Lie Nielsen No. 4 Bronze Bench Plane

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My Woodworking Dust Collector Setup

Purchasing a dust collector is only the first step in a process. Getting the most out of your dust collector requires that you have the right kind of pine and hoses and place it in a good location. Below I'll explain what I did for my shop.

Locating the Dust Collector
Part of my shop is in the garage (planer and jointer) and the rest of my tools (bandsaw, table saw, router) are located in my basement. This presented a unique problem. My solution was to locate my collector in my garage and run pipe to my basement.

Locating my dust collector in my garage allowed my to have very short runs of my hoses to maximize the collection of my planer since it can really throw off some chips and dust.

Removing the dust from my house was another major benefit of this setup. With it located in my garage, any dust than sneaks past my filter is dumped into my garage, not circulated through my house.

The last benefit is not having to carry a bag full of dust through the house. If you accidentally hit the side of a full dust bag while carrying it though the house you create a huge dust cloud. I know this because I bumped it with my knee once. Let me just say, I wish I hadn't done that.

Selection of Pipe
I chose to use metal 4" pipe for my setup. It is economical and is easily grounded to avoid any dangers of a spark causing a fire.

Please don't email me if you disagree that this is a risk of fire if you don't ground your dust collector pipes. I've heard so many people say they've been using PVC for years without a fire. Good for you! If you don't wear a seatbelt because you haven't been in a car accident I don't need to hear about that either. Safety precautions are just that, precautions.

Running Hoses and Pipe
Running pipe from my basement to my garage certainly presented some challenges. Luckily for me it was easier than I expected. My shop is located one room away from the garage. The room that had the pipe installed was unfinished. I just hung the pipe between the floor joists.

Getting the pipe into the garage was even more fortunate. My garage floor is about a foot below the floor of my house. This allowed me to drill through drywall to get the pipe into my garage. If I had to drill a 4" hole in concrete I may not have chosen this path. I could only image that would be close to impossible.

How do it work?
When I'm in my basement shop I hardly hear my dust collector. I was totally amazed how quite it became. I can be a power tool user with the noise of a hand tool user.

The suction is slightly less in my basement. My table saw is the only tool where I can notice it at all. I would say it collects 95% of the dust on the table saw. I can live with that figure.

If you have a home shop in the basement and it is located near your garage I would consider this setup to anyone that has limited basement shop space.


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