My Dust Collection System

(Updated 3-1-96)[ Home | Woodworking ]

I have a shop in the basement of my house. To help deal with the dust problem, I built a small shed (booth) about 3'x4' and 5' tall that is against the outside wall of my house adjacent to my shop. I rented a SDS rotary hammer and drilled a 5" in diameter hole through the basement where it enters the manifold. This system takes a little more ducting but locates all the blast gates in the same place. I don't have to walk over to the last tool I used to direct the flow from the next tool I will use. It also reduces the amount of duct work that is under suction at any one time because all of the blast gates are located 'close' to the dust collector. I have one other run that goes from the manifold out through the hole in the foundation to the shed where the duct collector is located. I have vents on the shed to vent the air to the outside that has two 25"x20" furnace filters.

Most of the 4" ductwork in my system is pvc drain pipe because of cost. I could get 4" drain pipe for about $.50/ft vs about $1.50 for flexible duct collector hose. The 3" that goes to my sanding station and drill press is flexible dust collector hose that I got from Grizzly. I have one strand of 14 gauge bare copper wire running through all my 3" and 4" duct.

In the winter, this system does blow warm air from the basement to the outside, but I consider the heat loss worth getting rid of all the fine dust that goes through the bags on the dust collector. I can see by the buildup of dust in my shed and on the vent filters how much dust I am getting rid of. You get a huge mushroom cloud of dust when you empty the bag, at least I do with my Performax 16-32 sander. I much prefer getting this huge cloud of dust in my backyard than in my house.

A one HP dust collector (alone) is NOT big enough for my shop/use. The truth is that a 1 HP dust collector with the bags that come on the 2 HP units or a first stage cyclone probably would be. It is not only a capacity problem, as the bag fills up, the suction drops off. When my bag is about 2/3 full, I get about 1/2 the suction of freshly cleaned out bags.

If you want to be able to run the DC on two or three machines at the same time, you should get a 2 HP unit. They are $255 from grizzly right now, $305 delivered to my house in Utah from WA.

I wish I had made the hole in the wall big enough for a 6" main and wish that I had made the shed big enough for a 2 HP dust collector. I now have a 2 HP DC (Grizzly) for use in my garage where I now have a big 5 HP Belsaw planer and home made 3 HP shaper. If I could switch the two DC units, I would put a first stage cyclone on the 1 HP unit in my garage where I have room and use the 2 HP unit for my basement shop.

The moral of the story is, everything should be bigger than you think it needs to be. Get a 2 HP unit. Jet 650 (1 HP) is going to run you at least $220, probably more like $240 if you go mail order. The extra money to get a Grizzly 2 HP is well worth it. I built my manifold big enough for 9 runs plus a main line. I have two holes left for expansion. Given that I donÍt have much more room in my shop for more tools, itÍs probably enough.


The Manifold

(looking up)

The Shed


The Mobile Planer DC Hookup

(Looking up)

The Shed with Door Open


Send comments to Mike Scalora at
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