I know that a lot of you have utilized white 4" PVC pipe in their workshop
Dust Collection systems. I am thinking about doing the same in order
provide multiple inputs around my shop for a 2 HP DC. However, I note that
when buying the 4" PVC that measurement denotes the inside diameter, while
standard WW DC hardware (blast gates and other connections) measure 4" as
the outside diameter. If I were to integrate the PVC with standard WW
flexible hose and other fittings, how does one make the mechanical
connections between the two sets of materials? Does one just jam the WW
parts into the PVC? Are there adapters in the plumbing world that could be
used to transition between the two systems?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
Quick advice tips:
1. Dust collection fittings sold in Woodworking stores are grossly
overpriced. But you may need some of them anyway.
2. Buy your hose clamps at Lowe's or Home Depot. They are cheaper and
3. Be sure to use S&D pipe (Sewer and Drain), not Schedule 40 pipe. The
latter is about 2-3 times the price.
I use a woodworking fitting called a splice fitting to adapt to flex hose.
Its overpriced but the convenience is worth it, I guess. These are
available in various incarnations. Here's a link to one
I make slits in the PVC pipe to allow it to clamp down on the splice
tightly. I'll post some pics in alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking.
If any one uses plastic pipe for their dust collector you have to make sure
to ground it or it can explode. Plastic is an insulator and the friction of
the dust moving through it can cause a static buildup and then an explosion.
There are many documented incidents of this happening. I run a bare metal
wire through all of the pipe and attach it to the dust collector housing and
the tool housing to pick up the static discharge, This is a serious issue.
If you can point us to a documented incident of an explosion happening in a
small-shop environment from a dust collection system using plactic conduit,
you would be the first. Contrary to what you're saying, this is NOT a
realistic risk. This has been reported in Fine Woodworking and other
woodworking magazines. Using a ground wire is necessary only to avoid
build-up of static charge on the pipe. The worst that will happen is you'll
get a mild shock. The REAL danger is in the location where the dust is
stored. If you allow metal objects to enter the system and hit the impellor
or your dust collector, a spark could ignite the stored dust and start a
fire (not an explosion).
Explosions from dust happen in things like grain silos, not in home shop
dust collection systems.
Here is a very good link to an article covering the subject at great length:
This IS a serious issue. SERIOUSLY miscommunicated.
I can't remember the sources for this but it was heavily discussed in Fine
Woodworking and other periodicals in the 80,s and early 90's. I did remember
a couple of shop owners responded to the discussions that this had happened
to them. Adding a grounding wire through the pipes is cheap insurance to
possibly prevent an explosion or even just a fire. I am sure Oneida can ad
to this discussion if any one from that company is in this group.
I am not trying to scare or mislead. The information I had access to at the
time was pretty convincing.
I have to agree that it is NOT an issue. I've read the research and my
conclusion is that in a small shop environment a grounding wire is not
needed. I've been running my PVC based DC system for 4 years and the
only thing I've encountered is a mild shock. One of the byproducts
however is that the charge on the PVC attracts the airborne dust
particles. Kinda like the those ion air purifiers. I vac the piping
once in a while.+
Hey, I have a ceramic snake in the yard to keep the tigers away and it works
great. Never saw one. ;-)
If it makes people feel better to have a bonding wire in their pipe why
criticize them? While you are at it go ahead and bond all of the metal parts of
the system that may become energized by other voltages. Nobody can call that a
This might be important if you have switchesm actuators and such around the
If he's talking about an explosion hazard, nobody has documented a case. If
he's talking about an electric shock, that also can be a hazard--imagine
brushing the collector plumpbing and having your hand involuntarily jerk
into the rotating blade on your radial-arm saw for example--and enough
static buildup to cause a shock is very likely under dry conditions.
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
I "agonized" over the debate about PVC & dust explosions about 5 years
ago when I installed my system. I concluded that it it a simple matter
to ground the whole thing & the cost was insignificant (maybe $10).
Also, I used the S&D pipe mentioned and wrapped the joints with a few
turns of duct tape in order to get a snug fit. Clamps cinched them up
fine. So far, this has worked very well with no problems except I have
to clean out the blast gates once in a while (bought the plastic ones).
To ground the system, I drilled a tiny hole at each joint, threaded the
wire through the pipe length, then use a lead (or whatever they are
these days) split shot to hold the wire taught against the pipe.
So did I.
Two years later, I got tired of clogs related to the wires and pulled
them all out. Other than the lack of clogs, I see no difference.
Dust dosen't stick differently to the pipe, I don't get shocks, etc...
My tools and the DC are still grounded via the AC ground.
I'd be much more concerned about fumes from finishing products and
adhesives, and glowing steel from belt sanding tools as a fire hazard
For the official rec.woodworking fix on pvc dust collection
explosions, get some silly putty, a pair of pantyhose, some #10 rubber
bands and read this:
Problem solved. And like the post said, please post pictures.
This makes as much sense as anything else I've read here. I mean, if they
won't believe the PhD over on Woodcentral/Badger Pond, then who will they
who prefers this religious discussion to the political diatribe. <g,d&r>
That's an urban legend that's officially classified as rec.woodworking tired
Nobody's ever had an explosion in a home dust collection system due to
Oh, stop with the exploding PVC dust collection systems Max. It's a myth. Is
it possible? Yes. But the circumstances would have to be such that a million
other things in the shop would have caused a sawdust bomb long before a PVC
DC system would.
There are no (as in not one) documented incident of this happening. the
closest thing on record is a grain elevator explosion.
Grounding is always good...
Metal is better, but PVC is just fine.
It's not a serious issue. In fact, it's not an issue at all.
"max" < email@example.com> wrote in message
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