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Since I recently set up my new shop, I’ve wanted to add dust collection. I tried running the wet/dry vac directly to the tools, but the filter got clogged VERY quickly. Once I decided to try adding a cyclone to the mix, I figured I should go ahead and build out a complete system so that I wouldn’t have t owaste time moving one hose from tool to tool when I needed to use it.

I’m SO glad I did. Watch the video below to see exactly how I did it.

Note:

I used plastic blast gates in the video, but I’ve heard from several people that they won’t last over time due to poor construction/clogging/etc.  I’ve linked to some aluminum gates that would probably be a better choice. I plan on upgrading mine at some point.

 

UPDATE:

I added an Arduino so that I could open and close all of the blast gates from one place! Check it out!

Here’s what you’ll need:

(These are affiliate links, using them for purchases helps me out!)


  • Roger Lemaster

    Bob,

    I like the dust collection setup. I’m getting it ordered and will do the installing this coming weekend. Your YouTube videos are informative. Keep up the good work.

    Roger

    • Bob

      Thanks Roger! I appreciate that! I’d love to see your setup when it’s complete, please share some photos 🙂

  • Ed

    Thanks for the info, Bob. I’ve always wanted a dust collection system in my shop but the prices are outrageous. This all seems doable and relatively inexpensive. Thanks again. I really enjoy the videos.

  • Howdy Bob,

    So, how’s this dust collection suited you so far? I keep wanting to do something similar, but i currently operate my garage workshop in a “mobile” configuration. In other words I just drag my shop vac and cyclone bin to whichever tool i’m using. I guess the big thing is, based on some comments in the youtube video, is this setup performing for you well enough? Also, do you still find that you’re having to clean up a lot of sawdust?

    • Bob

      It’s been awesome! I’m honestly amazed at how well it works. I did end up replacing the blast gates with aluminum ones, which may not have been completely necessary, but it’ll help as I move in the automation phase I’ve got planned. The system is performing very well, and I really only have sawdust fly with my miter saw. I think that’s just because it’s not designed to manage the sawdust well (which is the case with a lot of tools). One of the handiest parts has been the floor sweeps. I often have been doing hand sanding, or using the drill press, and the sweeps make it really simply to clean that up.

  • james

    Nice, I want to do this in the near future. My shop is a mess.

  • Josh

    Love this Bob- and love your site and videos. I am actually building my dust collection system this weekend after being inspired from your video. I’ve never attempted electrical work as you have with the switch. Can you tell me exactly what time of ‘wire’ to shop for? When I go to the home improvement websites, there are a lot of choices— thanks

    • Bob

      Awesome! I’d love to see it when you’re finished!
      As far as wire, it depends on the current that you’re going to be pulling through it, which depends on the vacuum that you’re using. Write down the amps listed on your vac and when you get to the home center, they should be able to direct you to the correct type. I’d imagine that you’ll only need 14 AWG (possibly 12).
      Good luck!

  • Josh

    Hey Bob- just finished the system and it is working great! I sent you pics via Instagram.
    Off to the next project! Thanks

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  • Steve

    Hi, Great website and YouTube Channel! I’m having trouble with the connection from my shop vac to the center of the cyclone. You said in the video that you are using some sort of adapter? Which one? Thanks, and keep it coming!

  • Ben

    I really like your build, Bob. Did you upgrade the filter in your shop vac? If so, what filter would you recommend? Have you found a good way to clean the shop vac filters?

    • Thanks! No, I haven’t upgraded it. I just knock it out and hose it if I need to clean it.

  • Rob O

    Nice setup! I going through the products you have listed and the only one I can’t find is the T fitting. Amazon doesn’t have any available. Anywhere else I can get one?

    • Thanks Rob! No, I don’t know where to find them now.. but you could use a Y instead. As long as it’s facing the right direction, it’d probably create less resistance than the T. http://amzn.to/1bdxnJw Hope that helps!

  • Kevin Wright

    Hey Bob. I built the Dust Collection system (all except for the switch and automation) and I’m having problems with suction. I’m just not getting very much at each tool or at the sweeps. What would you say are the most likely issues causing the problem?

    • Hey Kevin! Sorry you’re having problems with it. It really depends on how many gates you have, how well they seal, etc.
      I would start eliminating variables until you find the cause. Start at the source, check suction, then add a gate at a time until you start to notice a change. I would suggest putting the vac in the middle of the run and branching out in two directions. You could add a gate to each branch, so you can cut off an entire side easily, rather than just relying on the seal around all of the gates collectively.
      I wish I could be more help, but without specifics, I’m not sure what to say to look for…
      Let me know what you find out!

  • Jonathan Duncan

    Do you think the location of the in-port of the cyclone would be a problem (less efficient) in the northern hemisphere? The air should be going down which should have a natural tendency to swirl clockwise like the toilet but the intake is setting up for a counter-clockwise swirl.

  • Olivier Lebarbenchon

    Hey Bob where did you find the dust deputy cyclone?
    I can’t find it anywhere.

  • john

    what is the blue box you used called

  • I was looking at doing something like this in my shop. It is larger, 20’x40′, with a 14′ ceiling. My workbench is in the middle, the ideal placement for the vac system is along the outside. Do you think this would provide enough suction snaking the line up the wall across the ceiling and down to the table then splitting for all the different tools?

  • Vince Chan

    Thanks for awesome video! homedepot has 4 in blast gates/tubing. How would this effect the performance compared to the 2-1/2″ dia.? By the way, what are the specs of your ShopVac? I’m assuming that would also affect the suction performance.

  • Nicholas

    Excellent article and video. Is this setup grounded at all – worried about static electricity?

  • shawn schiebrel

    How do you handle the connection between the tools and the hose at the tool, different tools, different dust ports. Do you have good source for adapters?

    • Jack Fox

      I have same problem. It looks like everything from the blast gate out is a hack. Very frustrating.

  • Jack Fox

    These darn aluminum blast gates don’t have enough pipe extension for the hose clamps to really bite into. This is a big defect I have to hack around. From the video it looks like the plastic blast gates actually have a little more.

  • Joseph Robinson

    Hey Bob,
    I just got a dust collector last night. I bought a large similar to your new harbor freight dust collector. Do you find that the tubing you ran along your wall is working well. Im just trying to decide if I want to go the hose/pvc/or ductwork route. Did you have any issues with grounding the system. Thanks for the input. I love your videos. Your a real inspiration.

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  • Michael Henderson

    Hello,
    I’m new to discussions so wanna keep this simple. A real easy way for you to remember the electrical white/black thing I was taught awhile back is the term Black Gold which for us older guys back in the day means Oil, but still easy to remember in the wiring setup. Black goes to the gold color and is the hot side. White and green are the same. Ground.
    Be safe and enjoy your videos
    Mike from Tenn

  • J Robert

    thanks for taking the time to put this video out here for us ot learn from. Quick question, what did you use ot make the “coupling from” PVC pipe? old hose? I’ve run into the same issue with hoses and connections not matching up in size i.e. inside vs outside diameter- as you mention later in the video. thanks

  • Ryan Scott

    You make it all look easy. 🙂

    What are the clamps that fasten pipe to the wood called?

  • John Meredith

    Hi Bob. This seems like it is s a great system for collecting the larger dust, but do you have any idea if it helped with the fine dust air quality? One of the major health hazards in a shop is the super fine dust that does not fall out of the air and stay suspended. Were you able to do any tests and see if this system was able to help with that fine dust? Thanks, John

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