Workshop dust collection

As with any space that is being built from scratch, systems (electrical, HVAC, etc) are always the starting point. The workshop got an extra system: dust collection. It’s a series of PVC pipes that ring the space and connect to a heavy-duty suction machine.

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It’s kind of hard to tell what’s what in the photo above, so here are some handy arrows.

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Dust collection in a workshop is important in terms of cleanliness and health. This space has zero outside venting so it was critical.

Besides the vacuum itself, the system is mostly built from 6″ PVC DWV pipe and fittings (which are remarkably hard to find.) Aaron started by creating a trunk line with one run for each side of the workshop. He used 45 degree angles for better air flow.

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PVC can be glued, but he opted to use the same brand of pipe to ensure things would sit snugly. The screws give a little extra security and can be removed if the system needs to be cleaned out.

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Here’s the trunk line in place.

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Blast gates section off the air flow. They keep the air running in one direction and to one tool to ensure maximum suction.

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These parts don’t fit perfectly with the PVC pipe because they’re made for metal piping that costs twice as much as PVC. Obviously, PVC is much more economical for home workshops. The blast gates just need a bit of a hack. Aaron wrapped the fitting of the blast gate with electrical tape to give it a good seal.

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Once the blast gates were in place on the trunk line, he extended PVC around the left side of the room, adding a wye connector at each tool. These connectors offer better air flow than a T connector because of the softer angle.

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Every tool comes with a different type of hose to attach to a dust collection system. Aaron created custom adapters to reduce the line so that each tool’s hose could connect.

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He continued the install by running PVC across the space and down the right side of the room. This required some funky angles thanks to all the things on the wall in this area.

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Here’s the full line installed, just waiting for tool attachments.

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Here are some of the tool attachments in action.

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Everything gets sucked back to the machine and collects in the bottom bag for easy removal.

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So far the system works great on most of the tools, except the miter saw, which is an older tool. We’re blaming the tool, not the dust collection and Aaron is working on an adjustment for that.

As with most systems, this one was super necessary… but not super glamorous. What’s on your summer reno list? Anything more exciting?

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7 thoughts on “Workshop dust collection

    • Any home reno is impressive. Actually it may be more impressive that you bought a sensible house and are tackling sensible things πŸ˜‰

  1. I so could have used this system when I was sanding down all the paneling in the new living room the other day! At least I though to do it before moving furniture in so we’re not having to get things professionally cleaned, ha!

  2. That workshop really looks clean, I would like to install same ventral vacuuming system for mine. But it is too big investment since I started the business this year and I am finished with investing for this year. Maybe next one.

  3. What an interesting workshop! I’m so impressed with the work. On my reno list is definitely the living room, it is in desperate need. Thanks for sharing your experience! It’s definitely gonna help here. Great blog!

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