Tagged: woodshop

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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Framing and painting the workshop

I feel like I can stop being a broken record. I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “We’re going to start the workshop,” or “The workshop is next!” or some iteration of that, but if we’re talking over/under 100… I’d bet over. Yesh! When it comes to this renovation, it’s always funny to look back at what we thought would happen vs. what actually did happen. Well, most days it’s funny…

But I digress. Here’s a statement I’m loving: The workshop is underway!

I thought you might need a refresher on the layout of the basement. It’s basically a blank slate with columns running down the middle.

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Although it normally looks more like this…

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We decided to dedicate nearly half of the space to the workshop (after changing things up a little.) The “New” layout is still the plan.

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That required constructing walls between the columns and at the front of the workshop to define the space.

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That picture kind of sucks. Here’s a better view with the walls filled in. We used 3/4″ treated plywood to serve as walls and work as a good base for anything Aaron wants to hang.

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The walls and ceiling got a coat of white primer and white paint. Instantly it feels so much brighter and much more fresh in here.

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He also topped the floor with two coats of Rustoleum’s EPOXYSHIELD in gray gloss (minus the flecks, because why do epoxy floors need specks?)

Here’s the opposite view (looking toward the stairs) before and after paint.

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It feels GREAT to see progress on the workshop! Next up: moving some of the big tools in, running more electrical, and adding lights!

What’s your broken record project? The one you can’t stop talking about for good or bad reasons?