Dust Doohickey

Because my shop serves a multi purpose needs, I decided to add a dust collection system to cut down on the 2,1/2 days, time required to convert the room into a photo studio. This has turned out to be an awesome intervention. With more and more of our remodel going towards MDF came the increase needed personal safety – micro-dust issues.

I started off with the 2,1/2″ flexible hose attached to ShopVac and the Tablesaw on the other end. After adding the Router Table, came the complication of switching from one appliance to the other. To go a step further I wanted to connect a 25′ foot 1,1/2″ inch hose on occasion to vacuum out my truck, so an upgrade to a more functional system became necessary.  I used the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid!) methodology when designing the overall system.  After a little research on the internet, 3 common systems became relevant.

  • Attach a flexible hose to appliance. Certainly the simplest method, but already tried and rejected. The hoses and power cords became tangled and required to must time to keep strait.
  • PVC, commonly used as sprinkler pipe. It’s cheap!  The 90 degree connectors seemed to sharp to me.
  • ABS Drainage Pipe. It’s Cheap! with a greater selection of 90 degree connectors, including 6″ inch sweeps.  I also learned quite by accident that by using flexible rubber 6″ inch 90 degree sweeps, the 2,1/2″ inch hose couplings fit snugly without the need for hose clamps – although I used them in most cases anyway.

The Dust Deputy, is the heart of the system. I purchased mine from Amazon, again after researching many similar products on the internet.  I cannot attest to the others, but this little jewel ROCKS!!   Connecting it was an expensive nightmare, Trust Me!!  After 2 days in trips to the Home Depot, Loew’s and Ace Hardware I finally managed to find a 2,1/2″ inch to 2 rubber coupling that would accept my flexible hose fitting. On the top of the Dust Deputy I over tightened a rubber 9″ inch sweep coupling for 2″ inch the ABS pipe I ran to the ShopVac.  Now I notice Dust Deputy sells a version with a hose already attached. I’d buy this one, not knowing what I now know! It’s worth more then the $10.00 bucks in gas alone!!

I used a 14 Gallon drum as my waist tank, this works so awesome!  Another apparent bit of info my research turned up is, the dust collection system works very effectively when you Do Not Exceed 75% of maximum capacity.

I sandwiched (glued) epoxy painted plywood to both the inside and outside. I used an entire tube of really good silicone to laminate the wood to the polyurethane drum lid.  Then I cut the hole for the Dust Deputy and mounted it with 1/2″ inch bolts.   Later I learned the silicone did not hold, but still provided a really good air tight seal, which is a major goal.  I hindsight I guess applying a full tube of silicone was worth my time, effort and money.  The air tight seal is imperative!

The next key component are the Blast Gates.  I got mine from Woodcraft, but there is a store close enough to drive too.  The same brand is also available on Amazon, for the same price + shipping. Others are also available for various prices with and without free Prime shipping.  I only recommend the brand made by WoodRiver, because it works great, and accepts the 2,1/2″ hose adapter fittings so perfectly! 🙂

I recently felt the need to check my waist drum. You shouldn’t let it fill to much past 3/4 because it stops working as good – or so I’m told.  This is only the second time I’ve emptied it and just like the first time I was delighted to see my ShopVac, empty. 🙂


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