If you’re trying to setup a dust collector system using schedule 40 PVC and you’re ready to pull your hair because standard dust collection connectors don’t fit PVC pipe from the hardware store, this post is for you. I’ve spent the last month and a half trying to figure out how to piece everything together and it’s been nothing but a logistics nightmare! I’m happy to say that I’ve finally figured it out and my dust collector system works flawlessly!!
Cyclone Dust Separator
Before purchasing an actual dust collector, I decided to try a dust cyclone since it can be used with a 5 gallon bucket and a shop vac which I already had. I quickly realized that I was going to need something bigger because I had too many pieces of equipment to connect.
A shop vac has high pressure (lots of suction) but it has low volume so you need to have the shop vac very close to each piece of equipment. I wanted to use pvc pipe and wye connectors so all of my equipment would be connected to one central pipe that feeds into the cyclone dust separator.
I watched a YouTube video posted by “The Newbie Woodworker” where he does a thorough test and review on the Dust Deputy in comparison to an inexpensive alternative. Based on the facts he presented, I was confident in giving the dust deputy alternative a shot.
The setup was fairly easy. The cyclone I purchased did not come with a bucket or a hose. It came with the unit itself, a gasket and the hardware to attach it. I got a 5 gallon bucket and placed the gasket on top of the lid. I outlined the main gasket hole so I knew where to cut the opening, and I also marked where I needed to drill the holes for the bolts.
I had trouble connecting the hoses to the cyclone. I wound up using a 2 1/2” rubber coupling, for both ports, and I attached Rockler’s “Dust Right” shop vac adapter to the coupler on top. The cyclone dust separator works great! Unfortunately, it’s just not big enough, or powerful enough to work with every piece of equipment connected.
Shop Fox Dust Collector
I’m working out of a 1 car garage which obviously limits the amount of space I have to work with. I ordered a wall hanging Shop Fox dust collector to save space and also because the Shop Fox brand had good reviews. I was excited to set everything up and take care of my dust problem, but it turned out to be MUCH more difficult to set up than I had anticipated.
Hanging the unit on the wall was easy. I screwed a small 2×4 to studs since the mounting bracket wasn’t long enough and I wanted it to be secure since it’s so heavy. Once that was hung, I ran a 4” hose from the unit, to the PVC pipe. This is where I ran into my first problem. The 4” hose doesn’t fit over the 4″ schedule 40 PVC.
I found 4” O.D. Splice that fits inside the Sched. 40 PVC and allows the 4” hose to be connected to the other end. Without the splice, the hose will not fit over the PVC pipe. That solved my first problem.
Next, I drew a layout of where my tools are so I knew what pieces I’d need to connect everything together. I first ran a 4” flexible hose from the dust collector to the 4″ splice. I then cut a small section of PVC using my miter saw and inserted a Y connector, in between two sections of PVC. To my surprise, Rockler’s 4” Y connectors actually fit inside of the schedule 40 4” PVC. This made the entire process much, much easier. I continued this process until each piece of equipment was connected.
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