I have a small basement shop. It seems like I do a little more woodworking
each week. I'm starting to get some 'nicer' power tools and have neglected
active dust collection all along. I basically used my tools then used the
shop vac every couple of days to clean up. To keep SWMBO from getting edgy
about the dust in the rest of the house I'm thinking of buying a dust
collection unit. I do realize I can get the 'Womper 2000' for $900, and
spending any less is moronic... but Im a moron so Im thinking of getting a
My question is this:
Most of the models I've looked at make a note of the number of inlets they
have. The cheapos (under $200) almost all have one inlet.. and the more
expensive you go, the more inlets you get. So, is it ok to buy less inlets
than tools and just use blast gates? In other words, can I get a unit with
1 inlet and just make sure I only have one tool's blast gate open at any
give time and use a bunch of 'Y' joints to connect them all?
Yes, you can do this but the question to be asking is how many tools
will you hook up with blast gates, how far away are each of them from
the DC and what sort of tubing and size diameter will you be using.
Once you've answered these questions you can determine how much cfm you
need from your DC. If you undersize your DC then don't bother as the
collection system won't work well. You can find the ratings via search
or references or post your answers to my questions above and I'm sure
you'll get a feel for how much HP you need.
The best systems use piping and blast gates. Moving a DC from tool to tool
gets old very fast and it is usually in your way. I have the Jet 1100 with
two 20 to 30 feet runs and 7 hook ups with blast gates, that works very well
for me. Always add a couple more Y's than you need for present in case you
add a couple more tools. You can always use them just to hook-up a long 2"
hose for general clean up. A drop for a floor sweep is nice to have also.
PVC piping with a wire inside (static control) is a less costly way to go.
With a little thought and layout you will have a system you will find a joy
Tim, could you please elaborate a little more about the wire (I assume
it is a copper wire? What gage?) inside the PVC piping? I am about to
install some PVC piping for my DC. Is the wire just laying loose within
the pipe? Is it fastened to each section of the pipe? How is it
grounded? Tied to a water pipe? I have also heard it is not necessary
to ground the system.
The wire can be 14 gauge wire running inside the piping and hooked up to a
cold water pipe on one end and the dust collector on the other. The wire is
ground to each machine and hooked together at the blast gate. So it does
come out of every "Y".
I also have the Jet 1100 and it works great for a 1 man shop.
I researched DC for a long time, and in the end how far you go, how
many CFM you run, etc, doesn't really matter for a 1 man basement shop.
I was where you are about a year ago. I bought a Jet 650CK with a single
inlet. It is true that it is a pain in the rear to move the DC around but
since 75% of my dust is made at the table saw, it isn't THAT horrible for
me. If you plan to get a significant number of tools then a movable DC may
not be a great solution. A possible interim solution is to get something
like a Jet 1100CK which you can roll around but which has enough power to be
hooked up with ducting later when you need it.
Dick's advice is probably right on. I'm toying with a DC system and
you don't know who (or what) to believe about needs or efficiency. I
barely have room in my shop for a DC unit, and one that moves around
might be more of a hassle than one I can park in the corner.
One also has to wonder if buying a 2HP Harbor Freight DC unit for
$149.00 is not a bad idea rather than paying $399+ for a similar Jet
or Delta unit. We're not talking rocket science here, just a blower
and the motors for all these units are probably made in asia anyway.
The other alternative is to search around for a used name brand unit
and maybe get a bargain. One of the regulars here sold a Jet 1.5 HP
unit a month ago for $150 which I would've bought in a heartbeat but
somebody else beat me to it.
I also really wonder about the grounding. My father-in-law used to
have a furniture manufacturing facility in north Jersey and he had a
15 HP cyclone serving about a 20,000 square foot facility with blast
gates all over the place. Of course, he had metal tubing so maybe
that's the reason he never had a problem. Still, how many DC equipped
home shops have had explosions?
On Sun, 6 Feb 2005 17:23:55 -0500, "Dick Snyder"
Get a blower on a can like the JET. It rolls easily, sequesters half of its
bulk under a saw wing, can be stored under an assembly table.
Makes the grounding business moot. Not that you can "ground" an insulator.
What you can do is run a wire to take some of the charge off the particles,
but dust explosions demand a LOT of VERY SMALL particles in a cloud.
One-man shop would be hard-pressed.
use the ducting info
I kinda summarize as follows.
use 6" s&d, minimize length, minimize curves, minimize flex, use 6"
everywhere - don't downsize at the machines, refit a 6" port
I'm in the process of trying to setup a central system with the Jet
1100 canister. Someday I'll be done (haha, right..) and will take
On Sun, 06 Feb 2005 01:39:48 GMT, "Mike W."
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