Exit Planet Dust

My efforts at dust collection got a bit of an upgrade, as a CT MIDI (refurb) has now entered the shop. I thought with that development, it would be a good time to revisit how I collect dust, and perhaps use that to my advantage in any future shop layouts and use. I think it’s important to not only be able to use the tools properly, but use them well. That has probably been something I’ve overlooked in the past.

I have to divide the tools into two groups now – more and less suction. This will help me determine the best way to capture the dust. The table saw, the jointer and the routers fall into the former, while the Domino, sanders, jigsaw and multitool fall into the latter. I know I’ve forgotten a small tool or two, those are less suction. The miter saw could really fall into either category. I think it needs more suction, but what it produces are finer particulates, which is a more accurate way of dividing the two sets of tools. The smaller particulate tools can use less suction and a smaller hose. Larger particulate more suction and a larger hose. The miter saw probably needs more suction and a smaller hose to generate more lift, if that’s accurate.

With the new CT MIDI came a 27mm hose, which will complement my Bosch hose very well. I just have to decide if the separator will join the MIDI party, or stay exclusively with the Ridgid. The MIDI is very much smaller in capacity, however I’m a bit concerned about the reported concerns with static discharge on the CT control boards. I think that’s more of an issue with use of the Dust Deputy though. Also, putting the separator into the mix messes with the cord/hose wrap idea. I’ll have to see how quickly I can fill a bag, and that will be my determining factor.

For the table saw and jointer, I will continue to use the 2.25″ hose that came with the Ridgid, as it needs the volume to move larger chunks. Even then, the table saw occasionally fills up with debris, so it’s not the best solution. I need an actual dust collector, but it’s not happening in this shop…probably.  Both need to be positioned at the doorway, but optimally not having hoses get in my way. So it should probably stay in the nearest corner where the jointer is, or right behind the table saw. Ideally, it could sit under an MFT right behind the table saw, but that probably means I would have to ditch the router table. If I could make a new insert for the table saw, then that could be a possibility. Would make connection to the router easy, but not easy access to the router, unless it was on the left side of the saw. Not a lot of room there…

The smaller tools need a fairly central area, a flat surface. My workbench or a MFT will be fine. Only thing I need to be concerned with it routing the hose. A boom arm isn’t available, but I would have made my own anyway. Something temporarily attached to the wall and ceiling would work, like a couple hanging hooks turned to face each other. Something that could be easily removed.

I’m turning to a very old shop layout to see if I can glean any ideas, now that I have a better idea about where the hoses need to go. I also should account for the Festool vac and the big machines to be on the bigger circuit, and the Ridgid and chargers to be on the other. Power cord layout will be a smaller priority, but it’s worth examining.



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