To save space while cutting down on noise and dust in the shop, I decided to move the dust collection system to the basement. Dust collection is a high priority in our workshop since we have a lot of technology and tools. However it’s loud, and big.
First I assembled three WEN dust collectors I purchased from Amazon, which took about thirty minutes.
I created a 3D adapter so I could easily adapt all the saws and sanders so they could easily link to a standard two and a half-inch tube into the new dust collection system.
To ensure I could link all the larger tools, which have different size ports, to the new dust collection system I created a 3D adapter to easily adapt to a standard 2 1/2 -inch tube. Using the Artemis 300 3D Printer, I printed the adapters.
Nest, to ensure I could cut the connectors down to a comfortable length for each machine, I modeled the connectors longer than needed.
I also connected 4-inch tubing to the machines that already had a 4-inch dust port.
Next, I designed the floor connector, which needed to fit on top of a 4-inch hole drilled into the floor. To cover any potential gap between the floor and the part itself, I added a flange.
While drilling the holes in the floor, I was cautious to prevent myself from hitting the joists down below. First, I drilled a small hole and passed a dowel through to verify my spacing before drilling the larger hole.
Then, I went to the basement to try to find the hole by pulling down pieces of insulation.
Next, I began drilling the larger hole. Luckily, I didn’t make a mess of the floor.
To secure the floor connectors, I drilled four holes into each connector and then used deck screws to screw them directly into the floor.
In the basement, I secured a couple pieces of plywood to mount the iVAC control switches.
Then, I securely attached 4-inch tubing to the bottom half of the floor connector.
After securing the ductwork underneath, I took a piece of copper wire and used a brass screw to secure it to the connector piece. To ensure the airflow would not build up a static charge and create a fire or explosion, I grounded the wire and screw to the copper piping. This is a really important step.
I attached the other side of the tubing that was coming out of the ceiling directly to the dust collectors.
Then, I began prepping the iVAC controllers in the basement. There’s a series of dip switches inside that needed to be adjusted to set the machine number. On the corresponding machine, I set the tool number so it knows which collector to turn on.
To maximize the air flow, I used different collectors and skipped the glass gates.
Next, to verify everything was in working order, I switched the controller on. Then, I switched the controller to auto, which is where it will stay for the workshop.
Upstairs, I connected the machines to the new dust ports in the floors. To ensure the iVAC remote turns on the correct collector when the tool is used, I programmed the tool numbers.
These devices are pretty cool; they simply clamp down on the machine’s electrical cords and sense the change in electrical current. When it senses the current is increased, it triggers the dust collector to turn on.
To try out the dust collection system, I turned on the bandsaw and ran a board through.
The new dust collection system has been a huge improvement compared to the previous system. There has been less dust because the new dust collectors have more CFM. The dust collectors have made the shop quieter and has opened the footprint of the shop, allowing us to lay out our tools in a more effective way.