Making an efficient dust collector is not difficult and doesn’t even take very long to do! The only thing that you’ll really need is a blower motor of some sort. The one pictured in this post was given to me, but a shop vac motor or even a leaf blower will do just as nice a job. The rest of these things I just found lying around or repurposed.
- blower fan
- 10 feet dryer vent tubing
- 4 feet of 4 inch ABS tubing
- trash can
- a bit of scrap wood
- a few ounces of silicon caulk
Attach your blower motor to the wall. Bend up an old bracket with a hammer and use two screws to attach it. That, or whatever else you can work out. Just make sure it’s secure.
Put the tubing you are using on top of whatever lid to whatever container you’re using and trace it.
Cut out the trace making sure that your tubing will be snugly fit when inserted.
Insert your tubing and seal around the edges of the connection. I used pure clear silicon for mine.
Next, connect your tubing to the intake of the blower fan. ABS tubing is used here because it fits so nicely into the dryer tubing being used.
You will need to filter the air that is going into the blower. Old wire mesh is used here. It was just bunched up into a tight-fitting ball and stuck in the hole. Any particle smaller than this mesh is more than welcome to head into the blower.
Add an intake port to the bin. Again, trace a hole, cut it out, insert the tubing, and seal the edges.
Add a crossbeam going through (about) the center of the container you are using.
Being a classy wood shop such as this, finish nails were shot through the metal into the wood.
Add a plywood wall for the bigger wood chips to hit against and fall down. Make sure your piece goes down at least enough to be an inch or two below the bottom of the intake tube.
A hole in the garage wall is being cut to send the fine dust out into The Great Beyond.
(If you want to collect all of that very fine dust also, port your blower output into a bag that is capable of filtering particles. You can find these at any woodworking website or on Amazon.com)
Now that there is a hole in the wall, cut tubing long enough to go from the blower output to past the edge of the wall. The gaps in the tubing diameter difference were filled with the padding insulation taken out of the wall for the exhaust hole.
This free project needed a bit of reassurance, so a few sticks of wood were added for support.
And there it is! This collection system cost nothing because the blower fan was kindly donated. The rest is all just scraps and little elbow grease.
If you couple your dust collection system with some type of airflow, your air will be the best it can be! I used a blower fan from an old swamp cooler for that.
It works like a champ!
After using the dust collector for a few days of woodworking, it’s obvious that this needs a better filter in the collector lid so that less big pieces of sawdust make it up to the blower fan.
A basic home furnace filter (about $2) will add a layer of protection to the blower fan. Snip out enough of it to cover over the hole with the metal mesh, which will be left in place.
Duct tape it to the bottom of the lid, and you are good to go! Now that the filter layer has been added, there is no issue at all with the suction of this bad boy. It works better than I ever expected it to!