How do you keep blast gate slots from filling with stuff?

I have several blast gates in my dust collector system. When any particular gat is open, it seems to collect wood dust, etc. right in the slot where the gate itself needs to go to shut off that passage. How do you folks deal with this issue or am I the only one who had the problem?
I don't know how to stop it from happening, so, every now and then, I have to take them apart and clean them out with a piece of wire bent to get into to crack where the gate fits.
My gates are all plastic. Are metal ones any better at this?
What am I missing?
Pete Stanaitis -----------------
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I made my own... They are not halfies.. They are full length.. One side has a hole, the other blocks it. Self cleaning.
You can cut the corners of the plastic ones to let the excess sawdust have a place to exit.
On 6/21/2012 5:15 PM, Pete S wrote:

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wrote:

Not only do the metal one self clean, but they just work better all around. I wish I had gone that route first, but when I put my system I did not even know they existed. The good news is, the upgrade is not all that expensive and is extremely to accomplish. Then you can achieve "good guy" status and give your old plastic ones to a newbie. :-)
Deb
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On 6/21/12 4:15 PM, Pete S wrote:

Install them with the slot up, so gravity keeps dust out?
--

-MIKE-

"Playing is not something I do at night, it's my function in life"
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I use all-metal gates that are self-clearing... The slot is open across the "bottom". Perhaps you can sand the bottom away so that yours too are open?
John
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On Thu, 21 Jun 2012 16:15:23 -0500, "Pete S"

Yeah, they usually are. They're made tighter.

I've only found crud in the bottom of the slot, so when I close, I leave it open 1/2" for a second and it scavenges all dust out of the bottom. Then I can close it without leaks.
-- However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. -- Sir Winston Churchill
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On 6/21/2012 5:15 PM, Pete S wrote:

I've had no problems since I re-did my system and installed new metal gates with the built-in switches that control the DC. Before that I had one plastic gate in the system down at the lathe end of the shop and IIRC it did get jammed a couple of times but nothing major. With the switched gates any jamming would be immediately obvious since the blower would keep running.
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On Thu, 21 Jun 2012 16:15:23 -0500, "Pete S"

Naturally, self cleaning gates are the answer. http://www.leevalley.com/en/wood/page.aspx?pQ506&cat=1,42401,62597
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