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Thread: Automatic dust collection

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Maplewood, NJ
    Posts
    78

    Automatic dust collection

    At long last I'm moving my shop out of the damp, low-ceilinged basement and out to the dry, airy, double-doored garage. The garage is unfinished, so I get to start from scratch with the electrical system. I'd like to set it up so that, if I start either the mitre saw or table saw, the dust collector comes on automatically.

    Problem: The mitre saw runs on 110V, the dust collector and table saw run on 220V.

    From what I can tell, the gizmos that allow you to make this happen require everything to be on the same voltage.

    Do I have that right, or does anybody have a better idea?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    That is a bad idea - a dust collector should run for a while after the machines stop, to clean the ducts, and having multiple motors start at the same time creates an extraordinary load. The starting current for my 22 amp machines pegs the ammeter (over 60 amps) for 3-10 seconds, so you are far better off waiting until one machine gets started before you start another.

    Further, if you have a good size motor - such as a 3-5 hp dust collector - you should consider how often it is started, since that high starting current becomes heat in the windings. Many engineers recommend that a 5 hp single phase motor not be started more than 3-6 times per hour. It took a while to get used to leaving my 5 hp saw running between cuts.

    I wear a pocket button to remote turn on my 5 hp dust collector before I start the first machine, and I leave it running until after the last machine is stopped.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    The Gorge Area, Oregon
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    4,698
    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    That is a bad idea - a dust collector should run for a while after the machines stop, to clean the ducts, and having multiple motors start at the same time creates an extraordinary load.
    Note that a lot of the systems to do this have a timer circuit. It wouldn't be unreasonable to set it for 10-30m past when the machine shuts off.

    Brian,

    I can't speak for any specific product as I haven't used any of them so I'm going to speak in generallities based on the underlying principals in the hopes that it helps you find something reasonable Basically the way that these sorts of systems work is that there is a capacitive voltage sensor that trips a relay on a low voltage circuit which in turn trips a relay coil to turn on the DC. In hard wired systems (ignoring wireless, although they're similar just with more parts) the voltage between the sensor and the DC relay is usually ~24v (aka "low voltage") and is wired in such a way that if any leg flips on the circuit is closed. Capacitive sensors are available that work at any voltage (110 or 220, three phase is more special) so you can simply buy yourself out of the problem if you have sufficient funds .

    This was all assuming that you were talking about an automatic system where if you turn on the machine the gate magically opens and the DC turns on. The systems that work where if you open the gate manually the DC turns on are somewhat simpler because you can skip the capacitive blah blah.. and only need the circuit going to the DC relay.

    Having said all of that, all of the systems like this that I've seen are stupid expensive. An example is ecogate.com (which I'm sure works fantastically.. if you have the money). I believe that if you're motivated enough you could build one yourself.. but hey I have a day job so that ain't happening here.

  4. #4
    I use a simple remote control on my DC, I wear the little xmtr on my shop apron and turn it on before turning on the tool and shut it about a minute after turning off the tool and can do that from anywhere in the shop.
    Bob
    Making saw dust in SW Louisiana

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,992
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Delhommer View Post
    I use a simple remote control on my DC, I wear the little xmtr on my shop apron and turn it on before turning on the tool and shut it about a minute after turning off the tool and can do that from anywhere in the shop.
    Ditto for me, plus I have two additional remote buttons hanging at different sides of the shop so I have easy access if I'm not wearing my apron. I leave the DC running between cuts or while moving between machines and leave it running for 30-60 seconds after I'm finished. I've looked at different "automatic" systems in the past but prefer what I've got since I'm in control of when the DC runs. Frequent starting of electric motors isn't healthy for them.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
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    10,604
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Delhommer View Post
    I use a simple remote control on my DC, I wear the little xmtr on my shop apron and turn it on before turning on the tool and shut it about a minute after turning off the tool and can do that from anywhere in the shop.

    Same here. I bought the remote switch at Walmart for about $14.00. It hangs in a central place in my shop (small basement shop) So often before instead of walking around the corner to my DC I often wouldn't bother to turn it on for just a few cuts.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Maplewood, NJ
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    Yeah... I think I got a little carried away with "perfect shop" dreams. The remote sounds like the best idea. I was just getting tired of this routine:

    – Open the gate on the mitre saw.
    – Close the gate on table saw.
    – Walk over and turn on the DC
    – Go back and make the cut on the mitre saw.
    – Walk over and turn off the DC.
    – Open the gate on the table saw.
    – Close the gate on the mitre saw.

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    The remote should do it just fine... if I remember to keep it on my belt.

    But thanks for all the great advice!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
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    5,992
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Corrigan View Post
    ... The remote should do it just fine... if I remember to keep it on my belt. ...
    I don't like wearing the typical toolbelt, so I got one of these:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I put a metal keyring around the neck strap, then clipped the remote to it. My apron isn't as full as this one, but it keeps the main items I need with me.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Near Gassaway,West Virginia
    Posts
    105
    The remote should do it just fine... if I remember to keep it on my belt.
    I hang mine around my neck and then clip it to my shirt pocket. That way it hits the floor less often when I knock it off. It does end up in the kitchen pretty often for some reason or other.
    Fred
    steercreekwood.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    I clip my DC remote to a belt loop on my jeans. Even with a t-shirt hanging over it, I can grab it (through the shirt) and turn on the DC easily. It has become an automatic motion any time I'm turning on a stationary tool in my shop.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

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