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  1. #1
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    Default Ducted Vacuum for orbital sanders and similar tools

    During the intense design negotiations of designing our new home and workspace, the mistress of finance and I agreed it was best to section off the shed into his and her areas. Mainly because the price tag of building a sewing room in the house was about as likely to happen as me putting my workshop beside the master bedroom.

    Our shed now houses the sewing room and the saw dust factory divided by a 'soundproof' wall (Can still hear her.... ) and a rumpus area for kids to play, craft, lego, etc. With guidance from BobL and others have installed a CV1800 and ventilation fan in my area, which has kept both her and my work areas practically dust free.

    So over coffee the other morning she dropped the panic inducing phrase "I've been thinking", which always translates to costing me money and time. Every time. Without fail.

    This one was for an idea she had of installing a ducted vacuum as I have the room in my dust lean-to for the unit, it's only a bit of plumbing and would mean we don't have to replace the dying vacuum with another portable vacuum that we have in the shed. Like the sales pitch?

    As I am getting to the point where the main source of dust in my workspace is from orbital sanders and other electric portable tools, was curious what the forum gurus think about using a ducted vacuum in this case? To have a vacuum for power tools that has the added bonus of exhausting outside the workspace seems too good to be true so there must be a caveat that I've missed.

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  3. #2
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    Jan 2014
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    Sydney Upper North Shore
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    Default

    Go for it. I have a vacuum cleaner, via a Thien separator, with 35mm hose piped around the shed For that very reason.

  4. #3
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    Feb 2006
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    Perth
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    Ducted vacs are a really good idea
    BUT
    Given you have a CV 1800 have you thought about using it with your power tools?

    One way to do this is by converting or making a bench with a down draft table.
    This is basically a bench with a plenum (box) top with holes on the top connected to the DC by 6" ducting.
    For extra extraction just attach the hose from the power tool to the DC outlet hose of the box.
    This should manage the fine dust and the chips from the power tool.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    melbourne australia
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    2,107

    Default

    Ducted vacs are fantastic. We have a Valet unit mounted under the house. Be aware they are incredibly loud. Way louder than my Festool vac. A muffler fitted to the outlet helps a lot, but it might be an issue if the neighbours are close to the lean-to.

  6. #5
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    Jan 2015
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    Latrobe Valley
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    Thanks for the feedback gents.
    Noise shouldn't be a problem as I would install the unit in my dusty enclosure which is lined with acoustic batts, chipboard sheets and 15mm thick conveyor belt rubber.Only noise coming out of there is vibration from the CV motor and the flow of air out the exhaust.

    Had not thought about a down draft table Bob. I am limited on space but currently in the middle rearranging my workshop so it's a good time to try and shoehorn that into the plans.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pintek View Post
    Thanks for the feedback gents.
    Noise shouldn't be a problem as I would install the unit in my dusty enclosure which is lined with acoustic batts, chipboard sheets and 15mm thick conveyor belt rubber.Only noise coming out of there is vibration from the CV motor and the flow of air out the exhaust.

    Had not thought about a down draft table Bob. I am limited on space but currently in the middle rearranging my workshop so it's a good time to try and shoehorn that into the plans.
    reading Bobs comment about down draft table and yours reorganising the shed, I am in your position, shortage of room and reorganising, and for a second a brain snap/fart call it what you will, I thought 'if I turn my workbench around 90* I could use it as
    1 workbench
    2 outfeed table for saw
    3 use as a down draft

    it would be covered by a sheet of masonite/mdf etc, while workbench, and outfeed, lift that off downdraft table....hmmmm thinking time
    I would love to grow my own food, but I can not find bacon seeds

  8. #7
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    Currently searching the net for examples of that exact idea Tonyz.

  9. #8
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    Apr 2014
    Location
    Kew, Vic
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    If anyone is thinking of a downdraft table, Axminster in the UK sells a downdraft table panel set for $A66. Been looking at this for our Men’s Shed.
    Axminster Downdraft Table Kit - Down Draft Tables - Dust Extractors - Machinery | Axminster Tools & Machinery

    Brian

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada.
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    Since you are going to get a ducted vac (central vac here) you might as well run a pipe into the shop and to keep from filling the vac with too many chips and dust put a mini cyclone in your line to it. Using the CV to power a down draft table even to a back draft hood to scrub the air where you are sanding is a good idea. You don't want a hood that takes the dust up and past your face just to the wall opposite where you are standing. The ducted vac will make her happy and you too if that chore falls on you. You also get the benefit of using it for small tools like sanders, routers and planers. I was dreaming of getting one for the shop and garage. Dragging the Miele is fine for the house. That's my job.

