate associated with each machine that is part of the collection system ducting. Each Sensor is connected to its associated Gate. All the Gates are daisy chain connected to the System Controller. This system strategy allows the Gates to be connected in a chain just like the duct work is connected in a chain to the various machines.

Starting at the System Controller, the Gate network wiring can be ran along the ducts dropping down to the machines just as the duct connections drop to the machines. At each Gate, the chain is extended to the next Gate. The System Controller has four Gate network jacks allowing up to four chains. This is usually more than ample for most small systems.

There is no limit to the number of Gates allowed, but we recommend that any single chain be limited to eight Gates.

Although most Gates will be controlled by a Sensor, you may want manual control rather than automatic.A floor sweep is an example of where you might want this. Another may be a tool such as a chop saw that is being constantly turned on and off during use. We offer a Manual Switch for these situations.The Manual Switch simply takes the place of the Sensor and is connected to the Gate in exactly the same manner with the supplied cable. Using a Manual Switch will eliminate the unwanted cycling of the central collector.

The basic system is designed for single phase power up to 1.5HP at 120VAC or 3HP at 240VAC. However, should you have a three phase collector or a collector with greater than a 3 HP motor, we offer an accessory 3 Pole Motor Contactor. The System Controller switches the Motor Contactor on and off. The Contactor is rated up to 280VAC, 5 horsepower.

WOOD magazine review

Automate your dust-collector network with a “green” thumb

Review Summary

Because I make my living through woodworking, I appreciate the time- and-effort savings the automated dust-collection system from GrnGate brings to my shop. It automatically turns my dust collector on and off whenever I operate the machines hooked into the system. Although it has high-tech innards, you don’t have to be a tech geek to install or operate it. Here’s how it works: First, connect the central control unit between the dust-collector plug and its electrical outlet, below.
Next, add one of the provided automated 4" blast gates to each duct leading to a machine, and connect each gate to the control unit with the included cables. Clip a sensor around each machine’s power cord, below right—no splicing or electrical work needed—and connect its cable to the corresponding blast gate. That’s it. When you turn on a woodworking machine, the sensor detects the electrical current passing through the cord, opens the gear-driven blast gate, and activates the dust collector. I hooked this system up to my tablesaw, planer, and jointer, and it’s worked perfectly from the get-go. You can buy a GrnGate system for 110- or 220-volt (up to 3 hp) dust collectors. The starter kit outfits three machines; you can buy two extra blast gates, sensors, and required cables for $195. —Tested by Matt Seiler

Detailed Ratings

out of 5





Ease of Use




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