Dusting up a storm

Some further thoughts and developments on the dust extraction system.

I’ve been giving some thought to what happens next – as in how does the dust run get to the dust extractor, and just how far that is – how much more length, how many more bends are required.  The simple answer is “too far and too many”.

Hmm. So the question arose in my mind again – just why did I think the original idea of having the dust extractor on the mezzanine floor was a bad one?  Back in mid Feb, I had thought about it, and opted to bring the dust extractor back down from the mezzanine where it had just been put (and what a pain that was!)  However, now that the machine positions have settled, it is really looking like the mezzanine was a good idea after all.

Looking back at my earlier musing on the subject, I highlighted good points to be
a. free up workshop floorspace
b. for it to be inside the main shed, as it draws a lot of air, and if outside the main shed, that is a lot of hot (or cold) air that would be drawn into the workshop, and
c. as that would make it generally central to the machines it is drawing from.

On the other hand, I had thought having it in the timber store next door gives better access, better noise separation, better workshop air quality (particularly on the mezzanine).

Now that I have been working in the shed for over 1/2 a year, more informed decisions can be made.

These lead to the following justifications for relocating the dust extractor back to the mezzanine:

1. Significantly shorten the length of ducting, and minimises the number of bends required.
2. Noise isolation would be the same as having the dust extractor in the area I currently have placed it.
3. Dust isolation from the main shed is maintained, although the mezzanine will not be as clean, it is not used as I was anticipating. If I ever do start to make use of it for something other than storage, I can look at physically isolating the extractor at that point. It still has a pleated filter, and I can still run an air filtration system up there if I choose.
4. It does not draw air from the outside (hot or cold), so running the dust extractor will not significantly impact on the shed environment
5. Changing bags is as easy (if not a little easier), and I do have the hoist to remove full bags from the mezzanine.

To compare the two locations, let’s take the biggest producer of sawdust in the workshop (which also produces the heaviest particles), being the thicknesser.

With the dust extractor outside in the side shed, it would involve approx 12m of ducting (up, across and down), and a total of 6x 90 degree bends (each elbow is estimated to be the equivalent of 2m of straight pipe), so a total of 24m equivalent length.

With the dust extractor on the mezzanine, it would involve approx 4m of ducting and a total of 4x 90 degree bends (at worst), giving a total of 12m.  That is one significant saving to be had, for the machine that needs the most drawing capacity.  All other machines benefit to lesser degrees, but each ends up saving about 10m in equivalent straight pipe length, if not more.

So I guess that makes the decision an easy one.  The ducting is a lot less complicated, and shorter.  There is power already available (I originally placed a GPO up there to be dedicated to the dust extractor).

The future plan will be to look at continuing to improve and upgrade the dusting system – moving as much up to 6″ ducts as possible, rather than the current 4″.  But let’s see how the system works once I get it up and running, to see just how much that will be a priority.

Onwards and upwards (quite literally!)

Things get worse before they get better

The workshop certainly is an apt demonstration of that point at the moment!

Started off the weekend with the workshop being a little messy, after last week’s rush build to get the magazine articles finished.  Ended the weekend with it looking like a bomb site.

So what went wrong?  Nothing!

It was just time to finish off a job that I started almost two years ago, and has been notably absent from the current workshop: a fully functioning dust extraction system.

For the past 8 months, I have been working with a flexible hose running from the dust extractor, through a door and across the floor to whichever machine I am using at the time (although primarily focused on the jointer and thicknesser, so the other tools have been venting free).

Decided this weekend to do something about recommissioning a fully laid out system, given the machines seem to have migrated to relatively stable positions in the workshop.

Photo 14-09-2014 21 58 38

I’ve had all the odd lengths of pipe, tube, hose and fittings sitting aside from the previous workshop (and the collection above is a small portion of what came out of the previous shop), so that is where I started – working on the complex areas of the dust extraction.  The combined area around the tablesaw, jointer, thicknesser and bandsaw, which are all in close proximity (particularly where the dust ports from each machine are involved).

Photo 14-09-2014 21 57 35 Photo 14-09-2014 21 57 44

It took a bit of trial and error, but I am pleased how it came together.  It is a bit hard to show it looking anything but a mess, but it looks better than the current photos!

One day, I’d be tempted by the metal dust extraction system, but that is an upgrade for the future (if ever).  At the moment, simply having each machine connected to the dust extractor, with blast gates isolating each is the plan.

So far, the bandsaw comes in the bottom (with two hoses, one from the bottom of the bandsaw, and one from just beneath the table), then the tablesaw.  I haven’t worked out how I want to have the tablesaw dust guard connected in yet, but I am still thinking the genuine SawStop solution looks to be an attractive option.

Overarm-dust-collection-TSAODC

There is a port visible that has nothing connected – I have placed a quickconnect port on there, so can easily connect the super-flexible hose with the floor sweeper when I do need additional cleanup.

