Workshop - Dust Collection


This was one of the first projects I did in my workshop in March of 2020.

Because the space is so limited in the workshop, I had to make sure that I was managing dust collection very well.  Commercial dust collection systems can be very pricey, so I wanted to do as much as I could myself to save on cost and to customize the system.  The heart of the system is the blower, which came from the Harbor Freight dust collector.  I only used the blower, because instead of a direct discharge into a trash bag, I decided to use a vortex that discharges into a 30 gallon barrel with an exhaust out the back wall.  The blower, vortex, barrel, and exhaust are all installed in the storeroom and are run off a dedicated 20A circuit.  This reduces the noise in the shop when the blower is on, and prevents other circuits powering the tools from being overloaded.  

From the vortex, 4" PVC pipe is routed out the front of the storeroom wall and piped along the left wall of the workshop with 4 drops along the stationary tool station, a drop for a dustpan collector on the ground, and a split drop that services the back of the miter saw and its dust catch basin.  Off of that line, there's a branch off that run up to the ceiling, over and back down to the large center work table with 4 additional drops.  One drop supplies a long free hose that's used as a general shop vac.  Another drop is for tools used at the table (planer, jointer, sanders, Kreg tool, etc).  The pipe then enters the back of the table and is routed through the middle and out the other side where it splits into two additional drops.  One is for the table saw with a split for the dust extractor on the back and the dust catch bag on the bottom, and the other is for the router table with a split for the router lift box and the hose that goes to the router fence.  

Each drop it controlled with blast gates that I made out of 1/2" plywood. Depending on the drop, the blast gate has a 4" connector on one side and a 2-1/2" connector on the other. The blast gates are self-cleaning by design and have worked flawlessly. I have a remote mounted on the beam that the 4" PVC pipe is connected to at the back of the work table that turns on the blower as well as the shop fans (on two separate buttons).

This dust collection system works incredibly well, and is a lifesaver in a shop this small.