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Doubling Down on Dust Collection

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After living with small, cramped woodshops in prior residences, Joe Sternberger finally built his ultimate: a 1,000-sq.-ft. garage addition with his shop occupying half of the floor space. The 1212  ' ceilings provide an airy feel and create additional storage. A 100-amp subpanel powers the workshop, supplying his welder, tablesaw, and other major tools on separate circuits. 

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Knee braces support the saw stations. The open space below provides storage for bulky items, and allows for quick sweep-up.

Metal ductwork, including an under-floor run for the tablesaw, directs sawdust to a unique double-cyclone dust-collection system, adapted from a WOOD® magazine plan. The first cyclone removes large chips, and the second removes the larger particles that get past the first stage. Joe says that very little dust passes on to the exhaust pipe that exits through the roof. He says eliminating the need for a filter maximizes his system’s performance.

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Lining the shop walls with 1⁄2"-thick plywood allows Joe to cluster custom storage racks, such as these drill-bit organizers, near his drill press.

Joe partially covered the fully insulated shop walls with 12 "-thick plywood, which provides a solid mounting surface for shelving, parts organizers, and custom racks for tools. A simple nail or screw can be used to hang a tool wherever space allows. The plywood also makes it easy to rearrange storage as needs change.

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With two cyclones hooked up in series, very little dust exhausts through the roof. A shop-made muffler dampens noise during operation.

When Joe built the workbenches along adjacent walls, he made sure they were the same height. He incorporated a mitersaw station and his radial-arm saw on one wall. Custom dust hoods for each saw suck in the majority of sawdust. 

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Joe took advantage of unused corner space by installing racks to hold his clamps.

A worksurface behind the tablesaw serves for project assembly and as outfeed support for the saw. “I’m still debating whether to build a separate assembly bench,” Joe says.

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