The New Shop – Ducting Awesome

I’m at the stage now, so close to the end, where there isn’t really any big leaps of progress. Things move slow, but it is important work.

The past few days, when I’ve been in the shop, is about getting the dust collection system up and running. I had to shove the flex hose back into the attic when I installed the last bit of insulation and the ceiling. I talked about using PVC sewer pipe, and I picked up two ten foot sections, plus some fittings and went about making the extractor usable again.

I started on the right side, the main side, so that I could get the majority of the tools up and running the fastest. Plus I figured I could pull the hose over to the bandsaw should I need it. The hardest part was making a round hole in the ceiling that wouldn’t look awful, mostly because I didn’t want to spend $35 on the requisite hole saw. So I used the hole saw to mark the outline, and used a drywall saw and the recip saw to cut the ceiling and the insulation. Because this section did not have an attic floor over it, I was saved that hassle.

I used a long sweep 90 degree fitting, plus a section of pipe long enough to come through the ceiling. This section and sweep were glued together for structural integrity. All other fittings and sections were secured with 5mm Euro drawer screws, and foil tape will take care of any leaks. Once the long sweep was in and wouldn’t fall through the ceiling, I could install the jog.

The jog is two 45 degree fittings installed opposite of each other so that the vertical section can both clear the ceiling joist but not block the window. I cut a short section of the pipe just so it would mate the two fittings together, then it was installed to the section already in the ceiling.

After some trial and error, I decided on two wyes for this side. The first wye is just below the jog, and provides a 2.5″ spur to the miter saw. A metal blast gate and anchor is installed to the wall, and a flex hose goes directly to the saw. This doesn’t get all the dust coming off the saw, but it does help. Below the wye is another section of pipe and then another wye. This one goes in the opposite direction of the miter saw branch, this one intended to be used with the oscillating sander. Perhaps on the table saw guard, too. This also has a blast gate. Attached to the bottom of this wye is a 4″ metal blast gate.

Now, under this main blast gate temporarily is the entire 4″ flex hose that attaches to the tools. This is way too long, and is way too inefficient. I’ll at some point go buy a fitting from Rockler, add another length of pipe, and have the flex hose connect near the floor. I’ll then cut the flex to a length I need, because air moves more efficiently with a smooth inner wall as opposed to the ridges inside the flex hose. This runs through the right side of the miter saw station, and cutting that hole was a huge pain in the butt.

For now, though, attention will be given to setting up the left side pipe run. This will be exactly similar to the right side except there will be no wyes. The attic floor on this side is in though, so that could make it more difficult. I unfortunately haven’t been out to the shop in a couple of days, so I’ll go ahead and publish this and update it when I can get the other side done.

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