Dust Dust and more Dust

I was really hoping to be able to report (and show) a completed dust system in this post. As you can gather, I didn’t get there. Got damned close, but no Cuban. It is really close, and in fact, it is only a few niceties that I’ve decided to do that is holding up the final report. It is just that I’ve kept promising myself that each aspect of this upgraded shed I will endeavour to do things properly, and getting a balance between ‘ideal’, ‘gold plated’ and ‘properly’ is a fine line to tread.

Even though I am not going for a gold plated solution, and are making constant choices to get the best solution without throwing money away, it is disconcerting how a few odds and ends always adds up to a dollar figure much higher than you’d expect.

I am going to shoot a short video documenting the system tonight, and its commissioning, but I decided that despite it being a long time between drinks (and videos), I’d finish it properly before committing it to tape. Sorry that it is so long between videos, but this shed upgrade takes a lot of time that would otherwise be used for projects, such as video episodes.

As a small aside, it didn’t help any when I decided to use my hand as a knife block for the Stanley knife. No significant damage, but it was a very short distance between what did happen, and what could have been a slashed wrist, or some seriously damaged ligaments. Stupid. I could say it was rushing, but it really boiled down to one thing – tiredness. Every other time I have been very conscious of the direction of cutting, but I was in an unusual orientation working my way around some mess, cutting some of the flexible tubing (which takes a bit of force to get through the hard plastic spring portion) and I cut in the wrong direction. Did I learn anything? Not really – it is a lesson I have learned before – I didn’t need the extra incentive.

Another reason I didn’t want to shoot the video yet is the mess. The shed got (almost literally) turned upside down when I relocated almost every tool to its final location, and I haven’t taken the time to do a full cleanup. That’s the next job once I put the dust system to bed.

So where did I get to tonight? The drill press had the small 1″ diameter tubes run to either side. There are no clamps yet – that is a job for a different day (and I’m not counting it as part of the dust extraction project).

The thicknesser has had its outlet (which is square from the powered dust extraction system it has built in) adapted to the point that it fits the 4″ system with a blast gate

and is easily removed and replaced (given that the thicknesser’s location means the dust system passes across the door. I don’t have a problem with that – the thicknesser isn’t used every day of the week, so when I want to use it, it’d take 5 seconds to plug the system in.

Lathe is done, and bandsaw, and the 4″ portion has been run to the base of the tablesaw. Near the back of the tablesaw, I have added a Y section with additional blast gates. One end has been left open, so I can plug in some flexible 4′ tube I have to do a bit of general cleaning around the place. I am going to add a second one somewhere near the router table, again to aid general cleanup.

I have finally gotten the extraction to the dust port on the blade guard. Took a bit of figuring out, partly because of my original concept needed modifying because parts I was expecting don’t exist. However, I am happy with the solution I have come up with. I hope. (If I need to move the tablesaw, it probably all goes out the window).

Was in getting the last few fittings I needed from Bunnings today – needed a little more 4″ pipe. The stuff I have been using so far is downpipe (which is pretty thin – doesn’t have to withstand internal pressures like stormwater (for example). It is also cheapest. However, went to buy a little more today, and was informed that it didn’t exist. There are other sizes, but apparently what I have been using so far doesn’t actually exist. I must be using stormwater pipe (I’m not), or it is 90mm and not 100mm (even though I have been using 100mm stormwater fittings). Never understood that. I may not be a plumber, but I’m not completely stupid either – think I know when I am using 100mm pipe.

So what is left to do? Other than the cleanup, I just want to add that Y section and blast gate near the router table, and I bought a Dust Separator Lid from Carbatec

to place near the actual dust extractor. It isn’t a cyclonic system, or as sophisticated as some on the market, but with a few minor additions it should make an adequate first stage separator. I’m not fussed if it only catches the heavier stuff – the more it collects, the less often I will need to empty the dust extractor collection bag. I still need to find a bin that the lid fits – always another obstacle.

So there we are (almost). Hope to be able to try the system out in anger shortly, and document it here of course!

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