Designing my Dust Collection System

Installing my Oneida-Air 3HP Gurilla Woodworking Cyclone

     Installing a 220v sub-breaker in my detached garage

I was working on installing the PVC but it's so big that I'm having problems with it so instead of struggling with it, I switch to getting my garage wired for 220v. I didn't look forward to installing a 220 sub breaker so I first purchased the Oneida-Air 3HP Gorilla Cyclone, which is 220volts. By purchasing this, it forced me to add the sub breaker.

I'm not an electrician but I did most of the work myself. I had someone else, who know what they were doing, hook everything up. I have a detached garage with a cement driveway. To avoid the driveway I had to run the wire under my house and across my grass. The total length of wire was about 105'. Since I'm not an electrician I'm not going to go into detail about installing the sub-breaker but to see more information and photos about installing my sub breaker click here.

     Designing (Metal or PVC)

I've been trying to work on my central dust collection system for awhile now but it's not something I find to be much fun. Also I didn't find designing the system easy since I have a lot of stuff on my walls in in the rafts. It's amazing how much larger a 6" pipe is compared to a 4" pipe.

I contacted Oneida-air regarding adding a metal duct system in my garage. They quoted me $800. I ended up going with SDR35 (sewer and drain) since it will cost me only $400.00. If I was going to only purchase the duct system I would have purchased the metal but I'm planning on purchasing a cyclone ($2000) and install 220V into my garage ($?) so you can see why I decided on the PVC.

     PVC and Shock

I'm not worried about a fire with the PVC but I am concerned about getting a shock. I already get a big shock from my current dust collector. Hopefully most people reading this are aware of Bill Pentz and his website. Located on his website is information about adding aluminum foil tape to the outside and inside of the PVC piping and then grounding that tape. This is the method I plan on using. I purchased the tape from the same online acehardware.

     Good Websites

Bill Pentz - if you haven't heard of him well he has almost a cult following.

Grounding PVC and Other Dust Collection Myths

Wynn Environmental - A smoother wall flexible hose (better for less friction).

Wood Magazine - Figure Dust-Collection Needs.

Dust Collection idea for your bandsaw


     Cyclone - Determining how powerful of a collector I need

To do this I determined which branch had the greatest resistance or had to work the hardest. I looked at which machine had the longest piping, most fittings, and goes to the smallest outlet. This was to my Powermatic Jointer. I then determined the static-pressure loss for this machine. (The third page of the wood magazine article explains how to figure the static-pressure). Mine was about 7".

The dust collecting companies provide the information needed to compare your numbers (static-pressure of 7") with their dust collectors. Some people feel that the company's ratings are not real world testing so the numbers the company provide are not accurate.


     Parts and where I purchased them

As I complete my system I will add and delete to my item used list. I purchased the tubing locally but ordered the fittings online from a acehardware located in NY, which is by far the cheapest I've been able to locate the fittings.

Blast Gates
     Some of the best blast gates are from Lee Valley. Although they are more expensive they are considered self-cleaning. I designed the blast gates to be set as close as possible to the main line and not the machine itself.


     Installing the PVC piping

Cutting the Pipe

PVC 4" & 6" piping

I purchased 2 6" X 20' green PVC and 1 4" X 20' white PVC tube.

I used a hacksaw to cut the piping. I marked the cut line completely around the tube. I took minor cuts around the tube until it was apart. I discovered this was the best method for me to get a flush cut.

marked pvc


Removing the piping and PVC.

Once in a while I had to remove the piping from the PVC. I found the easiest way to do this is using a pry bar and hammer. I purchased a Harbor Freight set of three pry bars.

pry bar


the correct way to use the pry barthe correct way to remove pipe from PVC


Installing PVC

starting the PVC from cyclone

When I first designed my system on paper I had a great idea of how everything would set up and work perfectly. Once I started installing the PVC, I realized PVC is not flexible and the wye's would not go in the direction I had thought they would. So my plans changed and I designed the system as I went.

I used a metal dust collection reducer (8" to 6") to connect the machine to the PVC piping. The reducer has rubber on both of the connecting ends. Next I added a 45 degree PVC fitting. I used the 6" tubing to lead up to the rafter of my garage.


To secure the piping I used steel hanger strap also known as plumber's tape. I also used aluminum foil tape. I have no idea if this is really going to work but I thought I might as well try it.


hanger strap and foil tapeAs I mentioned above, located on Bill Pentz's website is information about adding aluminum foil tape to the outside and inside of the PVC piping and then grounding that tape. This is the method I plan on using. I purchased the tape from the same online acehardware.



PVC pipe leading to raftersOnce I reached the rafters, I used another 45 deg. fitting.

