Blood, Sweat, and Sawdust

Going against the grain

Tag: ducting

Dust Collection: Machine Drops

I intended to publish this post a week ago.  Unfortunately, a nasty cold kicked my butt instead.  I planned to be finishing up new shop cabinets.  Instead, I’m just now starting to feel well enough to get back into the shop.  Such is life.

I planned my duct work for three main machine drops: one on either side, and one in the middle.  Each drop will service at least two tools.  The central drop will service my table saw and jointer/planer.  One side drop contains a floor sweep and flexible port.  The other side will service a miter saw and flexible port.

I was concerned about the stability of the central drop.  So, I secured strut channel to two joists and braced the drop to the strut channel.  This adds a lot of rigidity to the drop and supports some of the weight.   Plus, I think it looks a lot better than using dimensional lumber.

I replaced all of my sheet metal screws with rivets and sealed all the joints with silicone caulk.  I tested the cyclone with the ducting installed and I’m amazed by the suction.  The system is also much quieter with the duct work.  My wife was very happy about this.  I no longer have to worry about making a bed in the shop!

Complete Ductwork-web

I still need to blow insulation into the attic area, build a router table, and miter saw cabinets.  Stay tuned.

For the rest of the workshop build, check out the garage workshop build index.

Sheet Metal Screws vs Rivets for Ductwork

While finishing the ductwork for my dust collection system, I ran into a dilemma.  The sheet metal screws protrude into the ducting more than I was comfortable with.  I used the shortest screws I could find.  However, the length of the screws concerned me that chips might snag on screws and lead to bigger issues.

The alternative is pop rivets.  They look much nicer and protrude less into the interior of the ducting.  The only major drawback is that they are slightly more permanent.  In practice, they aren’t that difficult to remove.  Select a drill bit that’s about the same size as the rivet head and drill it off.  To install, simply drill a hole that’s the same size as the rivet.  Insert the rivet post into the gun, the head into the hole, and then squeeze the handle until the post snaps off.

All you need is a rivet gun and some pop rivets.  The rivets I used are 1/8-inch by 1/8-inch.

Rivets for Ductwork

In the end, I definitely prefer rivets for duct work.  Just make sure you’re comfortable with everything before installing them.

Stay tuned.  I’m about 95% complete with my ductwork and should have another post in the next day or two.

For the rest of the workshop build, check out the garage workshop build index.

Dust Collection: Snap-lock Ducting

Snap-lock ducting offers a great compromise between affordability, durability, and ease of install.  Fittings and adapters are easy to find locally and online. The only tools needed are a HVAC crimping tool and an offset tin shear.  I purchased both for less than $25.

I am using Gripple’s Hang-Fast system.  It makes hanging your ductwork a breeze.  Simply, hang the loop on an eye-bolt or j-hook.  Then, slide one end of your wire through the grip.  Loop the wire around and insert it through the other end.  It’s self-locking and can be loosened using a supplied key.  I am very happy with this product and would use it again in a heart-beat.

The straight pipe goes together easy enough.  Cut the pipe to length using a pair of offset shears.  Then, snap the seam together by starting at one end and working down towards the other.  Once snapped together, it helps to drive a self-tapping sheet-metal screw near each end.  You could also use pop rivets.  Finish each section by crimping one end.  The crimped ends should always point back towards the collector.

I secured each section and fitting using a couple of sheet metal screws and then sealed all the seams with clear silicon caulk.

I’m currently about two-thirds of the way complete with my ducting.  Even with ample planning, it’s hard to know exactly what you’ll need until after you get started.  I am short a few fittings and patiently wait for them to arrive.

Stay tuned.

For the rest of the workshop build, check out the garage workshop build index.