Dust Collection Solutions
See the dust collection systems and setups from America's top shops. Then, see what ideas you can incorporate into your own shop.
He likes it quiet
To keep noise to a minimum, Fred Collins placed his dust collector and vacuum in a closet lined with sound-deadening board and foam. The vacuum vents outside, and the dust collector vents back into the shop through a baffled chase lined with foam. For his shop, Fred uses an Oneida cyclone 2-hp dust collection and a central vacuum.
Designed for dust collection
Rod Cox's 2-hp cyclone dust collector stands only a few feet away from those tools that make the most chips and sawdust, allowing for maximum suction. Note the door to his shop office. For his dust collection needs, Rod used a Penn State 2-hp cyclone with .5-micron filter cartridges, a Delta 1,200-cfm (cubic ft./minute) ambient air cleaner, and two shop vacuums.
Dust collection at its finest
Extra-long dust-collection hoses in Fred Collins' shop allow for tool mobility. Ductwork is plumbed through the ceiling, leading to the dust collector in a nearby closet.
Mike's tablesaw collector
Mike Connolly collects sawdust above the blade with this guard mounted vacuum hose. For his shop, Mike uses a Grizzly 3-hp four-bag dust collector housed in a closet; an Oneida 2-hp cyclone under stairs; and a ceiling-mounted JDS Air-Tech 2000 air filter.
Cluster approach to dust collection
To use space efficiently, Tom Clark arranged the tablesaw, shaper, and planer in a cluster, all attached to this simple dust-collection system. The dust collector has two inlets: one to the tablesaw and the other to the plastic lid over the 30-gallon trash can. For his dust collection system, Tom uses a Grizzly 1-hp for his bandsaw; Grizzly 2-hp for his tablesaw, planer, and shaper; and a shop vacuum for radial-arm saw and router.
Ideas Shop 3 homemade cyclone
In designing and outfitting the Idea Shop 3, the basement shop, with a shop-built cyclone dust collector, Jan Hale Svec had several objectives in mind. He wanted a space-efficient unit with minimal noise, dust-free emission, low-cost construction, and convenience of use.
Wall- and ceiling-mounted ducts keep Dale Heisinger's shop nearly free of hanging obstacles. Clamps and small tools neatly arranged on the wall are close at hand. Baseboard heat can supplement warmth from the woodburning stove, which Dale prefers.
Dave's benchtop tools
Benchtop tools along this wall are within easy reach of the worktable. Metal stands and mobile bases allow the benchtops to be moved where needed or for cleaning. Each workstation includes a 4" in-floor dust-collection port. For his dust-collection needs, Dave Estopinal purchased a 3-hp Powermatic double-bag collector and a ceiling-hung three-speed ambient air cleaner.
Ducted for success
A 3-hp cyclone dust collector helps keep Paul's tools and workshop clean. An ample number of high-intensity fluorescent lights provide illumination for close-in operations that demand a high degree of accuracy. Several windows provide natural light. For his dust collection needs, Paul purchased a 3-hp Tempest cyclone.
Inexpensive floor sweep
A simple bottomless box made of MDF, with a dust-collection hole in its top and angled baffles for channeling debris, makes for an inexpensive but effective floor sweep. The main duct runs diagonally across the ceiling, with branches serving individual machines and this floor sweep.
A ground wire for every tool
Dale Tom used 4" PVC pipe for his dust-collection system, as shown here connected to the shaper. Each machine has a blast gate that Dale modified to keep dust from collecting in the grooves, thus allowing each gate to close properly. The modification included shaving off 3⁄16" from the end of the gate that fits into the grooves. The unit is energized by a main switch and then can be activated at each station. The station switches are connected in parallel to a transformer. Each machine has a ground wire wrapped around the pipe. A sheet-metal screw is positioned every 12'' or 18'' along the length of the pipe to release any static charge inside.
Between-joist dust-collection lines
Dale Toms's dust-collection lines penetrate the floor and are strapped between the floor joists. The dust collector, located in the basement, has a grounding rod attached. The air compressor is wired to a three-way switch, allowing power to be turned on upstairs or downstairs. Compressed air runs to all four corners of the shop through 3⁄4'' black iron pipe.
Air filtration cabinet
Even with the best of dust collection systems, you can reduce airborne dust in your shop only so much. And, if you're in a small shop like our Ideas Shop 1 or one with poor ventilation, it doesn't take much sanding to raise a cloud of fine, harmful sawdust. To help such lung-clogging dust capture particles, we designed and built this air-filtration cabinet. We made the cabinet so the top is just slightly below the top surface of our tablesaw. The cabinet top adjusts up or down if needed, enabling it to double as a handy outfeed table. (Featured in the October 1992 issue.)