I’ve Been using my shop vac dust collection system for about a year now, Love it. Shop vacs make great dust collectors for tools that don’t have a large volume of dust (tables saw, planner, jointer etc.). Things like chop saws, routers and sanders really benefit from a shop vac oppose to a tradition dust collector because of the high velocity, they suck hard:)
The obvious down fall to shop vacs for dust collection is the small, prone to plugging filter and the low volume (2.5” inlet). To help with the filter plugging, people tend to do one of two thing , a separator or bags. Both are good options. My system uses a really simple version of a bucket separator. This separator does not stop all the dust from getting to the filter but I’m guessing it lasts about twice before it needs to be clean compared to no separator at all. More complex separators can yield much better results.
My system is feed around my shop at ceiling heights witch works out well for a few of the tools like the sander and CNC but has become cumbersome with the miter saw and router. I want to redo the feed lines, mounting it at bench height for these to two tools because they are so close together. I think a double blast gate would be the most convenient.
The body of the blast gate is constructed out of ¾” plywood. I cut 2 pieces 3” wide buy 7” long for the sides, one piece 1 ½” wide by 7” long for the top and finally one piece 3” wide by 7” long for the bottom.
The “gate” is constructed out of cutting board material. Its 2 7/8” wide by 12 1/4” long.
The pipe I used for this dust collection system is central vac pipe. It has an outside diameter of 2”. To accept the pipe I drilled two 2” holes in the sides making sure I have a full 2” in-between the two holes as this will be the closed position when both tools aren’t in use.
To mark the location of the gate hole, I slide it hard to one end till I had about ½” showing (room for the stop) and then traced the hole.
I kept the construction fairly simple by sandwiching the gate and a piece of folded up paper in-between the two side pieces. The paper is for adding some clearance and will be removed after assemble is complete.
I then attached the top and bottom piece to the sides with some 1 ½” screws, no glue for maintenance purposes. I left my bottom piece wide for mounting under the bench but your mounting may require something different.
I then could epoxy a piece of ½” wide cutting board to the end of the gate for the first gate.
The stop on the other side is a piece of maple ½” wide and 4 ½” long. It’s bolted to the center of the end of the gate. This allows the stop to rotate giving you the third stop which is needed for the closed position. The video explains this better;)
I then drilled 3 holes on the bottom rail of my bench for mounting.
A couple of screws hold into place.
Finally I could attach my feed line and one hose to the miter saw and the other to the router table.
I’m Really happy that I finally got around to doing this. My chop saw moves much more freely now without the hose getting in the way and the gate is in a way more convenient location.