“Selector” blast gate controls air from multiple machines
Because my shop has several dust-producing machines close to each other, space for, and access to, individual dust-collection blast gates proved problematic. So I came up with a selector-type box that controls airflow from these machines. Its sliding gate has a single hole that lines up with a port leading to each machine, as well as a solid portion of the box’s bottom (the “off” or closed position). Clear acrylic ends hold the slide in place and provide a peek inside.
To choose the machine that will receive dust collection, simply move the slide until the arrow on its end aligns with the machine’s mark on the wall. A simple detent, made from a strip of PVC plastic with a carriage bolt in its end, ensures proper location of the slide. I find this arrangement perfect for a one-person shop because opening the port to one machine simultaneously closes airflow to the others.
For smooth, operation, coat the slide and the inside of the box with polyurethane, and wax the slide. You could also make smaller versions, such as a two-port selector controlling just a tablesaw and the router built into its extension table.
—Doug Plank, Beaufort, S.C.