The New Shop – Duct Hunt

I am finishing up the ceiling install this week, and I’ll have a blog entry about it once it’s done. Something I have to figure out first though is routing the dust collection pipes I need.

The plan is to use both inlets on the dust extractor, a HF special, to come down on either side of the shop toward the front. The run on the left will take care of the bandsaw and drill press, currently both needing 2.5″. On the right will cover everything else – the miter saw, jointer, planer, router table, sander, and table saw. Both lines will be 4″ down to about halfway up the wall, then hit a blast gate. After that the BS/DP line will taper to a 2.5″ flex hose that can be used on either tool. On the right, after the blast gate there will be a wye – the branch will go to the miter saw. There will be another wye to branch off a 2.5″ flex to use with the sander or overarm for the table saw. It will then go to the floor where it will hit a 4″ flex to hook up to any of the floor machines. Since I have to move so many things to use my tools, I have to use a decent amount of the flex hose.

The choice for the duct was to use metal or PVC. I examined the pros and cons, and decided on PVC. It is slightly cheaper, the risk of static buildup is minimal (and honestly a bit overstated), and it’s easy to work with and requires no special tools. It was not an easy decision, because working with metal was appealing. I could only find 30 gauge duct though, and there were some reports of it collapsing if the lines became blocked in some manner. The sewer PVC is light, fairly cheap, and Lowe’s sells all the fittings I need at a reasonable price. I figure I’ll need two 10′ lengths of 4″ pipe, four 45 degree elbows, and two 90 degree long sweep elbows. Probably some foil tape, a few screws, and a hole saw. And at least two 4″ blast gates.

The decision is made, look for updates on this after the ceiling gets finished.


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