You can also see the hanger strap securing the piping to one of the beams.









PVC Main wyes

I used several wye's at this junction to get the piping in the directions I needed. I also installed two 6" blast gates. Although I don't think I'm going to need blast gates with the cyclone I purchased, I had purchased these gates about a year ago when they were on sale so I thought I might as well use them.

The longest tube goes to my jointer.









This is the same section but shot from a different direction. The pipe on the left is going toward my jointer while the other pipe is heading toward the tools (bandsaw, drill press, sander and planer) I have against the cyclone wall.

wyes shown from different angle


This section of pipe is going toward the opposite wall from the cyclone. The two wyes will be used for my table saw.

table saw 6" X 4" wyes


45 deg angles


I used 45 deg turns in most cases, although later I did use two 90 deg. turns.









piping leading to jointer


This pipe leads over to my jointer.









piping leading to jointer

4" piping to jointer


Table Saw

piping for rear of table saw

I first used 4" piping at the rear of the table saw.

wyes for table saw


I used two 6 X 6 X 4 wyes. The two 4" will go down to the table saw. One is for the table saw blade guard while the other is for the rear piping.











hose to table saw blade guard

I designed the first 4" drop using just the hose but the weight of the hose caused the shark guard and the riving knife to get out of alignment with the saw blade. To fix this, I had to design it so the hose was directly above the blade guard. 

The second 4" drop goes to the rear of the table saw.

hose to rear of table saw

Miter Saw and Router Table

The piping continues to the far wall where it drops down with a 4" hose. This pipe will be used for my miter saw and router table. I like to store my miter saw and router table against the wall but when I use them I pull them out away from the wall.

miter saw and router table


4" PVC pipe to miter saw and router table hose attached to router table


4" hose set up for miter saw dust collection

Since I store my miter saw again the wall I needed to design a system that would be compact but still would collect the dust. Although it doesn't look that neat, at least it works well and I can still store it against the wall without taking up any more room.

I used a 4" wye in the back to connect the two 4" hoses. In between the two 4" hoses is a small piece of sheet metal. When I finished the design, i actually made this piece larger and secured it in place. It helps direct the dust into the hoses.

From the 4" wye I used a small piece of PVC tubing to connect the 90 deg. PVC elbow. From the elbow I used another small piece of PVC tubing and connected the 4" X 2-1/2" wye. I connected a 2-1/2" hose to the wye and the dust extraction system on the miter saw.

hose set up for rear of miter saw


wye and PVC set up for miter saw


I designed it so I can still use the side wing of the miter saw stand but none of the duct collecting system needs to be moved. I only need to attach the hose to the end of the 4" wye.

2-1/2" hose for miter sawmiter saw hose attachment


miter saw against wall

Everything fits nicely against the wall when not in use.













Bandsaw, Drill Press, Oscillating Sander and Planer

45 deg piping to wallpiping to drill press

Sander and Planer

Similar to the miter saw and router table I used a long 4" hose with a quick attachment at the end. Again I store the planer against the wall but it has to be moved out away from the wall to be able to plane the wood.

I can connect the hose either to my sander or the planer. In the image below it is connected to my oscillating sander's dust collection system I designed.


sander and planer hosehose attached to sander


Drill Press


drill press dust collectionThe drill press mainly stays in place unless I have a very large piece that needs to be drilled.

In this photo you can also see the Lee Valley self-cleaning blast gates I attached to each section. I had a difficult time trying to secure the hose directly to the blast gate. I had to cut the hose a specific way and attach the clamp as shown below. I also tried to use a regular metal clamp but that didn't work so this was the best method for me.

clamp and hose set up for blast gates



The bandsaw was by far the hardest for me to figure out.

bandsaw 2-1/2" hose set up

I attached a 4" X 2-1/2" wye to the wall. The 4" hosed leads to a 4" wye under the bandsaw while the 2-1/2" hose leads to the top of the bandsaw. When I use the bandsaw I pull it out from the wall so the hose had to be rather long.

I ended up purchasing 6 boxes of 4" X 10' hose. NOT CHEAP so if you're planning on designing your own system start purchasing the hose when you see if on sale.








view of bandsaw with dust collection system

I haven't attached the lower section yet. One part is attached to the 4" dust collection outlet while the other will be attached near the lower part of the saw blade.

The 2-1/2" hose will be attached with a magnet so I can adjust the hose as needed.

close up of 2-1/2" hose attached with magnet


bandsaw, drill press and sander against wall


In the end it's great having a central dust collection system but I was surprised how much it cost (it might have ended up the same as if I purchased the metal piping). I love the new cyclone and I'm glad I purchased the 3hp unit.