Creating a homemade workshop vacuum system is a great way for controlling the amount of sawdust that accumulates in and around your work surfaces. A vacuum system, when set up and used properly, can direct the dust away from your projects. Once the dust is collected, the shop vac can be emptied. The project will require a great deal of ducting and it is important that you select a size of duct that will be compatible with your shop vac.
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Things you need
- Shop vacuum cleaner
- Vacuum tubing
- PVC Pipe
- Ductwork hangers
- Ductwork fasteners
- Vacuum hose valves
Set up the shop vac in a location that is out of the way but accessible. A corner that is close to your main work areas is the best location to place the vacuum.
Hang the duct hose on the ceiling using ductwork hangers, or if the shop has open rafters, simply drape the ducting over the rafters. Another option would be to install PVC piping along the wall that is the same diameter as your ducting.
Fix the vacuum's hose to the ducting or PVC and ensure that the seal is tight. Depending on where you mounted the main channel, you may need a length of ducting that attaches the shop vac to the main vacuum channel.
Choose where to attach T fittings to the locations that will need vacuum points. The T fitting will allow you to install vacuum tubing that reaches your work area. T fittings should be available for purchase for both the ductwork and the PVC, depending on the installation you chose.
Cut the main vacuum channel at the chosen locations for workstation vacuum points and install the T-valves at that location by slipping the main channel hose over either side of the T-valve and tighten the fasteners securely.
Attach ductwork to the T fittings by sliding the ductwork over the T-fitting and tightening the fastener. Ensure that the attachment is tightened enough to keep the ductwork secure during use. Also, make sure that there is enough length in the ducting to reach the workstation with enough room to access areas around the workstation as well.
Install simple airflow valves to help direct were the vacuum will be applying pressure. If you cannot find any valves that fit your ducting, it is possible to make a stopper for the hose from a cone of wood.
Test the system to make sure pressure is reaching all of the workstations. If there is not enough pressure to adequately vacuum dust from the station, make sure the valves are closed and all of the seals are tightly adjusted.
Attach any fixtures to the vacuum ducts to make cleaning easier. A useful attachment is a downdraft table for sanding to keep dust from getting into the air. Crevasse tools and other attachments will make cleaning workstations and projects much easier.
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