Tips on running my Dust Collection Duct Work!


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I have just bought a (not new, but new to me) Powermatic Dust Collector for my shop. I need to run the duct work for the DC around my shop. I am planning on using PVC pipe instead of metal due to cost. Does anyone have any do's and don'ts for running the pipes. I have not done this before, so any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks

Jeff F

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If you are running PVC, make you buy a grounding kit to prevent static electricity build up.

I found using 4" metal ducting you would use for your furnace is rather inexpensive. You will have to tape all the joints. It's what I used in my last shop. This time I'm planning on using a 25' flex hose and move it from tool to tool.

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If you are running PVC, make you buy a grounding kit to prevent static electricity build up.

I found using 4" metal ducting you would use for your furnace is rather inexpensive. You will have to tape all the joints. It's what I used in my last shop. This time I'm planning on using a 25' flex hose and move it from tool to tool.

I wouldnt worry about the grounding kit. All the mains in my system are 6" schedule 40 PVC, with 4" drops, and I have no problems with static build-up. Also, none of my joints are glued. I just used a friction fit. The fitting get real expensive real quick. It also gives you a chance to change the setup if you dont like the way that you did it. Good luck. It is worth it when it is done.

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Marc has a good video on setting up dust collection ducts for guildies.

I would love to see the video, but I am not a Guild Member. As much as I would like to join, and probably will later, I just can not afford it right now.

Is there any problems with 90 degree turns when it comes to friction loss?

Do I run 4" or 6"? My DC's suction port is two - 4" wyes.

Thanks Jeff F

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Do you have a link to the DC that you have? It may be possible to take off the wye's and just run one big main. As for 90's, you they do affect the performance. How much really depends on your DC and the total layout. Ideally if you could run 45's, that would be better. I had to make 90 degree turn in my setup, so to do that I made a gradual turn using two 45's. Whether or not that make a difference, I don't know, but it makes sense in my head. Hope this helps. And another thing, not sure if you bought blast gates or anything yet, but I just added some to my system and purchased the metal blast gates from Woodcraft. They seem to be very nice. I also have some that I bought at Rockler, but these seem to be a little bit nicer.

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For the smaller runs (such as to the scroll saw or drill press) you can get away with 90 degree street bends. These are basically elongated bends, that do a 90 degree turn in about 8 times the space. Otherwise, I've had success just using two 45 degree sections back to back. You might feel comfortable adding a small spacer in between, but that's not absolutely necessary.

I've been recommended to use S&D pipe (Sewer and Drain) because it's supposed to be cheaper. Unfortunately, my local suppliers that I can locate (BORG and BigBlue) only carry bell end (which is 4 times the cost) or perforated (which defeats the purpose) S&D right now.

There are a couple books out there about dust collection, as well as Bill Pentz's site. While Bill will go into technical detail, sometimes you need to step back and not panic.

Blast Gates. A definate necessity. I've heard two schools of thought: one at the tool, or one just off the main as it leads to the tool. Not having experience with them (yet), I'd ask around.

I'd also add a cleanout plug near the end of the runs to the tool. Not necessary on every tool, but definately a convenience when the pipe gets clogged. (I'd hate to have to disassemble everything just to get two shavings to line up right.)

Dry fit the sections before you attach or hang them, because you might find a better arrangement jumps out at you while you're standing there with 2 10-foot sections in your hand.

Don't reduce the diameter of the pipe until you absolutely need to.

Last piece of advice: remember you want to get the dust collector out from the wall to clean it out periodically. If you trap it behind the workbench (like I was going to do), you can't get the dust out, and all you have is an expensive piece of loud art.

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Try to find SDR35 3034, it should be nice and inexpensive. Don't use PVC cement to hold it together. Dry fit and then you can use silicone on the joints. That will make it easy to take apart, but create a nice seal.

Also, don't bother trying to ground PVC, it's an insulator.

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  • 2 weeks later...

YES, USE 6 INCH for the mains. There is a lot of friction loss (I completely understand this as a fire fighter trying to get water through hoses). I am sure the intake on your vac is 6 or 7 inches. Get rid of that y-splitter if it is still there on your vac.

I found metal ducting to be cheaper. Make sure you use that aluminum tape (not Duct Tape) to seal all the joints.

When I drop to a tool, I put in a 6" to 4" tee, then the blast gate, then the 4" flex hose.

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I've been told that Y's are better than T's. T' s are essentially 90 degree bends, and the air doesn't flow as smoothly.

I think Mike is referring to that Y that is attached to most impellers, right at the base of the dust collector. my (theoretical) solution would be to put a blast gate on one end of the wye, and connect a flex hose to it, to aid in shop floor cleaning, and use the other leg for the "fixed" portion of the ducting.

That is, of course, if I chose to leave the DC unit alone and not convert it into a 2stage unit, as I have seen via web shots. (considering I don't have a DC system yet, everything is theoretical. Gotta clean out the shop first, so i can find out how much space I have to work with...)

as for the 4 inch/ 6 inch dilemma, I thought 6 was too big to be truly effective for smaller shops? or does that depend solely upon the CFM capacity of the collector?

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running my email in another tab, and came across this post. (Don't have time to read it, so I don't know about how effective it is, especially compared to this thread, but I figured somebody might find it useful.) I'll check it myself later this evening, after rehearsal.

http://www.instructables.com/id/Dust-Sniper-quiet-extractor-system/

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I think Mike is referring to that Y that is attached to most impellers, right at the base of the dust collector. my (theoretical) solution would be to put a blast gate on one end of the wye, and connect a flex hose to it, to aid in shop floor cleaning, and use the other leg for the "fixed" portion of the ducting.

That is, of course, if I chose to leave the DC unit alone and not convert it into a 2stage unit, as I have seen via web shots. (considering I don't have a DC system yet, everything is theoretical. Gotta clean out the shop first, so i can find out how much space I have to work with...)

as for the 4 inch/ 6 inch dilemma, I thought 6 was too big to be truly effective for smaller shops? or does that depend solely upon the CFM capacity of the collector?

Nope Beechwood is right, He is talking about putting a T in the main and dropping down to the machine. Y's are definitely better. So is at least six inch duct for the mains. Best of all go to Bill Pentz's site it'll give you more information concerning Extracts than you can absorb in a life time.

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