I have the run overhead towards the dust collector, but that run isn’t finished yet.  I still need to drop it down, past (and pick up) the outlets from the second bandsaw, drum sander and Torque Workcentre.

Photo 14-09-2014 21 57 58

The run continues to the other side of the shed, then drops down to the router table and drill press.  The run then continues (smaller diameter) to the Kapex

Photo 14-09-2014 21 58 09

Still to work out how I am going to pick up an outlet near the lathes, I might have to cut into the run I have just completed by the looks.  Oh well, better done as right as I can.

Some work still to go – another day should knock it off, so long as I have all the parts I need (so better I plan ahead).

 

SSYTC067 PA Doors

Episode 103 Shed Tour

Finally!  A tour of the shed, warts and all.  It is still a work in progress, but I guess, it will always be somewhat of a work in progress!

One down, one to go

Sold the Torque Workcentre (Router Master) today, which is a good step (goes towards paying for some of the shed electrical installation!), so just have the tablesaw to go.

And I do need it to go – it is taking up precious space, as much as it is a reluctant sale.  (I really do like the TS10L).  However, it is what it is.

Hopefully as a bit of encouragement, I have taken 10% off the asking price, and set it to a very round $2000. See here for more details.

Photo 6-06-2014 17 32 31

Best made plans

I love it when a plan comes together.

Even better, when by some fluke, a plan formulated on the computer (such as the floor plan) actually works in real life too, as well as it suggested it would.

Moved the 4 machines around (tablesaw, 17″ bandsaw, jointer and thicknesser), and they all came together.  I did realise one thing though.  It is the end of the era for mobile bases in my workshop.

Mobile bases are really useful under the heavy machines in the shed.  Particularly when you are a sole operator, and especially when space is restricted.  A mobile base allows machines in sub-optimum position when stored to be moved out for use, then pushed away again.  I’ll still have a wheeled option for the thicknesser (it is built in), and for the tablesaw as well (when I upgrade it to the original built-in option).  The other machines though are another matter.

As I was sorting out the layout (and thank goodness for mobile bases at that point!), I found as I was finalising the locations, the bases were really restricting how well they each fitted together.  Once removed (from the bandsaw and the jointer), it was a whole different story.

I’m not against mobile bases – I have been using them successfully for years.  But I am also looking for to not needing them either.  I have more workshop room than ever, and with the layout compromised with them in place, I’m just as happy not to continue with them.  They do make a machine more unstable, and I could, if I become really confident with the layout, actually bolt the machines to the slab.  Now that is a big call.

Tempting though.  A really solid operating platform.

I may hold off on that for a while though – previous experience shows that I tweak the shed layout a dozen times a year, every year!

Adding to the tool library

Made a minor layout modification, which resulted in the ‘sink’ being relocated to outside the back door of the shed (outdoor sink), so I could fit the Walko as a wall-mounted option in the back corner instead.

This then left the area beneath the window open for the appearance of a new tool: The Festool MFT/3, with the TS55 R saw. (Both from my “Breaking Bad” dealer, Ideal Tools)

What we are talking about here is the multifunction table, complete with a rail that flips out of the way when not required, and a relocatable, multiangle fence.  The top is very familiar, being the model I’ve adopted for the TWC, and that is already on the Walko workbench as well.  A matrix of round dog holes across the surface.

zoom__hb_mft3_495315_p_01aThere is plenty of storage area underneath (I haven’t worked out how I’ll use that area yet, but for the time being it will be kept open for some filming I am planning).  I’m looking to obtain a clear perspex sheet as an alternate top, so I can film up through it for a bit of fun.

The rail (green striped thing) which can flip out of the way on a hinge at the rear, can mount a circular saw, or router (or jigsaw etc) from the Festool range.

So it is complemented by the saw

ts-55-r-fs-2The TS55R.  This would have been really useful on the recent coffee table project!

So to fit everything in took only a little amount of shuffling (although the Cleantex (vacuum) has lost its home for the time being).

FirefoxScreenSnapz006However, that has caused me to think more about the one problem area I was still having.  The relationship between the jointer and the thicknesser, the space each was taking, and their restricted infeed and outfeed.

Played a bit (using the Grizzly Workshop Planner), and came up with an alternative that looks remarkably promising.

Shed

Without loosing any real estate (in fact this gains some), I have doubled the infeed and outfeed areas of both tools.  It makes use of the space either side of the tablesaw as infeed (or outfeed) for the thicknesser and jointer respectively.  That space needs to be empty anyway, as infeed and outfeed for the tablesaw, so why not use it for all three tools?

It gives me good access along the front of the jointer (important obviously!), and access right alongside the right-hand side of the thicknesser (much more convenient).

And I can still get the dust extraction to pump the sawdust straight into the potbelly.  (Just kidding – I don’t need to generate that much heat!  If I had a mini foundry, that would be a different matter!)  Mmmm mini foundry…….

index

The layout is definitely getting there.  Each change is a build on the previous, rather than being a complete rework, so that is good.  Refinements are fine (and are typically the status quo on my place!)

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