    Pete

  11. #10
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    Feb 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by pintek View Post
    Our shed now houses the sewing room and the saw dust factory divided by a 'soundproof' wall (Can still hear her.... ) and a rumpus area for kids to play, craft, lego, etc. With guidance from BobL and others have installed a CV1800 and ventilation fan in my area, which has kept both her and my work areas practically dust free.
    Good to hear - the following is near ultimate nerdy dust control but we used it in the labs for mild acid vapour control so I thought I would mention it.

    With the workshop being negatively pressured by the CV, the rumpus and sewing room there's little chance of dust getting into those spaces but when the CV is not running even slight breezes around buildings can produce positive and negative pressures in various places. So my slight concern would be that a slightly positive pressure could develop in the workshop and negative pressure in those other rooms which could transfer fine dust from the workshop into the other rooms

    To reduce this effect one possibility would be to over pressure the other rooms. This means a small exhaust fan blowing air from the outside into those rooms to the inside. It makes sense not to run the fan all the time if the rooms are not negatively pressures so it would be possible to use a pressure sensor to measure the pressure between the two relevant areas and when the pressure goes negative the fan would switch on and even speed up until the pressure in those rooms become positive.

  12. #11
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    Jan 2015
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    Latrobe Valley
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    the following is near ultimate nerdy dust control
    You had me at hello Bob...

    Makes total sense and wouldn't be a costly project. Will be implementing this one.

    Cheers Bob.

  13. #12
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    The idea of a DD table puzzles me, if it is usually fairly small and as soon as you put something on it the very surface that it needs to draw air through is reduced, call me a sceptic because I have never seen one that works anywhere near effectively as people think they should. A cabinet the same size in which the piece to be sanded is placed in is a far more effective thing, something like a blast cabinet, easily made but entirely effective, way more effective than a DD table.
    CHRIS

  14. #13
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    May 2007
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    I have a sort of ducted vacuum equivalent in the garage (Hoover GV01) with a Thein pre separator. I use it to vacuum the car and connect to my orbital sander. The Thein captures all the heavies and a lot of dust but the really fine stuff goes through to the main unit and clogs up the filter pretty quickly. I wouldn't do it if I was connecting to the house ducted vacuum, I'm sure it is slowly killing the GV01 motor.
    Franklin

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Parks View Post
    A cabinet the same size in which the piece to be sanded is placed in is a far more effective thing, something like a blast cabinet, easily made but entirely effective, way more effective than a DD table.
    You have got me intrigued with this Chris. Could you flesh this out a bit more? Would be an interesting experiment to throw a few of those Plantronics particle sensors around a couple of down draft tables and get some data.
    Lets get the hive mind coming up with something better.

  16. #15
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    The only wood work downdraft table I have used was about 15 years ago and it was a 600 x 600 mm commercial unit in a Luthiers workshop. It was designed for small parts and invariably that involved hand sanding. It was like an upside down room air filter and I guess it was relatively low flow, maybe only 400 CFM? It worked really well because hand sanding doesn't tend to fling dust around. Trying to sand a large set of book shelves on something like that would be a waste of time.

    I've made a number of 1200 x 900 mm downdraft tables for lab work out of 6 and 10 mm thick HDPE.
    After making a few tables, over time I learned a few things that made a big difference to their performance.
    Provided there is enough air flow, the bigger they are the better they work.
    Small holes that are too evenly spaced don't work as well as larger holes (or even slots) mostly around the edge and only a few smaller holes in the middle.
    This means if work pieces cover the holes in the middle it makes little difference to the performance of the table.
    We used these tables on top of open benches around the sides of our clean labs and often distilled small amounts of some very nasty acids on top of these tables and we never picked up any acid vapours in the open lab with our acid vapour detectors from this arrangement. BTW these are no longer OHS compliant

    The best WW downdraft table I've seen was at a mens shed which had a 2.4 X 1.2 m top surrounded by weighted clear plastic curtains suspended on SS wires around it just above head height. An extra plastic curtain could be swung across the middle to turn it into 2 separate 1.2 x 1.2 m booths. The person using it would usually close the curtains on 3 sides to constrain the dust scatter thus sort of turning it into a flexible fume hood or sanding cabinet along the lines of what Chris mentions in his post above. This arrangement is a bit more flexible than a conventional hard walled fume hood/cabinet because t can be used from all sides.
    Like many things in sheds this sort of thing requires a lot of space which only a few of us have.

    FWIW I have a small (900 x 900 mm) sanding/welding/spray booth in the metal work end of my shed my shed. The extraction is provided by a dedicated 1600CFM squirrel cage extractor fan. It can be closed off on all sides by easily removal suspended panels. It works well for constraining the usual sparks and grit when angle grinding, sanding and welding. Being hot work, the sides and top and made of metal. I also use it to spray paint small objects. I also do the odd chemical experiment in this hood. This is one of the best things I did in fitting out my shed.

    Fumehood10.jpg

    The vice is on a 75 mm SHS post and easily removable.
    The wooden stand on the table is a lazy susan turn table that I use from time to time to rotate objects being spray painted.
    Fan.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

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