Shop Vac: recently mobile

I had an informative conversation with a person at the Connecticut-based company Air Handling Systems, which specializes in parts and design for dust collection systems. That conversation led me to reconsider the set up I was establishing for my dust collection system, and as a result I moved the cyclone tower and bag house to the opposite side of my shop space. This new position allows for a straight piping run immediately into the cyclone, which reduces the possibility for turbulence in the air flow. It also cuts down on a few of the more expensive large size fittings i would have required otherwise.

I’ve now connected the cyclone and bag house together, and have made inroads on the 3-phase wiring for the blower motor. I thought I’d share a few pics:


This is my relocated planing beam and my saw rack is also in a new spot:

I’ll probably expand the bench and storage arrangement in that area as well. Trying to keep a fairly clear open area for hand work and assembly despite all the rearranging and added equipment.

It is looking like I’ll have to drop another $900 or so to get all the pipe and fittings I need to complete the system, which is a bit more than I was imagining it would be, however the system was so inexpensive to begin with that I’m still ahead, it would seem, on the deal. I’m going with industrial grade spiral reinforced duct piping and all metal fittings and will be able to re-use about 50% of the piping and fittings that came with the package. The duct work design is complete and I will likely place the order for the fittings tomorrow.

Thanks for visiting. My shop is in a bit of flux at the moment but in another week or so I should be able to start working wood again. I might have a new (used) machine by this weekend to add to the mix.

The next post on this topic is entitled “This Just sucks!“.

8 Replies to “Shop Vac: recently mobile”

  1. Chris

    Thanks for a look at your shop. Love those segmental arches over the windows and that floor polished by years of wear. You even have a view of some greenery! It looks like a space where some serious work might be done.


  2. Tom,

    thanks for your comment. The floor in most of the first floor is heavily oil stained as the last industrial user of the space was a injection-molded plastics manufacturer. The endless brushing of wood dust and shavings on the floor does seem to be gradually cleaning it up though.

    I was finally able to open a window last week and it was so nice. There's a river going by too which adds a nice sound.

    And serious work? Not for the past couple of weeks at least. Waiting for some wood to get shipped to me to start 'phase 2' of the current hush-hush project. It's been good to have the time though as I've been moving house and reconfiguring the shop space. The chaos should begin to abate next week.

    I hope you're doing well these days yourself.


  3. Dale,

    yeah, pretty similar spaces – I like the diagonally-laid flooring in your old space. I think the mill building I am in was originally a silk mill, like a lot of mills in the immediate area. Thanks for your comment!


  4. Chris, those white brick walls also remind me of the old chair shops in the historical woodworking town of High Wycombe, Great Britain. Red brick outside. Funky wood floors too from the hide glue. The town is full of them. Mostly no longer in use, sadly, besides the one I worked in. Great atmosphere and one could imagine what went on in the heydays.

    I do suggest that you hang some burlap sacks over your windows there, it will discourage idle gazing outside, while still letting in a degree of light.

  5. Dennis,

    thanks for the comment. Are you worried about me looking out or other people looking in?

    I've been there two years and have never even had anyone walk by one of the windows, let alone look in.


  6. No, just an attempt at some humor, really. It was once a common practice in the chair shops in Buckinghamshire, to keep the workers focused on their tasks, someone first decided that burlap covering the windows served the purpose. It is documented in one of Ivan Sparkes books, he is an authority on the history of the English Windsor chair, and you can sometimes see it in old photos. I met Ivan when he was the curator of the High Wycombe chair and natural history museum. He kindly allowed me to photograph the wonderful collection of chairs kept there. I thought the burlap shade was a good counterpoint to the chap that commented on the greenery around your shop. Of course no one is so serious about woodworking today, that they would impose a restriction on looking out the workshop windows, are they? The concept might seem less eccentric today, if indeed one could get a glimpse at how fast and concentrated the craftsman of yesteryear were required to approach their work to make a go of it.

  7. Dennis,

    okay thanks for clearing that up. I wonder if there are any readers who got the reference, as it went right over my head…

    Thinking about people putting burlap sacks on the windows to prevent workers from looking outside reminds me of locking workers inside textile mills to prevent them from leaving, like at the Triangle Factory.


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