Unconventional dust collection and lighting


These are some ideas to work around my situation... which is defined by A) lack of money, and B) lack of power to supply even a 2HP material handling blower and my tools simultaneously.
Idea #1
Dust collection, comes off the tool (table saw, router, etc) and slope down slightly then into a garbage bin collector. Then go straight up a large 10" duct and gently curve into a smaller 6" duct which goes straight horizontally outside and to the squirrel cage blower. Large particulate shouldn't make it up the 10" duct but instead drop into the bin. This is good because the squirrel cage isn't so good at generating the suction to carry particulate up vertical ducting, and also likes to clog if it could anyway. Ducting between tools and bin shouldn't clog if it's sloped down only, and a slightly smaller diameter to speed the air up a bit. Likewise the air speed would be balanced to keep the 6" horizontal duct clear of dust. Maybe a cyclone at the blower if enough dust makes it that far and clogs it. Or I'll just clean it every day if I have to. I'm guessing at duct sizes, I'd actually build the blower and test air speed and suction through different diameters to make sure the horizontal ducts stay clear.
Idea #2
15 fluorescent lighting ballasts mounted in a box with a handle and a heavy duty cord to power them (mobile remote ballast). Carry it around and plug it into an area (connecting ballasts to lamps) to cut down on the considerable cost of buying almost 100 ballasts and fixtures (I have 6 areas to light, many of which need a lot of light for painting and photography). The obvious problem is a convenient plug for the huge amount of wiring between 15 ballasts and 30 lamps (60 wires minimum). To buy 6 plugs like that would pricy I think, if I could find them. What I'm thinking is to build them using a fire-proof insulator, some kind of plastic. 1/2" acrylic or something, haven't researched the best material yet. I'd drill holes 1/2" in fromt he edge, then push 2 nails into the edge so they protrude through the sides of the holes, with just less than the width of a nail between them. This mean another panel with single nails driven through it would clamp a nail between each corresponding pair of nails in teh other piece, if they all lined up right. Connect wiring to the ends of the nails, make sure they mate up properly, clamps to hold it in place, seal it all up, lots of glue, etc, etc, safety first and blah blah blah. With lighting at this scale I'm looking at saving myself $1000 in ballasts and fixtures, and reduce the cost for any future lighting by 80%.
Comments welcome, I'm in uncharted territory as usual.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You don't tell us much about your squirrel cage blower. I suspect that it won't generate enough flow to keep things moving in the horizontal pipes, even with a down-slope.
If you reduce the pipe diameter like you said, friction losses will probably rob too much static pressure and you'll be worse off instead of better.
Testing under conditions other than actual running conditions won't tell you much because every foot of pipe you add changes the flow.
Sorry to be so negative, but I don't see a good chance of success here.
DonkeyHody "A bulldog can whip a skunk, but it's probably not worth it."
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DonkeyHody wrote:

Yeah, I didn't think it was all that ideal. Now I'm leaning towards a fan. My dust extraction is all needed within maybe 15 feet of the exhaust fromt he wall, so I might be better to use a large fan in a large diameter duct. Belt driven, it could exhaust wood chips without problem, I'm rural so the layout means I could throw unfiltered dust outside with no filter. ANd the volume of air would be bigger so it would work better. It would be such a short duct system I could clean it out easily and often.
All I know is I can't afford a "normal" dust extraction set up.
SS
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When you are doing a common activitiy, but find yourself in uncharted territory, you are probably lost.
Your ideas sound squirrelly, thouhgh I confess I didn't make too much effort to follow them. Lighting is pretty cheap; it is hard to imagine how you could afford a workshop that was so large you couldn't afford to light it properly. Maybe you don't want to light it all at once if you don't use parts, but to move the lighting around?!
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Toller wrote:

I understand how to build a dust extraction system very well thanks, I can't afford it. The territory is uncharted because I'm trying to do it as best I can with the budget I have.

Part of it is in a different building for one, I also explained that I have areas for painting and photography that need extremely good lighting. This isn't just a "workshop" I need more light than a normal shop 20 times my size.
SS
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

<snip>
One of the major causes of house fires in this area is clogged return filters and /or dusty squirrel cage blowers. With the humidity in this area, a squirrel cage would form a crust O' dust pretty quickly. Then you lose efficiency and start overheating inside the motor. Maybe this humidity is not an issue for your area. But dust and air flow = good potential for fire. Better get a new electrical circuit run to a regular DC system. Also, in this area, a squirrel cage blower exhausting to the great outdoors will freeze your jewels off by sucking out any heat and creating a wind chill. DAMHINT, just say, I know now that the dust collector needs to be inside to recycle the air within the shop at that time of the year.

If you put 15 ballasts in a fairly big-a$$ed box, you might consider some wheels for it. It won't be too entirely light. Why don't you put the ballasts all in one central location and run them to multi-position routing switches? then you could use lights in different parts of the shop simultaneously. Although, if you have an electrician come in and do the wiring it will cost as much as the ballasts would have cost.
There are plugs and receptacles available with multiple contact pins. Yes, they are pricey. That is a cool idea if it works. Make sure everything is grounded. Flourescent lighting requires a good grounding plane to keep static electricity from messing with the ballasts.
Tom in KY
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

I think you're right, I'm looking at using a normal fan in large diameter ducts now, and making it accessable for cleaning, so it wouldn't be hard to clean the short ducts after every time it sees heavy use. An idea I have now is to run a compressed air hose through the bottom of the duct with perforations in it, put 125PSI in it and shake it around to clean the duct. From what I know this is how HVAC ducts are normally cleaned. Should make "cleaning the ducts" a 10 second job so I can do it whenever I produce dust.

Shouldn't too much more than 60lbs? I need more excercise, I'd prefer heavier.

Cost of wiring, theres just so many wires the cost per foot is pretty big.

Yep, have to do it all myself. I've had some training and experience so I'm not too worried about safe electrical connections.

Yes, everything including the dust extraction ducts will be well grounded. Thanks,
SS
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