Dust Collection System - Where to start?

Hey All!

So I’m at the point where I feel I need a proper dust collection system for my garage.

I currently run a shop vac with a DIY cyclone separator on my Longmill setup. It has
served me well. Cons is that it dedicated pretty much 99% to my Longmill setup, although
I can detach and hook it up to my router table.

I think it’s time to move up a notch. I do not have any experience with the dedicated
bag dust collectors so be gentle on me.

Currently I have the following in the shop.

  • Longmill 30x30
  • Router Table
  • Mitre saw
  • Table saw
  • Thickness Planer

The Longmill, Router table and Mitre are my most heavily used with the table saw
barely used at the moment.

I’m currently looking at a 1-2hp dust collector system. Thoughts?
Will it be enough for my needs?
Are they super loud compared to my shop vac?
Max distance of runs?

I have a 3D printer and can print my own connectors if that is an cost savings option?

Anyhoo, looking for options/ideas/tips/trick and opinions (we know everyone’s got them). :wink:


@Lumpy Kris: I just know that I’m going to regret entering into this discussion. Ask 10 woodworkers about the best dust collection system and you will get 12 replies.

Anyway, here goes, FWIW.

I have an old 2hp craftex/busy bee collector. I have replaced the bottom bag with a drum and the top bag with a wynne canister filter. I have a Thien baffle to keep all but the fines out of the filter. Each of my machines has a collar on it. They are from this kit

On the DC, I have a 10’ length of flex hose. That gives me enough to reach all my machines. (They are all on wheels.)

For my Mill, I ran PVC 4" pipe horizontally from the front of my table to the left rear corner, then up vertically to about 3’ above the table. From that, I have a length of 2" flex hose that slip fits into my dust shoe.

I’m happy with this setup. Except for the Mill, I have been using it for several years. It’s not as convenient has fixed duct work and not as effective as a cyclone, but it’s cost effective.

As for sound, my DC is quieter than my shop vac.

Now that you have a fancy cnc to do lot’s of fun stuff with you should make your own dust collector.
I’ll send you down a bit of a youtube rabbit hole here with a few videos.

A really big but awesome one (link is first of a few videos):

Smaller version from the same guy:

And where he got his inspiration from (this guy has a bunch of dust collector builds each with different variations, a bunch of smaller quiet ones built for just one tool):

I’ve done a few of the bigger cyclone style ones now and they work super super well.
I currently have one sitting under my deck outside with the ducting running inside which keeps the noise way way down.

I use a shop vac, with a DIY dust collection. It is basically 2 5 gallon buckets with a couple of 3d printed parts that act as a cyclone to separate the dust before it hits the vacuum.

Works great, super simple! I don’t have pictures right now, but I can post some later if you would like. The 3d printed parts I designed in fusion 360 and printed myself.

Hi Rich,

That is was my current setup. I had made my own cyclone and such.

I have now progressed onto a bigger whole shop setup.

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