While I'm really itching to start a project, (I've got several pending) I have a tick list of workspace things I need to get finished before I get rolling. My bench was an important step, it's nice to finally have a permanent place for all my hand tools - I've never had that before. I built a tool board for chisels & planes, and was starting to build a row of little cubbies for misc. bench crap when I was forced to change directions. I was rough milling some mahogany for said cubbies when my allergies got the better of me. I've always had mild allergies but over the last few years they've gotten considerably worse. Dust, smoke, stuff like that can stuff me up for days. It sucks.
Anyhow, I bought this 2hp cyclone dust collector almost a year and a half ago but never set it up. Right now my machines are set up in my little garage but initially I thought it might be temporary, I hoped to convert one of the numerous outbuildings into a larger, more functional space for a shop. I figured I would just hang on before setting up the dust collector. I didn't want to run all the ducts and whatnot just to pack up and move. It so happens though that my garage has turned into an adequate space for now, and I doubt if I'll move out of it anytime soon. A couple weeks back I finally bit the bullet and started setting up the cyclone.
I hummed and hawed over a location for the dust collector, as it has quite a large footprint. Finally I decided to set it up outside. It's less than ideal, but it's quieter out there and doesn't take up any shop space. And besides, 'less than ideal' is beginning to be my motto!
Obviously I'll have to build an enclosure around the dust collector before it starts raining in the spring. For now I throw a tarp over it when not in use. Duct shopping proved to be a frustrating experience. Initially I looked at normal HVAC ducts and it looked like the duct work was going to cost more than the dust collector! Eventually I found a company in Edmonton that manufactures their own ductwork and fittings, and it ended up being considerably cheaper. I gave up trying to find actual 'dust collection ducts', that shit seems to be a myth! Anyhow, I ran all 26 ga 6" spiral ($1.99/ft) and bought most of the fittings at Rona. I bought blast gates at Busy Bee.
The setup is pretty simple, the main is teed right off the machine. One line runs to the tablesaw and one goes across the roof, tees again, and down to a manifold that branches off to the bandsaw, jointer, planer, and a sweep. I capped the other side of the tee but hope to run it to my chopsaw and router table... eventually. I was dissapointed to see that my 'industrial' tablesaw only has a 4" collection fitting that only goes up to the shroud that covers the arbor, there's no actual dust collection for the cabinet itself. I guess we'll see how it goes.
I built a shroud for the underside of the bandsaw table from a side take-off, but it needs some tweaking. I want to hold it in place with rare earth magnets, so it can just be popped off for blade changes and table tilting, but the magnets I used weren't strong enough to support the weight of the hose. I'll get some bigger ones to try, but if they don't work I might have to think of something else. I guess I could just use some tie-wire, that's pretty farmer-ish though!
The Galbert School of Craft
2 days ago