I need to rebuild my shop, which is actually ⅔ of my garage. The setup and function were great when I was doing CNC production work, mainly working with sheet goods, but now that I’m doing more traditional woodworking, it is not working. I need organization and access to more tools, the ability to hold workpieces in place, and I need more storage for tools, supplies, and lumber. So I’m going to start over and rebuild my shop.
One side of my shop is the garage doors. One side is where my wife parks her car. The back wall is storage for household items, which leaves one wall that I can 100% dedicate to woodworking. Since I need storage, I will build a miter saw station that gives me close to 12 feet of base cabinets and drawers for storage. The countertop will be my miter saw’s infeed/outfeed surface, so I’ll be killing two birds with one stone. The wall above the base cabinets will be a french cleat tool wall, wood storage, and more cabinets with time. Getting the miter station and tool wall completed will be the first step to my rebuild. Until then, I have no storage, everything is on the ground, and I’m getting tired of tripping over everything and constantly searching different piles for what I need.
One other thing that has become increasingly annoying is my dust collection setup. I’m a one-person shop, and my thinking has been that I’ll move my dust collection hose from tool to tool as needed. After all, I can only use one tool at a time. However, I’ve quickly learned I don’t like moving the hose from tool to tool and that the damn hose is another thing I’m constantly tripping over. It’s also not safe.
Additionally, now that I’m on the other side of 40, I find myself taking the time to be safer in the shop. In the past, there have been times when I’ve breathed more sawdust than I should have and didn’t put on a respirator because I only needed to shoot a small piece with lacquer. Hindsight is 20/20, but I wish I would have been safer. Not wanting to repeat history, I want to be sure I control sawdust as much as possible. My wife will also appreciate not accumulating fine sawdust on her car.
As part of the shop rebuild, I’m now also looking at improving my dust collection setup. However, as many of you probably know, dust collection is not straightforward. It’s way more complex than simply hooking your tool up to a dust collector and letting it rip.
You have to think about volume, velocity, resistance, pressure, how distance and restrictions knockdown CFM as you navigate hoses to your tools, where do you put blast gates, can you convert 4” down 2” for your smaller tools, and the list goes on and on.
When it comes to dust collection, It can all be confusing. However, it doesn’t have to be.
I found this YouTube video by Stumpy Nubs to be informative and helpful. Check it out, and you’ll have a much better understanding of dust collection, and you might even find a tip or two that will improve your dust collection setup.
After watching that video, I started to think about what my small shop needs for dust collection. I don’t need a big dust collector with 6” dust ports, so something with 4” ports makes sense. However, I’ll still have the problem of a blower dust collector not working well with smaller tools because of volume-velocity-pressure imbalance. My table saw, jointer, planer, and band saw will all be taken care of, but what about my miter saw, track/circular saw, routers, and sanders? I’ll have to move my shop vac around and fiddle with couplers for each tool or invest in a dust extractor or multiple dust extractors. That sounds expensive, and I’m trying to get away from moving dust collection around from tool to tool.
After much research, I think I have found my answer. Oneida Air Systems has set out to solve the dust collector problem by developing the Supercell High-Pressure Dust Collector. Remember, high-pressure is like a vacuum cleaner or shop vac, which generates enough static pressure to work with smaller hoses. The catch here is that the Supercell also generates high enough levels of air movement (CFM) to accommodate up to 5” diameter dust ports. Yes, this means it’s a shop vac powerful enough to use with 4” hoses. Maybe most impressive is that the Supercell will maintain performance at up to 100ft of 4” hose. As Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor would say, “More POWER, argh, argh, argh!”
Additionally, the Supercell can accommodate short radius turns, long duct lengths, 90° tee-joints, reduce to 2” hose no problem, and is HEPA-certified filter media at 99.97% efficiency at 0.3 microns.
One drawback is that the Supercell needs to use a high-pressure rated hose, which likely means I can’t use my current hoses. That will be an additional investment, but it’s a one-time investment, so probably worth it. One other challenge I’m still figuring out is that it is very likely that I could be running my CNC while using different tools. Will the Supercell be able to keep up? One solution could be that I create a switch that allows me a central point to close off hose runs to only the CNC and the tool that I’m using. Being that I won’t be more than 30ft on any run might work since I won’t be close to 100ft of hose run. A second option would be to dedicate a second dust collector to the CNC, but I don’t want to do that as it would take up additional room.
Overall, the Oneida Air Systems Supercell seems like an excellent option for me. I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I’m strongly considering it. I need to do something, and I like what I hear about innovations of the Supercell.
I’d love to hear your feedback. What is your dust collection system, how is it working for you, and what recommendations would you have for anyone looking to make a dust collection improvement. Let me know in the comments.
Furnitology has no affiliation with Oneida Air Systems.