We have been discussing dust collection for the last few posts, concentrating on shop vacuums as the collector. While these can be highly effective for hand held tools and even many stationary power tools, many home shops have dedicated dust collectors that typically use a 4'' diameter hose.
Many woodworking articles and several books have been written comparing these units and discussing how an entire shop can be piped to effectively connect all your tools. But in many home woodshops like mine, most of the tools are mobile. Fixed pipe-work does not really fit and is an expense that can be better spent on additional tools. This blog post will be looking at accessories and options that make it fast and easy to move your existing dust collection from machine to machine as needed.
My 1 HP dust collector is centrally located in my shop and can be rolled around, but with a flexible 10 foot hose, I rarely need to move it more than a few feet. (Photo: Shop Set Up) I used to simply slide the hose off one machine and onto another as needed. But the “4 Inch” outlets on my various tools are not all exactly the same dimension. So I had to tighten and loosen the hose clamp with each swap, or let it sit loose on some machines and lose some of the vacuum efficiency.
Rockler’s Dust Right system is a great accessory to solve this problem. Adapters are added to each machine’s dust port making them all the same. A combination handle/port attaches to the flexible hose from my DC. It slips snugly on and off the adapters, no tools needed. It now takes only seconds to switch from machine to machine with no loss of vacuum. And Rockler’s Router Table Dual Port works with the system as well, providing collection in the cabinet and at the fence.
So look into the 4'' dust collection accessories that are available and spend less time swapping around and more time making treasures. Next post I’ll be looking at some other 4'' accessories for keeping the mess under control.